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My last vacation was pre-COVID (and pre-Porsche ownership). Took the family to Bryce Canyon & Zion NP. Loved every minute of it, especially the views from the rim of Bryce Canyon at sunset.

Easy drive from Vegas. We went in August, when Vegas was 116 degrees and Bryce was ~76 due to the altitude.

Highly recommended.
 

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Oh man, my favorite kind of thread! I have way too many to post so I'll snap a picture later this afternoon and post that. I think I'm hovering around 100 though.

From your list, I really regret not going to Gila Cliff Dwellings when I was -relatively- close. I really want to go there. I did all the southern Arizona ones when I was living out there this past winter. Chiricahua was amazing. I did the long loop and hiked the remaining 2 or 3 miles with a gentleman in his late 80s who spent his early years as a contractor working on the Pacific Crest Trail. Very enjoyable time spent with him.
I also believe cycling Organ Pipes is a fantastic way to see it all, if you have the endurance. I made a figure 8 out of the two loops. It worked out to be around 64 miles, iirc.

Most recently, I was in Iowa for RAGBRAI (bicycle event) and got there with enough time to ensure I had a few hours to spend hiking around Effigy Mounds. Some really nice trails there. Some really annoying mosquitos lol.
 

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Most recently, I was in Iowa for RAGBRAI (bicycle event) and got there with enough time to ensure I had a few hours to spend hiking around Effigy Mounds.
Have heard that the RAGBRAI in Iowa is quite the event. We have discovered several areas new to us doing organized bike rides. The Permian Basin Bicycle club sponsors the Cyclefest Bike Tour and Hill Climb. The hill climb is at Mt Locke going up to the McDonald Observatory. After doing this, we then explored the Big Bend four times a year for over ten years.
When down there, a good place to get out and stretch the legs is at Jim Hall's Chaparral car collection located in Midland. Missed in June the Chaparral 2 live drive with a dinner and Q&A with Jim Hall.
 

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Have heard that the RAGBRAI in Iowa is quite the event. We have discovered several areas new to us doing organized bike rides. The Permian Basin Bicycle club sponsors the Cyclefest Bike Tour and Hill Climb. The hill climb is at Mt Locke going up to the McDonald Observatory. After doing this, we then explored the Big Bend four times a year for over ten years.
When down there, a good place to get out and stretch the legs is at Jim Hall's Chaparral car collection located in Midland. Missed in June the Chaparral 2 live drive with a dinner and Q&A with Jim Hall.
It’s a must-do event if you enjoy cycling, people, food and drinks! I can’t recommend it enough and I’ll be heading ba k next year for the 50th anniversary.
I’ll also keep Cyclefest on the radar in case one of my TX trip aligns with the event!
 

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The Gila Cliff Dwellings are cool. You can walk up and actually climb through them without Ranger supervision. There is a private campground within a couple of miles that I highly recommend. Cheap and the couple running it have owned the land for years. They have 5 natural hot spring pools all kept at slightly different temperatures. It is right on the Gila river.
 

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I love treads like this too. We have criss-cross the US by car many times and continue to do so. We try to take a different route each time to explore new places. Our son lived in Phoenix for several years, so that gave us an opportunity to explore the southwest. A National Park generally has paved roads throughout the park with some offroad spurs. National Monument or National Historic Site may be paved or unpaved.
  • Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument - Just north of Flagstaff and a small park similar to Craters of the Moon in Idaho on a larger scale which is also worth a visit.
  • Wupataki National Monument - Also just north of Flagstaff and a small park. A few small ruins that you can walk into.
  • Petrified Forest National Park - A favorite of ours. More than petrified trees with badlands type landscape. If I recall, there are a few unpaved spurs in the park to visit.
  • Olijato-Monument Valley - Owned by the Navajos. Book a tour or you can drive your own vehicle (SUV recommended) on the offroad self-guided trail. Some of the tours will take you to areas that are restricted.
  • Joshua Tree National Park - An interesting park with two distinct climate and geology.
  • Utah's Big 5 (Zion, Bryce, Capital Reef, Canyonlands, Arches) - Capital Reef and Canyonlands are probably the least crowded of the 5. There are a few unpaved spurs in Capital Reef.
  • Moab - Adjacent to Canyonlands and Arches, there are plenty of offroad trails for all levels of vehicle, mountain bike and risk. We drove a couple of easy trails in our SUV. There are outfitters with 4x4 and ATV rentals. I would definitely visit again and get a rental next time.
  • White Sands National Park - Recently redesignated form National Monument to National Park. Not a large park in comparison to others. The roads are not paved, but graded and packed sand or gravel (?). The road was rutted (washboard) and gave our PASM a tough time... had to stop periodically to let it settle down.
  • Mesa Verde - This is a fascinating park for us. Have visited twice. There are paid guided tours to the various ruins in the park, as well as, multiple hiking trails.
  • White Pocket - We have not visited because there is a long offroad trail that leads to it, but our son says it is worth it if you have a high clearance vehicle.
  • Death Valley - On the list, but not this year with the recent flooding. Our son has visited and has said that there is much to see.
Those are the ones in the southwest that come to mind.
 
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