Escape Campervan Road Trip: Las Vegas to Denver via Utah National Parks

In June we were lucky enough to hit the road for another Escape Campervan road trip vacation.  I think it’s safe to say that the campervan road trip is officially our FAVORITE type of vacation.   And as if it couldn’t get any better, we doubled down on the madness and made this a group trip with two of our BFFs.  So what happens when you stuff 4 grown ass adults into one van and hit the road?   Read on and find out, friends! (*spoiler alert – we are already planning the next one.  And the next.   And the next….. long live the gang!)

This time around we started out in Las Vegas.  After an adventurous uber ride, grocery and supply fuel up, and a chipotle burrito we got the hell out of dodge and were on our way to a week of adventure!

Our itinerary this time around took us from the hot, dry, and bizarre landscapes of southern Utah to the mountains (and altitude) of Colorado.  From the harrowing height of Angel’s landing to the rushing water of the Narrows in Zion;  the otherworldly hoodoos of Bryce Canyon and the Arches of Moab to the still snow capped peaks and full strength craft beer of Colorado – we survived and had the time of our lives! Here’s a sneak peek at our travels:

Day 1 – Friday, June 9 2017Campervan Pickup in Las Vegas and head to Zion National Park (Watchman Campground)

Day 2 – Saturday, June 10Zion – Subway Hike.   Bottom up route, hopping along in and out of the creek with a breathtaking scene as a reward. Thank goodness for all of that water to cool off in.

Day 3 – Sunday, June 11 – Zion – Angel’s Landing (grip chains for dear life.  only have a couple of panic attacks) and the Narrows (that water is chilly.  and is moving.  Rejoice in the fact that I didn’t fall in in front of what appears to be EVERYONE else in Zion National Park today.  the Narrows are quite popular – you won’t find solitude), Zion Brewery (craft beer with a STELLAR view)

Day 4 – Monday, June 12Bryce Canyon (Sunset campground) – Navajo/Queen’s Garden/Peek-A-Boo hiking loop.  Those hoodoos are something else! We may have been on Mars.  I cann’t be certain.  Realize you are at a significantly higher altitude here.  That would explain the freezing cold temps and constant out -of-breath feeling.

Day 5 – Tuesday, June 13 – Drive from Bryce Canyon to Dead Horse Point State Park (Moab) (~5 hour drive via scenic route 12).  Hike rim trail at Dead Horse State Park.  Read up on the legend of the park.  Declare cowboys assholes.  Exclaim that “this is where Thelma and Louise drove off the cliff!” For the 78th time.

Day 6 – Wednesday, June 14 Plan for some Arches hiking (find out there is construction so your planned route is closed.  delicate arch it is!), Moab swimming hole (awesome!), Moab brewery (nachos and full strength beer in bottle/can only.  Utah’s booze laws are so confusing)

Day 7 – Thursday, June 15 – hit the road to Colorado!  Pit stop in Fruita, and then on to Prospector Campground in Dillon.  Sit on a picnic table and stare over the Dillon reservoir at the mountains.  Quick hike down to and along the reservoir.   Beers and food at Outer Range Brewing in Frisco.  Mountain views everywhere.  Decide we are never leaving.  Buy a can of oxygen in Walmart.

Day 8 – Friday, June 16 Breckenridge hiking (Mohawk lakes trail).  Mountain goats!  Old mining ruins!   Alpine lakes!  Altitude!  Dizziness!  (Realize you forgot your canister of oxygen in the van.  Turn around at 12,000 feet due to snow anyway).  Mill around downtown Breckenridge.  Realize the parking garage has better views than anything we have at home.  Beers and appetizers, then head to Broken Compass brewing for one more brew before heading back to #campgroundviews

Day 9 – Saturday, June 17 – Drive from Dillon to Denver.  Turn the van in, kicking and screaming.  Head to the airport for the journey home, with nonstop giggling and reminiscing about the week.  

Stay tuned for more details about the trails, campgrounds, and routes we took!  We loved every bit of this trip, and I hope this inspires some of you to get out there and explore as well.

3 thoughts on “Escape Campervan Road Trip: Las Vegas to Denver via Utah National Parks

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