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  1. Default Manitoba to California! - suggested stops?

    Hello! :P

    My two friends and i are looking to go on a grad trip to California next summer. We want to see the backroads version.. not the big city touristy version... any suggestions on stops? Our goal is to end up in Santa Cruz, California. Any suggestions would be awesome, we have never gone road tripping before... Thanks! :D

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default A Few

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Just so you know, you've got four solid days of driving between Winnepeg (an assumption) and Santa Cruz. I hope you can add some days each way, because you're going to be driving by such great locations as Yellowstone National Park and Lake Tahoe. Just a few of the 'backroads version' of California I think you're looking for would include Carmel Valley Rd., Pinnacles National Monument, Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway, Virginia City in Nevada, and while it is a tourist draw, you really should take a drive down the Pacific Coast Highway (CA-1).

    That list of just a few of the possibilities should give you and your friends an idea of what's available. If those look good, sit down and work out just how much time you'll have for this trip and how you'll divide it between getting there and being there. Work out a budget. There are lots of hints on the general planning of RoadTrips. Have a look at them, too.

    That should all help to get you started. Good luck and have a great adventure


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default What big cities?

    Other than Salt Lake City, there are hardly any big cities on a more or less direct route between Manitoba and Santa Cruz.

    Depending on time available for the trip, I'd suggest making your way through Williston, North Dakota to Fort Union (a fur traders fort), south through Theodore Roosevelt National Park's North and South units. On south to the Black Hills area of southwest South Dakota. (Lots to see there such as caves, Badlands, Custer State Park wildlife, etc.) West to Devil's Tower (did you see "Close Encounters of the Third Kind") then up to Garyowen, Montana for an interesting lesson in how not to fight Indians at the site of Custer's Last Stand, the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument.

    On to Yellowstone via the northeast gate taking Highway 212 trough Red Lodge, Montana. After a few days in Yellowstone go south through Grand Tetons National Park. West into Idaho to the Craters of the Moon volcanic area, then down Hwy 93 to Ely, Nevada for a steam train ride. Then, either down to Death Valley, or straight across to Mono Lake and on to Yosemite via Hwy 120. After several days there make your way to Hwy 152 to Gilroy (the garlic capitol of the world - see if you can coordinate your plans to be there during the Garlic festival on the last weekend in July and try some garlic ice cream) on your way to Santa Cruz.

    That is a pretty direct route using mostly back roads, and I have no idea how long that will take but what the've got all summer, right? Of course, you can add or subtract whatever suits your fancy (such as the famous National Parks in Utah), but however you do it you'll have fun if you do some reading and research first, and spend a little time at each of the prime areas.

    Craig Sheumaker

    Co-author of A Traveler's Guide: America's Living History - The Early Years

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