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  1. Default Ohio-Seattle and back!

    Hello,

    My first post here! I have a trip being planned for June and am open to suggestions I might have missed for stops. We'll be leaving June 9th and returning around the 29th. We're taking 70 (mostly) out and 90 back. I am a photographer, so I'm especially interested in photography tips!

    We have probably 10 national parks or monumnets on the agenda so far including: Badlands, Crazy Horse, Mt. Rushmore, Devils Tower, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Glacier, Olympic, Mt. Rainier, Arches, and Rocky Mt.

    We have reservations for most overnights that are around national parks, but they are in mom-and-pop type motels for the most part. Partly for cost and partly just to have something different.

    It will be me, my sister, and my 11 yr. old daughter. We can do some walking, (an easy walk of a mile or so is fine) but not much strenous hiking due to my sister's knee. Lots of stairs could be a problem.

    Any new ideas??? I am really looking forward to the trip! We took one to the Grand Canyon a few years ago and it was wonderful.

    mamapo
    Last edited by mamapo; 05-14-2006 at 09:15 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Medium(?) Spots

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum.

    You've already got the high spots covered, I hope you have lots of film and/or memory cards! But a few other things not to miss along the way include many sites in South Dakota and the Inland Northwest. One of our Moderators, Judy, calls the Pacific Northwest home, and another, Arizona_Brad, has lived there as well, so be sure to use the search tool and look for their excellent posts on that region. Here's just one example.

    Be sure to ask at the ranger stations at each park you enter for hikes that will be accessible to your sister. My wife also has knee problems and we have found the rangers to be extremely helpful in making sure that we get the most out of their parks even with our limited mobility. They are an invaluable resource.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default San Rafael Swell

    Quote Originally Posted by mamapo
    We'll be leaving June 9th and returning around the 29th. We're taking 70 (mostly) out and 90 back. I am a photographer, so I'm especially interested in photography tips!
    A couple of things come to mind. First, I am not positive that the peak road in Rocky Mountains NP will be open -- it ought to be -- but we had a very heavy snow pack this year. Make sure that when you drive I-70 between Green River, Utah and and I-15 that is daylight! The best is raking light early in the morning -- but I have also captured some amazing lightning shots in late afternoon. Here is a brief primer on why I consider this section of I-70 to be one of the most scenic roads in America.
    It will be me, my sister, and my 11 yr. old daughter. We can do some walking, (an easy walk of a mile or so is fine) but not much strenous hiking due to my sister's knee. Lots of stairs could be a problem
    On your way to Seattle, you have to stop by Craters of the Moon -- your sister can see much of it without stairs.

    Happy Planning!

    Mark

  4. Default

    Thanks for the info. I particularly enjoyed the article on the scenic areas of I-70. We are leaving the Moab/Arches NP area and headed west pretty early in the morning, so we should have some good light to our backs lighting up the scenery.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Capitol Reef and Canyonlands

    Quote Originally Posted by mamapo
    Any new ideas???
    Not really "new", but the light found in the morning in some of those slot canyons in Capitol Reef and especially in the Maze area in Canyonlands is excellent! We don't yet have an article about Canyonlands -- but here is a quick look at Capitol Reef.

    Mark

  6. Default

    Here is the itinerary as it stands now.

    6/09 - leave ohio - near Topeka (650m)
    6/10 - Topeka - Rky Mt. NP (600m)
    6/11 - am Rky Mt. NP, then - Arches NP area (400m)
    6/12 - Arches NP (0m)
    6/13 - Arches - Heyburn ID (w/scenic stops) (450m)
    6/14 - Heyburn - Stevenson WA (516m)
    6/15 - Stevenson - Mt. Rainier NP and to Seattle (211m)
    6/15 - 6/19 Seattle area
    6/16 - Seattle (family)
    6/17 - Seattle, Olympic NP area
    6/18 - Vancouver
    6/19 - Seattle (family)
    6/20 - Seattle - Glacier NP area (600m)
    6/21 - Glacier NP area (0m)
    6/22 - Glacier - Manhattan MT (321m)
    6/23 - Manhattan - Colter Bay Village (Yellowstone area)(185m)
    6/24 - Yellowstone, Grand Teton NPs (0m)
    6/25 - Colter Bay - Sheridan WY (290m)
    6/26 - Sheridan - Custer SD area (Mt. Rushmore etc.)(217m)
    6/27 - More Custer area AM then - Sioux Falls SD (390m)
    6/28 - Sioux Falls - Peoria IL area (540m)
    6/29 - Peoria - HOME (325m)

    Whew! I'm tired just looking at it! The first two days are a haul, but with two drivers and newly energized for the trip, I think we'll be okay. It's through areas we've been through enough before. I tried to give a few easier days now and then to recharge, and toward the end of the trip cut back some on the milage to give us some flexibility and for probable low energy reasons.

    What do you think?

  7. #7
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Which Route?

    Quote Originally Posted by mamapo
    6/20 - Seattle - Glacier NP area (600m)
    6/21 - Glacier NP area (0m)
    Which route do you plan on using for the trip between Seattle and Glacier NP? I highly recommend (and frequently, too!) US 2 rather than I-90. It is a bit of a slower drive, but it is definately worth it. Between Everett and Wenatchee, US 2 is part of the Cascade Loop and is designated the Stevens Pass Greenway. The road is dotted with quaint small towns such as Sultan, Gold Bar, Index (about 3 miles north of the highway deep in the mountains), and Skykomish, and Leavenworth, along with some very small townships such as Baring, Grotto, Stevens Pass, Merrit, and Coles Corner/Winton.

    Some sites to see on the west side of Stevens Pass are: Wallace Falls State Park, Deception Falls, as well as the towns along the way. You can get local information on things to do in within the National Forests at the Skykomish Ranger Office.

    On the east side of the pass, you will begin decending into the deserts and grassland of Washington State... although it will take a while for you to see it. Some places to see on the east side of the pass are: Lake Wenatchee, The Alps Candy Store (it is about 5 miles-ish after leaving the business area at Coles Corner. Its can be easy to miss, but keep an eye out for a building on the left side of the road just off the river. There should be a stand of trees on along a curve in the road before you reach it), The town of Leavenworth, and a bit further down the road, the town of Cashmere, which plays host to Liberty Orchards (makers of the Applets and Cottlets Candy) and the Pioneer Village and Museum.

    After Cashmere, the next city is Wenatchee (apple capital of the world), home to places such as Ohme Gardens, The Wenatchee Valley Museum, and many more fun places.

    After Wenatchee, US 2 heads north along the eastern bank of the Columbia River. Unfortunately, this means you'd either have to side track about 10 miles to see the tour of the Rocky Reach Dam, one of three hydro-electric projects that serve Chelan County and the Pacific Northwest, as its only accessable from US 97 Alternate, on the west side of the river.

    The other nice thing about US 2 is you won't have to change too many highways, as US 2 serves Glacier National Park. The whole highway is much like the Stevents Pass - Chelan County segment.

    Once past Wenatchee, you'll climb to the top of the Waterville Plateau and into the Columbia River Basin area, and straight on into Spokane.

    If you have any questions, please ask.

  8. Default

    Gave some thought to taking that route (rt. 2), but we have many miles to cover that particular day and I think we're going to have to stick to the interstate. If we take the route you mentioned, how long of a drive do you think it would be? Doable in the good part of a day?

  9. #9
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default "Time, you ain't no friend of mine"

    Quote Originally Posted by mamapo
    If we take the route you mentioned, how long of a drive do you think it would be? Doable in the good part of a day?
    I think Hootie and the Blowfish say it best when it comes to this leg.

    Unfortunately, now that I think about it, if you plan to get to Glacier from Seattle in one day, you will definately have to stick to I-90 and put the pedal to the metal. Its about a 4 hour drive over I-90 Snoqualmie Pass from Seattle to Spokane, and I'm sure taking US 2 up into Glacier will be MUCH longer.

    US 2 does shave several miles off of the Seattle to Spokane leg, but at a slower speed (especially through some of the towns). However, if you took US 2 over the Cascades and then dipped south to I-90 via Quincy, I'd venture to guess an additonal hour or two of straight-through driving, not counting stops (and with so much to see, its hard not to). Its really hard to tell. I guess it all depends on how close to Glacier you want to get before stopping for the night. Microsoft Streets and Trips shows a stop for the night at about Kalispel, MT, which is very close to the park. But, if I snap the route to include US 2 Stevens Pass, you'd end up stopping about 200-300 miles further away, such as Bonners Ferry or Kellogg.

    Its really a tough call, but from the looks of it, you'd end up having to keep to the interstate to make it to anywhere near Glacier.

    Its all doable in a good part of a day, but i'm not sure now that you have the time. Which is really sad... you'll be speeding on through some amazing country (although ALL of the Cascade Crossings are wonderful, I-90 just seems to fast!)

    -Brad

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