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Planning a trip out West---Please help plan our itinerary!

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My family and I are starting to plan a trip out west next summer and went back and forth between choosing the Utah parks like Bryce and Zion or heading somewhere cooler like South Dakota and Colorado. Haven't been to either areas and want to see both regions but am concerned that the Utah locations will be unbearably HOT!!

We probably will spend more than a week, two perhaps on this trip and wanted some ideas of how to split our time between South Dakota and Colorado (namely the areas around Mt. Rushmore/Badlands and Rocky Mountain National Park). I am assuming that RMNP is the place to see in Colorado, but never having been there, I wouldn't know. We are certainly open to any other suggestions of places to see in Colorado.

We are not really hikers (we'll do short hikes and nature walks) and we really love scenic drives with lots of turnouts to view the beauty and the majesty of the west. Being from the east coast we rarely get the opportunity to see such natural beauty!!

The ideal way to plan this trip would be, of course, to fly into one state and leave from the other. We are eligible, however, for two free airline tickets through our mileage plus account and must fly in and out of the same airport. I guess to see both areas we would have to do a loop. Any suggestions for how we should work it and how long to devote to each area?

We are not adverse to driving and many years have driven to Myrtle Beach, SC and Orlando, FL from New Jersey in one day so if we have to spend most of our last day driving back to the area we fly into, well, that's what we'll have to do.

Please help with our itinerary, especially of the best sights to see in these two areas and how long we need to spend there. Any suggestions on lodging would be great also. Since we will probably be traveling with our sons who are 17 and 22 we would prefer to stay in condos as opposed to motels, just so we can all spread out!!

Thanks much for your input and look forward to your replies!!!

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