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Old 04-03-2013, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,228 posts, read 24,340,760 times
Reputation: 12948

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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
be sure to see Car Henge
If you're talking about the one outside Alliance, NE, yes, definitely see this if you go the Nebraska route to SD. Look for my taggings please. The most direct route to the Black Hills takes you through WY, not NE, however (assuming OP is coming from the Front Range or westward).


We took an impromptu trip to Rapid City last summer (I don't remember when, but it wasn't a holiday weekend), and yes, the lodging prices were bad, it was hot, but what is a summer trip w/o HEAT? The presidentes looked as noble as ever. Wall Drug and the Badlands are worth the trip if you intend to continue east.

I went to Dinosaur Nat'l Park as a kid. Most of what you want to see is in Utah, but it must be fairly unremarkable, because I don't remember anything about it (I was like 12, so it wasn't THAT long ago ).

That pic above of UT only has me cringing while thinking about that guy who cut his own arm off.
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
6,530 posts, read 10,212,895 times
Reputation: 9766
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Aguilar View Post
If you're talking about the one outside Alliance, NE, yes, definitely see this if you go the Nebraska route to SD. Look for my taggings please. The most direct route to the Black Hills takes you through WY, not NE, however (assuming OP is coming from the Front Range or westward).
The best part of Carhenge is that it's free. The OP is coming from Denver so it would be a bit out of the way, but adding Chimney Rock to that leg of the trip, along with an overnight stay in Hot Springs, SD, might make it a little more palatable. Hot Springs has Evans Plunge water park and the Mammoth Site.
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Cole neighborhood, Denver, CO
1,123 posts, read 2,448,620 times
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Don't let the naysayers fool you about traveling to national parks on holidays. Yes, they are busy, but the only one that gets extremely congested is Rocky Mountain (and even then the crowd isn't nearly the scale of Yellowstone or Yosemite). I've been to both Arches/Canyonlands as well as the Sand Dunes during Memorial day and didn't find the crowds that unbearable.
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Old 01-27-2014, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Monument,CO
352 posts, read 289,672 times
Reputation: 554
Well, I have an update after nearly 10 months. I made it to Santa Fe in October and to Sand Dunes at the end of May. We're ready to go to Utah, but my daughter's spring break is the last week of March. We wanted to go to Bryce, but it looks like the temperatures are a bit low in March. So far, my idea is to stay overnight in Grand Junction, and to spend the next day in Arches. I think that one day in Arches is enough, since my daughter isn't up to real hiking. Keeping to the Grand Junction/Moab area, is there anything else that we shouldn't miss in late March? Canyonlands?

I know that this is probably more appropriate for the Utah forum, and I apologize, but I wanted to draw on the Colorado expertise found here.

Thanks again,

JB
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Old 01-27-2014, 12:34 PM
 
4,550 posts, read 9,731,293 times
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We've done Bryce that time of year way back when during spring break. It was great.

Take time to stop at Colorado National Monument. It's wonderful.
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Old 01-27-2014, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,296 posts, read 8,428,269 times
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I agree with jkcoop, but also think Arches is amazing, especially in the spring. I'd do a day trip to Colorado National Monument as suggested, and then plan a few days in Moab. I'd stay there vs. Grand Junction. You can also go to Canyonlands NP, which is a must see, IMO. Moab is a great little town to visit and stay in. We used to do a ton of backpacking in the area, and always camped, but did bring my in-laws down there one year and stayed in a hotel in town. It was really nice! We had a pool and hot tub to soak our tired legs in after hiking. There's also some decent places to grab a bite to eat in Moab. The Moab Brewery is great. I also love the Jailhouse Cafe for breakfast. It's really a town catered to tourists, which, when on vacation, is fun. I also enjoyed some of the cool rock and jewelry shops. Grand Junction really just doesn't have much to offer tourists unless you head downtown(and I lived there for 7 years). Even then, I still think Moab has more to offer.
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
7,142 posts, read 8,851,170 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluescreen73 View Post
Here are my 2 cents on the places I've personally been to.

The Black Hills
A mad house from Memorial Day through Labor Day. It's even worse during the Sturgis Rally. I actually prefer to go there after Labor Day when the crowds die down. Granted you may miss some of the seasonal stuff but you won't be elbow-to-elbow with 250,000 other people (and lodging is MUCH cheaper).

Some other places to see up there - Devil's Tower (an hour or so west of Sturgis), Jewel Cave, Wind Cave, Deadwood.

I personally would skip the Crazy Horse tour. It's neat but they gouge the daylights out of you and they haven't made a whole heck of a lot of progress in the last 25 years.
I disagree. I would not skip Crazy Horse. Last time I visited the Black Hills was about 15 years ago just after Labor Day. It was rainy and cold. Mount Rushmore was completely fogged in. Couldn't even see it. If I do it again, I'll probably deal with the crowds and go in the summer, when the weather is nicer.

I did get to see Crazy Horse. Totally worth it, in my opinion. The admission fee, I believe is less then the parking fee at Mount Rushmore, and all the admission fees and donations actually support the carving of Crazy Horse. If you are not happy with the progress, then donate some money to them to speed it up. It's a totally admission fee and donations supported effort.

It is kind of sad that none of us will ever live long enough to see it completed, but they are doing the best they can with what they have to work with. At least we can see the work in progress, and contribute to it. Which is totally worth it IMHO.
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:13 AM
 
9,830 posts, read 19,539,435 times
Reputation: 7604
Quote:
Originally Posted by unbeliever View Post
Well, I have an update after nearly 10 months. I made it to Santa Fe in October and to Sand Dunes at the end of May. We're ready to go to Utah, but my daughter's spring break is the last week of March. We wanted to go to Bryce, but it looks like the temperatures are a bit low in March. So far, my idea is to stay overnight in Grand Junction, and to spend the next day in Arches. I think that one day in Arches is enough, since my daughter isn't up to real hiking. Keeping to the Grand Junction/Moab area, is there anything else that we shouldn't miss in late March? Canyonlands?

I know that this is probably more appropriate for the Utah forum, and I apologize, but I wanted to draw on the Colorado expertise found here.

Thanks again,

JB
Last year in April I went to the Arches and I think it's a fine time to go. Parking was very limited and I can only imagine how it is in summer as well as the heat. I spent a few hours there and that was enough for me. If you do some of the small hikes then you can stretch it out for a day. The Arches is a small park and it's a place that unless you want to crawl through every nook and cranny, it's easily done in less than a day. I think when I was there it was around 70 degrees which was perfect.
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Monument,CO
352 posts, read 289,672 times
Reputation: 554
Well, we're booked in a nice B&B in Moab for the last week of March. Hopefully, the weather cooperates. I'll report back after our trip.

Thanks, as always.

jb
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Old 02-12-2014, 04:46 PM
 
16,512 posts, read 20,925,746 times
Reputation: 47898
Quote:
Originally Posted by unbeliever View Post
Well, we're booked in a nice B&B in Moab for the last week of March. Hopefully, the weather cooperates. I'll report back after our trip.

Thanks, as always.

jb
Both Wanneroo and Unbeliever are right regarding the season. I've never had to stay overnight in Moab because I live an hour and a half away. But I make day trips at times and go through there when I want to do some pre season baseball in Phoenix. Funny, Unbeliever mentions weather but here's one for the believe it or not department. Most people know the Grand Junction area temps in January can get bone rattling cold. It actually gets 5 to 7 colder in Moab during that time!

The Natural Bridges National Monument doesn't get a lot of mention when one talks about Moab but it is well worth the trip. It's off 191 north of Blanding. If you're staying in Moab for an extra day check it out.
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