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Road trip Denver - Yellowstone - Grand Canyon - Denver

Melbourne, Australia
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Road trip Denver - Yellowstone - Grand Canyon - Denver

Hi,

We are from the uk and are planning a road trip.

Looking for people's opinions/suggestions and ideas if you've done a similar trip or if you know the area well.

We have around 15/16 days in all.

Rough plan we were thinking including places we would like to visit:

Day 1 - fly uk - denver

Day 2 - day in Denver pick up motor home

Day 3 - Denver - Rocky Mountains

Day 4 - Rockies - cheyenne

Day 5 - cheyenne - Yellowstone (travel day)

Day 6-8 - Yellowstone

Day 9 - Yellowstone - Salt Lake City

Day 10 - slc - overnight stop (on route to Grand Canyon)

Day 11 - stop? - Grand Canyon

Day 12 - Grand Canyon

Day 13 - Grand Canyon - overnight stop (on route to denver)

Day 14 - stop - denver

Day 15 - fly denver - uk.

Does this sound realistic?

Marina, California
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1. Re: Road trip Denver - Yellowstone - Grand Canyon - Denver

What time of year?

Atlanta, Georgia
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2. Re: Road trip Denver - Yellowstone - Grand Canyon - Denver

Yes what time of year?

Also Rocky Mt. NP is at a high altitude so could cause altitude sickness early in your trip. Would need to acclimate to higher altitudes by drinking plenty of water and might even need a Tylenol for headaches and do not drink too much.

Have you driven RV before? If not then Yellowstone without a tow car with RV is a bit tricky. The park has narrow roads, limited pullouts and wildlife. Not the kind of driving I would like to do in a RV. If you want to RV consider staying in West Yellowstone and renting a car and driving into the park to tour.

Melbourne, Australia
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3. Re: Road trip Denver - Yellowstone - Grand Canyon - Denver

Thanks for the replies.

Planning on going July/august.

No rv driving experience but want to get a sensible size and one member of party experienced in driving other large vehicles/lorrys.

USA
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4. Re: Road trip Denver - Yellowstone - Grand Canyon - Denver

I would definitely include at least a drive through Grand Teton National Park on the way from Yellowstone to SLC. Better yet, perhaps try to make time for a whole day in the Tetons.

Edited: 05 January 2014, 00:16
Park City, Utah
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5. Re: Road trip Denver - Yellowstone - Grand Canyon - Denver

This is a really aggressive itinerary for an RV trip. While I know you would like to see it all, I think you would be better off basing this trip out of Salt Lake City and skipping Rocky Mountain National Park. The time you have there is very minimal. SLC will save you probably a day and a half of total drive time over Denver. It will also give you time to hit one of Utah's redrock parks, too.

Have fun.

Wednesbury, UK
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6. Re: Road trip Denver - Yellowstone - Grand Canyon - Denver

Hi.

Yes, lots of great things between Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon ( and GCNP to Denver) but your going to miss a lot of it. A trip out of SLC or Vegas even would reduce the driving and give you a bit of Utah.

As stated, that looks a fast pace for a RV trip, and including GCNP is stretching things out of Denver. Denver works better with Black Hills, RMNP and Yellowstone/Tetons in two weeks.

If this is fixed, I'd suggest a car. You can leave Denver earlier, and I'd do it the other way round so you have the high altitude last at RMNP.

1. Fly to Denver.

2. Denver to Moab.

3. Moab for Arches and Canyonlands.

4. To GCNP, ( or Page) brief look at Monument Valley on route maybe.

5. GCNP ( North rim would be easier, but South Rim possible).

6. GCNP to Zion.

7. Zion to Park City with drive by look at Bryce.

8. Park City to Jackson.

9. Through Tetons into Yellowstone.

10-12.Yellowstone.

13. To RNMP.

14. RMNP.

15. Drive to Denver, drop car, fly home.

That is certainly not an RV trip!

Edited: 05 January 2014, 08:28
Wednesbury, UK
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7. Re: Road trip Denver - Yellowstone - Grand Canyon - Denver

Would you consider a trip out of SLC or Vegas (direct flights) without RMNP? We can give you some itineraries if you would, they will be less aggressive than that I produced above, still not RV trips though IMO.

Vegas would just be an entry point, you would not get much time there ( but that may not be an issue for you).

Edited: 05 January 2014, 08:36
Wednesbury, UK
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8. Re: Road trip Denver - Yellowstone - Grand Canyon - Denver

Tetons and Yellowstone should really be stopped in order in the route in post # 6, but I really meant it just as an illustration of what else is in Northern Arizona and Utah and what the flexibility of what a car and motels trip can give in terms of pace.

Lewes, United...
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9. Re: Road trip Denver - Yellowstone - Grand Canyon - Denver

Hi Hdw

(I assume Valiant meant 'swapped' in post 8, rather than stopped!)

I, too, really think that this is an extremely ambitious trip to do in the RV. You mention in your reply post that you have somebody experienced in driving larger vehicles. While that's helpful, the real issue is that RVs are really slow going, and especially the larger ones, as they're very underpowered. You do see some on the freeways going at quick a lick, but those are privately owned ones with much bigger motors. All the rental ones seemed to be driven by pretty much the identical Ford engine, irrespective of size - as we found to our cost, and we didn't have either the huge elevation changes your trip involves, nor the vast distances to cover per day. Then there's the issue that PB touched on where they're not well suited for for exploring Yellowstone in any case.

For more info on the ins and outs of RVing, have a look at this post. Ignore that it's for California, all the info holds good for most places:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28926-c187230/Califo…

Even in a car, I think your trip is very ambitious and agressive. Yes, it can be done, but would it be much fun? You don't say how many are travelling, but I get the impression you are a family or several adults together. While the long driving days will almost without exception pass through some wonderful scenery, it still could be rather tedious, day after day in the car - especially if nobody is expecting that and are prepared for long drives. Kids can get cabin fever even in a car!

However, if you're determined to do such a high mileage trip, then the corrected version of the itinerary in post 6 could work for you, but I'd still keep it to GC NR rather than add the extra miles to get round to South Rim!

Oh, and if you do stick with the RV idea, do have a search of this forum to pull up some old RV topics. The cost you initially see on the website is your starter cost, the real cost is much more likely to be double that once you have added the mileage charges, running costs, gas, RV park fees, personal kits, etc, etc. There are also things worth knowing to make the trip comfortable for all and easy going. Do take note of the layouts of the different vehicles, especially if you are a group of friends rather than one family, from the privacy viewpoint!

Have a great trip!

SWT

Melbourne, Australia
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10. Re: Road trip Denver - Yellowstone - Grand Canyon - Denver

Thanks for all of your suggestions. So now thinking this is to much to fit in and too bigger distantce in a rv. We definitely still want to keep the airport as Denver so would probably cancel going to the Grand Canyon. Slc was not a necessity, just thought it would be a good overnight stop on the way to gc.

Would go from Denver to rmnp then onto ysnp via Cheyenne. Any other places that are worth visiting on the way back to Denver from ysnp?

Are rmnp and ysnp do able in an rv or is it a definate no? We definatley don't want to hire a car and stay in hotels and wanted to avoid the extra costs of hiring both a rv and car.

Thanks again.