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  1. Default NYC to the national parks in UT

    Hi,

    I'm new to the forums and to the roadtrip experience.

    I'm trying to plan a trip for me and my wife from New York to the Utah parks and Yellowstone and back to New York.
    Does his sound crazy? We have 3 1/2 to 4 weeks to do it and we're open for anything.

    How many days would it take to drive there? What's the fastest way and what's the scenic route?
    Any advice on how to do it, if to do it, and what to see along the way will be very helpful.
    Thanks,

    22ut (two to UT)

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

    Default Basic Options

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum.

    You actually have your choice of several routes across the continent, all of which are pretty much the same distance/time and all of which are scenic in their own right. For you're particular purposes, I'd suggest that you use the following as your basic route west: I-78, I-81, I-70 and I-15. A minor alternative would be to continue down I-81 a bit farther and take I-64 to St. Louis to pick up I-70. This route is generally a pretty short/fast way to southwestern Utah, but also lets you enjoy some of the scenery in the east. From the Utah parks, you'd then head up I-15 and US-20 to Yellowstone.

    For your return, you should be looking at something like US-20 and I-90 out onto and across the plains. For your final leg back home, you have three options you'll have to choose between. The short/fast route is just to stay in the Interstates and use I-90 and I-80 back to NYC. The intriguing route would be to cut northeastward across Wisconsin and the UP of Michigan to use the Trans-Canada Highway from Sault Ste. Marie to Ottawa, and then head south down I-87 back to town. The middle route would be to use I-90 and I-94 to Detroit, again cross into Canada and use the 401 to Niagara Falls where you'd return to the US and get home on the Thruway.

    Anyway, you should probably leave yourself about a week each way (one week to Utah - one week back from Yellowstone), leaving you a week and a half to two weeks to explore the west. Exactly how long to spend on each leg and what to see and do depends more on your desires (and your wife's!) than on our advice, so have a look at the basic routes I've mapped out and see what appeals to you along the way. Once you know the basics of your trip, we can help fill in the details a bit more.

    AZBuck

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

    Default You are going to love it!

    Quote Originally Posted by 22ut
    I'm new to the forums and to the roadtrip experience.
    I'm trying to plan a trip for me and my wife from New York to the Utah parks and Yellowstone and back to New York.
    AZBuck's route is well done -- an alternative is to plan to focus your "on-the-ground" time in one area -- Utah has several parks -- all fabulous and I might suggest that you route your trip to enable a more focused look at Arches, Bryce, Zion, etc. I am still not sure when this trip is planned for?

    Mark

  4. Default Alternatives?

    We're planning on leaving on the last week of august and our return date is flexible. It feels a little tight but I hope we can get everything together.
    We certainly want to spend enough time in the parks but I don't want to feel rushed during the drive.

    Another question is how much would this cost on gas? Is there any way to get a ballpark figure?

    thanks.

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

    Default RTA's Custom Fuel Cost Calculator

    Quote Originally Posted by 22ut
    Another question is how much would this cost on gas? Is there any way to get a ballpark figure?
    We built a tool that will allow you to input a variety of data and get all sorts of information in return. Click here and enter the distance of your trip, likely fuel prices (current fuel prices for every province and state is provided) and fuel efficiences (many provided herein) and you will some pretty useful and accurate information/

    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Spirit of '76

    Four days is a doable time if you're seasoned, but as stated, a week would probably be more to your liking, as you are new to the roadtrip experience.

    You're going to absolutely love it out there - I wish I could get back out there sometime soon.

    From I-81, to get on I-70 in PA, you'll have to take I-76 for a bit, and then it shares an alignment with I-70. This is a very scenic ride, and quite historical, too.

    I-64 through W.Virginia is truly amazing.

    Either way, you'll enjoy the ride.

  7. Default are we realy going?

    Hi,
    After going over maps and trying to figure it all out, it looks like the logistics are in place.
    The basic rout west is the one suggested by AZBuck. We'll be visiting family in Vienna, VA so from there I figure we'll get on I-64 and then I-70 in St. Louis all the way to UT. Then we can either start in Arches or continue down to Zion and work our way up through the parks and to Yellowstone.

    The way east is still a little up in the air but also follows AZBuck's suggestions. I-90, if we have time we'll go through Canada and if not we'll just continue through Chicago and down to New York.

    I figure we should see the big cities alon the way, but are there any 'must-see's along the way?
    Thanks

    22ut

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Some "Should-Sees" on the Way

    Unlike the one-of-a-kind grand locations and vistas of the West, the sights of the East are a bit more subdued, and open to personal preference. But here are a few that I think you should consider on your trips out and back. You probably won't be able to get to all of them, but they'll give you a good idea of the best that's available within a few miles of your routes.

    Out:
    The New River Gorge National River in West Virginia, one of the last free flowing rivers in the East.
    Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky, especially if you can schedule your arrival for early in the morning. This would require a bit of a detour, though
    The Gateway Arch in St. Louis - take the ride to the top.
    Harry Truman's Home in Independence (outside KC), MO - a little out of the ordinary, but I found it fascinating.
    Rocky Mountain National Park northwest of Denver - again, a bit of a detour, but well worth it.

    Back:
    Little Bighorn National Battlefield in Montana - Take some time to study the prelude, battle, and outcome.
    Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming. Where have you seen that before?
    Mount Rushmore National Monument in South Dakota.
    Badlands National Park in South Dakota. An otherworldly landscape just off the interstate.
    The Jolly Green Giant in Blue Earth,MN. Kitschy, but it's right off the highway.

    From there, it depends which way you go, but you get the idea.

    AZBuck

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