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Old 10-26-2020, 08:57 PM   #1
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NC to Rockies

My Dad has talked about wanting to see the Rockies for as long as I can remember. Parents have a 2013 Thor ACE with a small Chevy Caviler toad and we have 2007 Chevy Silverado 1500 with a 2016 Flagstaff 29FBSS. He has finally decided that he would like to take a trip out west as long as we go too. Looking at 4 week trip from NC to the Rockies. This will be his big trip. He has never been further west than Tennessee. I'm looking for any suggestions on where to go or what to do. We are good with dry camping or staying at a resort somewhere. My parents are in their early 70's, we are early 40's and kids will be 11 and 15. My Dad really wants to see the big mountains but I would also like to see the desert mountains if possible on this trip. We would be traveling in July of 2021.
Thanks in advance. Jeff
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Old 10-26-2020, 09:41 PM   #2
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What are the big items in the bucket list while out there?

A quick thought would be Carlsbad Caverns, Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Arches, Yellowstone, Mt Rushmore. That would be not spending a lot of time in any one area because the travel times for most of that are pretty big and traveling with 2 rigs together is always slower than 1 by itself.
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Old 10-26-2020, 11:04 PM   #3
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I'm with DougW. It's going to take you longer than you think.
Plan for around 250 miles a day driving time. It sounds slow, but by the time you get 2 rigs coordinated and on the road and make the stops necessary while traveling with children, that's probably the max you can do. It's going to take you around 6 days each way to get there and back.

This sounds to me like a destination trip, so you're going to have to find out exactly what your dad wants to see. He's obviously got some idea of which part of the Rockies he want to see. You could take the interstate to Denver and then head up to Yellowstone with the Grand Tetons which are very impressive mountains. Then you could head south toward the Grand Canyon and south to I40 for the journey home. Along the way should be the mountains you want to see.
If he wants a relaxed view of the mountains, consider a tourist train trip on whatever route you choose. They offer a unique view of the mountains that you cannot see from the road. https://www.colorado.com/articles/co...do-train-trips
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Old 10-27-2020, 09:44 AM   #4
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Looks like you have a nice but very ambitious adventure in the works. Depending on your zest for detail planning (mine is maddeningly high which drives everyone else crazy) I would focus on the campground piece as in where will you stay each night. For the majority of national and state parks, July/August is when they get the bulk of their visitors. Thus full campgrounds. Yellowstone, Zion and Grand Canyon are particularly busy. As previous posters have mentioned, decide your priorities then map it out. Were I to do the northern piece again, I would set up in a campground in Tetons or the southern part of Yellowstone and use the toad to explore both parks. Rushmore, Badlands, Black Hills are up there for additional stops. Custer State Park, SD is a favorite place to set up but book early. You might consider similar plans on the south end of your wishlist. I have stayed in Rocky Mt NP then west on I70 to Fruita CO which has a great state park and then into Utah for all it has to offer. Not to be a nag, just remember many, many other people will be doing the same thing at the same time. One more item: North Rim of Grand Canyon: hard to get to, book early, etc but absolutely once in a lifetime stunning. Looks like you have a nice trip in the offing. I am envious.
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Old 10-27-2020, 10:13 AM   #5
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I would stick with southwestern quadrant of Colorado and the adjacent areas of UT, AZ, and NM. Plenty of amazing mountains and desert...research those areas. There are campgrounds where you can make reservations now, and CO state parks and campgrounds are in many cases reservable 6 months out.

No way I would go anywhere near the big National Parks in July 2021...it was insane this year, and with the strong possibility that Covid-19 will still be a thing everyone and his brother will be on the road in their new RVs and places like Yellowstone and the Tetons will probably be overrun.

We are planning a late-season trip to those parks in late September-October well after the kids are back in school, and hopefully before the blizzards hit.
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Old 10-27-2020, 10:25 PM   #6
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If itís mountains you want to see, my recommendation is The Collegiate Peaks byway in Colorado . Situated among the tallest mountains in the Rockies. The area is just beautiful.

We were there in September. We used Buena Vista as our base camp. Took many day trips through the mountain passes. Many over 10,000í.
Took a few scenic chair lifts at the nearby ski resorts. Rode the train in Leadville.

We stayed in a RV park but seen lots of boon docking opportunities.

Safe travels

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