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Two Weeks Driving The Circle National Parks


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!


13 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. Dear John,

    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,





  2. These are fantastic photos; it must have been a grand adventure. Good planning huh? thanks for sharing.


  3. 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.


  4. 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.


  5. 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!


  6. I am sorry to see that you stayed at a trump hotel… 😦


  7. 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!


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