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Denver to Las Vegas Road Trip

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Warrington,England
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Denver to Las Vegas Road Trip

Hi All

Planning a road trip for September 2012 just me and the wife mid forties, probably for around 7-10 days cash depending. Would be really interested to hear suggested itineries and things not to be missed along the way. The only definite thing so far is to take in the Grand Canyon.Even open to doing the trip in reverse i.e LV to Denver depending upon suggestions.

Reno, Nevada
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1. Re: Denver to Las Vegas Road Trip

Maybe it's just luck, but flights into Las Vegas tend to be less expensive than other US cities. :-) So, here is a route from Las Vegas to Denver.

* Spend time in Las Vegas and take time to see the sights around "Sin City" such as the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam & Lake Meade.

* Leave Las Vegas going north on route 15 to St. George, Utah and then turn east on route 9 and go through Zion National Park (truly amazing views, rock formations and more)....come out of Zion and continue east toward Lake Powell (just north of Lake Meade)... If you are animal lovers, stop in Kanab, Utah and see Best Friends Animal Shelter. It is a huge NO KILL shelter started by Brits and Aussies and now a very famous place. You can actually rent cottages at Best Friends. While in this area, go see Moab, Utah and the Arches National Park.

* Next drive east through the Indian Reservations and into Durango, Colorado. Spend some time there and then drive north of Durango to Silverton, Ouray (4x4 and Jeep rentals for high mtn climbs) and head north to Grand Junction, Colorado. Then take route 70 east toward Denver. Check your map because lots to see and do between Grand Junction & Denver, including possible side trips to Glenwood Springs (Hot Springs), Aspen, Vail and through the beautiful Rockies to Denver.

IMHO, This is the best scenery between Las Vegas and Denver. Can be donw in reverse too. :)

Wednesbury, UK
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2. Re: Denver to Las Vegas Road Trip

Eddies given you some great ideas but you need to confirm the number of days, do they include time in Denver and Vegas?

You also mentioned GCNP, so this may rule out Zion, if your time is limited, and you may have to chose red rock or mountains.

Wednesbury, UK
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3. Re: Denver to Las Vegas Road Trip

Eddie, btw direct flights into Vegas from UK airports are some of, if not the most expensive to the US. Very popular destination, limited direct service, can be £200 more than other west coast destinations, very hard to find these days for less than £550 : (

Edited: 15 January 2012, 19:11
WestSlope,CO
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4. Re: Denver to Las Vegas Road Trip

Also, were you planning to do this as a one way trip, or did you want to make a circle or loop? With the time you have, I'm thinking you probably are planning one way. Are you mainly interested in sightseeing/scenic drives? Or will you want to do some hiking or other outdoor activities? Do you have other interests such as museums, historic sites, shopping, photography galleries, etc.?

I was going to clue you in about the Road Trip forum, but I see you've already posted there!

I would suggest trying to make it the 10 days, and if you need ways to economize so you can stretch your $$$, you can get lots of suggestions here on Trip Advisor.

If you are starting mid-September, then I'd try to do the trip from Las Vegas to Denver so that you'll increase your chances of seeing some beautiful fall colors in the Colorado mountains...usually around the last week-10 days or so of the month into the first week or so of October.

I would add a quick stop at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park just east of Montrose to EddieL's suggested itinerary. And instead of Grand Junction, (unless you particularly want to see Colorado National Monument) in September I would drive from Montrose to Delta, then toward Paonia and over McClure Pass (beautiful aspen color in the latter part of the month) and to Redstone. Then you have a choice of Glenwood Springs>Interstate 70 to Denver or Aspen>Independence Pass>Leadville>Interstate 70 to Denver.

Worldwide
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5. Re: Denver to Las Vegas Road Trip

Eddie gave the itinerary that I would recommend, with two modest amendments. missp also gave some great ideas for variations.

Though Zion is very nice, I prefer neighbouring Bryce Canyon. On Eddie's route, you're also not far from Bryce. You could stay a night in the lodge in Bryce, or alternatively at Ruby's Inn just outside. (Bryce is arguably best right at sunrise, and in the hour afterward.) National Park lodging is a tad expensive for some of our bargain seekers, but should be great atmosphere and OK value for you. If you're interested, you should consider booking months in advance because of the popularity for such lodging. (Food in national parks is not the best value. Not necessarily terrible, just boring and somewhat overpriced by our standards. If you like self-catering, you might consider stopping by a supermarket on the way in, and stocking up on fixings for a meal/sandwich or two plus drinks, fruit, snacks, etc.)

For the Grand Canyon, the busier South Rim may be awesome, but has been so heavily documented that the reality is somewhat anticlimactic (IMHO). However, the quieter North Rim is less hyped and visited, and is (IMHO) a much more special place. In Eddie's itinerary you pass right by the road to the North Rim if you take US89A. A couple of days and nights in the lodge or cabins at the North Rim would likely be a stay that you won't forget.

In the Durango area (on Eddie's itinerary), you may want to read up on Mesa Verde National Park, and the Durango-Silverton railway to see if these might interest you. Both are well worth it, in my view.

I'd also underscore Glenwood Springs, its hot springs pool, and a stroll around downtown in the evening (perhaps before returning to the pool for a dip before it closes) including a bite and pint at the Glenwood Canyon Brewing Company pub. There's also a paved trail along the Colorado River east of Glenwood Springs. Canyon Bikes will rent you bikes, and haul you up the canyon in a van, with you then riding (mostly downhill) back into town taking in the view and some walks (if you're so inclined) off to the side of the bike trail.

Wednesbury, UK
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6. Re: Denver to Las Vegas Road Trip

Hi Earthling..

I actually prefer the North Rim to the South, but was assuming the OP meant the South with my reference to Zion. Anyway, really need the confirmation on durations, if it is 10 days for the road trip rather than the whole thing then there are a lot of possibilities.

Reno, Nevada
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7. Re: Denver to Las Vegas Road Trip

I agree with all the other posts. If you have the time, all the suggestions here are great. If you see all of these sites, you will enjoy some of the best that the Rockie Mountains has to offer.

FYI - We Americans get discounted fares to Las Vegas I'm convinced because the casinos help subsidize the airlines. My friend is flying from Chicago and gets $150 savings by flying to Las Vegas vs. Phoenix. It can also be cheaper for us to Fly to Vegas vs. Denver. Sorry that it does not help you across the pond. :(

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8. Re: Denver to Las Vegas Road Trip

Yep to Valiantsontour and Eddie. Let's give the OP 21 nights of gems to whittle down! That'll serve him for posting here.. :-)

9. Re: Denver to Las Vegas Road Trip

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