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Sunday Drive: Unveiling the allure of the Lexus LC 500: A Journey to Cortez, Colorado, and Mesa Verde National Park

By Craig and Deanne Conover - Daily Herald | Jul 8, 2023
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We made a stop at Looking Glass Arch between Moab and Monticello, Utah, for a quick hike to the arch and photos with the Lexus LC 500. What a great road-tripping coupe.
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As we progressed through Mesa Verde National Park, we came upon a group of auto enthusiasts with their vintage vehicles that were also traversing the park that day.
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Deanne with the Lexus LC 500 at the crossing of the Colorado River at the top of Lake Powell as we made our way home after three wonderful days in the Mesa Verde, Colorado, area.
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It was a Kodachrome moment on Highway 95, one of our favorite Utah byways, as we traversed the south-central part of the state making our way to Hanksville from Blanding.
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Inside the 2023 Lexus LC.
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Inside the 2023 Lexus LC.
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Inside the 2023 Lexus LC.

This week, we embarked on an exhilarating adventure, setting off to explore the picturesque landscapes of Cortez, Colorado, and the awe-inspiring wonders of Mesa Verde National Park in the spring. But this journey wasn’t just about the destination; it was an opportunity to experience the remarkable Lexus LC 500, a luxurious grand tourer that seamlessly combines performance, elegance and cutting-edge technology. As we hit the road, we couldn’t help but feel a sense of anticipation for the thrilling experiences that awaited us.

The Lexus LC 500 made an indelible first impression as it stood before us for the third time in five years, resplendent in its vibrant cadmium orange color and sculpted design. Its sleek and aerodynamic profile exuded a sense of power and sophistication, with every line meticulously crafted to evoke a feeling of motion even when at rest. The striking spindle grille, flanked by sleek LED headlights, gave the LC 500 an assertive and unmistakable presence on the road.

As we settled into the plush leather seats, the LC 500 enveloped us in a world of luxury. The driver-focused cockpit was designed with meticulous attention to detail, seamlessly blending premium materials and advanced technology. The hand-stitched leather, elegant wood accents and precisely placed controls created an ambiance of refined opulence.

With the LC 500’s potent V-8 engine purring beneath the hood, we unleashed its remarkable performance as we navigated the winding roads toward Cortez, making our way through the red rocks of Moab and fertile green valley’s past Monticello, Utah.

The exhilaration of acceleration was accompanied by a symphony of finely tuned engine notes, creating a harmonious soundtrack to our journey. The LC 500 effortlessly conquered every twist and turn, its responsive handling and precise steering instilling confidence at every corner. Featuring a high-performance 5.0-liter, naturally aspirated V-8, the coupe was eager to engage whatever road we navigated with its 471 horsepower always ready and willing to perform.

Cortez, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of southwestern Colorado, welcomed us with open arms. We marveled at its charming streets lined with quaint shops and vibrant local culture. But the true highlight of our visit was the opportunity to explore the mesmerizing wonders of Mesa Verde National Park and the surrounding areas filled with ancient Native American ruins.

As we arrived within the park, we were immediately captivated by the dramatic cliff dwellings that stood as a testament to the ingenuity and resilience of the ancestral Pueblo people. With the LC 500 as our trusty companion, we embarked on a guided tour through the ancient dwellings, marveling at the architectural prowess and cultural significance they held. The LC 500’s smooth and composed ride made the journey through the park’s winding roads a truly immersive experience, allowing us to soak in the natural beauty that surrounded us.

Hiking was also a huge part of our weekend spent in and around the park as getting up close and personal to the ruins made the trip that much more enjoyable. With the temperatures in the mid 70-degree range with cloudless skies, we could not have asked for a more perfect time of year to explore.

Mesa Verde National Park’s rich history came to life as we ventured deeper into the park. From the vantage points of overlooks, we were treated to breathtaking views of the expansive canyons and majestic mesas that stretched as far as the eye could see. The LC 500 provided the perfect vantage point to take in these awe-inspiring vistas, with its panoramic glass roof creating an open and airy atmosphere within the cabin.

As the sun began to set on our last day in the inspiring canyon area, casting a warm glow over the ancient structures, we couldn’t help but reflect on the remarkable journey we had experienced with the Lexus LC 500. It had seamlessly blended performance, comfort and style, enhancing our exploration of Cortez and Mesa Verde National Park.

The LC 500’s cutting-edge technology also played a pivotal role in our trip. Its advanced safety features, including adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist, ensured a secure and confident driving experience. The intuitive infotainment system kept us connected throughout the journey, providing seamless navigation and entertainment options at our fingertips, and also connecting via Apple CarPlay, helping to find even more places to explore and experiences to gain.

Our journey to Cortez, Colorado, and Mesa Verde National Park was a testament to the allure of the Lexus LC 500. It proved to be more than just a means of transportation; it was a conduit to unforgettable experiences and an embodiment of refined luxury. The LC 500’s performance, design and technological prowess surpassed our expectations, making it the perfect companion for exploring the untamed beauty of the American Southwest.

As we bid farewell to Cortez and Mesa Verde National Park with a trip home that included stops at Hovenweep National Monument, Blanding and Salina, Utah, we carried with us cherished memories and a newfound appreciation for the Lexus LC 500. It had transported us in style and comfort, enhancing every moment of our adventure. The allure of the LC 500 and the wondrous sites we discovered will forever remain etched in our hearts.

Base price: $93,450

Destination charge: $1,150

Price As driven: $106,885


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