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Old 12-03-2006, 03:18 PM   #1
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If you had two months in the west.....

Ok, its brainstorming time: If you had two months or so to travel in the west (ie the Rockies and south west in June and July) where would you go? what is cool to see? Out of the way boondocking? Historical stuff? Which roads are not to be missed?
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Old 12-03-2006, 03:35 PM   #2
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Arizona Painted Desert area and North Texas around Amarillo Just a few of the sites we only got to glance at were Palo Duro Canyon State Park, the Local History museum in Canyon, TX. The Mogollon Rim area near Payson, AZ was drop dead gorgeous.

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Old 12-03-2006, 03:36 PM   #3
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all of the black hills!

even though i have taken the trailer and harley to the black hills half a dozen times i haven't even seen one quarter of it all.

my favorite thing to do is throw a couple fishing rods in the saddle bags and hit the forest service roads for trout!

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Old 12-03-2006, 03:40 PM   #4
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At the risk of stating the obvious, you could spend a lifetime exploring the West and enjoy every minute of it, so perhaps you should stick to the highlights on the first visit and return each year or simply move west out of Illinois as we did.

Okay, what are the highlights presuming you are looking for natural beauty with excellent photo ops? The National Parks are certainly a high priority. Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Zion, Bryce, Arches, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Sequoia fill the bill. There are numerous places inbetween these as well including Rocky Mountain, Canyonlands, Canyon de Chelly, Petrified Forest, Vermillion Cliffs, Death Valley, Joshua Tree, Big Sur, Point Lobos, Lassen, Mono Lake, Lake Tahoe, etc, etc.

An that's just about a quarter of the West!!!

Oh, don't forget the most magnificent bridge in the world, the Golden Gate.
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Old 12-03-2006, 03:48 PM   #5
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I am particularly looking for those little gems of campsites on BLM land or in the national forest (esp those on lakes), photography will be a major portion of the trip so views count!
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Old 12-03-2006, 03:56 PM   #6
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Mesa Verde National Park, Cortez/Durango, Colorado

Hovenweep Cliff Dwellings, Utah - Because this is not advertised as much as the bigger cliff dwellings, this lovely, windswept monument has a lot of atmosphere and ambiance not felt at the bigger places packed with tourists. The day we went, we were the only visitors for about 3 hours...it was wonderful just walking around and not being rushed through the scenery.

Casa Malpais, around Winslow, Arizona

Casa Grande Indian Ruins, Arizona

Painted Desert and Petrified Forest, Arizona

Rio Puerco Indian Ruins in the Petrified Forest

Wupatki Indian Ruins, 30 miles north of Flagstaff, Arizona

Canyon de Chelly, Arizona

Lake Havasu, The London Bridge (the real one), Lake Havasu Arizona

Kaibab National Forest, Arizona

Lake Powell, Arizona/Utah Border

Hoover Dam - Nevada/Arizona Border

Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico

4 Corners - where the states of Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico come together.

I've been to all except Canyon de Chelly. Would love to go, but another time...sigh.

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Old 12-03-2006, 03:56 PM   #7
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Little Switzerland -- Ouray, Colorado. Links here and here and here. Don't know if you want to go this far north tho.

I believe north rim of the Grand Canyon is closed until May 15th. Bryce is at 6,000' IIRC -- unsure of winter access. I seem to recall some past thread here about winter camping ... near Zion? How about Canyon de Chelly Natl Monument! It looks like lows can average around 20 degrees. It's not far from Monument Valley either.

These are all wish-book dreams of mine. Don't know much about camping. Wanna start a travel blog?!?!
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Old 12-03-2006, 04:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canoe stream
....... Don't know if you want to go this far north tho....... Wanna start a travel blog?!?!
I'm thinking I may go as far as Banff or so perhaps..... You can bet I will be reporting back on what I see. It is a lot of fun to be playing the what about here game at the moment.
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Old 12-03-2006, 04:38 PM   #9
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Montana!

Anywhere in Montana! Should be able to easily boondock. Lots of parks, friendly folk, great wildlife, and views to die for!

And, you can hit Glacier (a don't miss), Lewis and Clark Caverns, Yellowstone, and if you flyfish you can hit some of the best fishing in the world on the Trinity, Madison, Yellowstone rivers.

Jer
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Old 12-03-2006, 04:42 PM   #10
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Wild Wild West

Wow!
What a dream!
I would wear out a set of tires.
Hit all the American Icons..
Yellowstone
Yosemite
Grand Canyon
Las Vegas
Death Valley
Salt Flats
Tombstone
Arches
Zion
Whew...so many more too.
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Old 12-03-2006, 04:45 PM   #11
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http://www.airforums.com/attac.../6/8/west1.jpg
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Old 12-03-2006, 04:49 PM   #12
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Southwest?

Maybe it is because I have been here for 54 years, but when I think of the SW, I think of Southern California. If you have the time, you have to see the Pacific Ocean from one of the Ventura Co. or Santa Barbara Co. beaches. There is little that compares with that sunset. Death Valley, Joshua Tree, Zion in Utah, and Lake Powell, Arizona are all worth the trip. Wherever you go in the great SW, you can't go wrong. Have fun!
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Old 12-03-2006, 05:53 PM   #13
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We are just back from Death Valley, although I suspect there might be a difference in weather between November and your Juner/July time frame. None the less, this is nothing less than superb and a photographer's dream.
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Old 12-03-2006, 06:01 PM   #14
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traveling the southwest.....

Route 66 is pretty much intact, except for a few places where I-40 replaced it completely, all the way across New Mexico. You can also go from Seligman,AZ to Kingman on the old route, as well as from west of Needles to Barstow and on to Victorville. There is the old old highway(1930's) from Kingman to Topock (through Oatman, which is a really cool old mining town).
if you're going into California, the old road goes from west of Needles all the way to Barstow.
NM State 14 north from I-40 to Santa Fe. NM State 4 from US 550 to Los Alamos. Monument Valley on the Navajo Reservation. The Rio Grande gorge west of Taos on US 64. The Owl Cafe in San Antonio, NM or the Outpost in Carrizozo, NM (green chile cheeseburgers). Pie Town, NM. The National Parks in Utah (height and width restrictions in Zion, and a trailer permit is required to go through the tunnel there)
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