Monday, June 14, 2010

California to Colorado


We have 4 people taking a driving trip to visit friends in Denver, Colorado. What are some places along the way that we should check out. One of us can't do a lot of hiking, so we are looking for things that we can drive to, and walk to easily. We are coming from Southern California and can take as much time as we like, but are trying to keep the spending low.

Thank you,



Hi Sheila --

Thanks for your message, and I hope I can help with some travel suggestions. The first place that came to my mind is a big one: the Grand Canyon, most of which is easily accessible, by flat trails with a short walk of parking areas along the South Rim. The nearby town of Flagstaff is historic and photogenic, with a neat "Wild West " feel, and south of town is a lovely drive thru Oak Creek Canyon to the red-rock landscapes of Sedona, most of which can be enjoyed without too much hiking.

Another great place to see is Monument Valley, which sits on the Arizona / Utah border along US Hwy -163. This is an icon of the American West (as seen in old Western movies, like John Ford's classic Stagecoach!), and you can see it from your car or from short, level walks.

There are many great driving routes around the this part of the country, but one of the most spectacular has to be the "Million Dollar Highway", which runs over the Rockies between the quaint mountain towns of Durango and Ouray, in southwestern Colorado.

You should find it easier to "keep the spending low", for a couple of reasons. Since the natural landscape is the main attraction on this trip, most of the "sights" between Anaheim and Colorado are more or less free. Plus, even at fee-charging federal sites like the Grand Canyon, if any of your travel group is a US Citizen over the age of 62, you can get a pass that lets you and 3 friends in -- for free. A great deal! I think the lifetime pass costs $10, and it is available at the entrance to any national park. ** see below for more **

Hope this helps,

Happy Trails,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA


From National Park Service URL:

America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass – Senior Pass. - Cost $10.

This is a lifetime pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over. The pass provides access to, and use of, Federal recreation sites that charge an Entrance or Standard Amenity. The pass admits the pass holder and passengers in a non-commercial vehicle at per vehicle fee areas and pass holder + 3 adults, not to exceed 4 adults, at per person fee areas (children under 16 are admitted free). The pass can only be obtained in person at the park. The Senior Pass provides a 50 percent discount on some Expanded Amenity Fees charged for facilities and services such as camping, swimming, boat launch, and specialized interpretive services. In some cases where Expanded Amenity Fees are charged, only the pass holder will be given the 50 percent price reduction.

The pass is non-transferable and generally does NOT cover or reduce special recreation permit fees or fees charged by concessionaires.



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