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  1. Default Finally going to do it. VA to CA. Just need some advice...

    I've been thinking about taking a trip like this for years and I'm finally going to attempt it towards the end of this summer. It will be my last opportunity to do so for a while. Next year I'll be graduating and after that it will be a long time before I have the time and money to even consider such a trip. So a couple college buddies of mine plan to drive from Fredericksburg, VA to L.A. The only stops we know that we wan't to see on the way to or from is Pac Bell Park in SF , Vegas, and the Grand Canyon. Beyond that we just want to check out the beautiful scenery and national parks along the way. We hope to get the trip done in 21 days on a somewhat limited budget.

    Any advice on routes or particulary enjoyable places to see would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Blank Slate

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    You might first think of a basic outline/loop for your trip to start. With your time frame, you'll be best served sticking primarily to the interstates, which probably means I-40, I-70, or I-80.

    With a limited budget, you might consider just trying to fit in as many national parks as you can. You could buy the national parks pass for $80, and then not have to worry much else about "entertainment" type spending.

    There are really so many options it can be hard to narrow things down, but I would use those guidelines as a starting point as you craft your adventure.

  3. Default

    Does the national park pass give me access to campgrounds at the parks or is that additional? Either way it sounds like that would be essential to the trip.

    We plan to do a mix of camping, cheap hotels, and even sleep in the car a night or two. I've done a lot of road trips and it works out as long as you're not doing it more than a night or two in a row.

    Whats some of the best national parks in the West/SW. I plan to drive straight through the country one way (VA to SF) and then slow things down and do all of the scenic stuff on the way. The only part of the route I have planned now is SF to LA to Vegas to the Canyon. Is that a sensible order to do that part of the trip? What are the top national parks that area that wouldn't be too hard to see.

    And as for sticking to interstates.... will I still get to see all the beauty of the regions I'll be going through? And what is the "must see" road in CA between two cities. Im drawing a blank at the moment.

    Thanks!

  4. Default US-50 Driving Time?

    I know US-50 is supposed to be an unforgettable 3,000 mile trek. I'm sure the speed limit varies greatly throughout the states and make it a lengthy drive. I understand DC to SF is roughly 40-45 hours of driving time correct? How long would the same drive be on US-50?
    Last edited by vt311; 03-22-2007 at 09:22 PM.

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

    Default Additional fees

    Quote Originally Posted by vt311 View Post
    Does the national park pass give me access to campgrounds
    No, the National Park Pass is for park entrance only. You would still have to pay the camping fees.
    Either way it sounds like that would be essential to the trip.
    There are plenty of camping options that are not in NP campgrounds and some of them are free or nearly so.
    And as for sticking to interstates.... will I still get to see all the beauty of the regions I'll be going through? And what is the "must see" road in CA between two cities. Im drawing a blank at the moment.
    You need to start doing some reading -- there are thousands of posts about attractions and events between these two places.

    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Nearly impossible to say

    Quote Originally Posted by vt311 View Post
    I understand DC to SF is roughly 40-45 hours of driving time correct? How long would the same drive be on US-50?
    Too many variables, too many small towns, it could be as few as 70 driving hours and as long as 120 hours. Seriously, there is no way to predict this route.

    mark

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    The Olympic peninsula of WA State
    Posts
    11

    Default Here's a suggestion

    If I were to take this trip I would probably take I-64 from Virginia to St. Louis then I-70 into Kansas. Then drop down to US50 and take it from there. 50 through Colorado is a spectacular highway. It passes Royal Gorge, a private tourist park, but pretty impressive. The highway crosses a very high pass (11,000') then passes near The Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP. Another place for great views. 50 merges with I-70 than passes near Moab UT. If you could only stop at one park during the whole trip it should be Arches near Moab. This park has some of most unusual rock formations in the world. DON'T MISS IT! If you have more time to spend in this area check out Canyonlands NP for incredible views of the Colorado and Green River canyons.

  8. #8

    Default US50 doable in 14 days

    We drove Us-50 last May. It was indeed fantastic [especially the Utah and Nevada stretches] and we did it, reasonably leisurely, in 13 days.

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