Planning a southwest tour of wheeling/camping for the summer.
My wife and I are commissioning and graduating from the University of Arizona on May 11th and have orders to Laughlin AFB (Del Rio, TX) so we are planning a long road trip to see and enjoy some of the places in the 4 corners states before we leave. There are two versions of the trip so far depending on when we enter active duty (we don't have our dates yet). The long version includes Sedona, the Grand Canyon, Moab, Great Dunes National Park, Denver, Albuquerque, White Sands, Roswell, Carlsbad, Big Bend National Park, and finally beautiful Del Rio. The shorter version is basically just Tucson to Del Rio with stops in NM and Big Bend. We have never been to any of the stops on our trip so any suggestions or must see places are appreciated. We will be making the trip in the Jeep so gas will be a little pricey but worth it. Here are a couple of maps.
Looks like you are going to drive right by it so I would stop at Mesa Verde National Park. If you are into Indian history this is one place to visit. They have old cliff dwellings you can tour, artifacts and whatnot.
Del Rio doesn't look as bad as people make it sound!
I have been all over the Southwest. My Mother taught in Grants, NM before I was born, and we visited most summers on our way to/from my relatives in Oklahoma and Tennessee. I enjoyed our trip, and want to go back - especially, to camp on Padre Island with our Jeep. That would be the best summer trip to take with our Jeep.
Del Rio gets very hot in the summers, but to find something to do, you are about 1 1/2 hrs outside of San Antonio. The cost of living there is low.
Films have been made in the region that highlight the area.
If no time for anything else, I would recommend the Needles District of CNP, I'm sure most all of the back country campsites are reserved already, and you are not sure of your dates anyway, but you can get a day pass to go wheeling and hiking, and who knows, if it is mid week, a non reserved campsite may be open at Squaw Flat camp site.. We have been there twice, and going for more in Sept.. No crowds, no lines, no BS, just beautiful back country.. All of Canyonlands NP is that way, but reservations are needed for the White Rim Trail, and the Maze, but very much worth going up top to Island in the Sky district, and driving down the Shaefer trail to get back to Moab.. Check with BLM in Monticello about free campsites... Honestly, you could spend an entire month exploring the Moab region, and still not experience it all.. We have, and still so much more... Good Luck !!!
04' Rubi, with all the gizmos we need for long range excursions, / home modified excursion trailer;
96' Lexus 450, locked, loaded and ready to roll..
'12 VW New Beetle
Outlaw - when were you out there? I notice in the pics some are wearing jackets and others T- shirts.
Central heating is the norm in Texas nowadays.LOL Seriously, the sunlight was warm, but the air temps were in the 60s during daylight, down into the 40s and sometimes 30s at night. I was there with my Wife in January 2011.
Tomb Raider #815 - 2003 1/2 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon w/4" Pro Comp/Metal Cloak dbl adj arms, Pro-Comp MX-6, Daystar BL, K&N FIPK II w/Air Raid, ViAir Extreme OBA, Currie Steering, Black Rock D909s, 35" BFG KM2 -- BUILT FOR BAJA 4" 33" to 35"
Well I got my date to enter active duty (8 July) so we will be able to make the long version of the trip! That being said we are open to any and all suggestions for camp grounds/offroading trails in the following areas.
Great Dunes Nat'l Park
Big Bend Nat'l Park
We prefer cheap/free campgrounds and don't mind making our own spot on a trail if we need to. Gas will be expensive enough on this trip. Also, if you are in any of the areas let me know. We would love some local tour guides to show us around. We are planning on leaving Tucson on 27 May to get to Denver by around the 10th of June.
So this trip is coming up sooner rather than later and I am starting to somewhat finalize plans. Here is what I have so far.
Tucson to Sedona (camp over night)
Sedona to Grand Canyon (stay for a half hour or so just to say "that's a big hole")
Grand Canyon to Antelope Canyon (camp over night probably)
This is where it gets tricky is bryce canyon worth checking out? From here we can either go west to bryce canyon for a day or we can just go straight up to canyonlands in Moab.
Moab to Mesa Verde National Park (camp overnight)
Mesa Verde to Pagosa Springs (stay with my uncle for a night)
Pagosa Springs to Great Dunes National Park (camp over night)
Great Dunes to Denver (end of trip)
Is there anything I missed? Bryce Canyon is the big question mark for now. Also, is two days enough in Moab?
06 Rubi, 33x12.50x15 Duratracs on 15x8 MB 72s, 2" BB, 1.25" JKS BL, 1" JKS MML, ZJ Tie Rod, JCR Front/Rear Bumpers, JCR Sliders, OR-Fab Tire Carrier with Jerry Can Mount.
Is that Antelope Canyon near Page? If so you can cross at Page & go up 89. If you go that way I recommend taking 89 to Utah 12 & going east from there. It is a spectacular drive & a lot to see including Bryce which is worthwhile if going that way. Even without Bryce 12 is worth the drive in my opinion. If you have the time a great way is to take the Burr Trail from Boulder & down to Lake Powell & to Halls Crossing on the ferry. Then across to Blanding & on up to Moab. Another great stop is at Butler Wash about 10 miles before Blanding on 95. The parking lot will most likely be empty & a short walk will put you in view of some well preserved cliff dwellings. That’s also a really good place for lunch or even camping (if allowed). That was my wife’s one & only encounter with a rattle snake (heard, not seen). We took this route some years ago & are heading that way next month to explore the trails between Escalante & Bricknell then down Cottonwood Trail to Big Water. There is a place called Alstrom Point that we want to see east of Big Water that overlooks Lake Powell.