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Old 06-11-2010, 05:45 PM
Location: Bethel, Alaska
21,362 posts, read 33,043,074 times
Reputation: 13765


Drive up to Alaska and back!
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Old 06-11-2010, 06:26 PM
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
615 posts, read 789,377 times
Reputation: 275
Originally Posted by ReluctantGardenStater View Post
Now, I live in Northern NJ and want to drive down New Jersey, through Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, into Florida, then cut west through Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, into and up California
Me and a few family members are taking the same (almost) type of road trip, except we're doing it backwards and starting from California, and we aim to end up in Virginia.

Good luck on your journey! I can't wait to begin mine, which will be sometime in mid July.
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Old 06-14-2010, 12:27 PM
Location: Way on the outskirts of LA LA land.
3,040 posts, read 10,446,359 times
Reputation: 1927
Originally Posted by ReluctantGardenStater View Post
Upon hearing this suggestion, I would like to visualize more how Utah can be worked comfortably into the trip. I didn't include Las Vegas because my original route didn't include Nevada and I was thinking about a weekend trip there later in the year with the girlfriend as it is another area I've always wanted to see. Although, if I can come up with a route to take me through Utah and Nevada into central-north California, so I can be on a good path northward, I would then definately consider working it in regardless. Flagstaff I'm more interested in using as a base for the Grand Canyon than anything else.
I haven't yet read the whole thread, so this may have already been suggested, but I would also suggest Utah rather than L.A. and San Diego, as Stealthrabbit suggested. From Flagstaff, you can travel north to the South Rim, then around the eastern end of the Grand Canyon on US 89 and 89A, which will take you close to the North Rim, and on up into Kanab, Utah. From there you can travel north to Bryce Canyon, then backtrack a little bit to get to Zion. You can then travel through Zion and on to Las Vegas from there, then go northwest to (or close to) Bishop, CA, and then to Lee Vining. There are several routes that you can choose from for this trip. One goes through Death Valley (160, 190, 395), and another takes you past the Bristlecone Pine forest (95, 266, 168, 395). There are other routes, too. Another option, is to take US 95 to Tonopah, NV, then head west on US 6 to Benton Crossing, then west on 120 to Lee Vining. The reason I mention Lee Vining is that you can take 120 west from there over Tioga Pass and into Yosemite. From Yosemite, you can head north or west to continue on your trip.

Another option is to skip Las Vegas completely, and travel from Utah across the middle of Nevada (US 50 - the loneliest road in the U.S.), into California, then north from there.

My suggestion above only takes you to a couple of the National Parks in Utah. Another option from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon (though quite a bit longer) is to head east to "Four Corners," where the states of UT, AZ, NM, and CO meet (use Highway 160). It's worth visiting at least once. From there, you can head into Colorado, and visit Mesa Verde National Park. You can then head back to the west toward Arches (on 491 & 191 or other alternate route). From there, head south (on 191) to Blanding, then west to Hanksville (on 95), through Capitol Reef (on 24), and on to Bryce Canyon (on 24 & 12). From there you can head south to Zion or west to Cedar Breaks National Monument, then on to Cedar City, UT. From Cedar City, you can head west to US 93 or north to US 50, both of which will take you to Ely, NV. From Ely, you can head west on US 50 to Reno or west on US 6 and SR 120 to Yosemite. Your choices for your route will depend on everything you wish to see, as well as how much time you have. I have traveled most of the routes I've suggested, but not all of them. The trip through southern Utah is spectacular, and may take a lot longer than expected because there is so much to see along the way. Actually, I find most of these areas are spectacular, so I visit them as often as I can.

As for L.A. and San Diego, I would suggest making plans to visit them later. You could fly to one or the other, then just spend some time visiting both of them, then fly back home. This would also allow you to see all the stuff in between them, such as Newport and Huntington Beaches, Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, Legoland, and so on (if those things interest you).

Although I've never been to Seattle, I think that would be something you could miss on this trip, too. It just seems like it's too far out of the way to be included. I would suggest only visiting eastern Washington on this trip, just to save some time. I'm sure the rest of the state is beautiful, but since I haven't seen much of it, I can't suggest anything to see there. Couer'D'Alene (CDA), Idaho is beautiful and worth seeing. I love the whole area from there south almost to Boise. Western Montana is beautiful, too, and worth the trip. Yellowstone and the surrounding area is also worth the trip. I think traveling east from CDA through Montana, and down into Yellowstone would allow you to see a lot of these places. Of course, Grand Teton National Park (south of Yellowstone) is worthwhile to visit, too. The Beartooth Highway (east of the NE entrance to Yellowstone) is also worth seeing.

The biggest problem I have with suggesting a route for you is that everywhere I think you should go has somewhere else just a little bit further that is also worth seeing. I know you don't have time to see it all, but it's all worth seeing, so it's hard to think of what you should omit from your trip. I've taken about a dozen road trips around the west and haven't yet seen anywhere near everything I want to see, and most of what I have seen, I want to go back to.

Last edited by jdavid93225; 06-14-2010 at 12:57 PM..
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Old 06-16-2010, 05:09 PM
Location: Cedar City
7 posts, read 25,307 times
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As far as Bryce and Arches vs. Zion it depends, Zion is about 150 miles n of Las Vegas easy access from I-15 you are in the bottom of the canyon looking up at the 1500 ft cliffs. the elevation is around 3000 ft it will be hot in July & August 100+ usually. Bryce, spectacular formations 8000 Ft elv. access from US 89, if possible continue along highway 12 (find it on Scenic Byways) through Escalnte Boulder to Capital Reef Natl park. you can eventualy get to Arches but it is a long drive. hate to admit i've never been to Arches. used to spend time in Canyonlands (my favorite) but unless you have a lot of time to bike or pack not much to see from the car. I kind of have the best location in Cedar City 50 miles to zion, 85 to Bryce 180 to North Rim to name a few.
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Old 06-19-2010, 06:16 PM
Location: Massachusetts
202 posts, read 404,334 times
Reputation: 457
Reluctant..what you are doing is exactly what I want to do one day. I live in Massachusetts, and I have always wanted to drive across country to California..stopping in different places along the way. I espescially want to take time in Colorado, and California. I am quite jealous of you! LOL

Three weeks really doesnt seem like a long time to do all that you originally listed. I figured i'd need a good month to do my cross country drive, and I wouldnt be making the number of stops you would be making. I agree that you would probably have to take out some stops here and there.

The fact that you are doing this though, is great no matter how many stops you end up doing. It will be a long while before I can persue my dream of doing that.
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Old 03-29-2012, 04:18 PM
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olympia is worth stopping between portland and seattle. great food, art, music, salmon, otters, and a superfriendly vibe. great double features at the revival movie theatre the Capital-have a great trip
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:15 AM
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,241,442 times
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A few thousand dollars is not very much. Depending on what you drive, expect gas to cost more than ten cents a mile, so for a round number, assume a thousand dollars just for that. If you stay in motels, your average will be at least $50 a night including exorbitant room taxes everywhere, so that's another thousand.

I would suggest using your hobbies as a planning resource, and cross the country fulfilling a specific interest. I once took a trip in which I went to a minor league baseball game every night in a different city, for two weeks, working my way from Appleton WI to Savannah GA to Erie PA. My wife and I took a Corn Trip one year, stopping at least once a day at a roadside sweet corn stand and buying a dozen ears, and finding a place to cook them a few minutes later on a Coleman stove.

I other words, forget about the scenic wonders that everybody photographs, and find your own adventures tailored to suit your own personal tastes. Rule Number One -- stay off the Interstate Highways. Talk to people. Don't tell them about your trip, listen to their stories about their lives. Pick up hitchhikers. Stetch your legs at yard sales, where locals are wonderfully chatty.
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