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4 Soutwestern US states in 3 weeks? Crazy idea or what?

4 Soutwestern US states in 3 weeks? Crazy idea or what?

Old Apr 16th, 2000, 05:35 AM
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4 Soutwestern US states in 3 weeks? Crazy idea or what?

Hi folks. Planning a 3 week trip commencing 28 April, Phoenix and stay a couple of nights to get over jet lag and see some of Phoenix. Planning to go south to Tucson and Tombstone, then on to New Mexico - Santa Fe, Taos, Mesa Verde NP, then Colorado. I have read in diverse guide books that the San Juan Skyway from Durango to Ouray can be both very dangerous to drive on (my husband suffers from vertigo and will be driving) because there are no barriers at the edge of the road? Also, how can I find out if this section of the road will not be closed with snow/ice at the beginning of May?

Next leg, on to Utah and Arches NP, Canyonlands NP, Capitol Reef NP, Zion Canyon, Provo and Salt Lake Cty.

Would like to see the Painted Desert and Lake Powell if we can fit it in. We have been to GC and Bryce Canyon so these are our plans this time.

Any comments or relevant websites much appreciated. We enjoy adventuring and don't mind eating up the miles (in that kind of scenery, this is no chore) but, I wish I could plan an itinerary which would not involve so much backtracking. Thanks to you all.
Old Apr 16th, 2000, 06:27 AM
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The road between Durango and Ouray is open now--no snow. Very spectacular and extremely scenic country. The Painted Desert is one of those places that sounds more romantic than it really it. The vast wastelands of solidified mudstone and rock look very appealing at dawn and sundown, but otherwise are rather dull. Better you should include Monument Valley, on the Arizona/Utah border (stay at Goulding's). Mesa Verde is in that state of Colorado, not far from Cortez. You will love it. Best you abide by our old adage: the more you drive, the less you see. Cut out some things because they will all be here when you return--and you will.
Old Apr 16th, 2000, 06:42 AM
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Al's given you great advice. I totally agree with him comments on Mounment Valley and the Painted Desert. Instead of the latter, I'd recommend Canyon de Chelley in the same area.
Also, I'd forego the two days in Phoenix and go directly to Tuscon. You can easily drive there in a couple hours. In Tucson, don't miss the desert museum and Sabino Canyon.
Also, considering everything else you want to see, you can skip Lake Powell. It cannot compare with your other hoped-for stops.
Old Apr 16th, 2000, 04:59 PM
Bob Brown
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Your trip is doable in 3 weeks. I am taking something of the same route in 2 in just about 4 weeks. I would not worry too much about the Durango Ouray drive. If your husband suffers from altitude adjustment, why don't you drive over that stretch??
If I were to cut anything from what you have planed (assuming I had the same ideas), it would be the Painted Desert and invest the time saved at Arches and Mesa Verde. I was in Salt Lake City last April for 5 days and, if the National Parks are your thing, I would save SLC for a another trip. Perhaps stating there and going to Yellowstone and back through the Tetons.
Old Apr 16th, 2000, 06:48 PM
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With no offense intended to Arizonans, and if you're ending in Phoenix for the flight home, you might consider saving the Tuscon/Tombstone bit for the end, and instead start off by heading north to Sedona then head over to the four corners (for Monument Valley etc.)
I heartily second Canyon de Chelly - eerily beautiful in the spring.
Sounds like a great trip!
Old Apr 16th, 2000, 09:39 PM
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Jennifer, Listen to Al, he's always got great advice about Arizona. Agree that the Painted Desert is not such a draw.
Old Apr 17th, 2000, 01:10 AM
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions and help. I intended to mention that we have not made any lodging reservations anywhere. We are hoping that April/May is not quite so hectic. At least that's my reading of most of the travel guides. Therefore we could bypass Phoenix as Howard suggested, but we read that Scottsdale is a beautiful place and worth a trip.
Thanks folks.
Old Apr 17th, 2000, 05:49 AM
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If I may be permitted a little personal prejudice, Sedona is far, far, far more scenic than Scottsdale. If shopping and gallery-crawling or golf are your passions, then Scottsdale's for you. If magnificent red-rock cliffs, vast 60-mile vistas, and meandering canyon trails sound appealing, then come to Sedona. It's life in the fast lane vs. life where God goes on vacation--the choice is yours.
Old Apr 17th, 2000, 09:47 AM
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Sounds like it will be a Great Trip! In order to have more time at these beautiful National Parks I would suggest cutting out Provo and Salt Lake City. However, I have been to SLC (which is beautiful as it sits along side the Wasatch Front) many times and would suggest a tour of Temple Square if you do visit the City. For some nice pictures of the Square try http://www.uvol.com/www1st/tsquare/square.html. Have a great trip!

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