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Posted: 4/3/2002 7:04:27 AM EDT
For you folks in Arizona and Colorado, I could use some advice. We will be spending two weeks in AZ and CO this summer. I'm planning our vacation, and this is the first time I've been able to take the family to the west. [i]I LOVE the west![/i] I've never been able to take the kids there. [b]I REALLY WANT THE KIDS TO SEE FABULOUS, MAJESTIC LANDSCAPE.[/b] I want this to be something they'll never forget. We'll be flying into Phoenix and flying out from Denver (that part is set in concrete.) Right now the (tentative) plan looks like:[list][*]two nights in Phoenix[/*][*]three nights in Flagstaff[/*][*]three nights in Cortez, CO (west of Durango)[/*][*]four nights in Estes Park, CO[/*][/list] The obvious sights we'd like to see are Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Arches Nat'l Pk, Mesa Verde (CO), and Rocky Mountain Nat'l Pk. We're trying to see things within 2-3 hours drive of each stop/city. Any suggestions for breathtaking scenery appreciated. One area I'm not sure of is [b]Phoenix[/b]. Someone told me about the Superstition Mountain(s?) but I can't find them on the map. Anyways, thanks for any advice. We are eagerly looking forward to this trip!!! [bounce][bounce][bounce][bounce][bounce]
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 7:20:04 AM EDT
In Colorado go to Mesa Verde and when in the Durango area ride the Durango to Silverton narrow gauge railroad. Lots of great fishing around Durango and Estes Park. You will see lots of landscape from the train.
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 7:41:16 AM EDT
Carbine_Man, Down in the southwest corner of the state, you'll be in one of the most gorgeous areas of Colorado. You'll really enjoy it!! Drive the San Juan Skyway scenic loop and you'll see some of best scenery of your lifetime. It's over 200 miles of maintained highway, so you might not have time for the whole loop, but you should drive some of it. You won't be disappointed. Rocky Mountain National Park is fantastic, too. And not very far from Denver. It's too bad you couldn't be here earlier in the year to hear the elk bugle. It's a haunting and beautiful sound. Still, the park has great scenery, and you and your kids will see plenty of wildlife. I hope you and your family enjoy our fine state. [:)]
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 7:48:50 AM EDT
Definitly spend the few days it takes to really see Mesa Verde. we try to get pack there every few years, it is just a really amazing place. Also, you should see the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. It's about 10 miles east of Montrose, CO and is an amazing canyon. You'll probably be coming though Montrose anyways. A lot of it you can see from pull-offs, and/or short hikes. I also usually recommend going through Ouray, and possibly taking the time to drive around to Telluride. The dead-end valley in Telluride is spectacular, and you should be able to ride the gondola for free over the ski area, it gives you a good view. In Ouray, the hot springs pools are nice, depending on what else you're doing. Have Fun! dp
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 8:11:35 AM EDT
shooter 505 is right about the narrow guage. just be careful who you buy your lunch from in silverton, i almost puked. kids would dig the train ride. i would fly into pheonix and start driving north. pheonix is okay but i'd get up to flagstaff, the grand canyon, and then hit southern utah. bryce canyon and zion nat'l park. southern utah is hard to beat. then you could head over to colorado. maybe shave off a few days in other places to make room for the utah jaunt. estes park is nice. spend a couple days going through the park, then there's a 14er (mountain 14,000 feet plus) about an hour to an hour and a half away you can drive up. kids would dig that too.
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 8:24:34 AM EDT
No offense to all you good people in CO, but I have an 350lbs ex wife there and am fighting with the child support agency that tacked on a $5000 penalty for a $2000 back support issue that is over 10 years old and was a paperwork error to begin with. There is nothing that I ever want to see in that God forbidden, messed up state. We get to carry our guns here. Phx is a wonderful area. Superstition Mts is about 30 miles east of the airport. I hike there sometimes. Just follow I-10 to I-60 east and you'll almost run into it. There are little ghost towns at the base that are cool. Lot's of great stuff here and you really need to stop and watch the sun set at least once before you leave. BTW, been to Durango and Cortez. Do you speak Navajo? It will help and Durango is a small pile of crap. The ex's home town.
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 8:38:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/3/2002 8:40:13 AM EDT by jsinz]
Phoenix: South Mountain Park, at the end of Central Ave. You can drive to the top, or hike. Whichever you choose, you are rewarded with a nice view at the end. Just drive straight through the shitty neighborhoods on the way! Or the Superstitions might be a better bet for someone not familiar with the area. The supers are located east of PHX, a long drive. If your looking on a map, look for Roosevelt Lake and they are south and east of the lake. Flagstaff: Gateway to the Grand Canyon! Or, theres Sedona, which is famous for Slickrock Canyon and is a big tourist depot. There is a small waterfall on the Navajo Reservation called Grand Falls that is worth a look, just a short drive from Flag. A hike to the top of the San Francisco Peaks is possible if you're worthy. Arches N.P.: MOAB! MOAB! MOAB! be sure to bring yer bike! As for CO: don't know, but Estes sure sounds like fun.
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 8:42:13 AM EDT
Also, please email me if you want other points of interest. alan.ryan@honeywell.com Thanks
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 8:42:39 AM EDT
Thanks for all the good advice so far. We'll be staying in Cortez CO as a base for day trips to So. Utah (Monument Valley and Arches NP) as well as Mesa Verde. As well as the locals go, I wish I could bring my carry gun. I know how to get it into checked baggage, but I don't know what the laws for these states are regarding out-of-staters with loaded weapons in cars. I'll just leave it home.
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 8:53:20 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Carbine_Man: Any suggestions for breathtaking scenery appreciated. One area I'm not sure of is [b]Phoenix[/b]. Someone told me about the Superstition Mountain(s?) but I can't find them on the map.
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The Superstitions are just east of Apache Junction. Look up "The lost Dutchman's mine", it is supposed to be in the Superstitions. A couple of turist traps out there, but I have never stoped at them. Basicly, when in Phoenix, take US60 east, exit at Idaho Rd, go north to Apache Trail (SR 88) and follow it north east. If you do this, I would recommend continuing on Apache Trial up to Canyon Lake and out to Tortilla Flat to have lunch at the Post Office (the resturant is the post office, no guns allowed). Apache Trail is listed as a senic route. I take my motorcyle up there for fun every couple of months, nice twisty road [:)] Real easy day trip. On your way to Flagstaff, stop at Montezuma's Castle/well, just north of Camp Verde off of Interstate 17. Great place to take the kids and see indian ruins. Only takes an hour or two to see the ruins. Montezuma's Well is about a mile or two north of the Castle. You have to try swing out to the Grand Canyon, even though it is west of your goal of Colorado. I personally refer to it as the "big hole in the ground", but it really is beutiful. I just should have been taken there when I was 7. At that age I didn't appreciate how majestic it was. Check out [url]www.arizona.com[/url] for some more suggestions. Have fun in AZ!
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 8:59:52 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Guzzler: You have to try swing out to the Grand Canyon, even though it is west of your goal of Colorado. I personally refer to it as the "big hole in the ground", but it really is beutiful. I just should have been taken there when I was 7. At that age I didn't appreciate how majestic it was.
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I've been to the Grand Canyon, and [b]there's no way in the world I would miss it![/b] We will definitely spend a day or two there. I would like to do a hike to the bottom, and I'm sure my sons would be willing, but I don't think my wife and two daughters (one is eight) would be up to it. I am hoping we can do something like "ladies ride burros, guys hike" but I don't know if this is possible.
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 9:21:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/3/2002 9:26:14 AM EDT by ilikelegs]
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 10:28:03 AM EDT
Mesa Verda must be the reason you're staying in Durango, don't miss it. I second the ideas of the Durango-Silverton narrow guage railroad and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. The hot springs pool in Ouray is an absolutely wonderful way to wind down a hectic day. You can take Jeep tours of the high country out of Ouray, visit gold (mostly) and silver mines and ghost towns. Great way to spend a day. I usually spend the July 4th holiday there visiting friends. BTW, the Ridgeway area 7 miles north of Ouray is where True Grit was filmed. Beautiful country. This is what comes to mind when you think of Colorful Colorado. Arches and Moab are nearby and you wouldn't want to miss them either. Rocky Mountain Park is the place to see up in the Estes Park area.
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 10:45:49 AM EDT
ilikelegs: Thanks to you (and to all) for the great advice. We get into Phoenix very late, and I'm just allowing one sightseeing day there. Prolly do that area east of Phoenix (Superstition mtns, lost Dutchman mine, Roosevelt Dam & lake, etc.) I would have liked to do the area in SW Utah (Bryce, etc.), but time won't allow it. My wife and I were in Estes Park and Rocky Mtn Nat'l Pk a couple of years ago, and we want to spend an extra day there. Life is full of compromises. I don't think I'll be missing too much in the end! [bounce][:D][bounce][:D][bounce]
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 10:58:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/3/2002 10:59:25 AM EDT by Rockdoc]
You might check out Meteor Crater (off of I-40, west of Winslow) [8D]. The 20 MT impact around 50,000 years ago is suggested to be the result of a 150-foot diameter iron meteorite hitting the Earth at 40,000 mph. Check the website [url] http://www.meteorcrater.com/meteorcraterhome2.htm [/url] Compare the size of that rock to the asteroids (1000's of feet across) that have missed us lately. You could get to Monument Valley by taking Hwy 191 through the rez. This route passes Canyon de Chelly as well. Enjoy your trip.
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 11:02:52 AM EDT
My wife and I did the Arches visit two years ago and loved it. Beautiful. Of course we did the sunset photo op at Delicate Arch. Lots of people were doing the same thing. I felt like a cult member on top of a mountain waiting for the mother ship or the end of the world or something. Very nice place. Durango-Silverton is beautiful also. Heck, the whole area is so you probably won't go wrong no matter where you go. Oh, you can skip Seven Falls in Colorado Springs. It's pretty but not high on my list of places to visit.
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 11:16:49 AM EDT
When I lived in Rollinsville, CO my favorite hike was the east side of the Continental Divide. To get there I could turn off the Peak to Peak HWY ( coming from Blackhawk it would be a left turn) towards Rollins Pass, through a little village called Tollgate and basically you start climbing a gravel road, till it ends. Then there is another couple miles of Hiking till you get above the tree line ( the only trees that grow above that are about 6ft tall and 2 foot diameter at the trunk ( there really neat looking) When You are up there its like being in another world. When we went up in September there were some spots on the road that were still frozen, depending on when you go, you still might need 4WD or a Subaru type vehicle with AWD Its a bit of a hike, a nice ride, and there is some cool places along the Peak to Peak HWY I also used to camp in the mountains near Caribou, there is some great scenery in that area as well.
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