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Two-three week road trip Utah, Colorado and Yellowstone

Kenmare, Ireland
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Two-three week road trip Utah, Colorado and Yellowstone

Hi, my partner and I are looking to do this road trip but have a few questions. We want to visit Rock Mountains NP, Yellowstone, Grand Tenton, Bryce, Zion and Arches NP's.

Which is the best city to fly into - Denver/Salt Lake City? Could possibly fly into one and out of another.

Are we looking to squash too much into a 2/3 week trip?

Is going to the Grand Canyon North Rim unrealistic considering the above?

What are nice scenic road trips between points that we should be aware of - don't want to spend all our time on freeways/interstates.

Suggested number of days to stay in each NP - would like to do a short/medium hike in most.

Any other advice or tips would be greatly welcomed.

Thanks in advance.

Wednesbury, UK
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1. Re: Two-three week road trip Utah, Colorado and Yellowstone

Hi.

Denver, SLC and Las Vegas would work for that combination of locations. You will need the three weeks really to include RMNP and southern Utah( and maybe Black Hills also). Could do a one way maybe, but look at the loop first to cut rental car costs.

But, the most important bit of info is when are you planning this for, as you don't say and time of year makes a big difference.

Edited: 05 January 2013, 21:05
Atlanta, Georgia
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2. Re: Two-three week road trip Utah, Colorado and Yellowstone

Yes when are you coming? Yellowstone is good from June- mid September. If doing Black Hills, YNP, Arches and RMNP then Denver is good. But if doing Arches, S. Utah parks, GCNP, YNP, GTNP then I would opt for SLC.

It is a lot of driving from Las Vegas to Yellowstone- we've done that before!!

Wednesbury, UK
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3. Re: Two-three week road trip Utah, Colorado and Yellowstone

Hi PeachBelle.

Yes, buts it's closest to Zion and Bryce, and six hours from SLC so still possible.

Edited: 05 January 2013, 21:17
Atlanta, Georgia
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4. Re: Two-three week road trip Utah, Colorado and Yellowstone

Hi Valiant!!!,

Yes you are correct. In 2007 we flew into Las Vegas and did GCNP and made a quick stop at the national parks and then drove to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons then flew out of SLC. My teenagers really complained about all the driving from S. Utah to Yellowstone. Hopefully Michelle can decide on an airport and be able to do all she wants in the time frame.

Wednesbury, UK
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5. Re: Two-three week road trip Utah, Colorado and Yellowstone

Anyway, here is an all-in option in 20 nights. It's quick, and assumes a start in Denver, and trip is June onwards.

1. fly to Denver.

2.Drive to Black Hills( long day).

3-5 Black Hills, Mt Rushmore, Badlands NP, Devils Tower.

6. Drive to Cody.

7. To Yellowstone.

8-9. Yellowstone.

10. To Grand Tetons.

11. GTNP.

12. To SLC.

13. To Bryce.

14. To Zion.

15. Zion.

16. To GCNP north rim.

17. To Moab, quick look Mounument Valley on route.

18 Moab, Arches and Canyonlands.

19 To Rocky Mountain NP, via Trail Ridge Road, long day.

20. RMNP.

21. Drive to Denver and fly home.

Edited: 05 January 2013, 21:35
Wednesbury, UK
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6. Re: Two-three week road trip Utah, Colorado and Yellowstone

Worth noting it's possible, even at this pace to do most of this without spending too long on Interstates, although there are some long drives in there.

Roseville...
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7. Re: Two-three week road trip Utah, Colorado and Yellowstone

Val, in my opinion, you consistantly end up encouraging people to do too much. Above trip has at least 13 days driving; that is too many for most people. You use the word "quick" yourself at least twice.

A while back you were encouraging some folks to go from NY to west coast and then back to GC....in three weeks.

Just because it can be done, doesn't mean it should.

Quality of experience on vacation means more than quantity. Drive less, enjoy more.

Though I will grant people have varying vacation styles.

Roseville...
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8. Re: Two-three week road trip Utah, Colorado and Yellowstone

Michelle,

Focus your trip on Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone, Tetons OR Zion, GC, Bryce. Choose one and hold the other for a second trip.

Wednesbury, UK
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9. Re: Two-three week road trip Utah, Colorado and Yellowstone

Hi DAM.

Don't consider I'm encouraging them, more setting out what's possible with some some time for seeing the main locations and letting the OP know what it would mean and then let them make their own decisions as to if it's too much or not. And I'll continue to do so, as it often helps them to arrive at a plan that suits them.

Don't recall the other one but again I doubt I was encouraging them, certainly not on the trip you suggest, only setting out how they could manage it. Not for me to tell adults what they should and should not do, and don't think I can speak for most people either!

As for this trip, I agree what I have set out is ambitious and it includes the Balck Hills which if dropped would make it more comfortable, but they can easily combine Yelowstone with southern Utah in three weeks.

Edited: 06 January 2013, 07:21
Roseville...
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10. Re: Two-three week road trip Utah, Colorado and Yellowstone

You can tell, or at least encourage, adults when they have zippo experience and to much enthusiasm for a trip and country to make good judgements for themselves that they need to dial it back.

It's called responsibility.