CO-UT-AZ Road Trip Advice

Old Feb 22nd, 2022, 03:42 AM
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CO-UT-AZ Road Trip Advice

Just looking for a bit of final advice/suggestions on the following plans.

We are a family of 7 - driving across the country from the East Coast. We are choosing to drive for a number of reasons on this particular trip.

We will be traveling from May 1-21 approximately - so I know weather could still be unpredictable in the CO portions especially. We will stop two nights both on the way out and the way home.

Once we make it to CO, here is our current plan:
2 nights Littleton area
We used to live here and want to show the younger kids
4 nights Grand Junction
Some of the group will be riding the Kokopelli Trail from here to Moab so this portion is locked in
The rest of us will visit the CO Natl Monument and maybe even a day trip to Black Canyon of the Gunnison
4 nights in Moab
We plan to visit Arches, Canyonlands, and maybe Dead Horse State Park - also the bikers will probably need at least part of a day to rest
2 nights at Yavapai Lodge Grand Canyon
Hoping to drive through Monument Valley on the way there
This is the biggest portion that is taking us well out of our way but some really want to see GCNP
1 night possibly in Durango
This is primarily just to break up the drive
Some kids really want to see Four Corners - is it worth stopping?
5 nights Rocky Mountain National Park
We have been here many times - it's one of our favorite places so it felt like we couldn't make the trip and not include it - plus it gives us the "mountain" experience and not mostly desert
Also - our younger kids don't really remember it
Any "must-do" things in these areas? Is the detour to visit GCNP worth going out of our way? (My husband and I have both visited separately in the past - but just day trips - never overnight in the park). We currently have timed entry tickets for Arches - but I don't think we need them for any of the other parks (RMNP doesn't start til later May).

sclubb is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2022, 07:01 AM
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It sounds like you have this pretty well planned out. The only thing that I might add would be an overnight stop in Glenwood Springs. In Glenwood Springs are a chairlift ride up to Glenwood Caverns, the worlds largest hot spring fed swimming pool and a great paved biking/hiking trail east out into Glenwood Canyon. Also at the hilltop cemetery, you can see Doc Holliday's monument (he's not under it).
tomfuller is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2022, 08:54 AM
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I don't think the Four Corners is worth a stop. If you are staying in Durango maybe visiting Mesa Verde is a better use of time? It's about an hour from Durango.
egonza is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2022, 09:22 AM
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Your plan looks fine for me

I would at least drive to the VC at Monument valley, you can see many of the iconic formations from the road there.

I would not stop at the four corners. It is out of the way and really not that impressive, but there are plenty of folks selling “native jewelry” etc. if you want some.

I second the idea of stopping at Mesa Verde instead or in addition to Durango.
oldemalloy is online now  
Old Feb 24th, 2022, 11:52 PM
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I would add Mesa Verde, but as a day trip in might be too much. It is about an hour of driving within the park itself to reach the first cliff dwellings. Most of the cliff dwellings require reservations as they can only be seen with a guide.
Michael is offline  
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