Road Trip – Estes Park, Colorado and Rocky Mountain National Park to Grand Junction Colorado and Colorado National Monument to Arches National Park to Delta, Utah to Great Basin National Park to Home

If you would like to see all the pictures from our trip they are available on Flickr here.

Day 22 - Sunday, September 14 -   Estes Park, Colorado to Grand Junction Colorado – today 358 miles – total  miles 5177

When we left Estes Park on Saturday morning and headed west into Rocky Mountain National Park the ranger at the gate told us that the road through the park was still closed because of snow. We stopped and made a breakfast picnic of the donuts we had picked up at the Donut Den in Estes Park (yummy!) and then headed up to where the road was supposed to be closed. We were going to turn around and head south around the park but we lucked out. They must have just opened it because we did not have to turn around. The highest point on the road is 12,183 feet, the highest point of the trip.

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Heading west from RMNP we stopped briefly in Georgetown, Colorado. To quote The Colorado Guide "What separates Georgetown from many other historic mining districts is the sheer number of old Victorian Homes still standing." But for me the most fascinating part of the town wasn't even mentioned in the guide book. The Georgetown Energy Museum is  hydroelectric power plant that has been generating power with the same basic equipment since 1893. It was the second AC power plant in Colorado. In addition to seeing the plant we learned its history and how it operates. They had several old appliances that still work. Here you can see our guide turning on the washing machine and below that you can see the generating unit.

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Sunday night we camped in Colorado National Monument. It was a perfect night. The temperature was about 65 degrees and we had a full moon. The camp ground was only about half full and we had a great choice of sites. Ours overlooked Grand Junction. After going into Grand Junction for dinner we sat in the chairs next to our tent and just enjoyed the view and the perfection of our setting. The picture below is the view from our camp site.

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Day 23 – Monday, September 15 -   Grand Junction Colorado to Delta, Utah – today 335 miles – total  miles 5512

We left Grand Junction fairly early and stopped for a hike on the Trail Through Time on the Colorado-Utah border. We were the only ones there. The trail is about 1.5 miles long and you get to see dinosaur fossils still in the rocks. In the picture below you can see some backbones.
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In eastern Utah we stopped at Arches National Park and did a bit more hiking. The pictures below are of Double Arch and Duke sitting under Double Arch. The larger opening of the two arches has a span of 144 feet, the third longest in the park and a height of 112 feet the highest in the park.
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There was quite a bit of traffic so we decided to take a different route out of the park. Most people back track on the paved road back to the main entrance. We decided to take a dirt road that went the other way. The road was very rough. We saw only three other cars. It probably didn't save us any time but it was fun and scenic.
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Monday night we had thought we might make it to Ely, Nevada but instead we stopped in Delta Utah. There are very few towns with motels in western Utah and eastern Nevada.

Day 24 (The last day of the trip) – Tuesday, September 16 -  Delta, Utah to Home in Reno, Nevada – today 501 miles – total  miles 6013

On our last day of the trip we stopped in Great Basin National Park in eastern Nevada took a short hike and toured Lehman Cave.

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I think we will come back to Great Basin in the future and do more hiking. Someday I would like to do the hike to the top of Wheeler Peak the second highest mountain in Nevada. From Great Basin we kept heading west. With only a few food, fuel and road work stops got home to Reno about 8pm. It was a wonderful trip .

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Author: marionvermazen

I am a traveler, hiker, avid reader, Sun alumnus, computer geek, Spanish and French language student, knitter and genealogist. I am retired after working for almost 30 years in the Computer Industry. I live in Reno, Nevada with my husband Duke.

5 thoughts on “Road Trip – Estes Park, Colorado and Rocky Mountain National Park to Grand Junction Colorado and Colorado National Monument to Arches National Park to Delta, Utah to Great Basin National Park to Home”

  1. Awesome trip. I came across your blog gathering some information for a family trip we are taking to Estes Park, Colorado. Right now we have made accomodations that I am quite happy with through Estes Park Central and we have found one of their secluded and luxurious Estes Park Vacation Rentals . So we are getting ready. Anyone have a recommendation on where to eat with the kids? Thanks


  2. Family Guy, The restaurant in Estes Park that immediately comes to mind is
    The Egg and I. We had a couple of wonderful breakfasts there. The menu is
    great and the food was wonderful. I suspect they are good for all meals.
    There was a line outside almost every time we went by. We also had some
    great donuts from the Donut Haus on our way out of town. We had some great
    dinners but I don’t know if they would be good places for kids. Places like
    Nicky’s Steakhouse where we ate in the bar and listened to the piano player
    and the Dunraven Inn where the walls are plastered with dollar bills and the
    wait on Saturday night was two hours.


  3. Hi! I am really interested in going to see the dinosaur bones on the Utah-Colorado Border.
    You mentioned a trail 1.5 mile long, which is duable for me, and I’d like to take niece and nephew. Last time we went to Dinosaur Natl. Monument (in Utah, just East of Vernal) it was closed.
    Could you, please, tell me where exactly is the trail? Thank you, and best regards,
    Claudio Tagini


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