I'm home now, so here's where I went.
Drove from Phoenix to Moab. Horrible town in a great location. Explored the desert for a few days, then went for a walk up Mt Tukuhnikivatz. This was mainly to get away from the heat, but was a nice walk anyway, with great views. One moment of stress was returning to camp after dark by the Colorado River only to find my tent blown away in a severe wind storm. Another camper said he thought he'd seen it blown into the river. Eventually someone found it in the bushes nearby!
Then headed over to Durango, and took the Silverton train into the mountains. Walked the Elk Park - Vallecito Ck - Needleton not quite loop. This took me six days, by the time I climbed a few peaks along the way. It was the highlight of the trip, and I'd totally recommend it for anyone looking for a good walk in the Rockies. Chicago Basin was very nice, though hardly "wilderness".
Over to Aspen and around the "4 Passes" loop in three days, which was pleasant. (Had planned to stay longer but the weather deteriorated.) I also did day walks up Mt Elbert & Longs Peak which were nice and social.
It was a great three weeks, and I met lots of wonderful people along the way.
Thanks for your advice everyone.