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Please help plan our road trip from Denver to San Francisco

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Hi,

Me and my wife are planning to make a road trip from Denver to San Francisco. We are in our twenties and looking for a safe, economical and memorable trip. A bit of adventure is fine too. We have never been to Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. Your suggestions regarding must see attractions, safe and economical stays/hotels on the way are most appreciated. We enjoy the nature and would like to keep our trip as scenic as possible with some good opportunities to take nice pictures.

As of now, we are thinking of the following five day trip, around Oct 3rd-4th weeks.

Day 1:
Denver to Rocky Mountain NP
(Trail Ridge Road at Rocky Mountain NP)
Night stay at Rocky Mountain NP or drive to Moab, UT for sleep.

Day 2:
Arches NP and Canyon Lands NP
Night Stay at Moab

Day 3 and 4:
To Capitol Reef NP through Hwy 24.
To Bryce Canyon NP through Hwy 12
Day 3 night stay at either Capitol Reef NP or Bryce Canyon NP
Day 4 night stay at either Zion NP or Death Valley NP

Day 5:
Zion NP or Death Valley NP to San Francisco

In total, we have four nights and five full days. I know that the schedule is a bit tight, but this is more like a road trip. Please suggest me:
i) where to spend less time and where to spend more. We are ready to sacrifice some places.
ii) some must see see attractions on the way,
iii) scenic routes to drive on the way and in National parks. Since we are short of time, we would like to cover as much as possible from the car itself.
iv) and most importantly, safe and economical places to stay during nights

Thanks in advance for your help.

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