This September we're doing our first big trip out west. With a little over two weeks I am trying to plan a route that maximizes our time. I've already booked 4 nights at Mather campground at Grand Canyon.
From Chicago we're taking the southern route to GC, Missori, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona. The plan then is to leave GC and head back through Durango, Colorado (where I used to live for a while) and then home via I-80 through Nebraska and Iowa. Basically a big loop.
There is a lot to see in the area, most of which I did not see when I lived in Durango. From Grand Canyon, what would be some "must-see" sights/stops? We've been to Mesa Verde several times so not really interested in seeing that again. Any suggestions are appreciated.
Also, how necessary is it to have reservations at National Park campgrounds in early to mid-September? (after Labor Day) It's been a long time since we've been out there and I know things have changed since the 70's.
(This trip is in celebration of our 35th anniversary, so gas prices be damned, we're going no matter what!)
Thanks for any suggestions!