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Old 05-03-2014, 08:01 PM   #1
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Trip to SD, CO, UT

We're planning a trip to these states...primarily to the National and State Parks...and are trying to determine how much time to allot in each area. I know this is very subjective, but to help in making reservations [number of days] we would like to know your opinions on how long to plan on spending to see the sights in these areas.
BADLANDS/CUSTER AREA- Badlands, Custer State Park, Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Jewel/Wind Cave
MESA VERDE
MOAB AREA-Arches,Canyonlands
CAPITAL REEF
BRYCE
ZION

Thanks,
Ron
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Old 05-03-2014, 08:31 PM   #2
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I wish I could give you a definite answer. However, a lot depends on how much you want to see and what pace you want to see it in. I've found that when I visit a new place I always find that there is a lot more to do then I had planned on. Sooooo I think I'll stay an extra day or two. Next thing you know I've added a week to my trip. You could easily spend a week at each of those destinations.
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Old 05-03-2014, 08:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogo88 View Post
We're planning a trip to these states...primarily to the National and State Parks...and are trying to determine how much time to allot in each area. I know this is very subjective, but to help in making reservations [number of days] we would like to know your opinions on how long to plan on spending to see the sights in these areas.
BADLANDS/CUSTER AREA- Badlands, Custer State Park, Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Jewel/Wind Cave 4 days
MESA VERDE 3 days
MOAB AREA-Arches,Canyonlands 5 days
CAPITAL REEF 3 days
BRYCE 2 days
ZION 3 days

Thanks,
Ron
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All depends on how much hiking and biking you do. Sounds like a great trip...ENJOY!
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Old 05-03-2014, 09:01 PM   #4
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Have been to all those points several times.
I always end up going back to each one at least two days in a row.
You cannot do all of Arches in less than three days.
If you stay at Custer and use that as the "hub of the wheel", then all the
surrounding things are approx. 45 minutes away. Plan on one day for each.

Oh yes.....camera a must.
See the parks one day in the morning and visit the next time in the late day.
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Old 05-03-2014, 09:05 PM   #5
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Forgot to add...While in Moab, drive the 128 loop.
Take the evening canyon in lights boat trip.
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Old 05-04-2014, 12:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogo88 View Post
BADLANDS/CUSTER AREA- Badlands, Custer State Park, Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Jewel/Wind Cave 5 minimum but don't try to do all from one spot
MESA VERDE - 3-4, especially if you want to do some of the ruin tours
MOAB AREA-Arches,Canyonlands - 4-5
CAPITAL REEF - 3+ if want to hike
BRYCE - 3-5 if want to hike
ZION - 3-5 if want to hike
Have a great trip!
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Old 05-04-2014, 06:25 AM   #7
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I would plan at least 1 to 2 years in Moab😀. One the best places in the universe for hiking, biking and 4 wheeling.
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Old 05-04-2014, 08:03 AM   #8
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Hi rogo88,
The following is more than whet you asked for. It is a file I created based on our many trips out west. I can not help you with the time to spend in each place. I hike and explore quite a bit so my time is considerably longer than most folks spend in any of these places.

Western USA Trip Suggestions
Northern Western Route
1. Mitchell, SD – The Corn Palace, Ancient Indian Museum
2. Exit 131 The Bad Lands NP – Good hiking shoes, take water and wear a hat.The ground can be brittle, be careful on the accents and descents.Go to the ranger talk, and hour after sunset, at the southern entrance.Take a flashlight.It is so black the sky will be full of stars.Easterners don’t know what a sky full of stars looks like.It is so dark, one can not see the hand in front of their face.If you are lucky, you can see a Russian spy satellite as it flies over head.
3. Exit 131 -Minute Man Missile NHS – Only six people per tour.Make reservations via the web site.See the control complex where the officers turned the keys to launch our missiles.See a missile silo with a Minute Man missile in the silo.
4. Exit 110 – Wall Drug
5. Black Hill area - There are many things to do in this area:
a. Mt Rushmore NM
b. Crazy Horse Memorial
c. Ice Cave
d. Jewel Cave NM
e. Mammoth Dig Site
f. Wind Cave NP
g. Custer State Park Drive through – many buffalo/praire dogs
h. And much more
6. Devils Tower NM Wyoming – Do not take the RV to the monument.There is no room in the parking area.
7. Medicine Wheel NHS – Do not take the RV to the Wheel.Route 14 is very steep and winding.1 miles walk to the Wheel.Have good hiking shoes.Dress warm the Wheel is at 10K’ above sea level.Snow year around.
8. Little Bighorn Battlefield NM – Custer’s last stand.See where each man died.
9. Glacier NP – Stay on the east side at St. Mary.The KOA is very convenient.Good hiking shoes are needed.Hike with bear spray and bear bells.This is my favorite NP
10. Mt. St. HelensNVM – Do the north road route first.This is where the visitors center is located.The next day do the south road.This is where the largest lava tube I have ever been in is located.One flashlight per person is required.
11. Craters of the Moon NM – Idaho.Good hiking shoes are needed.The Lava rock will tear upi a pair of sneakers.There is a KOA a few miles from the NM.
12. Yellowstone NP - Old Faithful and area take a full day to see.

Central Western Route
1. Omaha, NE – SAC Air Museum If you have never seen a B-52 bomber, this is your chance.The plane is huge.Two bomb bays.It can drop hundreds of conventional bombs.
2. Rocky Mountain NP Stay on the east side of the NP.Consider taking Fall River Road up to the Alpine Visitors center.Have lunch at the visitors center (about 12K’ elevation, snow year around).Take Trail Ridge Road down to the park entrance.On both roads there are many pullouts to sight see.Low landers, take it easy.The air is about as thin as one can breathe.
3. Arches NP UT.
4. Salt Lake City, Ut.Go to Antelope Island State Park.Pick one of the beaches and swim in the Great Salt Lake.
5. San Francisco, CAThere is pay parking buildings (2011) along the Embarcadero.The Alcatraz ferry pier has limited handicap parking.
6. Redwood NP, Northern CA.There is no easy way to get to the trees.They are between Eureka and Crescent City.The trip is worth it.Drive the coach only on the main roads.
7. Death Valley, NP
8. Las Vegas, NV Self explanatory.The kids can be in a casino as long as they keep moving (passing through).Some casinos have a lite food restaurant in the center of the casino.When eating the kids can watch, the adults play the games.Make sure you see Hoover Dam (the complete tour not the short tour).
9. Grand Canyon NP
10 . Monument Valley, AZ
11. Valley of the Gods, UT
12. 4 Corners Area - At the 4 corners, put one hand and one foot in each state
13. Mesa Verde NP, CO
14. Pikes Peak, CO The train is nice, driving up is much better.
15. Dodge City, KansasOld west town.

Southern Western Route
1. San Antonio, TX – The Alamo, Tour Old Missions
2. Carlsbad Caverns MP, NM Watch millions of bats leave the cave (you toured earlier in the day) at sunset.
3. Roswell, NM – Where aliens crashed in 1947?
4. White Sands NM, NM
5. Gila Cliff Dwellings NM Good hiking shoes are needed to reach the cliff dwellings.
6. Tombstone, AZ – Old west town, Silver mine, Boot Hill, gun fight at the okay coral, ride in a real stage coach, etc.
7. Saguaro NP – The section on the west side of Tucson.
8. Joshua Tree NP, CA
9. Los Angeles, CA and area
10. Amboy, CA – Amboy Crater, hike to and into a cinder volcano crater.
11. Meteor Crater, AZ – There is a CG at the exit for the crater.
12. Petrified Forest, AZ
13. Painted Desert, AZ
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Old 05-04-2014, 08:59 AM   #9
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Old 05-04-2014, 09:35 AM   #10
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Custer SP - reservations are always best because you can pick your site in most of the several campgrounds. However on many occasions it was possible to get decent sites with no reservations. The secret was that nearly all (the campgrounds we managed in the park) the CGs had at least one site not reserved. This 'hole' site was kept in reserve because an outside company handled the online reservations and there are mess ups quite often. So, after 6 PM we were allowed to rent these sites for one night only. Usually by the next day a site was found to accommodate a longer stay some where in the park
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