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  1. Default Novice Roadtrip Planner - San Francisco to Delaware

    Hi all,

    I'm currently working on planning a road trip with my brother from San Francisco to Delaware after he graduates from college this summer. We will be going for 2 weeks beginning mid-June. I'm having some trouble trying to figure out timing and what the best places to stop will be, there just seems like so much to do! We'll be doing a mix of camping (I have a tent) and staying in cheap hotels. Any advice/suggestions on places to visit within our time frame would be great!

    I have started to write down some of the places to stop along the way, I'd love to hear what you think because I'm sure I'm missing some fun spots -

    Death Valley NP
    Las Vegas
    Phoenix, AZ
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Grand Canyon NP + Four Corners
    Albuquerque, NM
    Dallas, TX
    New Orleans, LA
    Jackson, MS
    Memphis and Nashville, TN
    Then probably drive up through NC and VA to Bethany Beach, DE

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default One way or round trip?

    Quote Originally Posted by kbsmile5 View Post
    I'm currently working on planning a road trip with my brother from San Francisco to Delaware after he graduates from college this summer.
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! Is the two weeks to be a round trip period or is this one-way. If it is one-way, you can probably fit in most, of those stops, but a round-trip route will require 8-10 days of non-stop travel by the most direct route to go from San Francisco to Delaware.
    Death Valley NP
    Las Vegas
    Just need to remember that it will be triple digits (~110) in mid-June in Las Vegas and much hotter in Death Valley!

    Sounds like you have a fun adventure planned!

    Mark

  3. Default thanks

    Thanks for replying so quickly! It will be a one-way road trip, my brother's car is in San Francisco, and we are driving it back to the east coast. I guess it will be a bit too crazy hot to do some of the stuff I'd like to, but hopefully we'll be able to get some hiking/national parks in.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Graduating from CAL perchance?

    Quote Originally Posted by kbsmile5 View Post
    Thanks for replying so quickly! It will be a one-way road trip, I guess it will be a bit too crazy hot to do some of the stuff I'd like to, but hopefully we'll be able to get some hiking/national parks in.
    Camping the summer-like heat can be challenging, but it still a nice time of year. Starting from San Francisco -- you really ought consider doing one of the Sierra passes. My favorite is Ebbets Pass (CA-4) it can not be beat for awesome high Sierra beauty, but Sonora Pass CA-108 is also incredible in early summer and, of course, Tioga Pass, through the Yosemite high country is pretty dang wonderful too. Here are some more threads that address routes in your early part of the trip.

    Tim Mayhew has documented many of the Sierra Nevada Passes on his Pashnit.com forum -- here is a must-look-at-thread with awesome views of CA-4!

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 04-17-2007 at 12:59 PM. Reason: link to photos for field report on the Sierra Passes

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    209

    Default Camping in New Mexico

    There are a lot of places you could camp between the Four Corners area and Albuquerque. Here are a few to look into:

    -Navajo Lake State Park, east of Farmington.

    -Further south is Chaco Culture National Historical Park (Chaco Canyon). Some more information here concerning the roads.

    -The ranger districts for the west side of the Santa Fe National Forest:
    Coyote Ranger District
    Cuba Ranger District
    Espaņola Ranger District
    Jemez Ranger District

    And here is a map of all the State Parks in New Mexico. ( except Red Rock ) In eastern New Mexico, Santa Rosa Lake is only 7 miles from the Interstate. Conchas is a little more of a drive, 23 miles. ( from Newkirk )

    Sure sounds like a great trip. Have fun!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Camping in the heat of the SW

    I only have 3 different trips, for a total of about 4 weeks, traveling and camping in the Southwest. These trips have always been in late June/early July. My experience may not be complete enough to be valid but, to be honest, I've never been too hot at night to sleep fine. In fact, sometimes I need an extra blanket over my sleeping bag because it really cools down at night, imho. Maybe I'm just a cold sleeper?

    For daytime activities, obviously you might have times where the heat is over-powering but, for the most part, I think you'll do fine as long as you avoid the hottest part of the day and drink lots of water. Always take twice as much water on a hike as you think you'll need, at least. Water, water, water. It's important and makes a huge difference.
    Last edited by PNW Judy; 04-18-2007 at 12:03 AM. Reason: added info

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Why Four Art Thou

    Your trip as planned does have one common quirk that I have never quite understood. While heading basically across I-40 through Arizona and New Mexico, you're going to make a fairly sizeable detour (80 miles) to go see a geographical oddity (Four Corners). Also, there is a small entry fee for the actual spot where the four states meet - it is private property after all. Whereas if you took the direct route from the Canyon to Albuquerque, you'd not only save those miles but would actually drive through Petrified Forest National Park and right by El Malpais National Monument. And entrance to both of those national lands would be covered by your National Parks Pass. For my money, given the choice between those two options, I'd go for the parks every time. Of such choices are RoadTrips made and I can't decide for you - just point out the options you may be missing.

    AZBuck

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default ....to see a geographical oddity (Four Corners).

    I agree with AZBuck about going to Four Corners. Having said that, Megan have made the trek there -- it seems to be a "requirement" of southwest travel and we have the silly photos to prove it. At best, it is a funky tourist trap, and certainly not worth a special detour, except that those photos of having one limb in each of the four state can be.... sort of cool...

    Mark

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Hey, I did "the quirk" and I don't regret it

    On my first roadtrip to the Southwest, I went to Four Corners. It was one of the top things on my list. Silly? Maybe. But it was a lot of fun. In fact, a high-light of the trip. I enjoyed it just as much as Carlsbad Caverns, Mesa Verde, and Arches. Just in a different way. And I'll probably go back there again someday. But, then again, some who know me say I'm the queen of the tacky tourist attraction. LOL

  10. Default timing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor View Post
    Camping the summer-like heat can be challenging, but it still a nice time of year. Starting from San Francisco -- you really ought consider doing one of the Sierra passes. My favorite is Ebbets Pass (CA-4) it can not be beat for awesome high Sierra beauty, but Sonora Pass CA-108 is also incredible in early summer and, of course, Tioga Pass, through the Yosemite high country is pretty dang wonderful too. Here are some more threads that address routes in your early part of the trip.

    Tim Mayhew has documented many of the Sierra Nevada Passes on his Pashnit.com forum -- here is a must-look-at-thread with awesome views of CA-4!

    Mark
    Mark - Thanks for those suggestions - I'm wondering if you know the approximate trip timing for taking each of those passes to Yosemite? Sounds like you would suggest Ebbets Pass - I actually don't know much about any of them but will do some more research.

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