I was lucky enough to spend two weeks driving from Colorado to Las Vegas and back in a circular route taking in some of America’s most impressive national parks (covering 2500 miles in the process). Not only was the scenery scarcely believable (it was like being in a different country every day), but the people were incredibly friendly and generous everywhere I went and the food – despite stereotypes to the contrary – was superb, and healthy too.
The general route follows (usually a couple of days exploring in each place) and I’d highly recommend you give it a go – we could have easily spent 2 weeks in each park!
- Flew to Denver airport
- Drove to the Rocky Mountain National Park
- A long drive (via some scenic stops) to Canyonlands National Park
- An amazingly scenic drive to Bryce Canyon (what a place!)
- A few days in Vegas (which I wouldn’t recommend to be honest)
- Next up, the meteor crater near Flagstaff (wanted to go since I was a kid)
- The relatively short hop to the Grand Canyon (yes, it’s as stunning as everyone says)
- Then onto the south of Lake Powell and the famous Horsehoe Bend
- Heading east to Mesa Verde National Park
- Through Rio Grande National Forest towards…
- Great Sand Dunes National Park – completely unexpected sand dunes!
- Finally back to Denver and off home!
My favourite US state is definitely Utah as it has some incredible roads, scenery and every day was jaw dropping! I had a drone that I flew for some aerial shots when I could (they’re banned in National Parks). Anyway, some random photos of the trip follow – enjoy!
First food in the US – pancakes!
The views of the Rocky Mountains
I wanted a sporty 4×4, I got this!
Random stopping place by a frozen lake
Mountains and Ice
Some very very red rock!
Our cabin near Moab, Utah
Incredible views everywhere you look
Not even in the park, just at the road side!
Nice place for a team photo!
The first of many impossibly straight roads
Canyonlands National Park
Mesa Arch, Canyonlands
A teenager not even looking at the view!
Admiring the view
It’s a long way down!
A day of straight roads in Utah
Yep, a very straight road
Amazing the things you find at the side of the road
A cliché I know!
One of many Mesas – all spectacular!
An arch at the Capitol Reef National Park
Capitol Reef National Park views
Lots of deer around to avoid!
Bryce Canyon – spectacular!
A cheesy selfie in Bryce Canyon
Can’t get enough of Bryce Canyon
I could spend weeks hiking around Bryce Canyon!
Getting some gas…
More spectacular roads
The entrance to Zion National Park – It’s big!
Walk to the Emerald Pools at Zion National Park
Upper Emerald Pool, Zion National Park
This is my hero pose
Yet more roads!
Arguing in Vegas (for the camera)
Excalibur Hotel, Las Vegas
Some flower show in Vegas
New York New York by night
More pancakes for John!
Couldn’t go to Vegas and not see a show!
When in Vegas, go to the laundrette
About to hit the gym in the Trump Hotel, Las Vegas
Hoover Dam – not as impressive after seeing all the national parks
Another straight road!
Meteor Crater, Arizona
Always wanted to see this meteor crater since I was a kid
Meteor Crater from above (and far away)
Another straight road!
The Grand Canyon!
James getting some Zen at the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon at sunset
Random rocks near Lake Powell
A boy and his drone
No safety ropes at Horseshoe Bend!
Great Sand Dunes Park
Creator of John's Background Switcher. Scotsman, footballer, photographer, dog owner, risk taker, heart breaker, nice guy. Some of those are lies.
Whow, fantastic pictures.
I have been there twice.
All the pictures you showed, I have seen them too.
It’s the most fantastic place on earth !!
Thank you for sharing,
Yeah, the photos don’t really do justice to how spectacular these places are! 🙂
These are fantastic photos; it must have been a grand adventure. Good planning huh? thanks for sharing.
My wife and I did much the same trip after flying into Las Vegas and driving starting at Zion. You are right. Utah is a great place. We also saw Natural Bridges and Valley of the Gods. Would love to do it again.
There were a lot of places we had to miss out due to time constraints – and likewise would love to do it again!
So glad you enjoyed our country! I-would2 love to see yours. I am still enjoying your picture ap.
Yeah the UK is lovely, but we definitely don’t have such incredible and spectacular scenery, not to mention space! What a country you have there! 🙂
I loved the UK, it has been quit a few years since I was there but enjoyed it immensely and would love to go back.
Wonderful photos, I have been to Bryce & The Grand Canyons (drove thru Zion to elsewhere). Bryce is beautiful, was afraid The Grand Canyon was going to be a disappointment – it WASN’T. Yes the roads were straight and empty of other cars a good part of the time. Again wonderful photos!
I am sorry to see that you stayed at a trump hotel… 😦
Wouldn’t have been my choice!
Glad you have a great trip, I live in Grand Junction CO, just before you leave Colorado and enter Utah to go to Canyon Lands. I also lived in South West Colorado near Durango and Mesa Verde. I am so use to the mountains and natural formations I forget them sometimes. When Google+ first came out and they would give you “content near you” and people would take pictures of the mountains and say how different they are, I realized that not everyone sees this stuff all the time. Recently I have had more traveling for work to Texas and the South USA, they only have flat land and trees, it caused me some worry because I am use to navigating using geological features to know what way I am traveling. I also say skip Vegas, it’s just a dirty money hole in the desert.
Haha, I guess you’re used to the scenery but I still can’t quite believe how spectacular it is! Photos from the trip keep showing up on my desktop and Chromecast and I saw “wow” a lot!