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Old 07-14-2009, 06:03 PM
 
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We are 3 adults and 2 children travelling to USA from New Zealand and looking at hiring a Campervan/RV to travel from Las Vegas to Yellowstone then Boise Idaho, Reno Nevada across to San Francisco and back to Los Angeles. Any suggestions welcome, we have 14 days available and all sharing driving. Travel 18 September 2009. Have visited USA many times before (skiing in winter) this first road trip in RV in late Summer/Fall.
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:46 PM
 
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Without knowing your route, it might be difficult for folks to direct you to specific sites of interest.

On a general note, you'll be crossing several mountain ranges in your travels and should be aware that, at higher elevations, snow or icy roads are a distinct possibility even in mid to late September.
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Old 07-15-2009, 12:16 AM
 
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Thanks, appreciate any help. We have been trying to work out routes, probably looking as direct as possible with points of interest pointed out along the way, where to spend more time and where to keep on driving.
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:45 AM
 
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3 points -
1.) that route in 14 days IS doable for some, but rushed for others. It's lots of driving - since you have been to the U.S. before you are aware of the distances involved I assume. I've seen worse (Europeans that come on here and say "oh I want to travel to New York and LA in week and see everything in between), but you won't have more than a few days to spend in each destination and there are alot of fun things in between that you may want to stop at.

2.) Mid-Sept is a transitionary month, particularly when you get closer to Yellowstone. It's the best season in terms of crowds, one of my favorite months, but you also want to check on when things start closing. Snow starts flying in the high mountain passes as early as Sept, and that could include "Jellystone". Snow flies - and the park service WILL close roads for the season, and they won't open until the following May. Then again they could remain open until early Nov. You never know.

3.) RV rental is not cheap. Bringing camping equipment, or simply renting a car and staying in hotels, is cheaper. I assume you probably know the cost as well.
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,425 posts, read 44,634,468 times
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You might want to skip Nevada for staying. Nevada is not RV friendly. Maybe I should not say Nevada cause I dont know. What I mean to say is the Las Vegas area. Your best bet if you must stay in Vegas is Sams Town RV park. It's cheap and still just 15 min to the strip. Right on the strip is Circus Circus RV park but it is very very expensive and you DO NOT want to try and manuver an RV around Sahara and LV Blvd.

There is a few parks in Laughlin about an hour south of Vegas but still the same govt restrictions. Go over the Colorado River to the Arizona side to Bull Head City.

I wrote some addional info here: Best and worst places to camp in the USA

I suggest skipping southern California and concentrate your limited time in northern California in the Redwood Forest areas. They have the tallest trees on earth there. You really need to see the Oregon Coast, especially Gold Beach and Cannon Beach as well as the upper Washington Coast. Especially Anacortes and Friday Island and make sure you go through Astoria. Crossing the Peace Arch in Blaine, Washington to the town of Surry, British Columbia is something you must do. Maybe get out and touch the words: "May these gates never be closed". Tell me if you get a tingly feeling inside. Canadians are real good people. I lived up there for a year.

I dont know too much on Idaho. Wyoming has just too much to list but DO IT. When you go through Montana, MAKE DAMN SURE you do the "Going to the Sun Road". If you can do southern Utah the list of beauty is endless but I have to start in Cedar City. One of my favorite cities in America. You have more state parks and national landmarks then anywhere else. Great RVing opportunities in southern Utah too. A half hour south is St George is also a dont miss but dont bother going on a Sunday because the Mormons shut down the town. Nothing is open but gas stations.

I guess I coverd your time here. Have fun and be careful.
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Old 07-21-2009, 12:14 PM
 
Location: tucson, arizona
47 posts, read 153,184 times
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definitely go to Yosemite.
it's maybe 3 hours east of San Francisco & well worth it. i just visited yosemite this summer, & even tho i've heard about it all my life & seen many pictures, it was beyond what i expected. very very beautiful!
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Old 07-24-2009, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
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You can make the drive from Boise to Reno much more interesting if you head as far west as possible first.

Otherwise, if you go straight, it's very boring.
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Old 08-18-2009, 08:03 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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duplicate post... must be the 'sporatic' modem connection...
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Old 08-18-2009, 08:06 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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be sure to buy your $80 national park pass at the first park, for 'free' admission to parks and national monuments

must see's (If possible)

since LV gets old VERY fast.
Red Rock Canyon (20 min west)
Red Rock Canyon Las Vegas Nevada : photos, trail map, trail information, directions
Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada (1 hr north and GREAT camping / petroglyphs)
Nevada Division of State Parks - Valley of Fire State Park

Grand Canyon for sunrise is a must (unless you've BTDT)
(Night drive from Grand Canyon to Bryce)

+ Bryce, & Arches National Park in Utah (I consider Zion as optional) (night drive, Bryce to Arches)
(Drive Arches to Ogden at night, little to see, time to make tracks)
Bear Lake area of NE Utah. Take a rte that will get you from Montpeliar, ID to Afton, WY (Star Valley). I usually go to Soda Springs, ID for a mineral bath / hot springs swim when so close.

Jackson WY and Teton NP (do a river trip in Tetons if possible, best way to see wildlife and enjoy the area) Jenny Lake Lodge / hiking (I prefer Tetons to Yellowstone). Be sure to get to NE section of Yellowstone if possible (Beartooth Highway, maybe the BEST in USA (coming from an EX- Colorado / WY resident)
Yellowstone National Park Photo Gallery by Mark Creery at pbase.com
Good location for NE Yellowstone Entrance - Review of Big Moose Resort, Cooke City, MT - TripAdvisor


West out of Gardner would allow a trip to Bozeman area, or... if stretched for time take West Yellowstone > Craters of the Moon (night drive) or (great camping, star gazing, and evening and morning pics) Craters Of The Moon National Monument & Preserve - Craters Of The Moon National Monument & Preserve (U.S. National Park Service)

Night Drive Boise to Reno

Tahoe, then Yosemite + Sequoia

When in SF, we took the Larkspur Ferry (NE, Bay). Buy a transit pass (translink), and it is only a few $ for the trip. Free parking at Larkspur ferry (@ neighboring bus station for Motorhome).or, you can likely take BART from Oakland or south Bay). Can get all over SF on Translink, Take the last ferry back for great night pics of the wharf. Sunset at Coit Tower or Pier 39

SF to Monterrey Bay is worthwhile trip if you plan to go to the aquarium (all day event).

DON'T drive Big Sur in a Motorhome, drive out to 101, then south and cut back at San Luis Obispo or Hearst Castle. Try to fit in Santa Barbara / Reagan Ranch

In LA, go to Bienvenidos! Welcome to Olvera-Street.com - culture, and the arts and eat at Philippe's! (LA sandwich shop open continuously since ~ 1920's and a simple. but EXCELLENT French Dip / stew / pies. Philippe's (Both are right across the street from LA Train Station, very convenient! )

Consider Hosteling on CA coast (@ Light houses) Not as much a bargain for families, but might be worthwhile.

(PM me for the SF 'bargain' stay)

Last edited by Cornerguy1; 08-18-2009 at 08:39 PM.. Reason: bad link removed
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Old 08-18-2009, 10:38 PM
 
Location: Way on the outskirts of LA LA land.
3,040 posts, read 10,444,463 times
Reputation: 1927
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
be sure to buy your $80 national park pass at the first park, for 'free' admission to parks and national monuments

must see's (If possible)

since LV gets old VERY fast.
Red Rock Canyon (20 min west)
Red Rock Canyon Las Vegas Nevada : photos, trail map, trail information, directions
Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada (1 hr north and GREAT camping / petroglyphs)
Nevada Division of State Parks - Valley of Fire State Park
Valley of Fire is not a National Park or monument, so the America the Beautiful National Park pass will not be accepted to cover the entrance fee there. Red Rock Canyon is administered by the BLM, so the America the Beautiful pass is accepted for entrance there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Grand Canyon for sunrise is a must (unless you've BTDT)
(Night drive from Grand Canyon to Bryce)

+ Bryce, & Arches National Park in Utah (I consider Zion as optional) (night drive, Bryce to Arches)
(Drive Arches to Ogden at night, little to see, time to make tracks)
Bear Lake area of NE Utah. Take a rte that will get you from Montpeliar, ID to Afton, WY (Star Valley). I usually go to Soda Springs, ID for a mineral bath / hot springs swim when so close.

Jackson WY and Teton NP (do a river trip in Tetons if possible, best way to see wildlife and enjoy the area) Jenny Lake Lodge / hiking (I prefer Tetons to Yellowstone). Be sure to get to NE section of Yellowstone if possible (Beartooth Highway, maybe the BEST in USA (coming from an EX- Colorado / WY resident)
Yellowstone National Park Photo Gallery by Mark Creery at pbase.com
Good location for NE Yellowstone Entrance - Review of Big Moose Resort, Cooke City, MT - TripAdvisor


West out of Gardner would allow a trip to Bozeman area, or... if stretched for time take West Yellowstone > Craters of the Moon (night drive) or (great camping, star gazing, and evening and morning pics) Craters Of The Moon National Monument & Preserve - Craters Of The Moon National Monument & Preserve (U.S. National Park Service)

Night Drive Boise to Reno
I see lots of suggestions for night drives between several of the locations you suggest visiting. I enjoy doing many of these drives during the day, since there is still a lot to see along the way. I've driven through these areas during the day, and have found them to have wonderful scenery, even if its not on the level of the Beartooth Highway.

Almost all of southern Utah is beautiful, so to drive through at night leaves a lot of it unseen. Between Bryce and Arches, for example, is Capitol Reef National Park. Depending on the route, there is a lot to see between Arches and Ogden, too. If I-70 is taken, the San Rafael swell is very interesting, and some of the scenery near it is spectacular. The view areas along the route offer a lot of wonderful scenery. Further west, the Fishlake National Forest, where I-70 passes through Sevier County, is also beautiful.
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