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Old 09-07-2018, 01:06 PM   #1
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Advice on a roadtrip

So, here's the deal. I am a camper so I know that equipment has its limitations. We are flying to Las Vegas and renting a 30' motorhome from Cruiseamerica and driving to Denver, CO. Stops to include the following:
1. Hoover Dam
2. Grand Canyon Village
3. 4 corners
4. Mesa Verde
5. Cave of the Winds
6. Garden of the Gods
Does anyone have more knowledge of these sites that could help me with any limitations? How about the routes in between.
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Old 09-07-2018, 01:16 PM   #2
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So, here's the deal. I am a camper so I know that equipment has its limitations. We are flying to Las Vegas and renting a 30' motorhome from Cruiseamerica and driving to Denver, CO. Stops to include the following:
1. Hoover Dam
2. Grand Canyon Village
3. 4 corners
4. Mesa Verde
5. Cave of the Winds
6. Garden of the Gods
Does anyone have more knowledge of these sites that could help me with any limitations? How about the routes in between.
Grand Canyon--if you're spending some time there. You'll need to get your reservations we'll before your expected arrival date. We spent 4 nights at their campground last year. And made our reservations 5 months before our projected arrival date, including checking daily to get our 3rd night. What an magnificent trip.
There are some other some other campgrounds near and you can park the MH at many of the views to do some sight seeing, but it's nowhere as spectacular. As hiking from one end to the other- using the shuttle buses (free) to get about anywhere!

Pikes Peak is also wonderful while you're in Colorado!
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Old 09-07-2018, 01:22 PM   #3
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After the Grand Canyon, you may want to stay at Cadillac Ranch in Bluff, UT and explore the Valley of the Gods, Moky Dugway and surroundings ....
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Old 09-07-2018, 05:22 PM   #4
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In the fall with the aspen changing, there are so many more interesting, scenic parts of Colorado to see than Cave of the Winds and Garden of the Gods. Please consider skipping Colorado Springs and trying to see more of the Colorado mountains.

A suggested route would be leave Mesa Verde via Dolores and CO 145 to Telluride and Placerville, then CO 62 to Ridgway State Park. Spend a night there, then take a short out-and-back trip on US 550 to Ouray, have lunch there, and head north to Montrose and US 50. From Delta, take CO 133 over McClure Pass to Carbondale and CO 82 to Glenwood Springs. In Glenwood, you can get on I-70 to Vail, the Eisenhower Tunnel, and Denver. The spectacular views of towering mountainsides of yellow, gold, and orange aspen and even a few with early snow on the top will make spending just a couple of days on the Telluride, Ridgway, and McClure Pass route well worth missing Cave of the Winds and Garden of the Gods. If you really have your heart set on visiting a cave, take a tour of Glenwood Caverns before you get on I-70.

For a photo of Telluride, several photos of changing aspen, and some camping and sightseeing recommendations, see my blog HERE.
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Old 09-08-2018, 12:43 PM   #5
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In the fall with the aspen changing, there are so many more interesting, scenic parts of Colorado to see than Cave of the Winds and Garden of the Gods. Please consider skipping Colorado Springs and trying to see more of the Colorado mountains.

A suggested route would be leave Mesa Verde via Dolores and CO 145 to Telluride and Placerville, then CO 62 to Ridgway State Park. Spend a night there, then take a short out-and-back trip on US 550 to Ouray, have lunch there, and head north to Montrose and US 50. From Delta, take CO 133 over McClure Pass to Carbondale and CO 82 to Glenwood Springs. In Glenwood, you can get on I-70 to Vail, the Eisenhower Tunnel, and Denver. The spectacular views of towering mountainsides of yellow, gold, and orange aspen and even a few with early snow on the top will make spending just a couple of days on the Telluride, Ridgway, and McClure Pass route well worth missing Cave of the Winds and Garden of the Gods. If you really have your heart set on visiting a cave, take a tour of Glenwood Caverns before you get on I-70.

For a photo of Telluride, several photos of changing aspen, and some camping and sightseeing recommendations, see my blog HERE.

This is a great route that was outlined. I use to love going to Garden of the Gods, it was so peaceful. On this last trip we went to GOG and it was so crowded I was very disappointed. I went to Cave of the Winds and it is just a big tourist trap. But with that said it depends on your likes and dislikes. The Rocky Mountains won't disappoint.
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Old 09-08-2018, 01:10 PM   #6
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2. Grand Canyon Village
3. 4 corners
4. Mesa Verde
5. Cave of the Winds
6. Garden of the Gods
Does anyone have more knowledge of these sites that could help me with any limitations? How about the routes in between.
Depends on how much time you have...
Grand Canyon Village... We stayed at the Grand Canyon Railway RV park. Grand Canyon | Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel and took the train ride into the village. Wish we'd stayed at a lodge overnight and taken the train back the next day. (sunset and sunrise from the rim are spectacular they tell me.)
Mesa Verde, we stayed at a KOA and drove through the park, but it wasn't a lot of fun. Very hilly. At this time of year, you might be able to camp at the park. Make certain you gas up before you go. You might want to consider one of the National Park Service tours to get around (they book up early in the am)
Haven't been to the others recently, but most National Parks and National Historic Monuments in the west have parking spots big enough for rvs.
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Old 09-08-2018, 01:29 PM   #7
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double check mesa verde. i'm not sure motor homes are allowed past the rv park near the entrance. there is a unhook and store parking lot where you have to unhook any trailers as you go into the park. i think the same would be true for a motor home towing a toad. unhook and go in with the toad. since you are renting i doubt you will have a toad. double check to make sure you will be allowed in. or as mentioned take their tour bus.


monument valley?
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Old 09-08-2018, 01:30 PM   #8
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My advice is to stay IN the NPs. Remember that by renting, you won't have a vehicle you are towing to run errands or sight see. Stock up on groceries and anything you might need before you begin camping. IMHO 4 corners is a huge tourist trap. Don't know how long you will be camping but if time permits, Zion and Bryce are not to be missed. You should be able to get campground info and regulations on their individual websites, as well as recreation.gov. We loved Mesa Verde but did not camp there since we had friends in the area. It is worth it to pay to go on some of the cliff dwelling tours. We also enjoyed Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP. Enjoy.
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Old 09-08-2018, 02:42 PM   #9
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25 ft limit at Mesa Verde

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double check mesa verde. i'm not sure motor homes are allowed past the rv park near the entrance. there is a unhook and store parking lot where you have to unhook any trailers as you go into the park. i think the same would be true for a motor home towing a toad. unhook and go in with the toad. since you are renting i doubt you will have a toad. double check to make sure you will be allowed in. or as mentioned take their tour bus.
You won't be allowed into Mesa Verde. There's a 25 ft vehicle limit.
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Old 09-08-2018, 03:42 PM   #10
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Western Trip

You do not say when you are planning to go. From other suggestions, if traveling in the fall, I would skip the last two places(too touristy and crowded) and spend more time in Rocky Mountain NP. Mesa Verde is great,but requires a lot of driving and moderate physical climbing to tour the ruins, might be very tough if you are talking about a bigger than 25" motor home. Lake City and areas around RMNP, have a lot of variety and and a lot of wildlife. Check pass and road closing dates, be sure you have chains. Ouray closes the road down in and out of town at some point, early OCT? Cool town and area. Interesting old mines in area and jeep tours also. Get reservations now for Grand Canyon. Have a great trip.
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Old 09-08-2018, 04:18 PM   #11
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Trail Ridge Road in RMNP closes for the season in late September-early October. Independence Pass on CO 82 between Aspen and Leadville closes after the first snowfall.

US 550 through the Uncompahgre Gorge and over Red Mountain Pass between Ouray and Silverton closes only when it has had a mid-winter avalanche. And then only until the avalanche has been shot down and the road cleared. It has never been closed north of Ouray in my 55 years in Colorado. In fact, the primary winter sport in Ouray is ice climbing in Box Canyon. Since that is a major business for those Ouray retailers who stay open all year, there is no way they are going to allow US 550 north of town to be closed.
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Old 09-08-2018, 04:21 PM   #12
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You won't be allowed into Mesa Verde. There's a 25 ft vehicle limit.
Not exactly. Towed vehicles and trailers are not permitted and nothing over 25' is allowed on Wetherille Rd because of tight turns.

About 4 miles inside the park the camping allows rvs up to 46'. https://www.visitmesaverde.com/lodgi...ld-campground/

There is still a lot to see on the main road, but it is steep. We did it in our 25' REV.
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Old 09-08-2018, 04:25 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by BMW19 View Post
So, here's the deal. I am a camper so I know that equipment has its limitations. We are flying to Las Vegas and renting a 30' motorhome from Cruiseamerica and driving to Denver, CO. Stops to include the following:
1. Hoover Dam
2. Grand Canyon Village
3. 4 corners
4. Mesa Verde
5. Cave of the Winds
6. Garden of the Gods
Does anyone have more knowledge of these sites that could help me with any limitations? How about the routes in between.
Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park. A whole day and very worthwhile. a few hours East of GC.

We just got back from a 3 week trip in July that included the Grand Canyon. We stayed in Winston and rode the train to the Grand Canyon. If the GC Village is full you might consider this.

It isn't cheap but it has a nice ride to and from, and we got a bus to pick us up and drive us round the GC, stopping at several lookouts. This way we were not trying to get onto overcrowded buses and did not have to worry about traffic or parking at GC.
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Old 09-08-2018, 04:53 PM   #14
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Black Canyon of the Gunnison and Colorado National Monument are two we really enjoyed that haven’t been mentioned yet.
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Old 09-08-2018, 07:07 PM   #15
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Consider the Royal Gorge while in Colorado Springs.
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Old 09-09-2018, 04:14 AM   #16
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If possible, take the Durango and Silverton railroad. It's one of the most scenic in the world. Check ahead. They fill up.

I recommend getting seats on the right side going out of Durango since it mostly follows the left side of the canyon.
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Old 09-09-2018, 06:33 AM   #17
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If possible, take the Durango and Silverton railroad. It's one of the most scenic in the world. Check ahead. They fill up.

I recommend getting seats on the right side going out of Durango since it mostly follows the left side of the canyon.
Is it up and running? Was told it was closed due rock slide in early August.

You also might consider Moab UT. Arches and Canyonland National Park and Dead Horse point are right there. Then take 128 out of Moab on way to Grand Junction CO. RMNP. then 50(I think) through the mountains. Royal Gorge is really cool but expensive. We found Garden of the Gods underwhelming after Moab. Gotta hit Pikes Peak if you make it to Colorado Springs. Too much to see in Colorado/Utah.
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Old 09-09-2018, 08:46 AM   #18
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West trip

It has been several years since I was stuck up there in late October for 2 days waiting for roads to be cleared. I was not in a motor home at the time. My comment should have been, check road conditions. It was not stated in original post, when they were considering trip.
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Old 09-09-2018, 11:15 AM   #19
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I guess I left out some valuable info. We are in Vegas right now to begin the trip. Picking up MH tomorrow morning. Trip finishes Thursday with family in Denver. Not a lot of sight seeing time I know but bringing my girls to the places my wife loved as a child hopefully will be worth the long drives and short stays.
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Old 09-09-2018, 02:09 PM   #20
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I guess I left out some valuable info. We are in Vegas right now to begin the trip. Picking up MH tomorrow morning. Trip finishes Thursday with family in Denver. Not a lot of sight seeing time I know but bringing my girls to the places my wife loved as a child hopefully will be worth the long drives and short stays.
It will take you the better part of three days to make that drive from Vegas to Denver with that motorhome...
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