Grand Canyon to Rocky Mountain National Park Road Trip

See the Grand Canyon, Rockies, and Great Sand Dunes in one unforgettable trip and end up in Estes Park, Colorado outside of Rocky Mountain Park.
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Sunset at Yavapai Point in the Grand Canyon in Arizona

Map

Start: Phoenix, Arizona

Get Centererd in Sedona

Cathedral Rock in Sedona, Ariz.

Cathedral Rock in Sedona, Ariz.

Sedona's Seven Secrets
Sedona is just a 2-hour drive from the Grand Canyon's South Rim. Hike or bike 100 red rock trails, visit a spiritual vortex in the mountains, or browse one of 40 art galleries. Read about four gems plus three places to refuel on our sister website www.mygrandcanyonpark.com/road-trips/sedona-arizona.

Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona

Lipan Point in the Grand Canyon

Lipan Point in the Grand Canyon

You’ll barely scratch the surface of this national park in three days, but that’s just enough time to check off a few must-do activities: hike or ride a mule to the Colorado River at the bottom of the canyon (with an optional overnight at the historic Phantom Ranch cabins); photograph sunrise and sunset from one of many South Rim viewpoints; learn about the Big Ditch’s geology through ranger talks and a visit to the Yavapai Geology Museum; and visit Ancestral Puebloan ruins at the Tusayan Museum. Head to MyGrandCanyonPark.com for info on the park, lodging, and activities; interactive maps; and a free trip-planning kit.

Mesa Verde National Park

Balcony House at Mesa Verde National Park

Balcony House at Mesa Verde National Park

48 Hours in Mesa Verde
Only have 48 hours to explore Mesa Verde National Park? Stick to our detailed itinerary
to hit all the most important stops. There's more to do beyond the main attraction of touring ancient cliff ruins. Take a hike, gaze from a fire tower or have dinner with a view.

Canyons of the Ancients National Monument
Twelve miles from Mesa Verde, this national monument often falls off travelers' radar screens, making it a fantastic place to discover solitude and ancient history.

Best of the West in Durango

Horse Trail Ride in Durango

Horse Trail Ride in Durango

You'll find a mix of hip restaurants and Old West charm in Durango. In its heart is the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad which attracts 200,000 passengers per year.

Stop in South Fork

Mountain Biking near South Fork, Colo.

Mountain Biking near South Fork, Colo.

Don’t let this sleepy town tucked into the folds of the mountains fool you. South Fork's small size is counteracted by the extraordinary amount of energy its 350 year-round residents generate through outdoor recreation.

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

Hikers brave the windswept sand at Great Sand Dunes National Park

Hikers brave the windswept sand at Great Sand Dunes National Park

48 Hours in Great Sand Dunes National Park
Make your time in the park count with our detailed itinerary! This other-worldly park boasts the tallest sand dunes in North America.

A Local Taste of Alamosa and San Luis Valley
Base in Alamosa to explore Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve and dine in a farm-to-table restaurant.

4 Places to Shoot in Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve
It’s hard to understand this park's scale. But don’t be daunted—we asked professional photographer Andre Costantini where to approach the dunes for the best photos.

Stones that Hold Secrets
Discovered in the sands of Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, oddly shaped stones play rock music.

Spring into Fun at Colorado Springs

Garden of the Gods in front of Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs

Garden of the Gods in front of Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs

4 Adventures in Colorado Springs
From Bigfoot sightings to summiting a 14,000-foot-peak by car, Colorado Springs is a place to spend several days. The bonus? Many of our favorite attractions are free

Hidden Colorado Gems in Central City

Opera House in Central City, Colorado

Opera House in Central City

Strike gold in Central City, a historic Gold Rush town south of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Estes Park Locals Share their Favorite Spots

Estes Park at night

Estes Park at Night

Perched at 7,200 feet and 90 miles away from Denver, Estes Park is a fantastic basecamp for exploring Rocky Mountain National Park’s eastern side.

Read about three local entrepreneurs who share their recommendations and why they love their town next to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Mills Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park

Mills Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park

These web pages are full of ideas of what to do during your two days in the park. Whatever you decide, don’t miss a cruise up Trail Ridge Road, a hike to a lake or mountain summit, and wildlife-watching in the meadows.

GyPSy Guide Tour App
Download the Rocky Mountain National Park tour app that’s like having a tour guide in your car. GyPSy Guide automatically plays interesting and entertaining commentary as you go.

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Sunrise reflection at Grand Lake, Colo.

Grand Lake at the West Entrance Town to Rocky Mountain National Park

Grand Lake, Colo. is located just one mile from the West Entrance of the park and is home to the largest and deepest natural alpine lake in the state.

Bear Lake reflection at sunrise in Rocky Mountain National Park

24-hours in Rocky Mountain National Park

We decided to spill one of our perfect days in Rocky Mountain National Park, just for you.

Hiking Fern Lake Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park

10 Best Things to Do on a Rocky Mountain National Park Vacation

The park and the Estes Park and Grand Lake areas are a Things to Do Mecca! Here are our top picks including hiking, horseback riding and scenic drives.

Dylan Maddalena, Head Wrangler, YMCA Jackson Stables

Dream Jobs in Rocky Mountain National Park

What it is really like to live and work in RMNP? Peek inside the typical days of park rangers, stable managers, volunteers, and outdoor business owners.

Trail Ridge Road from Tundra Communities Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park

Drive Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park

Trail Ridge Road links Estes Park and Grand Lake and offers some of the best views of Rocky Mountain National Park.