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Consolidated "Utah and Colorado - What to see and do?" thread

Consolidated "Utah and Colorado - What to see and do?" thread

Old Feb 11, 2007, 10:39 am
  #1  
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Colorado / Utah, a few questions??

Thanks to your responses to my last post, we are nearly sold on the Colorado/Utah itinerary with our 8 year old. With the visitor center closed, we’ve decided to skip Dinosaur National Monument and reduce the amount of time in the car. So we now have a few extra days. We plan to spend them camping, hiking and rafting in Arches and Canyonlands. The plan is to combine Arches and rafting on the Colorado River and spend 2 days hiking from The Needles in Canyonlands. The alternatives are to camp and hike at Island in the Sky or Dead Horse Point State Park. What do you recommend? Any thoughts on a rafting company out of Moab? Also, I’ve noticed that there are many ruins and parks from Moab to Mesa Verde and while I am keen to avoid a cultural or outdoor overdose, I would hate to miss a gem. Should we consider a stop in Edge of the Cedars State Park, Hovenweep National Monument or Grand Gulch and Valley of the Gods?

Colorado / Utah
Denver – Grand Junction (day 1)
Dinosaur Dig near Grand Junction (day 2, 3)
Arches and Colorado River rafting (day 4, 5, 6)
Canyon Lands – Needles (7, 8)
Canyon lands to Mesa Verde with a stop in the 4 corners (day 9)
Mesa Verde and Durango with Narrow Gauge Railway (day 10, 11, 12)
Great Sand Dunes (day 13)
Denver (day 14)

Last edited by kids can travel; Feb 11, 2007 at 10:51 am
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Old Feb 11, 2007, 12:45 pm
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Sounds great. But just remember that it can get very hot in this area in August. Long hikes in 100 degree weather can be a bit much for anyone, especially for an 8 year old.
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Old Feb 11, 2007, 5:02 pm
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Two comments:

1) Sounds like a pretty intense itinerary, particularly given the heat, as noted by the previous poster, in the summer. We're talking can-kill-you-or-dehydrate-you-before-you-know-it heat, 110+ Farenheit.

2) Suggest you spend one night in Bluff, Utah. It's a fascinating old town. There's a great motel on the west edge of town, with several newly built log-frame "cabins" which are very, very nice. It would be slightly out of your way but you could then head for the Four Corners area on onward. But, imo, Four Corners itself is overrated. It's mildly fascinating to get on all-fours and take a picture of yourself in four states simultaneously but the area is hot and bleak with a lot folks selling overpriced trinkets.
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Old Feb 11, 2007, 10:39 pm
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Mesa Verde with Durango is a must. ^ Your 8 year old will love crawling all over the cave dwellings. When in Durango, be sure and get some Zuberfizz root beer. Best RB I've ever had. I'm hoping to do the railway this summer, and knock off a few more 14ers while I'm at it.
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Old Feb 12, 2007, 4:23 am
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The Canyonlands portion of our trip is scheduled for August 27/28. My understanding from historical weather charts is that July is actually the hottest month and that by the end of August while hot, it is no longer extreme. Is this correct?

In any case, we plan to hike early, carry plenty of water, and start the return long before she is tired. Our objective is not to kill the kid but build an appreciation for the outdoors.
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Old Feb 12, 2007, 1:13 pm
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Those are, of course, averages. In any given week, it is certainly possible for it to be 110+ degrees in August. I'd just be very careful.
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Old Feb 12, 2007, 1:20 pm
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Originally Posted by kids can travel
The Canyonlands portion of our trip is scheduled for August 27/28. My understanding from historical weather charts is that July is actually the hottest month and that by the end of August while hot, it is no longer extreme. Is this correct?

In any case, we plan to hike early, carry plenty of water, and start the return long before she is tired. Our objective is not to kill the kid but build an appreciation for the outdoors.
Ummm, several years ago I was camping with a group in southeast Utah in mid-August and it was literally 108 in the shade. We cut that portion short one night and went on to somewhere cooler. When we got back to town, ice water never, ever, tasted so good. It might not be that bad, but it is just a warning to be very mindful of the temperature, and be very flexible in your plans, i.e. another trail might be less interesting, but be much cooler. (And always leave info on your plans (and changes) with family, with rangers, and/or with your belongings. Remember the guy who had to cut off his own arm - part of the reason he had to do that was because he knew no one knew where to look for him.)

All the items you have chosen are good options - you're hitting some great highlights. Also, have you looked at the site on Colorado Scenic Drives? Some of them are along your route and would be a good option if you have the time.
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Old Feb 12, 2007, 3:28 pm
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From Mesa Verde, you can pop up to Telluride for a day to cool off.
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Old Feb 12, 2007, 3:34 pm
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Or (although it's the wrong direction for the op), going west from Capitol Reef National Park across Utah Hwy 12 will take you up into some pretty spectacular (and cool) mountain scenery along with the Escalante formations. The NY Times once wrote a story about this particular highway. It is indeed spectacular.
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Old Feb 23, 2007, 12:30 am
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I suggest taking a few hours out of Day 2 or 3 to drive through the Colorado National Monument (just outside of Grand Junction). However, keep any kids from getting too close to the edge of the cliffs.
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Old Feb 26, 2007, 2:48 pm
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Originally Posted by TRRed
I suggest taking a few hours out of Day 2 or 3 to drive through the Colorado National Monument (just outside of Grand Junction). However, keep any kids from getting too close to the edge of the cliffs.
I enjoyed this very much!
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Old Jul 21, 2012, 1:58 am
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Consolidated "Utah and Colorado - What to see and do?" thread

Hey Guys,

I am going to fly into DEN and spend a week in CO and UT. I am pretty effecient in seeing a place in a short period of time and would like to know what are yours top 5-10 places in each state?

My plan was to flying into DEN, get a car, drive to check out Veil/Breckenridge/Aspen, drive to Colorado Springs, then go south west through the monument valley and the north to SLC. After, drive through Wyoming to Boulder and fly out of DEN. What do you guys think? What are the best things to see? What is worth skipping? I love sightseeing, outdoors stuff, anything that I cant get in Chicago. I am not too fond of hanging around cities and big places, since I can get that at home.
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Old Jul 21, 2012, 2:03 pm
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One of my favorite parts of Colorado is the San Juan Mountains in the southwest. My suggestion would be as follows -

After Breckenridge and Vail, take 24 south through Leadville and 82 west to Aspen, Instead of backtracking to Colorado Springs, go west to Carbondale, then south to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, then south from Montrose to Durango through the San Juan Mts. Once you get to Durango, you can head west through Mesa Verde and then to Monument Valley.

If you do decide to include Colorado Springs, I think it makes more sense to go there first out of Denver, and then head west to Breckenridge and Vail. One thing you will see for sure is the devastation of the recent fire just west of Colorado Springs.
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Old Jul 21, 2012, 3:43 pm
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Is Colorado Springs worth seeing or is it skippable? Same w/ Veil/Breckinridge since it is over the summer? Is there a point even going there if there is no snow?

Have you been to St.Elmo? What are other destinations worth seeing?

Thanks!
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Old Jul 21, 2012, 3:58 pm
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Originally Posted by djmagnum
Is Colorado Springs worth seeing....
Garden of the Gods
The Air Force Academy Chapel
Pikes Peak (via the cog railway)

In other words, yes.
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