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kasuel Sep 6th, 2018 11:23 AM

Which summer 2019 road trip?
We (family of 4, 2 kids age 13) are planning a road trip in summer 2019, likely late July. Driving from central Texas - I realize both options have long drives, we have done long trips before. Probably have 10 days total, including drive time. Like outdoors activities- moderate hikes, water based activities (swim, raft, tube), horseback rides, etc. Would like to see National Parks.

Option A - SW Colorado. Potential itinerary: Ouray (jeep trip, hot springs, Black Canyon of Gunnison) to Mesa Verde to Durango then home.

Option B - Grand Canyon and Sedona. Could potentially fit a stop elsewhere on the way home, but Iím not sure.

We have never been to any of these places. It seems that SW Colorado will be more pleasant in summer, but does seeing the Grand Canyon outweigh that?

i am open to other suggestions. I do realize lodging at GC will be challenging, but I made it work at Yellowstone last year after a last minute change of dates, so I am optimistic!

emalloy Sep 6th, 2018 11:46 AM

Of the options, I would choose A as there is a chance it will be cooler. I do love Grand Canyon, but the thought of hiking there in the summer makes me glow. Do try for lodging in Mesa Verde if possible, and do the call back for cancellations if they say they are full.

You might route yourself back through Bandelier NP in New Mexico for a different look at ancient housing and a fun place for the kids to get into the dwellings which are quite different from MV.

kasuel Sep 6th, 2018 11:55 AM

I am definitely open to other suggestions!

thanks for the Bandelier suggestion.

jamie99 Sep 6th, 2018 12:21 PM

Bandelier is pretty close to Santa Fe, NM which is nice that time of year and cooler since it is at a higher elevation.

khanam Sep 6th, 2018 09:34 PM

i am planning a trip from my place to "South Rim Visitor Center" and other places around but i am not pretty sure how that could be as i read it somewhere i thought of travelling. Can anyone suggest me how that could as i also checked about the travel options available at KKday in Rezeem site so I in thoughts to more about the place so that i can plan a trip? Please let me know your thoughts, would be helpful.

emalloy Sep 7th, 2018 03:26 AM

khanam, Start a new thread of your own and be sure to indicate what you mean by "my place" and what kinds of places you wish to visit and if you plan to travel.

bailey123 Sep 9th, 2018 07:27 PM

Option A. The weather is guaranteed to be nicer. GC will be hot and crowded, Sedona will be even worse.

If you happen to be at Black Canyon around a new moon, they have an astronomy program with several telescopes and astronomers that is very interesting. Check Black Canyon nps website for details. There is also rafting available on the Gunnison but Durango would be better for rafting.

For water based activities, Durango is great. There is rafting and kayaking right through the middle of town. Four Corners Riversports and Mountain Waters are a couple of the good rafting companies. You can also rent paddle boards or kayaks to take to one of the close by lakes. Horseback trail rides in the mountains are also available through Rapp Coral or Buck's Livery. You can also rent bikes in Durango and ride along the river trail. End of July is also a great time to take a wildflower hike in the mountains surrounding Durango. Depending exactly when you will be in Durango, you may be in town for Fiesta days and the rodeo. You could also ride the narrow gauge railroad from Durango to Silverton.

you could also visit Silverton for an old mine tour. Jeep tours are also available out of Silverton or Durango.

Purgatory ski area 25 miles north of Durango has several family activities including mountain bike rentals, alpine slide, zipline and other kids activities. There will also be Music in the Mountains concerts for most of July at Purgatory.

GC would be far more enjoyable in spring. Maybe save it for a spring break trip?

WhereAreWe Sep 10th, 2018 05:45 AM

It's always interesting to see the advice to skip Grand Canyon in summer because it's too hot.

Average high temp in July and August (I'm giving both since you're going late July):
Grand Canyon South Rim: 84 and 82
Mesa Verde: 88 and 85
Durango: 87 and 84
Ouray: 78 and 76

You don't say where in Central Texas you live but I suspect your average highs are hotter than the Grand Canyon. Please don't let anyone dissuade you from visiting there because "it's so hot". The weather averages say otherwise. Sedona will be in the mid 90s for highs which would not be pleasant for day hiking.

Durango is about 5.5 hours from the South Rim. You "could" make a drive over to the Grand Canyon and stay overnight if you're willing to do that extra driving since you're already in the area (relatively speaking). It's just a question of how much time you'll have once you hammer out a tentative itinerary. AZ is great in spring or fall, although you may run into snow at the Grand Canyon in spring depending on what month you visit if you choose to go then. There probably won't be great rafting in late July unless there's an amazing snowpack this winter. You can still go but May/June is much better for waterflow.

Gardyloo Sep 10th, 2018 06:31 AM

Just asking, would you be open to a fly-drive option? It could expand your options hugely.

bailey123 Sep 10th, 2018 12:45 PM

I lived in Arizona for over 30 years and have driven between Sedona and Durango over 150 times. My personal experience over that time is that you don't want to deal with summer crowds at Sedona or GC and the heat at Sedona and the heat if you want to hike into the canyon any distance at all is unbearable. Internet temps for the rim may very well be accurate after all, it's AZ high country. I live in Durango, the internet temp is accurate but that doesn't take into account the temp. diifferences if you will be rafting or horseback riding north of Durango My suggestion is when real world information is available, it's better than relying on statistics on the internet

musatainment Sep 10th, 2018 01:07 PM

I would go for option A because of nicer weather and Colorado is simply beautiful! Not that GC is not, but that would be my 2nd choice

kasuel Sep 11th, 2018 02:58 AM

Thank you all! We are not flying anywhere this trip - only looking at road trip options.
Yes, our summer temperatures are hotter than those mentioned, but I do understand the concerns about hiking, etc. Our spring break is usually in mid March, which doesnít seem ideal for GC due to snow, but Iíll look at that more carefully.

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