National Parks from Colorado to Utah

Jul 18th, 2007, 11:32 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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National Parks from Colorado to Utah

I need help with my itinerary from Pueblo, Co to Vegas. Will drive from Pueblo on 8/11 and arrive in Vegas on 8/18. Would love to see cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde - Valley of the Gods - Arches - Canyonlands - Bryce - Zion - Grand Canyon. Any tips on what I need to throw out? What about where we need to spend more time and what we can see briefly? Would like to do some hiking and maybe rent a mountain bike at one destination. What about Monument Valley/Capitol Reef? Should we include that in place of something else. Sorry if this is a duplicate - thought I'd already posted this but can't find it. Thanks
witchywoman is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 12:06 PM
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Hi witchywoman,

If you click on your user name, you can find your other posts. You posted this on an old thread, so your probably better off starting a new one.

Here's my reply to your other post:

Valley of the Gods is ok if you have lots of time, but Monument Valley is much better.

With the alloted amount of time you have, you are only going to be able to get a quick glimps of each park before you have to move on. Most of you time is going to be in a vehcile. I'd sugguest dropping either Arches & Canyonlands (Moab area) or drop Valley of Gods/Monument Valley & the Grand Canyon but you could add Captiol Reef and Scenic Hwy 12.

I'll add some more ideas:

Pueblo to Mesa Verde is 325 miles and approx. 6 1/2 hours of driving time. This will give you a very short time at the park that afternoon. Don't know if you would be able to fit in a Ranger guided tour, which I highly recommend.

Mesa Verde to Monument Valley is 172 miles and approx. 3 1/2 hours driving time. You can drive into Monument Valley on your own so you wouldn't have to wait for a tour. This can be done an hour or so. I'd skip Valley of the Gods, because there are so many other better choices on your list.

Monument Valley to Moab, Utah 150 miles and approx 3 hour drive. Arches is just 4 miles from Moab, Utah, but the scenic drive is another 22 miles one way.

Canyonlands is about 35 miles and approx an hour drive from Moab. Since you have limited time, you might try seeing this as you exit Moab on your way to Bryce.

Moab to Bryce via Capitol Reef and the Scenic Hwy 12 is 270 miles but plan on it taking close to 7 hours and add time to do the 14 miles round trip scenic drive into Capitol Reef.

Moab to Bryce via I-70 and I-15 is 277 miles and will take almost 5 hours.

(not sure if you planned on the N. Rim or S. Rim of the Grand Canyon)

Bryce to N. Rim is 157 miles and approx. 5 hour drive.

N. Rim to Zion is 122 miles and approx 3 1/2 - 4 hour drive.

Zion to Las Vegas is a 165 miles and a 3 hour drive.

If you wanted to do the S. Rim, then after Bryce you would want to go to Zion.

Bryce to Zion is 86 miles and a 2 hour drive.

Zion to S. Rim Grand Canyon is 253 miles and approx 5 1/2 hours via Lake Powell (Glen Canyon National Recreational Area)

Grand Canyon to Las Vegas is 278 miles and approx a 5 hour drive.

Let me know if you narrow things down.


utahtea is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 12:23 PM
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Thank you Utahtea! My daughter has now added a request that we drive the million $ highway and have a guided tour of monument valley and ride horses in Bryce. Any more ideas from you regarding these ideas? Would love to see how you would make this trip work - what you'd do and leave out. Thanks so much!
witchywoman is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 01:04 PM
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Can you add more days?
utahtea is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 01:21 PM
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Posts: 6,189 goes suggestion #1

8/11 Pueblo, Co via Hwy 50 and Million Dollar Highway to Durango. 330 miles and 7 hours drive. Plan on all day. Stop at Black Canyon of the Gunisson National Park. Spend some time in Ouray and Silverton. Spend night in Durango.

8/12 Durango via Mesa Verde to Kayenta, AZ. Get up early and get tickets for one of the Ranger hikes in Mesa Verde. Spend the afternoon at Mesa Verde and then drive the 200 miles to Kayenta, AZ and spend the night. If you get in early enough you can take the 20 mile drive up to see sunset at Monument Valley.

8/13 Kayenta via Monument Valley to S. Rim of the Grand Canyon. 204 miles approx 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Take an early morning tour of Monument Valley, then head for the Grand Canyon. Watch the sunset at any viewpoint.

8/14 Spend the morning and early afternoon exploring the Grand Canyon taking the shuttle buses to the stops out towards Hermits Rest and drive to Page, AZ. 137 miles approx 3 hour drive. Make sure you stop at the overlooks either coming or leaving. Spend night at Page, AZ.

8/15 From Page, AZ do the early morning Float trip on the Colorado River and then drive the 155 miles approx 3 hours to Bryce Canyon.

8/16 Take an early morning horseback ride into Bryce Canyon. Please be aware that you have to book the horseback ride within the park to ride in the park. If you book outside the park, they don't take you into the park. Also be aware that there is a 230 pound weight limit and they have a scale and will weight you. Explore some of the other overlooks. Spend the night in Bryce or nearby.

8/17 Get up early to watch the sunrise and then take off for the 86 mile, 2 hour drive to Zion National Park. Plan on spending the night in Springdale, Utah. Ride the free shuttle system into the canyon and take a couple of the shorter hikes like Riverside Walk, Weeping Rock and/or the Emeral Pools. Go cool off in the Virgin River.

8/18 Spend the morning in Zion and then take off for the 165 mile, 3 hour drive to Las Vegas.

I just can't see you squeezing anything else into this trip without more time.

utahtea is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 10:31 AM
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Thanks again utahtea for your help. I think we've got the trip narrowed down. Leave Pueblo on 8/11 stay in Cortez that night. Explore Mesa Verde the 12th - drive to Moab and stay 12 & 13 and explore Arches and Canyonland. I have reservations at the Apache and Aarchway. Is one better than the other or what would you recommend? On 14th drive to Bryce and stay 2 nights at either Marianna Inn or Harold's Place. Do you know either of these hotels or can you recommend some?Really difficult getting rooms near Bryce - the Lodge, Resort, View lodge, etc., all full. We would explore Bryce on the 15 & 16th. Then drive to visit friends in St. George that afternoon and try to get to Vegas late that night. How does that sound? Can we fit Zion in somewhere? Thanks to anyone who replies.
witchywoman is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 11:13 PM
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If you leave Pueblo early enough on the 11th, you might try to squeeze in a fast tour of Mesa Verde to add to what you will do the next morning.

We always camp, but my DS, DIL and grandson stayed at Ruby's Inn which is at the gateway to Bryce. You can even catch the free Bryce shuttle buses at Ruby's Inn.

On the 16th, get up very early to at least drive though Zion. Or you can spend most of the day of the 15th at Bryce and drive the 2 hours to Zion and spend the night in Springdale which is at the entrance to Zion. This would give you the morning of the 16th to explore Zion. It's just a 45 minute drive to St. George. Why not invite your friends to join you in Zion so you could have more time in the park and visit them. It's a 3 hour drive from Zion to Las Vegas.

utahtea is offline  

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