We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Boulder CO to Vandenberg AFB CA 10 days

Alice Spring...
Level Contributor
13 posts
34 reviews
Save Topic
Boulder CO to Vandenberg AFB CA 10 days

Family of 5 (3 children 5 & under) plus grandparents headed on 10 day road trip from Boulder to Vandenberg CA June 10-20th in 5th wheel trailer. Will have spent 4 days at Glenwood Spgs prior to 10 day journey. Military family returning state side from Seoul, Korea would like to see the Black Canyon, Bryce Canyon NP and Arches NP. Which of those would you recommend seeing if time doesn't alllow for all? Or would Grand Canyon fit better in there somewhere and omit one or two of the others? I just can't get a visual on the best itinerary for us as the planning grandma. We're all active and looking forward to journeying together. Thank you for any suggestions!

Sedona, AZ
Destination Expert
for Sedona
Level Contributor
2,214 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Boulder CO to Vandenberg AFB CA 10 days

I would skip Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

There are several route choices from Glenwood Springs. Start off by driving on I-70 west to Hwy 128 to Moab, UT. Visit Arches NP, Canyonlands NP, Dead Horse Point SP. From Moab there are a few options:

1. Go back up to I-70 west to Hwy 24 south. Possibly stop at Goblin Valley SP and Capitol Reef NP. Drive to Torrey and take Hwy 12 south all the way to Bryce NP. After Bryce, go to Zion and then on to I-15 south into CA.

2. Go south from Moab on Hwy 191 to Hwy 163 to Monument Valley. Then go to Page/Lake Powell via 160 and 98, then take 89 north through Kanab to Bryce and Zion.

3. Or, after Page, drive south on Hwy 89 to the east entrance of Grand Canyon NP South Rim (Hwy 64). Then take south exit when leaving GCNP to I-40 west to CA.

So check out these routes on the map. I know you won't have time to see all that I've mentioned, but all routes are scenic even if you don't stop at some parks. Pick out a few of the parks that interest you, maybe look at their websites, pictures, etc. They are all worthy. Decide on a route. Come back and ask more questions if you need more help.

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Boulder CO to Vandenberg AFB CA 10 days

Janss gave you great advice. Most logical route is option 1 she gave you. Grand Canyon NP is awesome but it won't fit better in this trip. Maybe add north rim for camping, that's closer to Zion and Bryce.

Also keep in mind from Zion to Lompoc is not a one day trip with an RV so maybe add a night for Las Vegas between Zion and Lompoc. To really enjoy the Moab area 2 full days (3 nights) already are recommended. There's a great campground in Capitol Reef NP called Fruita (no reservations can be made). The drive on ut12 between Torrey and Bryce is one of the most scenic drives in the country. 1 night Bryce often is enough but it's not an ordeal to stay longer. Zion requires at least 2 nights but 3 will be better.

Tet

Alice Spring...
Level Contributor
13 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Boulder CO to Vandenberg AFB CA 10 days

Thank you James-willl do! :-)

Alice Spring...
Level Contributor
13 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Boulder CO to Vandenberg AFB CA 10 days

Tet, thanks for comment of Zion to Lompac and Las Vegas suggestion. Between you and Janss this helps ssooo much! Thank you both! Maybe have more questions soon.

Tacoma, Washington
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
8,755 posts
1 review
Save Reply
5. Re: Boulder CO to Vandenberg AFB CA 10 days

Is it 10 days from Glenwood springs to Vandenberg???

If so....

1 Am drive to Maob, PM Moab

2-3 Moab

4 Am Moab, PM drive to torrey

5 AM Capitol Reef, Pm UT 12 to Bryce

6 Bryce

7 AM drive to Zion, zion

8 Zion

9 Am Zion, PM drive stop somewhere to split the trip.

10 drive to vandenberg

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Boulder CO to Vandenberg AFB CA 10 days

You're welcome. Rent a big car for a party of 5 carrying a lot of luggage.

Alice Spring...
Level Contributor
13 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Boulder CO to Vandenberg AFB CA 10 days

No we'd be leaving from Boulder. Just remembered they really want to see Mesa Verde which now throws travel more southbound! I thought we'd head down to CO Spgs for a day at the North Pole for the young children. Then head out of CO Spgs first thing next day to Royal Gorge? Wasn't sure if there was enough open there yet for it to be enjoyable? So if we head south like that which of those NP's work? Does Silverton train fit in there? Family will be traveling in a suburban and grandparents following in truck/5th wheel. :-) I need to pickup an atlas cause I can't see whole picture good enough on computer. So major change-any suggestionss?

Tacoma, Washington
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
8,755 posts
1 review
Save Reply
8. Re: Boulder CO to Vandenberg AFB CA 10 days

If you want to do Mesa Verde.....

day 1-2 colordo to Cortez

day 3 Mesa Verde

day 4-6 Moab

day 7 Monument Valley

day 8 south rim Grand canyon

day 9 AM Grand Canyon, PM drive some

day 10 drive to Vandenberg

driving through Colorado, you could do a day in colorado Springs, then next day drive to Cortez

drive to Montrose and Black Canyon of Gunnison on day 1, then on day 2 drive US 550 from Ouray-silverton-durango.

Sedona, AZ
Destination Expert
for Sedona
Level Contributor
2,214 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Boulder CO to Vandenberg AFB CA 10 days

Here's the Tripadvisor page on Royal Gorge. Read the recent reviews and the manager's responses. I think that will give you a good idea of the status since the fire last year.

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g33340-d13…

Some RVers shy away from 550, as part of it is a curvy mountainous road (I've heard.....I've only driven my car, not my RV between Durango and Silverton). So be sure the grandparents are comfortable with that. If not, after Royal Gorge, take 285 south to 160 west. But on 160 you have to drive over the almost 11,000 ft. Wolf Creek Pass, but it is a good road. I've been on that one in my motorhome.

I love the Durango-Silverton train!

Lots of route options, but again, you need to decide which parks interest you the most. Dan P gave you a good route. Another would be from Durango (or Cortez), go to Page, AZ (Antelope Slot Canyon), then Bryce and Zion and to I-15 south to CA.

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Boulder CO to Vandenberg AFB CA 10 days

Easier drive is via CS, Walsenburg and west to Pagaso Springs (also via Wolf Creek pass) You'll hit Great Sand Dunes NP something the kids prob like better than Royal Gorge. Cortez is beyond Mesa Verde so I suggest to stay in Mesa Verde camping. There also is a campground close to the Dunes.

Tet