My fiancé, our black lab pup and I are planning a road trip from Denver for July 4th week - we know we're probably a bit late on planning, but had a schedule change that opened up this possibility for us, so we're trying to make the most of it. We currently live in Denver and have been here for about 5 months, so we're looking to do some exploring in areas we likely won't be taking short weekend trips for. We’ll be taking off on Tuesday and returning on Sunday. We’re fine with camping but will probably want to stay in a hotel/motel 1-2 nights at some point as well. I originally posted this in the Road Trips forum but was advised to post in here instead.
We’re trying to determine what all to prioritize for our drive as there are so many places to see. We’ve decided to focus on Southwest Colorado and possibly a bit of time in Eastern Utah (around Moab) since it isn't terribly out of the way - happy to revise if folks think the Utah addition is a bad idea. Below is my idea for now - let me know what you guys think and if there is anything I should be or shouldn't be considering! Also, is this squeezing too many stops in? Will the pup be an issue in Arches/Canyonland? We will want to do some short hikes but aren't looking to do anything too intense that he wouldn't be able to handle. He will be about 16 weeks old and is very well behaved at this point - no issues with being in the car for long drives and is potty trained/leash trained.
Tuesday morning - drive to Moab and stay thru Wednesday night - see Arches National Park and Canyonland National Park
Thursday am - drive to Telluride/Ouray and stay the evening
Friday am - drive to Lake San Cristobal and stay the evening
Saturday- drive to Crested Butte and stay the evening
Sunday - drive home to Denver
I google mapped the route and its 18 hours driving and 975 miles round trip. I haven't been to any of these destinations, so I'm not sure if some deserve more time than others and if there is anywhere else in the general region that I should consider (or swap out for) as well.
Again, appreciate any advice!!