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Old 04-29-2017, 10:38 PM   #1
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Four week western US from Charlotte NC

We have 4 weeks starting 5/10/17 to explore the the western US..... Any suggested routes. We have a 2015 Renegade Explorer ISL 350, towing a 2010 Hummer H3. Thanks
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Old 04-29-2017, 11:02 PM   #2
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We need a tad bit more info. What is it you like to do? Visit parks, outdoor spots like rafting and fishing. Or is it sightseeing?

While 4 weeks sound like a lot of time. You need to pick a few states you want to visit. South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming. Or Colorado Utah Arizona. Whatever your fancy. Remember you will have travel days in there and some states like Montana can take most of the day to cross.
You'll get lots of ideas if we know about what you'd like to do.
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Old 04-29-2017, 11:44 PM   #3
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Four week western US

Thanks for your reply... We are mainly interested in sightseeing and wanted to avoid the summer crowds as we like space and peace and quiet..... We have traveled mainly the east coast plus Michigan ,Ohio,western Georgia and NC.,having lived in south Florida for 20 years & prior to that Cleveland ,Ohio. This Is our fourth coach, three class A and now this great super C we bought in late Sept and put on 6K miles through the winter.
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Old 04-30-2017, 12:43 AM   #4
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Grand Canyon (north rim has MUCH less crowds), Zion, Monument Valley...or north for Yellowstone...the list goes on and on for western National Parks. They are all very large and escaping crowds is very doable.
See:
http://www.wnpa.org/

So much to see.

One thing you may not know already about the west is the massive distances.
Like...you can cross 3 eastern states in 1 day of driving. Texas takes 3 days alone to cross (El Paso to the Louisiana border)

Best luck
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Old 04-30-2017, 01:34 AM   #5
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The "western US" is a big place. It's 2000 miles from Charlotte to the Grand Canyon, the same to Yellowstone. You're talking about at least 5000 plus miles in 4 weeks. A tall order. IMHO, You need to pare it down, do some selective targeting, as Tony Di suggested. Bear in mind it'll take you the better part of a week to get out there, and similar to get back.
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Old 04-30-2017, 03:34 AM   #6
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Try this. From Charlotte slip up to I-40 and go west. It takes you through Nashville (Grand Ole Opry), Memphis (Elvis Graceland), Little Rock (Hot Springs NP), Oklahoma City (Federal Building Memorial and Cowboy Hall of Fame), and into the Sante Fe area (1700 miles and about 10 - 11 days). From Sante Fe options are 150 miles north to Alamosa Co area (Sand Dunes NP and Thermal Spas), Taos NM (Artsy Community), West to Cortez Co (Mesa Verde NP) or just head south after exploring Santa Fe (5 - 6 days) Either way after Santa Fe or elsewhere head south to White Sands NM and then Big Bend NP 4 - 5 days). So now you are about 20 days out and ready to return to Charlotte. Head across Hwy 90 out of Marathon Tx. into San Antonio. Be sure to stop in Langtry Tx and Judge Roy Bean museum (takes about 2 hours) along the way (2 day drive). I-10 East through Houston, New Orleans, Mobile and I-65 / 85 home (Atlanta makes you take I-285 but not an issue). That should eat up a month, cover well over 5000 miles, and wear you out.

Actually I would reduce it to getting to Santa Fe and exploring from there and returning the same route. That would still be 4000 plus miles but enjoyable. Or go out I 85 / 65 / 20 to Big Bend and White Sands and return that route. That's still 4000 miles or so but another enjoyable option. Going west from the east coast take time and effort. Be selective with what you want to see and do.
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Old 04-30-2017, 09:03 AM   #7
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I like 92vettes plan. I live just east of you (in Monroe) and have sketched out almost the same trip. We really want to go to Big Bend. It's a long way from here! However if it's the first time to that direction New Mexico, Monument Valley/canyon Lands/Arches would be a great trip as well. I would push it to get there and take a more leisurely ride back maybe with the stop in Memphis or Nashville. If you go to Big Bend..San Antonio and NOLA make good stops on the way home.
Have fun!
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Old 04-30-2017, 10:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom&Marie View Post

We have 4 weeks starting 5/10/17

to explore the the western US.....

Any suggested routes.

.......... mainly interested in sightseeing and wanted to

avoid the summer crowds as we like

space and peace and quiet.....

We have traveled mainly the east coast plus Michigan ,Ohio,western Georgia and NC.,having lived in south Florida for 20 years & prior to that Cleveland ,Ohio........
First You need to get there.

Maps

So the first decision is where to start - "We Decided" - Golden, Colorado - 1,600 miles - IMHO you need to get there without delay (school is out on Memorial Day out West)

They don't call the middle of the US the "Fly Over States" for nothing, so until you have Years to wander around we will just get to the Southwest. As you only have 28 days of which 8 -10 will be lost going and coming we will focus on just a Part of Colorado and Utah, sort of dipping your toes in the waters of the West. I will list/route/highlight many spots that you may pick from, some of which may already be crowded some not so much. There will be more on your plate than Possible but IMHO you need to see/drive/decide on your own so as to be able to plan on the future trips (After this first trip, you will be continually pulled back out)

Now as it is spring and the crowds will be in Utah (Why because it is not too HOT, warm but not too) we will drive on through Colorado and get to Utah. School is only out on the weekends, so keep that in mind, as you are not the only one who is wanting to get out early and see the sights.

So from Golden, we will head out RT 6 along Clear Creek to Idaho Springs, this little side road is the route to the Casino's in Central City and BlackHawk, so the road is fine/Beautiful/inviting you into the Rockies. I've been taking this route for 20 years, and my jaw still drops every time through. Now on I-70, you will get to see how the new rig does in the Mountains - up through Eisenhower tunnel - then down to Silverthorne/Breckenridge - not going to stop here - on to RT 191 Cooper Mountain exit - if you did not enjoy RT 6 then just stay on I-70 to Minturn - BUT if RT 6 was good this is more and IMHO, Just Beautiful.

So, Leadville/Turquoise Lake/Camp Hale will be the destination/or drive through, as we wind our way to Utah. Then Taking RT 24 to Red Cliff/Minturn, this little side run, is often taken with only 10-15 other cars on the road, then back to I-70 to Glenwood Springs/Carbondale/Maroon Bells/Aspen/Over Under I-70 - then to RT14 (Along here is the chance to catch Rifle and Rifle Falls SP's going Utah's Dinosaur National Monument, and staying on the Green River in the Park.

Take a deep breath as not sure if you are still with me.

Now down to Moab/CanyonLands NP's/RT 128 along the Colorado River/Great spot to get some mud/dust on the tires of the Hummer. I'm getting nervous as we may be running out of time, BUT, who knows - let's keep going and hoping you are high energy. (If you are up for the side road again just jump off at Exit 214 to RT 128 into Moab, (My number 1 Favorite Drive)

Moab/Arches/Canyonland/Utah - just not fair - not enough time - As we will miss Mesa Verde - Durango - Silverton on the route south to Telluride/Ouray. then to Black Canyon NP, through Gunnison/possibly Crested Butte on to Salida - up to Buena Vista/WhiteWater Rafting - by now Independence Pass might be Open - Must take side drive but only in the Hummer as it is Length Restricted.

Now you have likely said "I NEED ANOTHER MONTH" - you are correct - but on to Grand Lake and over Trail Ridge to Lyons on RT 36 to Hannibal and Louisville and Home.

Maps

OK - I admit this is way too Ambitious - Sorry - but as others have said "THE WEST IS BIG"

Tried to give you many Options - some Crowded some Not - so you decide - this is just a SMALL - SMALL - sampling of what to do in the West. (All you will need to do is find a NFCG and take off in the Hummer on the 4X4 trails that are all over the West)

Get some more time and we can make this really FUN.

JMHO, Best of Luck,

Stan Parker's Photo Galleries at pbase.com -- Great Picture easy to find locations all along the way. Not Crowded - look to the San Juan's in the Album.
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Old 04-30-2017, 11:07 AM   #9
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i-40 to Palo Duro Canyon SP, Then up to Monument Valley, Moab (Canyonlands and Arches), Capital Reef NP, UT 12 through Escalante to Bryce, Zion, Grand Canyon North Rim. Then back home.
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Old 04-30-2017, 11:13 AM   #10
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Having lived in Colorado for a number of years a few years ago I would say the above does include great places to travel. Well done Busskipper! Big Bend, southern AZ and NM are best done earlier in the year before it gets too hot and as stated previously, distances are vast out West and there is so much to see and do. Early last year, Feb/Mar, we spent a month just in southern NM and loved it. Then a bit later went back out to CO. This summer we're pulling our TT up the Alaska Highway to AK for two months plus, but next Jan or Feb we're heading out to southern AZ and then maybe up to UT and CO again. The West is just plain AWESOME!
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Old 05-01-2017, 09:51 AM   #11
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Have done this a number of times from NC and think Scotty's plan is best. Not too aggressive and fantastic scenery. Next year come north and do Montana.

Big Bend is great but adds a lot of time.

The red rock area of Utahisincredible. Do not miss Hwy 12 out of Brice Canyon NP.
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Old 05-01-2017, 06:45 PM   #12
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You've gotten a lot of good suggestions but if you want to stay away from crowds don't try for the national parks except for perhaps Mesa Verde, Capitol Reef, Bryce and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Those are excellent places to do some dry camping or boondocking for some quiet.

Another area to head would be Idaho and the Sawtooth Nat'l Rec area around Stanley. There are many national and forest service campgrounds and mighty fine trout fishing. Pagosa Springs, CO is a good area and the springs are awesome for some relaxing soaking. Silverton, CO is our #1 place to go in Colorado for temperatures and beauty along with 4-wheeling. Since you have a Jeep that should be a priority! There are trails for all abilities.

The busiest places will be Rocky Mtn. Nat'l Park, Arches/Canyonlands (& Arches will have major construction all summer with limited parking and probably one-lane), Zion and Grand Canyon South.
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Old 05-06-2017, 07:53 PM   #13
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Tom&Marie...looks like your time to leave is getting close...which way are you headed come Wednesday? Lots of good options here.
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Old 05-07-2017, 11:28 AM   #14
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Tom&Marie...looks like your time to leave is getting close...which way are you headed come Wednesday? Lots of good options here.
Not able to leave yet but looks like first stop Nashville then to SD badlands area
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