Originally posted January 2020
Migrated and Edited February 2021 (my pre-COVID innocence was cute)
The most common question I get after the initial shock that we’re moving into our RV ‘What is your 2020 plan and where are you going?’. This summer we are planning to start our road trip in Texas, visit New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah with as many National Park stops as possible.
This post will provide details of our 2020 travel plan to our followers. Especially those who might be interested in meeting us somewhere along the road.
Road Trip on Steroids
In summary, we are leaving Dallas in late March to explore west Texas and Arizona. Then hitting the Grand Canyon in May, Utah in June, and Colorado in July and August. Our life is going to be a road trip on steriods for the next few years and we’d love to meet old and new friends along the way. Please let me know if our paths will cross and you want to join us in any of these epic locations.
Spreadsheet for Everything
I love planning trips and truly believe the research is almost as fun as the travel. I am a retired accountant with a Type-A personality who loves organization and structure. My planning usually includes an Excel spreadsheet and a Google map. However, this level of planning is overwhelming.
It is impossible to find campgrounds, attractions, tours, restaurants, etc for the next 180 days.
To Reserve or Not?
To book reservations or not? Plan the whole route or leave room for serendipity? I know we want to spend more than a few days in each location. On the other hand, I know it will take us the rest of our lives to see all of America if we stay at least a full week each time we stop.
My 2020 planning process includes several Pinterest boards, lots of travel guides from the library, and many hours of internet research. My hard work has manifested into an Excel spreadsheet, an Evernote list organized by state and a Google map with loads of layers. I am happy to share our itinerary with anyone planning a road trip to National Parks in Utah, Arizona, and Colorado.
At this point, I have decided to book a few milestone reservations (holidays and personal commitments) and leave everything else open for adaptations. Granted, I am keeping an open mind and will be ready to change when something is not working for us.
Best Laid Plans
While editing this post to migrate to our new website (Feb2021), I was really amused at my pre-COVID optimism. We didn’t actually leave our work camping job in Dallas until mid-May. Quickly driving to reservations in Zion National Park in Utah with very little time spent in New Mexico or Arizona. We spent time in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, and Arizona in 2020 but it wasn’t the epic road trip I spent many days researching, planning, and mapping out. It was a modified COVID version of the original. Check out our Destinations page to read more posts by state.
For fun, here is pre-COVID original plan:
January – March
We plan to stay in the Dallas area until late March, primarily to finish our volunteer commitment at Cedar Hill State Park but also to take care of regular life appointments (dentist and physicals).
In preparation for our road trip, we plan to complete coach maintenance items and get some last-minute to-dos completed. We hope to add a few more solar panels and maybe some new kitchen appliances.
In late February, we are joining my parents in South Padre Island for some relaxing beach time. However, we are keeping our fingers crossed for some sunny days since we didn’t have any during our visit last February.
Additionally, I have reached out to Sea Turtle Inc to volunteer with them while we are there. They are a rehabilitation center that focuses on education and conservation of turtles.
April & May
When we leave Dallas in late March, we are heading towards San Antonio. We also hope to explore Texas state parks on our northwest route towards the Grand Canyon. The wish list includes Garner State Park, Dinosaur Valley, Seminole Canyon, Davis Mountains, Colorado Bend, Inks Lake, Pedernales Falls, Longhorn Cavern, Guadalupe River, Lost Maples, and Big Bend.
I realize my list is extremely optimistic but a wish list is supposed to be aspirational. At this point, I suspect our autumn/winter plans will likely bring us south. Providing us some extra time to check out the big things we missed in Texas and Arizona.
In mid-May, we are meeting friends at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Then spending a week exploring the South Rim and Bryce Canyon with them. We have an overnight planned in Page AZ to see Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon.
We hope to explore Utah National Parks including Bryce, Zion, Canyonland, Arches, and Capitol Reef. We’ve also booked an RV rally at the end of June in southern WY.
July & August
We hope to spend a little time in southern Wyoming and focus the rest of the summer in Colorado. I’ve heard great things from other RVers, for that reason, the summer is primarily dedicated to Colorado. However, we don’t have reservations or solid plans other than Black Crowes concert tickets at Red Rocks Amphitheater in late August.
Hope you enjoyed learning about our road trip plans to visit National Parks in Utah, Colorado, Arizona and Texas for the first half of 2020.