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  1. Default Los Angeles to Yellowstone

    I finally get the chance for my yearly roadtrip, this years destination is gonna be Yellowstone National Park. I've got 9 days to vent a half a year's worth of cubicle imprisonment, so I'm trying to make it count.

    My itinerary is somewhat set already, I'm travelling in a larger group, but my girlfriend and I are driving separately from everyone else in order to wander around a bit. So far my plans are

    Friday night - Head to vegas overnight (or Valley of fire if possible)
    saturday night - Continue on the 15/50/215 to Salt Lake City
    Sunday - camping at Yellowstone for 3 days
    On the return trip, our plans are to spend a day each at Bryce Canyon and Zion with friends, so the return trip is pretty much set.

    I guess my questions is, what other routes are there between vegas and SLC? That's the only leg of the trip where I have a little bit of flexibility. I'm thinking of trying to take the backroads roads and maybe pass by Little Sahara, Great Basin, or Timpanagos Cave on the way there. We could even possibly skip SLC and meet up the rest of the group at Yellowstone if necessary. I was thinking of taking a detour to Area 51, but I've already been there, and the girlfriend isn't that excited about spending a night near "the white mailbox". I've been checking out Roadside america for the smaller, unique attractions, and have seen a couple of interested sites. Anyone else have recommendations?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default A few ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by LA Native
    I'm travelling in a larger group, but my girlfriend and I are driving separately from everyone else in order to wander around a bit...
    Friday night - Head to vegas overnight (or Valley of fire if possible)
    Is camping an option for you? If so, it is really, really cool to camp at Valley of Fire -- its gonna be warm though. So I have an alternative...

    How does being nearly alone, next to a babbling brook, underneath cottonwood trees hit you for your first night? As much as I would like to meet you, I would push on through Las Vegas and take US-93 north up to Kane Springs Road. (The sign will say "To Elgin") head northeast on this gravel road until you reach Elgin. Turn south on Meadow Valley Road, past the Rainbow Ranch (it will be obvious) and follow the graded, gravel road until you find a nice campground (1-2 miles) beside that babbling brook. That brook is loaded with fish. If camping is not an option, go ahead and drive down there anyway for the view.

    And then turn around and follow Meadow Valley Road north -- it becomes SR-317 and is paved. You will now be traveling through a similar sandstone structure like Valley of Fire and parts of Zion NP. You can stay over-night at Caliente -- the hot springs motel has just be refurbished and is OK.

    The next morning continue north on US-93, right before you get to Pioche, take SR-320 (it is a short loop detour) and cruise the old mining district. I wrote a story about this place, but it has not been published yet. They moved ore from the mines to the smelter by way of an over-head trolley and the cars are still in place. Very photogenic!

    Pack an ice cooler -- Pony Springs makes a nice picnic spot. Continue on north and stop at Ely -- get a coffee at the Nevada Hotel and if you are feeling peckish -- the best filet I have ever eaten can be had across the street at the Jailhouse Inn Cafe.

    You can take Alt-US-93 over to I-80 and stop and see the Tree of Life enroute to SLC.

    On your return -- here is a field report you might find useful and also -- you gotta check out Snow Canyon! The best way to do that would be --- after you leave Zion, follow SR-9 right past the on-ramp for I-15, into St. George over to SR-18 up to the north entrance of Snow Canyon Park and then take the loop back south again through the park. Very, very cool. When you reach the Red Mountain Fitness Resort (again you can't miss this!) turn west and follow the signs to the town of Ivins
    Which will put you back on SR-8 -- follow SR-8 up the Santa Clara River until you reach Shivwits and then follow the old highway 91 over the Beaver Dam mountains where it eventually reaches I-15 At Littlefield.

    Instead of getting back on the freeway, take time for one more detour -- I always take this little loop whenever I want to pretend I am in the middle of a western movie... The paved road continues southwest running parallel to I-15, in the middle of the "weave" section you will only be about 1/2 mile from the Interstate, but it will seem like you are hundreds of miles away! At Mesquite you can jump back on the interstate or continue the road (now called SR-170) down to exit 112 when you re-join the super slab highway.

    Hope this helps!

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-29-2006 at 10:22 PM. Reason: added another small detour

  3. Default

    Thanks for the tips. Camping is an option (my preferred option) but I'll have to get approval. And it's funny, the Tree of Life was one of the sites I was planning on visiting.

    On a somewhat related note, I bought a couple of interesting books to give me some ideas about offbeat destinations. It's called "Weird US" and "Weird California" (They have a bunch of different states though)

    It's kinda like an urban legend compilation, but with directions, so everytime I travel somewhere, I look through it to see what's along the way. They're not really dedictated tourist attractions, but more like interesting sites. One of them, "The Neon boneyard" in Las Vegas, I've passed by before but never gave it a second thought, and never knew you could take tours of it.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-30-2006 at 11:38 AM. Reason: removed book-buying link from competitor's website

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