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  1. Default Heading Out West from Georgia

    Okay I first need to say I am in love with this site. Only place that has been helpful with my planning. I will be going for 13 days at the end of july and through Aug. First, I was going to drive all the way from Georgia, but now am thinking I might fly to Salt Lake City and start there. Just going to list possible route.

    Salt Lake to Rocky Mountain National Park

    RMNP to Durango for the million dollar highway

    Durango to Four Corners

    Four Corners to Page Arizona

    Page to Grand Canyon North Rim

    North Rim to Monument Valley

    to Las vegas with dipping through utah maybe?

    Las Vegas to Death Valley

    Death Valley to Sequoia and Kings Canyon

    Sequoia to Yosemite

    Yosemite to Sacramento

    Fly from Sacremento to Georgia


    Things I feel I had to leave out because the trip seemed to amibitious

    LA
    PCH and Big Sur

    San Francisco

    New Mexico(White Sands and Roswell)

    The drive from Georgia to there( don't really care to see texas, alabama, Miss, Ok, and such)

    Does this sound good?

    Better routes?

    Make the whole Drive?

    Through out some things?

    Add some things?


    I am in need of your help and I am at your mercy...lol

    Thanks,

    Justin

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

    Default The Air option is the only way

    Quote Originally Posted by todd_307 View Post
    Okay I first need to say I am in love with this site.
    It might be short-lived romance once I finish this post, but thanks and welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!
    First, I was going to drive all the way from Georgia, but now am thinking I might fly to Salt Lake City and start there.
    The only way for you to see even 1/2 of those places would be to fly to a hub airport and then create a route much like the spokes on a wheel. For that reason, I would choose Phoenix instead of Salt Lake City. If you drove from Georgia, round trip at maximum speed to Las Vegas would require seven full days of driving (at least 9 hours per day) and so I would say that the air option is the only way you could a trip on this scale. So, let's assume that you have 11 days for such a trip (need to figure two days in transit, by the time you allow for waiting time in aiports).

    I think it would be possible physically reach all of the places you have outlined in eleven days, but it will be a very fast look, with little time for hiking and exploring at slightly slower pace. Perhaps you could share a little of what you are hoping to see and do in these places and we might be able to offer some more suggestions.

    This page has a list of some of the discussions about part of your route,

    Mark

  3. Default Thinking of changes

    Salt lake City was a thought because my friends had family there. But I think we are going to toss that out. I am more interested in the driving scenery and day trips to the parks. No real serious multi-day hikes and adventures. Just really trying to see the most feasible and realistic way to see the most things. Phoenix seems to south for me. Does anyone have any ideas for cities to fly into and out of.

    Arrive San Fran

    Depart Denver?

    make that loop?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
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    Default Don't have to worry about multi-day hikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by todd_307 View Post
    I am more interested in the driving scenery and day trips to the parks. No real serious multi-day hikes and adventures.
    Multi-day hikes are not in the realm of possibilities if you want to visit all of these parks --
    Just really trying to see the most feasible and realistic way to see the most things. Phoenix seems too south for me
    OK, here would be a possible scenario for a driving tour -- the thing to remember is that every park has more than 10 days of places to explore from the roads and your adventure will be amazingly rich and full of diversity. I suggested Phoenix as a possible hub, because it would be considerably less expensive to have one air destination. But I suppose that Denver might be a better choice. And one thing I missed from your first post, was that you had planned to a two-stop airport all along -- so since financial considerations don't seem to be an issue on this trip -- perhaps your first idea would be the best. So here is reasonable time-line to complete your trip as first posed:
    Salt Lake to Rocky Mountain National Park
    (Two days) I would use US-40 and stop in Steamboat Springs for a wonderfully restorative visit to Strawberry Park hotsprings. Perhaps stay at the Stanley in Estes Park (check out the ghost there!
    RMNP to Durango for the million dollar highway
    (One Day)US-50 cris-crossing the continental divide to Durango (ride the train if you can)
    Durango to Four Corners
    Four Corners to Page Arizona
    (one day)I would certainly swing by Mesa Verde NP and then standing at the Four Corners has never really warmed most of us on this Forum -- most of us have done it, but there are far cooler things to do in the area. But you really should go through Monument Valley during this section of the trip -- I would actually stay overnight at Kayenta
    Page to Grand Canyon North Rim
    This leg puzzles me a little, I like both rims, but you are so close to the south rim, I would suggest going there and then diverting to the west.
    to Las vegas with dipping through utah maybe?
    (one day)I would suggest driving from the south rim to Las Vegas via Hoover Dam -- this will be a long day -- but gorgeous scenery.
    Las Vegas
    (1-2 nights) Perhaps an additional night here -- there are some many amazing places to visit within a day trip of Las Vegas. In fact, Zion NP is a day trip and here is a 2-day side trip to the North Rim and Bryce and a few other places.
    Las Vegas to Death Valley
    It is a couple of hours from Las Vegas to Furnace Creek in Death Valley -- lots of cool places to stay here overnight. But your time might be short -- so perhaps you will need to push on here. If so, I would suggest Lake Isabella as a very nice overnight location -- cool mountains breezes to contrast with the blast furnace effect of Death Valley in the summer.
    Death Valley to Sequoia and Kings Canyon
    This is a bit challenging. There is an all day trip over Sherman's Pass between Death Valley and Sequoia, and I really like the road -- but it is easily a 12+ hour trip. For more realistic is to use CA-58 to CA-99 and then on to Sequoia -- here is a field report from this area.
    Sequoia to Yosemite
    (1-2 days) It is a relatively short drive between Sequoia and Yosemite -- but traffic will be at a fever pitch in the valley and it is going to take some time to see much.
    Yosemite to Sacramento
    Fly from Sacramento to Georgia
    A drive along the famous Gold Trail should be fun.

    As listed, this driving tour of the western parks would be 9-11 days.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 04-29-2007 at 12:17 PM.

  5. Default Cool Cool

    Yeah Definitely want to fly in one place and fly out from a different place. That way give us the most time we can. The reason I put page to north rim is I heard about something called the arizona strip? worth the drive or just go to south rim? The two hub cities can change. Do you have any ideas for the best ones...totally open. We can eliminate salt lake...was just going there for family, not to see. So tell me if these places are good arrive/depart hubs:

    San Fran/Denver
    Albequerque/ Sacremento
    anymore ideas would greatly help

    What should we drop off the list if we had to?

    Colorado?

    room for New Mexico or would we pretty much see what we are seeing elsewhere?

    Thank you so much

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Posts
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    Default "Love the one, you are with...."

    Quote Originally Posted by todd_307 View Post
    The reason I put page to north rim is I heard about something called the arizona strip?
    The Arizona Strip is the section of Arizona that is cut-off from the rest of the state by the Grand Canyon. It is an awesome place full of incomparable vistas and harsh desert realities. Unless you have extensive off-highway expertise, it is not an area that I recommend you visit in summer. It is true that you can see some of it -- US-89-ALT passes by the Vermilion Cliffs via Marble Canyon -- but some of the best vistas can only be seen by 4-WD. Here is a good overview about the area.

    If it were me, I would choose Denver as the inbound airport and Las Vegas as the outbound. I would stay one night in Las Vegas after the leg from the south rim and then head north on this route through the White Mountains and stop and walk among the Bristlecone Pines before stopping for the night in either Bishop or Mammoth Lakes. You could cross the Sierras on the classic route over Tioga Pass and into Yosemite and then south along the western slope to Tehachapi and then over to Death Valley and then back to Las Vegas.

    But if you want a REAL memorable high sierra drive -- I would stay on US-395 past Lee Vining all the way up to Topaz Lake then take CA-89 over the nosebleed climb to Monitor pass and then over Ebbets Pass CA-04 (my favorite road in the area). Wait till you see the cabins on the lake at Mosquito Lake -- it is story-book perfect. Tim Mayhew is a Forum member who runs Pashnit.com and here is a field report with excellent photos of this famous high mountain road. You will need to scroll through the pages -- but eventually you will see the views from this road!

    room for New Mexico or would we pretty much see what we are seeing elsewhere?
    There is no place like New Mexico, anywhere in the world, but you can't see all of the southwest in eleven days and so I would suggest that you adapt those immortal words of Stephen Stills and enjoy the places you get to see when you are there.

    Mark

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