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RV road trip with our three boys to Coloroda, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona

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RV road trip with our three boys to Coloroda, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona

Old Jul 18th, 2010, 06:16 PM
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RV road trip with our three boys to Coloroda, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona

Hi there...talking about a two week RV road trip with our three young boys ages 9, 7, and 5 is a lot easier and more exciting than actually getting down to the gritty details of planning it. Although internet access and travel books have been resourceful in establishing our RV destinations, I thought it would be interesting to get some ideas from world traveler's who may have some interesting off the beaten path places, or fun activities geared towards children. We will be at Estee Park, Grand Mesa National Forest, Sand Dune Park, Fishlake National Forest, Zion Park, Petrified Forest, Grand Canyon, Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos. I was enamored by Carlsbad Caverns, which unfortunately would be an additional 8 hours off our route, and was wondering if there were any fascinating caverns or caves like that to explore near any of these destination stops. Any unique, beautiful, fun places you think we would enjoy, or even cool restaurants or places we would never see in the sunny, sandy, trendy city of Miami, kindly recommend and help! Much appreciation, Bianca
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Old Jul 19th, 2010, 06:10 AM
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Taos Pueblo and Bandelier National Monument
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Old Jul 19th, 2010, 08:08 AM
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If you change your mind about Carlsbad, The bats are just as spectacular as the cave. Have the boys do a "wild cave" or junior cave tour. The youngest boy may not be old enough. If you are in a 4 wheel drive, consider driving the primitive road in Sand Dunes NP. Hike The Narrows for as far as you like in Zion. I think the oldest might be ok for Angels Landing in Zion, but I don't think I would take a 5 year old there for sure. Are you considering Bryce National Park? While the Grand Canyon is really good, I wouldn't plan on spending a lot of time there unless you are doing some serious hiking. If you are going by Petrified Forest, definately stop for 2-4 hours. However, it is something I wouldn't go out of my way for.

Get a National Park Pass, and you will probably want a Parking Pass as well for some spots(maybe). Park pass is $80 and is good for any National Parks or Monuments for a year.

Pack plenty of water and get gas when you see it. Like at the Great Sand Dunes there is nothing for miles.

You are missing Arches National Park which is one of my favorites. If you are in the four corners area consider Monument Valley as well. I could reccomend a lot of other places in that area, if you are going to be there. The entire state of Utah is really awesome. Colorado is totally different. Sound like a great trip. Are you camping or what?
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Old Jul 19th, 2010, 08:14 AM
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I second Arches and do not see a mention of Mesa Verde.
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Old Jul 19th, 2010, 04:47 PM
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Wow! You are super resourceful. Thank you for your advice!! Spirobulldog, (great name by the way, since Arche National Park looks incredible, and others agreed, we are going to fit that in somehow. I loved the images of Monumental Valley. Please recommend more places in that area, since I think we may !! Yes, we are planning on camping and looking forward to this family adventure. As you could imagine, the beaches by us are beautiful, but we can all use a change from flag football, skid boarding, skateboarding, biking and swimming! Michale, Mesa Verde looks awesome. We may need to reroute now.
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Old Jul 19th, 2010, 05:22 PM
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You might be interested in browsing in this collection:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca/...7622970527258/
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Old Jul 19th, 2010, 06:59 PM
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best thing I have ever done in a National Park is with www.deserthighlights.com in moab and yes, your boys are old enough to do this. If they are fearful of heights, probably not a good idea. You could see 4 Corners National Monument, but it is really nothing. But kinda cool to get the photo of you standing in four states at the same time.

I like Arches a lot more than I do Monument Valley. Near Monument Valley is Moki Dugway, Valley of the Gods, Goosenecks of the San Juan River. If you get near Arches, DON'T MISS GOBLIN VALLEY. Kids love this place and so do I. Deadhorse Point is really nice, but the views are very similar to that of the Grand Canyon.

I really think you might be trying to cram a little to much in. Your just going to have to pick the best. Here are my favorites and in order of what I have seen in Utah and Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico.

Arches
Zion
Grand Canyon (rafted it, otherwise wouldn't be this high)
Mesa Verde
Carlsbad (wild cave tour is amazing, you need to be age 10)
Natural Bridges National Monument (Sipapu Bridge is awesome)
Capitol Reef
Great Sand Dunes(you kids will like this place)
Monument Valley-Goosenecks, Moki Dugway
Petrified Forest

I haven't been to Bryce, I plan on going next year. I imagine if someone else were rating it and included Bryce, it would for sure be in the top 3 or 4 of most peoples list.

Really, any of them are great to do. Don't rush through them, the more time I spend at each one the more I enjoy them. Some of them don't require that much time. But in Zion, Bryce, and Moab you could spend several days at each and not get bored.
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Old Jul 19th, 2010, 07:53 PM
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Four Corners is a tourist attraption.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2010, 06:23 PM
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Heading out myself with DH on a western trip in our RV. Two years ago we did almost all of the places you are thinking of going and more. Keep in mind some parks will take much longer to see than others. Petrified Forest/Painted Desert is a very small park and will only take a couple of hours, whereas Zion or Grand Canyon will take much longer and some people stay for days.
Highly recommend the National Parks Pass, order online at www.nps.gov and you will have it in about a week. Will save you lots of money in the long run if you are going to as many parks as you have on your list. Also consider getting each of your children a National Parks Passport which you can get either online or any of the parks and have them get the stamps for each of the places where you stop. I love doing this and is great reminder of where you have been and when you were there. You can ask any park ranger where their stamping stations are. There are also pictoral stamps for some locations. Being from Miami you are also close to Everglades and Big Cypress, to get those stamps next time you go there, or if you have never been a good reason to go. Almost all of the parks have Junior Ranger programs and the kids really seem to enjoy them. You may want to e-mail the parks about times and places and my experience is they will e-mail you back in a day or so with any information you ask about.
Don't know when you are going and where you will be but if you are going to be in Albuquerque in the beginning of October the Balloon Fiesta runs then and it is amazing!
Sounds like an fantastic trip and have a great time.
Good luck!
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Old Aug 1st, 2010, 08:13 AM
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For children visiting New Mexico there is...

- The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center (http://www.indianpueblo.org/) and the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science (http://www.nmnaturalhistory.org/) in Albuquerque.
- El Rancho De Las Golondrinas (http://www.golondrinas.org/#) in Santa Fe.
- The Wildlife Center (http://www.thewildlifecenter.org/) in Espanola.
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Old Aug 4th, 2010, 07:51 AM
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Forgot, bring along a LOT of water. You'd be surprised how dehydrated you get AND make sure you keep your gas tank filled as much as possible. It gets quite remote. Someone else may have specifics but it seems to me that the entrance to Zion (not at Springdale) has major switchbacks and there is a line for the tunnel. Your RV goes down the middle of the tunnel because of space. We loved it but had a car. I often look at the floor on the switchbacks - I am a major chicken!
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Old Aug 4th, 2010, 07:51 AM
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Forgot, bring along a LOT of water. You'd be surprised how dehydrated you get AND make sure you keep your gas tank filled as much as possible. It gets quite remote. Someone else may have specifics but it seems to me that the entrance to Zion (not at Springdale) has major switchbacks and there is a line for the tunnel. Your RV goes down the middle of the tunnel because of space. We loved it but had a car. I often look at the floor on the switchbacks - I am a major chicken!
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Old Aug 15th, 2010, 12:59 AM
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Is this your first RV trip? Are you driving across country or renting an RV in Colorado? I'm going to take a guess and say you are renting in Denver. If that's the case then you are looking at a little over 2000 miles in approx. 14 days. As an avid RV'er of 30+ years, travel time in an RV is a lot slower than in a car. An example would be Carlsbad Caverns. I love the caves but you are looking at almost 600 miles and more like 10 - 12 hours of driving time if you add them because it's not all interstate driving.

I'm not sure what the attraction is to Grand Mesa National Forest and Fishlake National Forest but as others have mentioned, there are so many other wonderful and beautiful national parks to spend your time at. If you want to camp in a pine forest, then go to Bryce National Park which isn't far from Zion.

Honestly, if you want your three boys to have a good time, I'd cut places instead of adding them. I know there is so many great things to see in the west, but honestly you aren't going to have much more time than a quick drive though. Pick 4 or 5 of the best places and spend time at those.

Will you be staying at private campgrounds or do you plan to camp at places like the Grand Canyon and Zion? If you want to camp in these parks, then you will need to make reservations.

If you have other camping questions, please feel free to ask. We love to camp in the Southwest and do it very often.

Utahtea
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Old Aug 15th, 2010, 05:54 AM
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I agree with the last post that you are planning an awful lot in only 2 weeks. Our kids at that age (and still, for that matter) liked trips with fewer stops, less driving.
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