We haven’t even started our next Airstream trip (leaving next week!) (possibly subbing Babcock State Park in WV for Nashville as the TN State Fair has bumped us from our preferred campground at the Fairgrounds Nashville), but we’re already deep in the planning weeds for a late fall road trip out West. Ever since our Big Trip two and a half years ago, we’ve been dreaming about Southern Utah, and when the opportunity to skip town for a while presented itself, we started plotting a course through Utah, northern Nevada and Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Hopefully the snow will hold off until we’re out of the mountains!
Here are some of our targets; let us know if you have opinions!
- Omaha: need to stop somewhere on our way to Denver, and we’ve never been to Omaha. Is it fun? It has a bunch of breweries and good-looking run routes.
- Denver, to see friends
- Wyoming: cruising through on the way to Utah, maybe hiking in Flaming Gorge
- Northern Utah: stay near Park City, hike in Albion Basin, the Wasatch Mountains, Uinta National Forest…
- Southern Utah: More in Zion, and hiking around Snow Canyon SP, Yant Flat, and Coral Pink Sand Dunes SP in the Zion area; revisit some favorites from Scenic Rt 12; check out the less-trafficked Needles section of Canyonlands NP; go off the grid in Valley of the Gods [potential boondocking resource: freecampsites.net]
- Durango? Taos? We’ll be getting into ski season so will have to make some game-time decisions based on weather and hiking trail conditions
- Southern New Mexico: White Sands, Brokeoff Mountains (dog-friendly BLM land adjacent to Guadalupe Mountains NP); what else? El Malpais?
- Northern Arizona: Guadalupe Mountains NP, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (visited by only 10% of all Grand Canyon visitors; we’ll be hitting this earlier in the trip from southern Utah as it closes in winter), Canyon de Chelly. Maybe return to Flagstaff?
- Southern Arizona: We likely won’t have time to do both northern NM and southern AZ, but if the cold chases us from NM we could seek the sun in the Tucson area and hike amongst the cacti [<–in that link there’s a hike with a warning about nudists on the trail!].
- Texas: We might head to Texas earlier if we’re tired of being cold, or have to skip mountain destinations due to snow. We’re definitely spending several days in Austin at our favorite urban campground, but we may also revisit Alpine and Big Bend.
- Nashville: another favorite city-camping destination for us, and a convenient stop on the way home to Virginia
Other important trip information:
Will J grow out his traveling beard? YES.
Will I get to spend the morning of my birthday at the Grand Canyon and the evening of my birthday at Zion? YES.
Will Bugsy be the happiest dog in the land? YES.