U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 12-02-2016, 07:03 PM
 
19 posts, read 12,043 times
Reputation: 20

Advertisements

Dear Friends,

Needed some suggestions on a 7 day “Photography” road trip from Vegas to Denver during the Christmas/New Year week. 2 of us will be reaching Las Vegas on Sat evening (24th)around 7 PM and have a return flight from Denver on Sun morning (1st) 1 AM.

Keeping in mind that it will be winter time, I have listed down some key places which I would like to visit, all open to change though (in the order from Vegas to Denver). My primary interest is Photography (Nature, Wildlife, Sunrise/Sunsets, Star trails, Milky Way etc). Please let me know the most scenic and feasible routes to cover during my trip and which are the must have places that I should visit.

• Sequoia
• Mojave National Preserve
• Joshua Tree NP
• Red Rock, AZ
• Saguaro NP
• Tucson, AZ
• Tombstone, AZ
• VLA, NM
• Petrified Forest, AZ
• Canyon De Chelly, AZ
• Tent Rocks, NM
• Santa Fe, NM
• Taos, NM
• Colorado Springs
• Denver

Thanks,
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-02-2016, 07:17 PM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
9,473 posts, read 18,404,272 times
Reputation: 11938
Quote:
Originally Posted by manishbit View Post
Dear Friends,

Needed some suggestions on a 7 day “Photography” road trip from Vegas to Denver during the Christmas/New Year week. 2 of us will be reaching Las Vegas on Sat evening (24th)around 7 PM and have a return flight from Denver on Sun morning (1st) 1 AM.

Keeping in mind that it will be winter time, I have listed down some key places which I would like to visit, all open to change though (in the order from Vegas to Denver). My primary interest is Photography (Nature, Wildlife, Sunrise/Sunsets, Star trails, Milky Way etc). Please let me know the most scenic and feasible routes to cover during my trip and which are the must have places that I should visit.

• Sequoia
• Mojave National Preserve
• Joshua Tree NP
• Red Rock, AZ
• Saguaro NP
• Tucson, AZ
• Tombstone, AZ
• VLA, NM
• Petrified Forest, AZ
• Canyon De Chelly, AZ
• Tent Rocks, NM
• Santa Fe, NM
• Taos, NM
• Colorado Springs
• Denver

Thanks,
In AZ I'd suggest taking a drive from Flagstaff down into Sedona on 89A though Oak Creek Canyon and you'll get the red rock effect in Sedona with the green valley floor. Saguaro National Park is well worth it, and you'll find superb sunsets in the area as the valley in the Tucson area is surrounded by purple shaded mountain peaks at sunset with saguaro cacti silhouettes. I'd skip Tombstone, it's mostly tourist kitsch.

If you come through Southern, NM at all in the Las Cruces area you'll find White Sands National Monument where you can definitely get some superlative shots. It's several square miles of white gypsum dunes, excellent sunrise or sunset shots there as well. In Taos, head over to the Rio Grande gorge. You can probably get some starry trails at night around that area. If you're heading to Tucson, you could route yourself on I-10 to get over to Southern NM and White Sands, then take I-25 up to Santa Fe and up to Taos north of there. Denver isn't too far from Taos, about four hours.

Last edited by Desert_SW_77; 12-02-2016 at 07:45 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-02-2016, 07:44 PM
 
9,034 posts, read 16,469,190 times
Reputation: 6827
I would be awful tempted to cut out southern AZ/NM and grab a stop at monument valley and probably throw in Bryce/Zion/Arches in there as well.

South rim of GC. Take 89a/89 into Phoenix (access to Sedona, Jerome, Prescott, oak creek canyon). Get a quick desert fix and work your way back up to painted desert/petrified forest by running 60 through the salt River canyon to show low before crooking back up to Holbrook. Also an outpost for canyon de chelly.

Then over to NM and up.

Sequoia is pretty far out of any route.

I would look up Arizona Highways magazine. Fantastic photography and maybe some inspiration for stops.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-03-2016, 05:45 AM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
21,429 posts, read 21,994,042 times
Reputation: 33748
I would be sure to route my trip to include a stop at Mesa Verde, I would think the photo opportunities in winter there would be phenomenal.

https://www.nps.gov/meve/learn/news/...activities.htm
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-03-2016, 08:43 AM
 
9,034 posts, read 16,469,190 times
Reputation: 6827
Yeah. I was thinking of recommending that and other spots near Durango as well, but with canyon de chelly already a target and just do much to pack in plus the always looming weather potential up there wasn't sure if it would fit.

I can't recommend monument valley enough though. Spend the money to stay at the view hotel. Sunrise is fantastic and you have it all right outside your door. If you go to the opposite side of the hotel there are some decent looks with light bouncing off rocks as well. If a clear night the stars are really good as well.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-03-2016, 09:29 AM
 
19 posts, read 12,043 times
Reputation: 20
Great Start for me....

Thanks all for your quick replies. Just to clarify, I recently completed a whirlwind trip thru Zion, Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands and MV, so don't want to try that. GC i am planning to save for the Summers...so I wanted to take a southern route via Arizona...

... As for the distances, I already did my homework and understand the distances, just want to get a better idea of the best places so that I cover those, mainly for Photography, with a preference for dark skies....

...Also I plan to travel 5-6 hrs everyday to cover the key places, so want to know which are the BEST places in a southern area. I do not plan to cover ALL the places that I mentioned

Thanks
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-22-2016, 03:22 AM
 
19 posts, read 12,043 times
Reputation: 20
Thanks all for your inputs. I removed Sequoia and will be going south from Vegas towards Joshua and then westwards towards White Sands, up towards Petrified, canyon de chelly etc etc till Taos and finally Denver....Any last minute suggestions ?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-22-2016, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
1,106 posts, read 1,083,719 times
Reputation: 1960
Quote:
Originally Posted by manishbit View Post
Thanks all for your inputs. I removed Sequoia and will be going south from Vegas towards Joshua and then westwards towards White Sands, up towards Petrified, canyon de chelly etc etc till Taos and finally Denver....Any last minute suggestions ?
Do you mind me asking why you're skipping Great Sand Dunes National Park? I think it's more spectacular than a number of spots on your list, in fact it's my favorite national park.

When you're in Santa Fe, take the Low Road to Taos (look it up, basically turn off 285 on 68). There's a High Road and a Low Road, but from our experience the Low Road is better northbound- and the High Road may be treacherous in winter.

The road follows the Rio Grande Canyon to Taos. when leaving Taos, do not go over to I-25 to Denver/CO Springs. It's boring and the route I'm about to tell you about is much better.

Go west on 64 over the famous Rio Grande Gorge Bridge (stop and look) and onto 285 north. Most of this area is now part of Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument.

Follow 285 north into CO and the San Luis Valley- the Sangre de Cristo mountains on your right are stunning. When you get to Alamosa, take 160 East to 150 North to Great Sand Dunes NP, which is a truly spectacular place with gigantic mountains on both sides of the valley and the largest sand dunes in North America. Bring a box or sled or snowboard if you have one- if not, just hiking to the top and bounding down hundreds of feet like you're on the moon is a blast. Just make sure you've got clothes that will protect against sand and wind.

When you're ready to leave, head north over Poncha Pass and into the Lower Arkansas River Valley. Take either 50 through Salida (cool town) and Royal River Gorge to Canon City and CO Springs, or continue up 285 to Buena Vista and onto South Park where you can take 24 to Colorado Springs. Either way is good; Salida and the Royal Gorge is great, so is the constant view of the Collegiate Peaks in the Sawatch Range along 285 to BV, which is a small, but cool town a mile or two off of 285. Once you're in the Springs, go to Manitou Springs, take the Pike's Peak Cog Railway to the top, and of course visit Garden of the Gods.

Trust me, I love that area, and while there are a few things to see heading east from Taos, taking 285 to GSDNP is definitely a more scenic route!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-22-2016, 03:45 PM
 
19 posts, read 12,043 times
Reputation: 20
Thanks Bartonizer for your inputs. I actually visited Great Sand Dunes NP during this Thanksgiving weekend, so wanted to cover other places, especially White Sands NP and other places

Thanks again
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-25-2016, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, Commonwealth of Virginia
1,609 posts, read 1,117,246 times
Reputation: 1908
Why are you going to California on a Las Vegas-Denver trip? Or New Mexico?

I would do some iteration of:

Las Vegas
Red Rock Canyon
Arches
Bryce
Canyonlands
Capitol Reef
Zion
Rainbow Bridge
Canyon de Chelly/Monument Valley
Four Corners
Mesa Verde
Telluride/Gunnison
Aspen/Vail
Denver
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top