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Denver to Phoenix

Pittsburgh
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Denver to Phoenix

I have a question about the drive from Denver to Phoenix. Are the interstates the best way or would you recommend something else? By best, I don't mean the quickest but the most scenic with interesting places to stop and stay.

We've got 3-4 days to make the trip and will be doing this in late July. We're an early '60's couple and after hiking Cape Breton Island, the only hiking we're interested in this summer would be something very easy.

We'd like very much to go through Colorado Springs for Pikes Peak. We're interested in your suggestions for both routes and attractions. Thanks everyone.

Lewes, United...
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1. Re: Denver to Phoenix

Hi Jajulud

Yes, you could route via Co. Springs and visit Pike's Peak on our way to Phoenix. However, to me, the more scenic route would take you on I-70 (which is a suprisingly scenic interstate) all the way to the Danish Flats turn off soon after you cross into Utah. From here make your way along the Colorado river to Moab. A night or so here, would allow you to visit either or both of Arches and Canyonlands national parks.

Continuing from Moab, you'd head south via Monument Valley on US 160 towards Tuba City, and, if you have time, enter the Grand Canyon national park via the east entrance, leave via the south at Tusayan and head for Flagstaff. Depending on time, you then head down 1-17 all the way to Phoenix, or take the US89A through very scenic Sedona.

The whole drive, whether on Interstate, US highway or state road will be really scenic. It's a shame you only have 3 to 4 days! You will gain an hour on this trip which may buy you one extra hour to sightsee!

SWT

Chula Vista...
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2. Re: Denver to Phoenix

Hi,

Welcome to the Road Trips Forum.

You have multiple options for this trip:

OPTION 1

Along your desired Colorado Springs route there's also the Garden of the Gods and the Royal Gorge near Canon City.

Continue south on I-25 to U.S. 64 at Raton and take U.S. 64 west through the Cimarron Canyon and into Taos. A couple of miles west of Taos, there's the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge over the Rio Grande River.

Continue south into Santa Fe and then you can head to Albuquerque and head west through the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest national parks.

You can either stay on I-40 and head to Flagstaff and down to Phoenix, or cut the corner at Holbrook and head through Payson.

OPTION 2

Head west on I-70 out of Denver to Grand Junction, and then head east (really more south) on U.S. 50 to Montrose and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Then continue south on the Million Dollar Highway, U.S. 550 through Telluride to Durango. Durango has the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Steam Railroad which is quite the day trip.

From Durango, head west to Mesa Verde National Park and the Four Corners. From Four Corners you can go south to Canyon de Chelly National Monument or west through Monument Valley.

OPTION 3

Drive west on I-70 into Utah and then drop south on U.S. 191 into Moab and Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Monument Valley. You may even have time to head into Page, AZ and Antelope Canyon.

Having 3-4 days will allow you time to play in some, but not necessarily all, of the places mentioned in each option. You'll have to research what appeals to you most and go from there.

Happy planning.

Zed

Uden, The...
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3. Re: Denver to Phoenix

For option 3 Zed gave you. Don't drop down 191 to Moab but do as SWT said and leave I70 at exit 214 <<Danish Flat>> and drive 128 along Colorado River to Moab. Very scenic drive. You can take 191 south of Moab towards Monument Valley but even more scenic will be the detour via 95 and 261 to 163 via Moki Dugway and Gooseneck SP.

The drive up to Pikes Peak is all paved nowadays but don't know if you want to do that after a long flight directly because it's 14.000' and altitude sickness can occur.

Tet

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4. Re: Denver to Phoenix

In the heat of the summer, I prefer our Rocky Mountains to the canyons.

Here's a way to include your desired ColoSpgs with Pike's Peak & Garden of the Gods, Collegiate Peaks, Monarch pass, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Million Dollar Highway, Durango:

http://goo.gl/maps/rTzzg

Edited: 18 January 2014, 17:07
Canonsburg...
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5. Re: Denver to Phoenix

In line with what Jajulud posted, we are making this trip. Except, we are driving roundtrip, going from Phoenix to Denver, and then back to Phoenix. We have 8 days to do this. We're traveling with small kids, so we can't go more than 7-8 hours max in one day. My initial thought was to hurry up and get to Denver, staying overnight in Albuquerque halfway. And then take a more scenic trip back. But I am open to any suggestions, we really want to see as much as possible. The only requiremenst are that we spend one night in Denver, and one night in Moab. Also, we do not need to stop at the Grand Canyon (we're making a day trip there during our stay in Phoenix, the following week). Thanks.

Uden, The...
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6. Re: Denver to Phoenix

This is and old post from 2014 and the OP already is back. Suggest to open a new topic by clicking "ask a question"" at the bottom of this page. And welcome to the forum Bubblesk

Canonsburg...
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7. Re: Denver to Phoenix

Thanks

8. Re: Denver to Phoenix

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