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RV first time holiday, itinary from Denver please

Cranleigh, United...
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RV first time holiday, itinary from Denver please

Hi

This is our first trip in an RV, just the two us, my husband is in his early 60's and I'm in my mid 50's. I don't like heights.

We are likely to fly from London to Denver. My husband would like to visit Monument Valley and I would like to visit Yellowstone and Grand Teton. We are thinking of between 2 and half to 3 weeks for the holiday. I work nearly fulltime in a stressful job so would prefer not to be driving a lot of miles every day. I love mountains and lakes. Can you please recommend scenic routes going via Monument Valley (area my husband would love to visit), via Moab to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park. It is our first time in an RV, any advice would be great 're hook up camp grounds etc. We are thinking of visiting either the end of May or just after Labor Day. Can you advise when would be best time weather and scenery please? Much appreciated, thank you, Eleanor 😊

30 replies to this topic
Salt Lake City, Utah
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1. Re: RV first time holiday, itinary from Denver please

First of all, given the points of interest you want to see, you should fly into SLC. Flying in to Denver will add at least 15 hours, maybe more, of driving. You’ll use a day of your vacation, each way, just getting to a destination and then back to Denver.

Secondly, if you have never traveled by RV, a trip of up to 3 weeks may not be the best idea. Traveling by RV involves more than having a place to sleep, a bathroom and a place to prepare meals. Have you researched what’s involved in traveling by RV? Also, most RV rental companies don’t allow pick up of an RV the same day of an international arrival. So you will lose another day of vacation. On the day you pick up, you’ll lose a day in that process and getting the RV provisioned. You’ll lose a day at the end of your trip cleaning the RV and turning it back in. If you are under the impression that traveling by RV is cheaper than staying in hotels, it really isn’t . Gas expense will add up quickly. Most RV rentals don’t have unlimited mileage. There’s a lot of distance to cover on a trip like this. Tho mileage charges will add up quickly. You will also have to be in a campground or RV park every night. So more expense.

Finally, Yellowstone is not RV friendly. The roads are narrow. Parking can be difficult to find at points of interest.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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2. Re: RV first time holiday, itinary from Denver please

I suggest that you pick either the Yellowstone area OR Monument Valley plus the several national parks nearby in Utah and Arizona. On a two and half week time frame, you can have a very nice trip to either place

Trying to combine the two areas means a lot of driving.

PA
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3. Re: RV first time holiday, itinary from Denver please

The drive from Denver to Moab is a beautiful one through the Rocky Mountains on Interstate 70. If time there are some nice stops along the way. Consider an overnight around Grand Junction and visit Colorado National Monument - just like a national park. Give Moab area 3 days to visit Arches & Canyonlands National Parks & Dead Horse State Park. Down to Monument Valley... any thoughts to going to Bryce &/or Zion while in Utah??

Yellowstone needs 3-4 days minimum - huge park. Try to stay in park, if possible. Check out Yellowstone - Great experts for experts for advice there. You can drive through Grand Teton N.P. coming & going to Yellowstone - it's a stunning park with its mountains & lakes. You can stftay in park or Jackson, WY.

I will let others address RV & camping as we've been to these places in car, staying in motels. I'll just say parks & parking in them is often VERY CROWDED & an RV would be a challenge.

SOUNDS like a great trip - use a full 3 weeks, if you can!

Edited: 17 December 2017, 21:51
Cranleigh, United...
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4. Re: RV first time holiday, itinary from Denver please

Hi Connie

Thank you for your advice. I would prefer to drive by car and go to Monument Valley on another trip in a few years when we have more time. I have explained to my husband that travelling in an RV isn't ideal in Yellowstone. It's something he has always wanted to do.. so trying to find an itinerary that we both like. I think once I have an itinerary I might try and plan using an RV for first part of the holiday. Not sure if it will work, work out cost with an RV for all of the holiday, part of the holiday and all hotel/ cabin or lodge. Can you recommend an itinerary please? Many thanks Eleanor

Cranleigh, United...
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5. Re: RV first time holiday, itinary from Denver please

Can you recommend an itinerary going into SLC please? Instead of flying into Denver. Thanks Eleanor

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6. Re: RV first time holiday, itinary from Denver please

If you want to include both Yellowstone and Monument Valley, I suggest you do the itinerary as a double loop out of Salt Lake City. You could do the southern Utah parks loop in the RV and then switch to a passenger car for the Yellowstone portion.

As noted on your road trip thread, if you go in May, you want to do the Utah portion first and then go to Yellowstone. If you go in September, do Yellowstone first and then go to Utah. My personal preference would be September for better weather over all.

Consider this itinerary based on having 3 weeks/21 days in September.

Day 1: Arrive SLC. Overnight in SLC to get over jet lag.

Day 2: Pick up a rental car at an off airport location in downtown SLC. Drive to Yellowstone. 5.5 hour drive.

Day 3, 4, 5: Yellowstone

Day 6: Drive to Grand Teton NP. 2 to 3 hour drive depending on where you are in Yellowstone. Overnight

Day 7: Grand Teton NP.

Day 8: Return to SLC to pick up RV. 5.5 to 6 hour drive. Overnight

Day 9: Pick up RV. Drive to Moab UT 4 hour drive Overnight

Day 10, 11, 12: Arches/Canyonlands other Moab points of interest.

Day 13: Drive to Monument Valley. 3.5 hour drive. Overnight

Day 14: Drive to Page AZ (Horseshoe Bend/Antelope Canyon) 3 hour drive. Overngith

Day 15: Drive to Springdale UT. 4 hour drive. Overnight

Day 16 and 17: Zion NP

Day 18: Drive to Bryce Canyon NP. 2.5 hour drive. Overnight

Day 19: Drive to Torrey UT (Capitol Reef NP) 3.5 hour drive Overnight

Day 20: Return to SLC 3.5 hour drive. Drop off RV. Overnight

Day 21: Fly home.

If you go in May, then just reverse the itinerary. If you only have 2.5 weeks, cut a night each from Yellowstone, Moab, Bryce and Zion. With 2.5 weeks, it will be a rushed trip.

Delta has a non stop flight from Heathrow to SLC.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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7. Re: RV first time holiday, itinary from Denver please

Note - picking up a rental car at an off airport location will save you some money. Sometimes the savings is significant. Most downtown SLC have shuttles to/from the airport or you can use the light rail, TRAX, to get to your downtown hotel.

Also, you will want advance campground/RV park reservations. There aren't enough of these places on the Utah itinerary to meet the demand.

Cranleigh, United...
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8. Re: RV first time holiday, itinary from Denver please

Thanks Connie for all of your advice. If we only visited Monument Valley and Moab in the south how long should we spend in these two areas before concentrating on Yellowstone and Grand Teton. We would like it to be relaxing and not rushed. Can you recommend the most scenic routes please? Probably take your advice 're September for weather. We visited Grand Canyon in 2014, that trip was Las Vegas, Williams, Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Las Vegas, Death Valley, Yosemite, San Francisco, Monterey , Pismo Beach and Los Angeles. Last family holiday when my younger son left university. It was by car and very relaxing. The RV is something he still wants to do, compromise... is the answer I think. Thanks for all of your advice.

Cranleigh, United...
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9. Re: RV first time holiday, itinary from Denver please

Thanks Bluehighways, I will make a note of your advice. Win is set on staying in an RV, I am trying to find an itinerary that covers areas we both want to see and staying in an RV for part of the trip. My plan is to cost both trips once I find the ideal itinerary. I can take up to 3 weeks off work. I would like to be able to explore and relax. Fingers crossed that's possible. Many thanks Eleanor

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10. Re: RV first time holiday, itinary from Denver please

For Moab, the minimum stay would be 3 nights. But there’s enough to do in the Moab area to keep you busy for several days....whitewater rafting, off roading, Jeep tours, and a couple of state parks near by. One night is sufficient for Monument Valley.. it would also be easy to work in a night or two in the Capitol Reef area before heading to Yellowstone.

If you are going in September, then do Yellowstone first. I can help you with routes once you decide on how you are going to do the trip. For the most part, there’s just one way to drive between these destinations.

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