Next summer my wife and I will be taking our 3 kids (will be 6, 3, and 1) on a trip out west. Our long-term goal is to hit all the National Parks so
Next summer my wife and I will be taking our 3 kids (will be 6, 3, and 1) on a trip out west. Our long-term goal is to hit all the National Parks someday, so knocking off a few of those is a high priority on this trip.
We live in Columbus, OH so that’s where we’ll begin and end. We have family in St. Louis and Denver that we’ll be staying with, and a family cabin in Creede, Co as well. We are happy camping at campgrounds near the NP’s, but would prefer somewhere with showers/bathrooms rather than dispersed camping where possible. I’d love some feedback on the itinerary (am I allowing enough time at each place to at least get an interesting/fun experience? Are there places I really should allow for more time?) as well as some ideas on lodging/camping sites for days 4 & 5. We love to hike, but short and easier hikes will be ideal with the kids. Thanks for all the help! Any and all suggestions on lodging/hikes & Trails / anything else much appreciated!
Day 1: Drive to St. Louis
Day 2: Drive to Denver
Day 3: Visit Rocky Mountain NP, maybe boulder in the morning or evening
Day 4: Drive from Denver to Arches NP (Need to find a place to stay)
Day 5: Spend the Day visiting Arches NP and head to Canyonlands NP. (likely will do more of a drive-thru of Canyonlands with possibly a small hike. Still need to find a place to stay)
Day 6: Drive from Canyonlands to Creede, stopping at Mesa Verde along the way. (Is that enough time to see some interesting parts of Mesa Verde? Are the iconic/scenic places close to parking/roads or is it a hike to get to the interesting parts?)
Days 7-8: Spend time in Creede, Visiting Brostol Head and Santa Maria Resevoir
Day 9: Head back to Denver, stopping at Great Sand Dunes NP and Garden of the Gods along the way
Day 10: Drive from Denver to St. Louis
Day 11: Drive from St. Louis to Columbus