Ideas for scenic drive Montana to Arizona

Apr 20th, 2006, 07:06 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Ideas for scenic drive Montana to Arizona

Hi. My husband and I are looking forward to our first holiday in the USA in Septenber. We are planning to hire a car in Gt Falls Montana, and arrive in Tucson 26 days later. We would like to experience the scenery, wildlife and plantlife and avoid, where possible, big cities and major highways.
We thought we might follow Highway 89 (more or less) and visit Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Bryce, Zion, Grand Canyon and other destinations. Our plan is to stay in each place for 3 nights so we can walk and explore local areas at leisure before moving on.
I am wondering whether, instead of going directly south from Grand Teton NP, we should detour to Rocky Mountain NP then head back to Utah. I am aware that it would be silly to cram too much into a single visit, and would really appreciate some advice as to what is possible in the time available and what are the "must see" areas.
Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
lazybones is offline  
Apr 21st, 2006, 02:06 AM
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tcapp is offline  
Apr 21st, 2006, 07:23 AM
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I would not detour to RMNP but try to do the following: drive south from GTNP, 13 miles past Jackson take route189/191 to Rock springs then route 191 to Vernal(where you can visit the Dinosaur park).Then follow 191 in Wellington take rte 72 to Torrey(visit Capitol reef N.Park)The rte 74 ti Interstate 50,follow to the right till the turnoff rte 128(beautifull route following the Colorado river) then you arrive at Moab where there's a lot to see ;Arches n.P.,Canyonlandsn.p. From Moab I would then go to Monument valley,Grand can. etc.....I think it's doable if you take maximum 2 days per park.Greetings from Belgium.Paul
tovarich is offline  
Apr 21st, 2006, 08:18 AM
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As for the Montana portion:

I would check out the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Great Falls and the Charlie Russell Museum.

I would also take I-90 at least to Helena or Boulder. The interstate is actually very beautiful between Great Falls and Helena. You'll drive through canyons and along the river; it's prime fly-fishing, too.

I would take Hwy 69 from Boulder to Cardwell and then I would visit Lewis and Clark Caverns. The Caverns are fantastic and full of amazing formations. Then I would continue on to Ennis and then to Yellowstone.
kureiff is online now  
Apr 21st, 2006, 08:51 AM
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You are so close to Glacier National Park, that I'd recommend that over taking the detour to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Yellowstone really deserves more than 3 nights. I'd suggest at least 4 nights here, but keep in mind that in September things start closing up in Yellowstone. You will want to make reservations as soon as possible!

I agree with tovarich on taking Hwy-s 189 and 191 down to Vernal. This way you avoid Salt Lake City. Dinosuar National Monument is worth a full day. Besides the dinosuar digs, this is a very scenic area. You will only need two nights and one full day.

I would also add Moab. If you can stay 4 nights here, this would really give you time to explore Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park and the area around Moab. But 3 nights would work.

I would then head back up to I-70 and down Hwy 24 to Capitol Reef National Park. Spend 2 - 3 nights in Torrey and enjoy this park. Then drive scenic Hwy 12 to Bryce for 3 nights, Zion for 3 nights, Grand Canyon for 3 nights.

You will be close to running out of time, but if you find some time, you might want to spend a night or two at Page, AZ and explore Lake Powell.


utahtea is offline  
Apr 21st, 2006, 09:59 PM
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Thanks a lot for that advice. I will get the map out and plan to incorporate your suggestions.
lazybones is offline  

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