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Monument Valley to Denver Colorado

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Monument Valley to Denver Colorado

We are in the planning stages of next years US road trip. After spending a few days in the Grand Canyon/Monument Valley area we will be driving on to Denver. Will have about 5 days for this particular segment of the holiday Can anyone advise on which would be the most scenic route to take. Options seem te be i) Monument Valley - Moab - Grand Juction and then Denver, or ii) Monument Valley - Durango - Colorado Springs - Denver. The mileage is broadly the same.

It' s just the two of us - will be visting late May.

Wednesbury, UK
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1. Re: Monument Valley to Denver Colorado

Hi Victor.

Both those routes are very scenic, either the Red Rock route (Arches NP, Canyonlands NP) via Moab or the Mountain Route through south western Colorado.

Not sure which way you were suggesting taking from Durango to Colorado Springs but one option would be head north on the Million Dollar Highway through Silverton and Ouray, then from Montrose, either east via Gunnison to Co Springs or continue north to Grand Junction and pick up the route to Denver there.

There is not really a bad choice, but my preference would be mountains. However, we were there mid May this year and had snow disruption to our plans in Colorado, so you will need a bit of flexibility as weather can be unpredictable well into June.

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2. Re: Monument Valley to Denver Colorado

Thanks Valiant for your prompt and very helpful response.

The Silverton/Ouray route seems interesting. It's one I hadn't considered. Can I ask, did you book accomodation in advance. Our preference would be to book only a day or two ahead,

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3. Re: Monument Valley to Denver Colorado

I do a bit of both, but with internet access at most hotels/motels and good cancellation terms, booking as you go a day in advance or so is pretty easy, so it does allow you to flex your trip as you travel.

Sometimes I have made reservations well in advance and cancelled and changed them as we go. Many of the chains don't charge a deposit ( although they are usually redundable depending on the rate) and some have same day cancellation by 4pm, although its now starting to be 24hrs as the standard with Best Western for instance.

Also, I've noticed you sometimes get some good rates at late notice, and as May is out of the main season other than weekends at popular places (Moab for instance), and in particular Memorial Day weekend over your trip, you should be ok.

Edited: 13 December 2011, 14:36
Lewes, United...
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4. Re: Monument Valley to Denver Colorado

Hi Victor

Valiants has given you great advice, both on routes - either option will provide you with a terrific experience - and on whether to book ahead or not. BTW, Memorial Day will be the last weekend of May.

If you haven't already booked your flights from the UK, and any of your travel dates cooincide with the last week of May/first week of June (owing to the extra UK bank holidays, thanks to the Queen's jubilee plus UK school half term) I'd book soon, as demand may well be very high over that specific period.

You suggest the queries in the OP are part of a wider road trip. If you wish further advice or comments and opionions on the rest of your trip, or other tips for a trip to the USA, just ask

Have a great trip,

SWT

Uden, The...
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5. Re: Monument Valley to Denver Colorado

HI

End of may is the Memorial Day weekend and I sure would want to make reservations then.

Most scenic route prob will be via Mesa Verde NP, Durango-Montrose and us50 via Black Canyon of the Gunnison etc to Denver. But there's more than a scenic route because some of the most spectacular National Parks are on your way and they are near Moab. Arches NP, Canyonlands NP. Never miss those NP's.

Also between Monument Valley and Moab is a fantastic stretch via Gooseneck SP, Moki Dugway and Natural Bridges NM (us163, ut12, ut95 and us191)

You even can combine things:

1. Monument Valley via Moki Dugway to Moab

2,3: Moab

4. Moab via ut128 to I70. Visit to Colorado NM and drive to Montrose and Black canyon.

5. Drive to Denver.

That said, I70 towards Denver also is very scenic and there also is Rocky Mountains NP with a detour.

It would help if you tell us your whole itinerary indeed.

Tet

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6. Re: Monument Valley to Denver Colorado

Hi,

Our rough plan at present is:

Two nights in Phoenix

Two night in Sedona/Flagstaff

Two nights at the Grand Canyon South Rim

One night Monument Valley area

Four/Five nights travelling to Denver

Three/Four nights in Denver

We enjoy light hiking and just taking in the wonderful scenery. I will look at booking the holiday weekend accomodation well in advance. Would this be necessary for the week following the holiday?

Wednesbury, UK
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7. Re: Monument Valley to Denver Colorado

Victor.

It depends where you are, but in general after Memorial Day itself, 28th May next year, you should be ok. We will be travelling up the Pacific Coast from SF that weekend and I've only booked the 27th and 28th, around Redwood NP.

As for your itinerary, any particular reason why two nights in Pheonix? maybe reduce to one and insert another night maybe in Page between GCNP and Monument Valley ( book ahead if you want to stay at the View Hotel). I'd also give some of the Denver time (reduce to two nights max) to a stay in Estes Park for RMNP as a detour on route to Denver, given your interests.

Edited: 15 December 2011, 11:07
Lewes, United...
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8. Re: Monument Valley to Denver Colorado

Hi Victor

Thanks for posting your draft itinerary.

Valiants has made several great observations. If you're after scenery, I'd not spend too much time in either Phoenix or Denver, but at least one good night's sleep and getting over a bit of the jetlag before a long drive is certainly very sound strategy. What did you plan to do in Phoenix? There are things to do there, and I've kept myself out of mischief for many a week while my other half was working there, but it's not really a tourist destination.

Denver ditto. The reasons why we've spent a night or two in our departure city have been to ensure we're where we want to be with no traffic or travel issues, so we don't miss our expensive transAtlantic flight. Also, when the exchange rates is favourable, we like to shop a little - and prefer to do it at the end rather than lug all our purchase around.

I'd go for Sedona over Flagstaff everytime. It's an interesting and different place, and as you'll be staying at South Rim, don't need to be convenient to GC. If you want a different kind of thrill ride, have a look at the Pink Jeep tours there. I've not done one myself but they enjoy a good reputation.

A stop in Page will allow you to visit Antelope Canyon and/or do a rafting trip, if that's of interest.

Have you sorted out your flights and car rental yet. We can make suggestions, if needed. I'm guessing your flight plan would be BA as they fly to/from both PHX and DEN from LHR.

Sounds like a good plan,

SWT

Uden, The...
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9. Re: Monument Valley to Denver Colorado

If you can I'd start this trip after the Labor Day weekend. We have done those trips without making reservations but you need a reservation in GCNP and also at The View as Valiant has said. I also would not take chances in Moab and make a reservation. Good advice to maybe spend a shorter time in Phoenix and Denver and add Page on your way.

Tet

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10. Re: Monument Valley to Denver Colorado

You don't want that much time, if any in Denver. However, check out Colorado Springs (e.g., Pike's Peak with world's highest cog railway, but you also can drive) or Mt. Evans near Denver with the world's highest paved road.

You also do not need two nights in the Grand Canyon unless you plan to hike or take a burro ride down into the canyon. Shoot for a sunrise and sunset.

Many persons prefer Page to the Grand Canyon, but in reality they greatly complement each other. Page has numerous excellent attractions, including in addition to those already mentioned, Horseshoe Bend, Glen Canyon Dam, and the Navajo Bridge.