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Old 03-09-2010, 09:53 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,425 posts, read 44,712,098 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryannorthcott View Post
hey knowledgeable campers, my girlfriend and i are planning a camping trip down to the US this summer. we live in kelowna BC, so we are planning a route down the I-5 to LA, then back up through grand canyon then up to yellow stone and our final destination would be calgary AB.

our list of campgrounds is as follows:

Start Kelowna BC
Millersylvania park WA
Kimball state park OR
Balch Park campground CA
Leo Carrillo state park CA
Joshua tree national park CA
Grand Canyon national park AZ
Otter creek state park UT
Lewis lake campground at Yellowstone WY
Finish Calgary AB

i would love some advice on whether or not these are good spots to camp out. we don't have a lot of money and we like the outdoors so i think this would be an awesome vacation.
we're hoping to take about two weeks total, so we're open for things to do, particularly in Los Angeles area.

thanks in advance guys!
Wanna trade places? I have repeatedly posted my love for Kelowna, BC including on the Vancouver, Canada forums. Home of the world's only floating all cement bridge. Givin half the chance I would move there in a heart beat. I lived in BC for a while and was a frequent visitor to the big lake. We rented boats and just tore the lake up as well as a couple tanks of gas. We lived in the tropical rain forest known as Vancouver but Kelowna is a true desert with very little rain fall....which I love.

Kelowna is perhaps hours from the USA border. We used to cross at Peace Arch just above Bellingham, WA. You really need to just do the Oregon Coast on scenic highway 101. Start at Astoria, WA. An old dumpy but beautiful town where the entire economy is fishing. There is nothing like the Oregon coast line. Stay in Golds Beach or Lincoln City. Head for northern California and see the Red Wood Forest which has the tallest and oldest trees on earth.

I am not familiar with the specific camp grounds you mentioned but sure am well versed on specific towns and places that are not to be missed.

I do agree with the person who said you can not possibly do all this in 2 weeks. Not without seeing everything properly.

I ain't kidding. Wanna trade homes? I could see myself walking in the park along the water front after getting ice cream from that little shop overlooking the lake.
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:07 PM
 
22 posts, read 51,847 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertsun41 View Post
Wanna trade places? I have repeatedly posted my love for Kelowna, BC including on the Vancouver, Canada forums. Home of the world's only floating all cement bridge. Givin half the chance I would move there in a heart beat. I lived in BC for a while and was a frequent visitor to the big lake. We rented boats and just tore the lake up as well as a couple tanks of gas. We lived in the tropical rain forest known as Vancouver but Kelowna is a true desert with very little rain fall....which I love.

Kelowna is perhaps hours from the USA border. We used to cross at Peace Arch just above Bellingham, WA. You really need to just do the Oregon Coast on scenic highway 101. Start at Astoria, WA. An old dumpy but beautiful town where the entire economy is fishing. There is nothing like the Oregon coast line. Stay in Golds Beach or Lincoln City. Head for northern California and see the Red Wood Forest which has the tallest and oldest trees on earth.

I am not familiar with the specific camp grounds you mentioned but sure am well versed on specific towns and places that are not to be missed.

I do agree with the person who said you can not possibly do all this in 2 weeks. Not without seeing everything properly.

I ain't kidding. Wanna trade homes? I could see myself walking in the park along the water front after getting ice cream from that little shop overlooking the lake.
i agree kelowna is a beautiful city. the problem is that it has an outrageous cost of living. i would absolutely love a house on the beach with a boat, but being a college kid, i don't foresee this in my near future.
the reason i want to get out is because of the work environment. there are simply no jobs here except in the summer, when the rich albertans come and spend their money. i don't foresee many opportunities at all for an ideal career after i finish school.

and yeah sure we can trade places, if you want my dumpy basement suite 30 minutes from the lake haha
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:17 PM
 
Location: most beautiful place ever
1,836 posts, read 3,581,665 times
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my favorite place ever is southern utah. check out bryce, capitol reef, goblin valley, canyonlands, or arches for the unique scenery! enjoy!
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Old 03-10-2010, 12:06 AM
 
Location: Way on the outskirts of LA LA land.
3,040 posts, read 10,462,134 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stoymonkey View Post
my favorite place ever is southern utah. check out bryce, capitol reef, goblin valley, canyonlands, or arches for the unique scenery! enjoy!
I love this area, too. Kanab is a great place to stay for visiting a lot of these places, at least those in the western parts of Utah (Zion, Bryce Canyon, Escalante-Grand Staircase, Kodachrome Basin) as well as the north rim of the Grand Canyon.

Bluff and Moab are great places to stay when visiting the places in the eastern part of the state (Monument Valley, Canyonlands, Arches).

For the trip proposed by the OP, I doubt there will be much time for sightseeing, so most of what they are able to see will be what they can see while traveling. Perhaps what we should be proposing for them are the beautiful routes they can take through these areas.

For the Grand Canyon to Yellowstone portion of the trip, US 89 has a lot to offer. The portion from northern Arizona through southern Utah is spectacular. I haven't driven much of the portion north of I-70 to Yellowstone, but the scenery in that area is also spectacular (based on what I've seen from other routes in the area), so I don't think it would be a disappointing drive.
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Old 03-10-2010, 12:15 AM
 
Location: Way on the outskirts of LA LA land.
3,040 posts, read 10,462,134 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryannorthcott View Post
EDIT: yep i see what you mean by a long drive from kimball to balch park, i just completely omitted our in between destination of tomales bay state park. it looks like a beautiful coastal location and it's just north of san fransisco.
Balch Park is pretty far inland, so perhaps you may wish to reconsider it. With the amount of time it takes to drive into and out of Balch Park, I don't really think it would be worth just spending one night there. It's a beautiful place, and worth the time it takes to get there, but if you're coming from the coast, and heading back to the coast later, it may well be too far out of your way (especially considering your schedule). If you take US 101, you could probably make it from Tomales Bay to Leo Carrillo in one day without much difficulty, though it would be a long drive. It's not overwhelmingly scenic, but it's a pleasant drive through some of California's farm country, and much more interesting than I-5.

Edit: One other thing, though I'm not certain, it appears Topanga State Park does not have much in the way of camping amenities. You may wish to stay at Leo Carrillo, instead of heading to Topanga. During your stay in the L.A. area, are you planning to stay in a hotel/motel, or were you just planning to camp?

Last edited by jdavid93225; 03-10-2010 at 12:24 AM..
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Old 03-10-2010, 12:23 AM
 
22 posts, read 51,847 times
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Quote:
Balch Park is pretty far inland, so perhaps you may wish to reconsider it. With the amount of time it takes to drive into and out of Balch Park, I don't really think it would be worth just spending one night there. It's a beautiful place, and worth the time it takes to get there, but if you're coming from the coast, and heading back to the coast later, it may well be too far out of your way (especially considering your schedule). If you take US 101, you could probably make it from Tomales Bay to Leo Carrillo in one day without much difficulty, though it would be a long drive. It's not overwhelmingly scenic, but it's a pleasant drive through some of California's farm country, and much more interesting than I-5.
you know you're absolutely right. i heard it was a beautiful campground, but for us it probably wouldn't be worth it to travel so far inland. so i think we're just gonna make the run to malibu.
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Old 03-10-2010, 01:45 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,708 posts, read 40,113,239 times
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If near Las Vegas don't miss "valley of Fire" (50 mi NE) NICE campground and great geology
Nevada Division of State Parks - Valley of Fire State Park

valley of Fire - Google Search

I would also do SF for a day and stay at Ft Mason Hostel (free parking, right on the wharf !!)

Maybe you should save some bones (time and fuel) and do an air flight to Grand Canyon from Vegas, it is really spectacular, but HUGE and hard to see by land. A Very long drive.
Bryce gets my vote, Arches #2. (I grew up in Colorado next to RMNP, so Zion doesn't do much for me) Canyonlands is great if you have a dirt bike (it is HUGE too).

Definitely take the Beartooth Highway (NE Yellowstone) it is a MUST SEE / experience
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Old 03-10-2010, 09:33 PM
 
Location: SoCal desert
8,093 posts, read 13,259,649 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryannorthcott View Post
any other things to do in LA besides hollywood, santa monica, venice, redondo beached, universal studios etc.?
LA: Skip Redondo Beach and go to Newport Beach/Balboa Island.
LA: Griffith Park and the Observatory - near Dodger Stadium.
LA: Olvera Street

South of LA: Take a day and go to Catalina Island.
South of LA: If you have the time, keep going south and camp at the cliffs at San Clemente.

North of LA Refugio State Beach above Santa Barbara is a gorgeous place to camp.

East of LA: Joshua Tree in the summer is HOT. Hope you like climbing rocks :-)

Did you get the free visitor's guide from California Vacation, Travel, Tourism, Visit California - California Travel and Tourism Commission ?
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:17 PM
 
22 posts, read 51,847 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandalara View Post
LA: Skip Redondo Beach and go to Newport Beach/Balboa Island.
LA: Griffith Park and the Observatory - near Dodger Stadium.
LA: Olvera Street

South of LA: Take a day and go to Catalina Island.
South of LA: If you have the time, keep going south and camp at the cliffs at San Clemente.

North of LA Refugio State Beach above Santa Barbara is a gorgeous place to camp.

East of LA: Joshua Tree in the summer is HOT. Hope you like climbing rocks :-)

Did you get the free visitor's guide from California Vacation, Travel, Tourism, Visit California - California Travel and Tourism Commission ?
thanks i'll be sure to check those places out. we were just thinking of joshua for the cultural significance. are there usually a crap ton of people there or is it possible to be a little secluded?

and thanks for the link
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:26 PM
 
Location: SoCal desert
8,093 posts, read 13,259,649 times
Reputation: 14870
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryannorthcott View Post
thanks i'll be sure to check those places out. we were just thinking of joshua for the cultural significance. are there usually a crap ton of people there or is it possible to be a little secluded?

and thanks for the link
You won''t find crowds at Joshua Tree at all
Just make sure you have plenty of drinking water with you!
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