2022 Colorado/Utah/Arizona Adventure
This trip out west was planned by us such that we could visit the Utah "Big Five" National Parks and everything else we could visit as we drove. We wound up also being able to visit various Colorado Ski Areas that we had never been to.
Even though our main goal was Utah's "Mighty Five" National Parks, our itinerary research showed us that we would be able to visit a wide range of additional locations, including; Indian Reservations, the Four Corners area, the largest man-made Lake in the Southwest (Lake Powell), the largest collection of cliff dwelling sites in the United States and a huge swatch of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado that we had never previously visited. To say we were excited by this trip is a gigantic understatement!
As you can see by the above map, the trip covered 3 different states, approximately 1,600 miles and allowed us to see some spectacular geography.
Glenwood Springs, CO
Day 1 - 2: Arrived at Denver International Airport, picked up our rental vehicle and drove to the Modern Market Eatery on Colfax to have some lunch. After lunch, jumped back onto I-70 and drove west to Glenwood Springs, CO.
Click here to view our Glenwood Springs Page.
Colorado National Monument, Grand Junction, CO
Day 3: Got up early to start the drive west from Glenwood Springs, decided that we needed to visit the Colorado National Monument on the way to Moab, UT.
Click here to view our Colorado National Monument Page.
Arches National Park
Day 3 - 5: Arrived in Moab in the afternoon, checked into our motel and did a bit of research on where to eat dinner that night. Our 4WD adventure starts early on day 4.
Click here to view our Arches National Park Page.
Canyonlands National Park, UT
Day 4: Picked up our Jeep 4WD this morning and our off-road adventure will span two days. We will be driving across trails that are not only rough, but are pitted with arroyos and other obstacles!
Click here to view our Canyonlands National Park Page.
Little Wild Horse Canyon
Day 6: We depart Moab this morning headed for Capitol Reef National Park. We decide to stop at Little Wild Horse, which is a classic slot canyon located near Goblin Valley. It is a popular hiking spot for families and youth groups. The main attraction is a the hike through a long stretch of "narrows," where the canyon walls are so close you have to turn sideways to get through.
Click here to view our Little Wild Horse Canyon Page.
Capitol Reef National Park
Day 6: Arrived in Torrey, UT early afternoon and checked into our motel. Capitol Reef National Park is located in Utah's south-central desert near Torrey. It surrounds a long wrinkle in the earth known as the "Waterpocket Fold", with layers of golden sandstone, canyons and striking rock formations.
Click here to view our Capitol Reef National Park Page.
Bryce Canyon National Park
Day 7 - 8: Departed Torrey, UT and headed to Tropic, UT (near Bryce Canyon) where our motel awaits. A typical high desert drive, but we are excited about our visit to Bryce Canyon National Park; a beautiful area, forests, unusual rock formations and challenging hikes.
Click here to view our Bryce Canyon National Park Page.
Zion National Park
Day 9 - 10: Drove south to get to our next pit stop in Springdale, UT. Different geography than we saw in Bryce Canyon, but beautiful in different ways. Tropic, UT to Springdale, UT is only 90 miles, but we drove west into Zion for the final 20 miles and it was spectacular.
Click here to view our Zion National Park Page.
Lake Powell / Page, AZ
Day 11: Lake Powell is truly a boater's paradise in a desert setting
Click here to view our Lake Powell Page.
Mesa Verde, CO
Day 12 - 13: Mesa Verde is an amazing Indian cliff-dwelling site, and we visited there as a day-trip from Durango, CO.
Click here to view our Mesa Verde Page.
Day 14 - 15: The drive north from Durango to Telluride was exciting as it passes through some amazing mountains & passes. The route we used (route 550) is 120 miles in length.
Click here to view our Telluride, CO Page.
Royal Gorge, CO
Day 16: While driving east on route 50 to Colorado Springs, we saw a billboard sign describing Royal Gorge and decided that it looked like something we ought to visit.
Click here to view our Royal Gorge, CO Page.
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