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Las Vegas to Denver or Denver to Las Vegas

Knoxville, Tennessee
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Las Vegas to Denver or Denver to Las Vegas

I'm starting to plan a trip for next year. I prefer to travel before Memorial Day or after Labor Day. At first I thought I would see all of the Utah national parks. But, that was going to take longer than I wanted to spend, since I wanted to include a couple other places. So, now I'm thinking about a road trip starting or ending in Las Vegas or Denver.

Las Vegas - 2 nights

Zion National Park - 2 nights

Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon - 2 nights in Page

Monument Valley - 2 nights

Canyonlands and Arches - 3 nights in Moab

Red Rocks Amphitheater - 2 nights in Denver

I'd like to keep the trip to 12-14 days. Since I've never been to Red Rocks, I'd like to schedule the trip around a concert if possible. Since I like to stay inside parks, I'll also have to schedule my trip around when I can get reservations in Zion. Should I schedule 3 nights for Zion? Is Zion very crowded in September? To avoid crowds would October be better than September? I'm not sure where to stay near Monument Valley. The main purpose of this trip will be to do landscape photography and see a part of the US that I haven't previously visited. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

9 replies to this topic
Bangkok, Thailand
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1. Re: Las Vegas to Denver or Denver to Las Vegas

Hi,

Because you like landscape photography, you could start your road trip in Las Vegas.

Edited: 08 June 2018, 14:02
Vestal, New York
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2. Re: Las Vegas to Denver or Denver to Las Vegas

There is no lodging in Zion proper; you would want to stay in Springdale.

Lodging is limited at Monument Valley. I also don't think you need two nights there.

Consider taking extremely scenic US-550 north from Durango CO then heading to Moab. Mesa Verde NP and Colorado National Monument are possible places to explore on that route.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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3. Re: Las Vegas to Denver or Denver to Las Vegas

There's one lodge inside Zion National Park. http://www.zionlodge.com/

There are two hotels at Monument Valley. The View is the first choice. Gouldings Lodge is the other hotel. I agree that you don't need two nights at Monument Valley, You want to see a sunrise and sunset.

Bryce Canyon is missing from your itinerary. If you are a landscape photographer, you should have at least one night there. When my 16 year old granddaughter saw Bryce for the first time, she said, "I can't believe a place like this exists on earth.".

If all you are going to do in Page is a tour of either Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon, you don't need two nights there.

I'd take a night from Las Vegas and add it to Zion. Then take a night from Monument Valley and use it at Bryce. You would go to Bryce between Zion and Page.

Late September thru mid October is just about a perfect time of year for these destinations. The parks will be less crowded as well.

Tacoma, Washington
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4. Re: Las Vegas to Denver or Denver to Las Vegas

Before memorial day out of phx you can get one wY rentals to abq, den. Sfo. And others at$10 a day or less. You can fet them from vegas but not as common.

Knoxville, Tennessee
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5. Re: Las Vegas to Denver or Denver to Las Vegas

Thanks for the suggestions. I would like to see the other Utah national parks, but didn't think that I would have time. I usually like to have at least a drive day, then a day to explore. But, if there isn't all that much to see or photograph, I'll consider just one night there. I checked on one way car rental from Las Vegas to Denver and the price wasn't that bad. If it was a lot more expensive, I probably wouldn't do a one way car rental.

Knoxville, Tennessee
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6. Re: Las Vegas to Denver or Denver to Las Vegas

I'm now considering April/May or September/October. Is one better than the other?

Fremont, California
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7. Re: Las Vegas to Denver or Denver to Las Vegas

September and October are nice months to travel. Both can have some rain however due to storms off Baja Coast. As such, a few days might be rainy. It should be ok for your trip though as Grand Canyon is most impacted and it can look like fog in the canyon (instead of views). October has less people. it is still a very popular time to visit as its past the summer heat and before the winter snows.

All four months you mention are popular for the parks. April and May will have longer day light hours.

Lewes, United...
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8. Re: Las Vegas to Denver or Denver to Las Vegas

April/May has the risk of a later winter, meaning at the higher points like Grand Canyon and Bryce, you can get snow and ice. They photo well, but any road closures could cause detours and inability to reach areas.

Sep/Oct has the risk of forest fires making skies not clear. Depends on wind direct and where the fires where, if there are any at all, but they can randomly have impact. In general for getting around a better time of years, but also more crowded with commensurately higher lodging prices.

If September, October, I'd advise reversing the trip. We got snow last week of October last year in the Rockies!

If you can stretch to the full 14 nights, and the aim is landscape photography, then considering adding either or both time in Grand Junction for Colorado national monument and Montrose/Gunnison area for Black Canyon of the Gunnison (a real contrast from red rocks of any shape!).

Also, you would probably not regret another night in Moab, as some of those arches work best at sunrise and sunset, and they're all in different directions! Not all are within Arches NP!

SWT

Knoxville, Tennessee
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9. Re: Las Vegas to Denver or Denver to Las Vegas

I'd prefer May or September. But, it will probably be April or October. And right now it looks like April.

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