It’s become something of a yearly ritual for me to hop on a plane and hit the Rockies every fall, although I’m wondering if I should mix it up a little this time around. I still haven’t had a chance yet to visit the Grand Canyons, and if I decide to start a trip from Vegas, I could make my way from there all the way to Denver, plus add 2 more states to my life goal of visiting all 50 states (Arizona and New Mexico).
It’d be an ambitious trip though, with my first stop likely being Hoover Dam, then from there I’d have to decide whether to go due north to Zion and/or Bryce National Park in Utah, or just go straight to the Canyons. I’ll be relatively close to those parks though, so it’s going to be tempting to use my near proximity as an opportunity to visit them as well. Might prove be too much of an endeavor, especially if I only have two weeks to do it.
From the Canyons I might make my way to New Mexico as far as Gallup, before shooting north and making a detour to the Four Corners. I’d love to get as far as Santa Fe (if for no other reason than to see where Longmire is filmed) but it may be too far of a trip west, especially since I want to pass through Durango as I slowly make my way to Denver. Even a stop at Albuquerque would still require me to significantly backtrack northwest.
This is actually my first preference, but it’s the complexity of what stops I ultimately choose along the way from Las Vegas to Denver that’s making me hesitate. Only the Grand Canyons (and Durango) are a given, and yet there’s so many other things in that region that I’d LOVE to visit and explore that it’s proving very difficult to make an itinerary. Any thoughts on what to see (and what not to see) would be appreciated!
Then there’s Canada, eh? Going to Vancouver last year was something of a bust, but I’m pondering over whether to give the Canucks another chance, only instead of British Columbia I’d land in Alberta and kick off a road trip that would cover Calgary, Banff and MAYBE Edmonton. I hear the Canadian Rockies are absolutely stunning in a way that’s somehow different from the Colorado Rockies, which is why I’m considering this as well. From what I hear, one of the best ways to enjoy a trip through this region is by train, and there’s a sort of romance about the area that I think I’d probably be more inclined to make this my first choice if I was going with a lady friend. Still, it’s mountains galore, so I’m definitely considering this as an alternative.
Finally, there’s the Route 66 option. Basically I land in Chicago, get a chance to visit the city for the first time (and enjoy some deep dish pizza, nommy nommy), then travel the famous Route 66 through Illinois as far as Missouri, adding these two states to my total tally. It would give me a chance to visit Abraham Lincoln’s grave as well, then ultimately relax in either Springfield or Branson in Missouri for the remainder of the trip. This one however excites me the least, and besides, if I ever do a Route 66 trip, then I should really drive the entire length (all the way to California). Maybe I’ll save this one for futher down the road. (Pun intended.)
I put up a poll to see what others think, so feel free to vote, plus I’ve also included an “other” option if you have an idea that might be better than the original 3 options I’m considering. Thanks!
You can find the poll in the right sidebar (titled Survey Says!)