This post is part of my series on great road trips from Denver.

With a week you can do one of the ultimate road trips and head out to the Grand Canyon, taking in several other spectacular National Parks in Utah along the way. The Grand Canyon is somewhere you have to visit in person to have any idea of how big it really is. It’s definitely on my list of places that everyone should try to visit at some point in their life. I very strongly recommend staying on the north rim, it is much less crowded than the south rim. There’s only one place to stay on the north rim, Grand Canyon Lodge, and it gets booked up a long way ahead of time, though often you can get cancellations. However, on our last trip we stayed at Jacob’s Lake Inn, the next closest place which is about 40 miles away, close by local standards! We liked it there – not fancy but good value and very friendly staff. You should definitely watch the sun set at Cape Royal.

Along the way you have the opportunity to take in several spectacular National Parks in Utah, including Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon and Zion. And also Monument Valley with its iconic red rock pillars, featured in many western movies. All are amazing, but in my opinion the two most unique are Arches and Bryce Canyon. You can get to Arches in about 5 hours from Denver, so that is doable in a long weekend. One of our favorite places that we stayed on our trip was Castle Valley Inn, just outside Moab – a beautiful green oasis among the red rocks, where we saw deer and wild turkeys wandering through the garden, and they have a hot tub which is great for gazing at the amazing night sky there. See the photos above for an idea of the incredible scenery you can take in on this trip.

For other options if you have less time, see the rest of my series on great road trips from Denver.