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Old 03-04-2014, 12:17 PM   #1
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Start/Finish at Estes Park or Grand Canyon?

Ok so I'm trying to figure out whether best to stat our trip from Estes and make our way south toward the Grand Canyon or start at the G/C and head in a northerly direction toward Estes?
I think Estes provides a breath taking first day as does the G/C.

We are planning two weeks traveling between the two.

Where would you go and see? We're doing this trip in a 25 touring class b so we can get into small towns and try some small hotels along the way.

Would love to fit in:
Zion, Bryce
Mesa Verde

Need all the help I can get!
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:27 PM   #2
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I prefer the North rim over the South rim. More places to boondock for free and a million fewer visitors. You would also be 1000' higher elevation so be aware of snow conditions.
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:15 PM   #3
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Depends what time of year you're planning..Estes/Rocky Mountain can still have snow while Grand Canyon won't. Rocky Mtn. will be a lot cooler than Grand Canyon mid-summer. If you're starting in spring then you might want to start the trip at Grand Canyon and the southen Utah national parks then work your way to Rocky Mtn. N.P. You won't have any problem fitting in any of the national park's campsites you mentioned. We do with our 40' motorhome.
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:22 PM   #4
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Agree with rivernut... north rim is more natural than dealing with the crowds at the south rim. Its also a much better vantage point for the trip to or from southern Utah. I think you have to include Moab which includes at least some of Canyonlands NP and Arches NP. You can also add Capitol Reef NP and Goblin SP. Also agree with twogypsies... where to start depends on when you plan to start.
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:45 AM   #5
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Sorry, planning on heading west on or about June 1st
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:57 AM   #6
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Include if you can and have time to travel across the 'Hogs Back' above Escalonte (sp?) Canyon. Spectacular especially if you are afraid of heights!

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Old 03-06-2014, 09:39 AM   #7
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Include if you can and have time to travel across the 'Hogs Back' above Escalonte (sp?) Canyon. Spectacular especially if you are afraid of heights!

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Never heard of it, ok! Please tell me there are guard rails unlike the million dollar highway...
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Old 03-06-2014, 09:47 AM   #8
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Mesa Verde is a great choice. Also consider Meteor Crater.

Arches National Monument and Bryce also great

Nice to have choices.
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Old 03-06-2014, 09:56 AM   #9
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Depending on where you want to overnight and how much you want to stay in the national and state parks you may already late for making reservations. There are tons of places to visit between Estes Park and the GC. You probably want to start south and work your way up to CO. The weather in AZ and UT deserts starts getting hot in June. Also, lots of BLM land along the way if you are up for boondocking.
Have fun planning the trip.
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Old 03-06-2014, 12:16 PM   #10
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Here's a nice site for the 'Hogback'. Even though there are no guard rails, there are no big dropoffs even though the pictures appear like that. It's a good two-lane highway with pulloffs. I have no idea why folks describe it as 'scary'. We've driven worse roads in Arkansas! You'll be driving it fairly slow because everyone else does. Its' a 'scenic' highway..why zoom along?

http://www.scenicbyway12.com/
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Old 03-06-2014, 01:18 PM   #11
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The "hogback' is hwy 12 in Utah. From Escalante, to Torrey, it is only 65 miles, but it is the most breathtaking ride. We did it in a motor home. It is an ABSOLUTE MUST DO...
From Lexington, only you can decide if you want to go "Southern route" and return "Northern route." It really makes no difference if you go in June. But the Southern route gets hotter, sooner. Two weeks is not enough to see all there out there. We spent a month in Utah and did not see it all. If you have "streets and trips", you can plan a route, find nearby places, etc.. Most of all, HAVE FUN...
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Old 03-06-2014, 01:21 PM   #12
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Since you have a class B you will DEFINITELY want to drive the "trail ridge road", in the Nat'l Park, outside Estes Park. Another MUST DO..
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Old 03-06-2014, 01:35 PM   #13
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If you are starting this trip in a June, then you'll want to do the Grand Canyon, Zion and Mesa Verde first because they all get warm in June. Estes Park and Rocky Mountain NP, and Bryce Canyon are considerably cooler. We did this trip in three weeks and it was tight. Of all of the places on your list, we would be sure to include Mesa Verde NP. You can hike thru the 3 major cliff dwellings in 2 days.
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Old 03-06-2014, 01:53 PM   #14
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Try Navajo National Monument southwest of Four Corners on US160. One of the most memorable places we have ever camped. The primary campground was crowded and full so we went to overflow. That was very fortunate because we had a dry mesa top campsite in pinyon pines with nothing but canyon country to the horizon. Spectacular.
The ranger guided walk was great, too.
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