Road Trip Itinerary - any suggestions?

May 27th, 2010, 10:11 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 33
Road Trip Itinerary - any suggestions?

Next month my wife and I ( age 59 and 60) will be doing a 4 week road trip thru California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado. We are looking forward to this trip but would appreciate any suggestions for things to do or see along the way that might not be found in all the tourist information we have been digesting; any side trips or diversions from our route. We are interested in short walks, incredible scenery, restaurants, cafes and pubs, as well as shopping and the local culture.

Our Itinerary is as follows:

Day 1-4 San Francisco.
Day 5 Big Sur
Day 6-8 Pismo Beach ( as a base for exploring the area)
Day 9-10 Las Vegas
Day 11 Winslow, Arizona
Day12-15 Santa Fe
Day 16-18 Durango Colorado
Day 19 Monument Valley
Day 20-22 Moab, Utah
Day 23,24 Aspen
Day 25,26 Denver

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duddite is offline  
May 28th, 2010, 03:30 AM
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Between Monument Valley and Moab, stop in for a few minutes at Goosenecks of the San Juan State park Just off UT 261 and if you dare, continue up the Moki Dugway 3 miles of UT 261. Check road conditions before you go.

Are you going to Mesa Verde when you are in Durango? It is worth a visit.

Click on my name to find trip reports for visits to the area that do involve some off the beaten path places.
emalloy is online now  
May 28th, 2010, 04:53 AM
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Agree that Mesa Verde is a must while in Durango. Also, drive the Million Dollar Highway.

Consider taking one of your Santa Fe days and head down to Albuquerque. There are 2 wonderful cultural centers where you can learn about the Native American and Hispanic
Hispanic influences and history which are the keystones to NM.
DebitNM is offline  
May 28th, 2010, 05:24 AM
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on the drive from monument valley to moab we were looking at going to the needles overlook but goosenecks might be another option.
We are going both to mesa verde and the san juan skyway up as far as Ouray.
Is Taos worth a visit as well as Albuquerque.
Thanks emalloy and DebitNM
duddite is offline  
May 28th, 2010, 05:41 AM
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duddite: If you are a veteran, you might want to visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park near Angel Fire while you're in the Santa Fe area or taking a slight detour when going from Santa Fe to Durango. The chapel and visitor's center were originally built by a man whose son was killed in Vietnam. The visitor's center is closed for renovation, but is scheduled to re-open Memorial Day. I haven't been there in a few years, but it's a very moving experience.
elkhound is offline  
May 28th, 2010, 06:14 AM
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Here are my ideas for the San Francisco area

Three days in Pismo Beach area and no time in the Carmel/Monterey/Pt Lobos region???

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
May 28th, 2010, 08:36 AM
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Taos Pueblo is worth a visit, but check the festival schedule to make sure you can go in. If not, Accoma Pueblo just a bit west of ABQ is also very interesting I think both told us they are the oldest continually used pueblo.

Goosenecks is a quick in and take some pictures and back to 261 which goes turns into the Moki Dugway for 3 miles and then goes back to pavement. Then you can take 95 east to 191 and go in to Needles District on 276 and If you are not camping, head out and up to Moab on 191. Otherwise, you might find lodging in Blanding or Monticello but there is only camping in Needles.
emalloy is online now  
May 28th, 2010, 10:30 AM
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Posts: 27,866
Going from Santa Fe or ABQ to Durango, Chaco Canyon is another place to visit It is on the way on SR 550 about 2 hours from ABQ.
It is very different than Mesa Verde and quite spectacular.

Taos is lovely, the pueblos is worth seeing. You might consider doing the Enchanted Circle Drive, which takes you through Angel Fire and Red River as well.

Telluride can be done as about a 2 hour drive from Durango if you don't want to go the entire way on the Million Dollar Highway.
DebitNM is offline  
May 28th, 2010, 01:50 PM
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we wanted to stay in the Carmel/Monterey area Stu but the US Open is on at Pebble Beach and even 6 months ago there was no accommodation. I have heard that Pismo Beach is not great but we will use it as a base to travel to Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Cambria, Hearst Castle etc.
The Enchanted Circle drive sounds good DebitNM. With our 3 nights in Durango we were going to Mesa Verde one day, million dollar highway another, but only going as far as Ouray. The third day we want to relax out of the car around Durango. As we are going to Aspen later are we silly not going to Telluride?
I am not a veteran Elkhound but I have been to Vietnam twice, once in 1969 and again in 2006 so I would like to visit the memorial.
duddite is offline  
May 28th, 2010, 01:53 PM
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2 days, 1 night as you go from Las Vegas to Santa Fe doesn't give you much time to do anything in Northern AZ.
bigtyke is offline  
May 28th, 2010, 02:49 PM
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The trouble with a long road trip bigtyk is that you are always going to have to make compromises to fit in with time constraints. If I spend more time in Arizona then I have to cancel somewhere else. I can't take more than 4 weeks off before I have to fly home to run my business.
What we do want to do is get off the interstate and drive along route 66 from Topock to Winslow.
duddite is offline  
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