Trip Report: Colorado & Utah

Old Sep 9th, 2004, 10:39 AM
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Trip Report: Colorado & Utah

We visited the last 2 weeks of August. The trip report is in outline form because that is the way I prepared it as an itinerary to take with me on the trip.
My family consists of 2 adults and one eight year old child. This trip was absolutely fantastic and (unbelievably) there were no memorable glitches to report. A truly spectacular portion of the US.
Some abbreviations I used: NP (National Park), SP (State Park), VC (Visitors Center), NF (National Forest)

Day 1:
Denver-bound Flight
Accomodations at Howard Johnson Motel Pikes Peak

Day 2:
COLORADO SPRINGS
Pikes Peak
Western Museum of Mining & Industry
World Figure Skating Hall of Fame & Museum
U.S. Olympic Training Center & Hall of Fame
Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame

Monarch Pass

Accomodations at Ramada Limited, Gunnison, CO

Day 3:
Gunnison River Rafting with Scenic River Tours

BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NP
South Rim Drive:
Tomichi Point, Gunnison Point, Pulpit Rock, & Chasm View

CURECANTI NATIONAL RECREATION AREA

SAN JUAN SKYWAY/MILLION DOLLAR HIGHWAY
US550, Montrose To Ouray To Durango To Cortez (via US160)

Uncompahgre National Forest

Bachelor Syracuse Mine Tour/Gold Panning

San Juan Mountain Pass & National Forest

Accomodations at Comfort Inn, Cortez, CO/Dinner at Gold Belt Bar & Grill, Ouray, CO

Day 4:
MESA VERDE NP

FAR VIEW AREA
Far View VC
Far View Sites Complex (Far View House, Pipe Shrine House)

CHAPIN MESA
Cliff Palace Tour
Balcony House Tour

HEADQUARTERS & MUSEUM AREA
Spruce Tree House
Chapin Mesa Museum

TRAIL OF THE ANCIENTS/4 CORNERS MONUMENT

KAYENTA, AZ
At Burger King on US160, is the "Navajo Code Talkers" exhibit set up by a Navajo man in memory of his father

Accomodations at the Anasazi Inn, Kayenta, AZ/Dinner at Anasazi Inn Restaurant

Day 5:
MONUMENT VALLEY
Simpson?s Trailhandlers Tour (Richard)

N FROM MONUMENT VALLEY/MEXICAN HAT
Goosenecks SP
Muley Point
Moki Dugway
Valley of the Gods

Accomodations at Best Western Lake Powell Inn, Page/Dinner at Bella Napoli

Days 6 & 7:
PAGE, AZ/LAKE POWELL
Rainbow Bridge NM by boat
Wahweap Marina/Covered Fishing Pier
Upper Antelope Slot/Corkscrew Canyon with Grand Circle Adventures (Jessie)
John Wesley Powell Memorial Museum
Glen Canyon Dam Tours/Carl Hayden VC
Glen Canyon Dam Overlook
Horseshoe Bend Overlook

Accomodations at Best Western Lake Powell Inn/Dinner at Bella Napoli Restaurant

En route from Page: US89 between Big Water & Kanab = views of Vermillion Cliffs (to the S) & Kaiparowits Plateau (to the N)


CORAL PINK SAND DUNES STATE PARK (Viewing Boardwalk)

Accomodations at Terrace Brook Motel, Springdale, UT/Dinner at Panda Garden

Day 8:
ZION NP
Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway leads to Checkerboard Mesa, Canyon Overlook Trail, & the Tunnels

Zion Canyon VC

Zion Human History Museum

Zion Canyon Scenic Drive (via Park Shuttle)

HIKES/OVERLOOKS
Riverside Walk/Gateway to the Narrows
Temple of Sinawava
Lower Emerald Pool
Zion Lodge
Weeping Rock
Watchman
Big Bend
The Grotto
Court of the Patriarchs
Kolob Canyons Section

CEDAR BREAKS NM (5 mile scenic drive with 4 viewpoints)

Accomodations at Bryce Canyon Pines Motel/Dinner at Bryce Canyon Pines Restaurant


Day 9:

BRYCE CANYON NP

HIKES
Down Navajo (Sunset Point) & Up Queens Garden (Sunrise Point) (3 mile loop)
Peekaboo Loop (3.5 hour mule ride)
Rim Trail Overlooks: Sunrise, Sunset, Inspiration, Bryce, Fairyland, Paria View

Accomodations at Bryce Canyon Pines/Dinner Ruby?s Restaurant

Day 10:
GRAND STAIRCASE ESCALANTE NM

HIGHWAY 12 BETWEEN BRYCE & TORREY:

Cottonwood Canyon Rd

Kodachrome Basin State Park/Grand Parade Road

"The Blues"/E of Henrieville

Escalante Petrified Forest State Park/Petrified Forest Trail/Trail of the Sleeping Rainbows

Escalante River/Slot Canyons Overlook

Hogsback ("Million Dollar Rd to Boulder")

Boulder Mountains

Burr Trail Scenic Backway/Notom Rd/Waterpocket Fold/Muley Twist (Capitol Reef NP)

Accomodations at Wonderland Inn/Dinner at Wonderland Inn Restaurant

Day 11:
CAPITOL REEF NP

Capitol Gorge/Pioneer Register Hiking Trail

Historic Fruita District/Petroglyphs/Pick Your Own Fruit Orchards

AFTER CAPITOL REEF EN ROUTE MOAB:

At the junction of UT24 & UT95, is the "Hollow Mountain Gas & Grocery." This small store is literally carved out of the mountain

GOBLIN VALLEY SP
Carmel Canyon Trail

SEGO CANYON
Pictographs & Petroglyphs

Ghost Town of Sego/Cemetery

Accomodations at Sleep Inn, Moab/Dinner at La Hacienda

Day 12:
MOAB

CANYONLANDS NP

Island in the Sky District/Potash Rd

SCENIC DRIVES/HIKES

S to Grand View Point & Trail & N to Green River & Upheaval Dome Overlooks


DEAD HORSE POINT STATE PARK & VC

High Point Hummer Tour of Hell?s Revenge slickrock trail

Accomodations at Sleep Inn, Moab/Dinner at Pasta Jay?s

Day 13:

ARCHES NP

WOLFE RANCH SECTION:
Panorama View Point
Delicate Arch/Wolfe Ranch Homestead

DEVILS GARDEN SECTION:
Sand Dune Arch
Skyline Arch
Landscape Arch

FIERY FURNACE OVERLOOK

THE WINDOWS SECTION
Balanced Rock
Double Arch
The Windows (North & South Windows & Turret Arch)

Garden of Eden

VC/COURTHOUSE TOWERS SECTION:
Park Ave View Point
Courthouse Towers View Point
La Sal Mountains

Colorado Riverway Scenic Byway 128: Castle Valley/Fisher Towers

Accomodations at Mesa Inn, Grand Junction, CO/Dinner at Red Lobster

Day 14:

COLORADO NM
Rim Rock Drive/Viewpoints

A 12-minute audiovisual program & exhibits are available at the VC

DINOSAUR DISCOVERY MUSEUM
Fruita, CO
robotic dinosaurs, hands-on exhibits, skeletons, & a working lab

DINOSAUR NM
Dinosaur, CO
10-minute orientation program & exhibits

UTAH FIELD HOUSE OF NATURAL HISTORY STATE PARK, MUSEUM & DINOSAUR GARDEN
Vernal, UT

Accomodations at Super 8, Vernal, UT/Dinner at JB?s

Day 15:

DINOSAUR NM
Jensen, UT
Fossil Bone Quarry/VC/Museum/Quarry Talks/Replicas of dinosaurs

Tour of the Tilted Rocks

STEAMBOAT HOT SPRINGS HEALTH & RECREATION CENTER

Routt NF

Rabbit Ears Pass

Accomodations at Homestead Motel (Granby, CO)/Dinner at Panda Garden (Steamboat Springs, CO)

Day 16:
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NP
Kawuneeche VC, Alpine VC, Fall River VC, Beaver Meadows/Estes Park VC, Moraine Park Museum, Holzwarth Historic Site

SCENIC DRIVES
Trail Ridge Rd
The Continental Divide/Milner Pass
Arapaho NF
Roosevelt NF

DENVER/GOLDEN

Lookout Mountain Park/Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave

Accomodations at Marriott Denver Tech Center/Dinner at Casa Bonita

Day 17:

Denver International Airport/"America: Why I Love Her" Art Murals

Homebound Flight
laurieb_nyny is offline  
Old Sep 11th, 2004, 04:49 AM
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Nice trip report laurie! Sounds like you packed alot in, just our style! I'd be interested in hearing more about Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park...is it worth a stop on an already jam-packed itinerary? We've explored Sand Dunes Nat'l Park in se col - similar?
ellen_griswold is offline  
Old Sep 11th, 2004, 02:23 PM
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OMG, you hit everything! You must be exhausted!

Utahtea...drooling
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Old Sep 13th, 2004, 02:31 PM
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Hi Ellen & Utahtea -- you were 2 of my inspirations for this trip! It was awesome but now I need a vacation to recover from my vacation!

Coral Pink was interesting enough for us because we have never been to the NP site in CO & it was on the way to Zion from Lake Powell. I would recommend it in this regard for about an hour.

Happy Travels!

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Old Sep 13th, 2004, 02:44 PM
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Ellen -- I wanted to add that originally I thought it would be fun to rent a dune buggy at CPSD as alot of locals were riding dune buggies there. I found out that it was not possible.
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