Road Trip - What to cut out?

Old Jun 8th, 2015, 12:19 PM
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Road Trip - What to cut out?

My husband and I live in Denver, CO and are planning a last minute road trip. We will leave Friday, June 26th and arrive back home Sunday, July 5th.

This is the rough plan.

Denver---->Yellowstone (2 nights)
Yellowstone--->Salt Lake City (2 nights)
Salt Lake City---> Grand Canyon North Rim(1 night)
Grand Canyon North Rim ---> Antelope/Lake Powell (1 night)
Antelope/Lake Powell--->Telluride (2-3 nights)

Non-negotiables are Antelope and Telluride.

ANY and ALL advice on what to cut out, lengthen, shorten etc. would be so helpful (we've debated cutting yellowstone all together). Also, we aren't campers so we would require lodging at every stop.

Is the North Rim of the Grand Canyon as good as the South? What are things to do in SLC? Is Yellowstone worth it, especially the weekend before the 4th?

Thank you so much in advance!
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Old Jun 8th, 2015, 12:32 PM
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I think what you cut/where you go will ENTIRELY depend on where you can find lodging at this late date for the busiest vacation week of the summer.

So go at it that way -- look for places you can get in (likely not Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon, but maybe you'll be lucky) and design your route around that.
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Old Jun 8th, 2015, 01:01 PM
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I've been to Yellowstone twice. Last summer I spent 1 night at Old Faithful, 3 nights in Canyon and 2 nights in Grand Teton NP.

If you go to Antelope Canyon, that's an hour or two. Together with that I would go to Horseshoe Bend. Less than 30 minutes away.

In my opinion, the Grand Canyon is only grand because somebody named it such. It's a big hole in the ground and does not compare with the national parks in Utah or Yellowstone and GTNP in Wyoming or Glacier in Montana.

I would cut the Grand Canyon and call for lodging 3-4 times a day. Most people book lodging a year in advance. At that time they have no idea whether or not their trip will take place.

That's what happened to me last summer. I booked lodging on spec. It turns out that the trip did take place.

Then reality sets in and in the last month trips get cancelled. When a trip is cancelled for you dates you want to be the next person on the phone.
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Old Jun 8th, 2015, 01:26 PM
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As far as lodging goes, there ARE options both at the Grand Canyon (North Rim) and Yellowstone. It's limited, but it's there. We've found lodging everywhere we've looked at going so I'm more concerned about if Yellowstone is worth it and what to do if it is, and also if we can't make it to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, is the North Rim worth it or should we scrap the Grand Canyon altogether.
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Old Jun 8th, 2015, 03:39 PM
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Well, Yellowstone attracts people from all over the world. You will hear just about every language in the Old Faithful area. Yes, it is worth it if you enjoy beautiful landscape, unusual geological features (geysers galore) and wildlife. I have been there 5 times, and will undoubtedly go again. Yellowstone requires a minimum of 2 nights, and 3 or 4 are preferable. I wouldn't try to go there in a rush. Save it for when you have time to deal with the crowds and see it at a slower pace.

I also enjoyed The Grand Canyon, but unless you plan to hike in, you can do either rim in one night as long as you arrive early on the first day and spend some time there the next morning.
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Old Jun 8th, 2015, 04:38 PM
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With your current plan I would cut a night from Salt Lake City and add it to Yellowstone.

Normally I'd be tempted to skip Yellowstone/SLC altogether and add Moab, but it's going to be hot that time of year.

North Rim is higher, cooler and quieter than the South Rim, doesn't have the same iconic views either. Still worth a visit since you're so close due to the Page visit. I would not skip it.
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Old Jun 8th, 2015, 06:48 PM
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I'd go from SLC (1 night) to Arches and then through Monument Valley to get to Page and skip the North Rim.
On another trip include the North Rim with Zion and Bryce.
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Old Jun 9th, 2015, 11:21 PM
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My first thought would be just do Salt Lake, Yellowstone and add the Grand Tetons but since you say that Antelope and Telluride are Non-negotiables I would cut out Yellowstone. To do Yellowstone justice you will want to spend at least three full days there and longer is better. We've never spend less than a week there.

Since you live in Denver, I would think it would be easy to make it to Telluride some other time. As mentioned before Antelope slot canyon is an hour tour and hardly worth giving up Yellowstone for.

If you do give up Yellowstone you might consider some of the other national parks in Utah or Colorado.

May I ask what the big attraction is in Telluride?

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Old Jun 10th, 2015, 06:48 PM
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It is a long way to drive to Yellowstone for 2 nights. As said give up a night in SLC for another in Yellowstone or Grand Tetons. Salt Lake is a nice town, but kind of pales in comparison to the parks.

I absolutely love the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It is always amazing to me. If you've seen the south rim then a visit to the North Rim is helpful to give you a more complete understanding. But along with the lodge area you will need to take the drive out to Cape Royal and that will take at the very least half a day, so plan on that.
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Old Jun 11th, 2015, 03:33 AM
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We spent a week in Yellowstone and still wished we had more time. By the time you arrive from Denver, you will only have a day - not enough time to see much at all. Its a huge park. Skip it and go back when you can spend a larger block of time - it is so worth it.
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Old Jun 11th, 2015, 07:28 AM
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Driving from SLC , you will need two nights at the north rim. I definitely would NOT skip the Grand Canyon, it is aptly named. The viewpoints at the north rim are few and far between and you won't be able to really get to all of them with only one night there unless, as was pointed out previously, you arrived quite early on the first day. Probably not doable, driving from SLC.
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Old Jun 11th, 2015, 09:55 AM
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Without regard to lodging availability, I would advise skipping SLC and the GCNR and spend all that time in Yellowstone.

That or skip Yellowstone and SLC, and spend that time in Utah - Canyonlands & Arches and Bryce, at least. Drive highway 12 between Torrey and Bryce.
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