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mekkerl

Rochester, NY

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Posted: 01/09/18 12:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am finishing the planning of our trip for this August; here is the latest itinerary. I understand the driving and heat and tight timeline, so please only share your thoughts on the route and our stops and length of stays. Traveling with my wife and four kids (11,9,7,5). I need to keep this to ~four weeks; and will be leaving and returning to Rochester, NY. I've booked a few locations already, but have no problem tweaking if I need to. Thanks!

Day 1-4 – Drive to Grand Canyon
Day 5-6 – Grand Canyon NP (2 full days, Trailer Village Booked)
Day 7 – Drive to Lake Powell
Day 8-9 – Lake Powell (2.5 full days, Wahweap Booked))
Day 10 – Drive to Zion
Day 11-12 – Zion NP (2.5 full days)
Day 13 – Drive to Bryce
Day 14-15 – Bryce Canyon NP (2.5 full days, Ruby's Booked)
Day 16 – Drive to Moab
Day 17-19 – Arches/CanyonLands/Mesa Verde NP (3.5 full days)
Day 20 – Drive to Glenwood Springs
Day 21 – Drive to Estes, CO
Day 22-23 – Rocky Mountain NP (2 full days)
Day 24 - Drive to Colorado Springs
Day 25 - Garden of the Gods/Pikes Peak (1.5 full days)
Day 26-27 - Drive to Louisville/Mammoth
Day 28-29 – Mammoth Cave NP/Louisville (2 full days)
Day 30 – Drive to Cleveland, OH
Day 31 – Drive to Rochester, NY


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ohhell10339

Missoula

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Posted: 01/09/18 12:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OK, my thoughts: I would draw a big X through Lake Powell. It's really not that interesting or pleasant. It's going to be MUCH too hot to enjoy the lake, which by the way is heavily polluted, especially with recent low water levels. And it is often very windy at Wahweap. 109 degrees and blowing dust doth not a pleasant experience make.

I assume you have campsite reservations for Zion. You'll need them. Very very hot in summer, which will make Bryce a welcome destination. Great place to be when the rest of southern Utah is cooking.

You included Mesa Verde in with Arches and Canyonlands, but it's several hours away. If you are then going to Glenwood Springs, that's a double back to I-70 of almost 400 miles round trip. Mesa Verde is interesting, but I don't think it's worth that degree of detour. Hwy 550 north to Montrose from Durango is a fantastic drive (and probably worth making that detour if you're in a car), but not so great for RVs. If you want to see Anasazi ruins, there are plenty of lesser known but just as interesting sites in southern Utah.

As you're coming from the west, going to Estes Park and then into Rocky Mountain NP is a bit of a double-back. Suggest you enter the park from the west via Grand Lake. Beautiful drive!

Definitely recommend you stay in the mountains to go down to Colo Springs. Any one of a number of north-south routes takes you through some fantastic country.

Colorado Springs to Mammoth sounds like quite a stretch for only two days, but you can shave off a day in Mammoth if necessary. You really only need one full day to see the cave, and there's not much else to see in the area. Louisville is...Louisville.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 01/09/18 12:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would "widen" the loop and consider including Mount Rushmore.


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midnightsadie

ohio

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Posted: 01/09/18 12:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

throw the paper away and just live day by day.

Thom02099

Loveland,CO

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Posted: 01/09/18 12:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ohhell10339 wrote:



As you're coming from the west, going to Estes Park and then into Rocky Mountain NP is a bit of a double-back. Suggest you enter the park from the west via Grand Lake. Beautiful drive!


^^^^^ This.

August is a madhouse zoo in Estes Park. Grand Lake and the west side of RMNP is the quiet side of the park, but still gives you access to what you may want to see/do. If you're into hiking, there's good, though long hikes on the west side. Or you can go up and over Trail Ridge for a day trip to EP, take the shuttle to Bear Lake and hike that area if so inclined. There's also Old Fall River Rd that, if open, would be a great loop trip (it sometimes doesn't open until July).

There's 2 commercial parks in the Grand Lake area, several USFS CGs, and Timber Creek inside RMNP. Timber Creek is first come/first serve only, cannot make reservations there. I've never seen it completely full, even on weekends. A great place to set up a base camp.


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GordonThree

Northern Michigan

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Posted: 01/09/18 12:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very ambitious plan you have there!

I'm not a "smell the roses" type guy, and it gets me fired up when folks here advocate only traveling for an hour or two a day max - I guess i'm jealous they have the time and money to move that slowly [emoticon]

That said, you all will return from your 4 week vacation needing another vacation. Especially whomever does the bulk of the driving.

Since you're checking out the South Rim and Lake Powell, why not hook around and spend a few days at the North Rim? Skip Zion and head up to Bryce.

It's a pretty good haul from from Bryce to Moab, more than a day's drive towing a trailer. Coming out of Bryce you'll be driving through the former Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument - which will soon be destroyed by energy exploration. Highway 12, The Hogback, is a fantastic drive, with as I recall, a pretty tall mountain pass in the middle.

Hwy 12 dumps you into Torrey Utah, Capitol Reef National Park - there's some fantastic petroglyphs you can see from roadside parking areas. Hwy 24 to hwy 95 out of Torrey takes you towards Moab. Along the way is Natural Bridges National Monument. Natural Bridges is a good overnight spot. They have a simple and inexpensive campground right inside the park.

With 3 days, spend it inside Arches, or inside Canyonlands... It's a long drive from one to the other, and there's more than enough to see at either park; they're both fantastic. Even trying to split the difference with Dead Horse Point, it's still a considerable drive to the Islands in the Sky (Canyonslands), or to the hiking areas of Arches (very slow road)

Mesa Verde, not sure how to make that work, it isn't close to Moab or Denver. If you wanted to skip Bryce and Moab all togther, you could head East after Lake Powell, maybe visit the Glen Canyon NRA, Valley of the Gods, Mexican Hat, Four Corners attraction and then onto Mesa Verde and your other Colorado destinations.

No comments about what to see in Colorado. Being anywhere near Denver makes me physically sick, I can't breath that filthy air.


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agesilaus

North Florida

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Posted: 01/09/18 12:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OK, my thoughts: I would draw a big X through Lake Powell. It's really not that interesting or pleasant. It's going to be MUCH too hot to enjoy the lake, which by the way is heavily polluted, especially with recent low water levels. And it is often very windy at Wahweap. 109 degrees and blowing dust doth not a pleasant experience make.

As you're coming from the west, going to Estes Park and then into Rocky Mountain NP is a bit of a double-back. Suggest you enter the park from the west via Grand Lake. Beautiful drive!
--------------------------------------------------------------------

Ditto on both of those. Lake Powell and the dam are drive thrus with maybe an hour or so touring the dam


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DutchmenSport

Between Anderson, Pendleton, & Lapel, Indiana

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Posted: 01/09/18 01:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've been looking at the maps. I think you are going to be very tired when you get home and have some very cranky kids along the way. I hope you are young (you must be with children between 5 and 11), because a trip like that would wipe me out fast and the kids would drive me nuts equally as fast. Personally, I think you should have some "down time" in there, unless you are use to driving 8-10 hours or more a day. The kids need to get out and do some exploring and playing on their own, not just sit and see the world through a windshield.

Have you asked the kids and wife what interests them and incorporate some activities that's tailored to their individual likes? Is the trip to be meaningful for you and they are along just for the marathon ride or to be meaningful for them?


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DrewE

Vermont

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Posted: 01/09/18 01:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would try to squeeze a day coming or going to stop at the St Louis City Museum. It would be a highlight for the kids.

It is, of course, a lot of driving in not too much time, but I would do the trip (or something similar) in a heartbeat none the less. Aside from the first few days, the long days in the vehicle are at least somewhat spaced out. Being able to take a four week trip with the family (as a presumably working person) is pretty neat in itself.





Lwiddis

Plaskett Creek USFS - CA Central Coast

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Posted: 01/09/18 01:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Regarding "length of stays," I'm not sure those kids will be happy with that much driving.


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