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  1. Default Is Nevada too hot in August? (Road tripping from Pittsburgh to LA)

    My boyfriend, my sister and I are planning a road trip from Pittsburgh to LA in the second week of August. We are considering the pros and cons of the northern and southern route. It seems like the latter has some really cool sights (Sierra Nevada, Rockies, Lake Tahoe, Grand Canyon, just to name a few) and is the most direct route. However, my biggest fear is the summer heat, and being stranded in the Death Valley with an overheated Corolla '99.

    The argument for the northern route is that it'll be cooler (temperature-wise) and we'd get to see Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone National Park and Redwood National Park (we would drive down the California coast if we take this route). But it is longer, and the sights and attractions seem a little sparse in the middle.

    Please advise on:

    -the "safer" route if there is one
    -whether it would really be too hot on the southern route
    -if we take the northern route, what are some of the big attractions in the middle?

    We are planning this for seven days (give or take a couple), but because we've done Pittsburgh-Chicago, we would probably drive straight to Chicago in one day and save the other six to get the rest of the way.

    Thank you!

    -Amy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default It is impossible to reach DV accidently....

    Quote Originally Posted by ernchze View Post
    My boyfriend, my sister and I are planning a road trip from Pittsburgh to LA
    Sounds like a fun adventure -- Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!
    It seems like the latter has some really cool sights (Sierra Nevada, Rockies, Lake Tahoe, Grand Canyon, just to name a few) and is the most direct route. However, my biggest fear is the summer heat, and being stranded in the Death Valley with an overheated Corolla '99.
    You can not get to Death Valley unless you choose to, especially on your route and so a fear of DV is a little misplaced it seems to me.
    The argument for the northern route is that it'll be cooler (temperature-wise) and we'd get to see Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone National Park and Redwood National Park (we would drive down the California coast if we take this route).
    Um, I doubt it. Average temperatures for both routes will be very similar in August. You can find both lower and higher temps on either route -- but it is summer!!!
    -the "safer" route if there is one
    Neither route is any more safer than the other one. Both routes are equally safe. Read these tips about safe roadtrips for more ideas.

    Mark

  3. Default The southern route

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for your reply.

    I thought that taking the southern route meant that we would have to go through the DV to get to LA, but I guess we could keep heading west on US-50 until San Francisco and then take the coastal road to LA.

    What do you think about the duration of our trip? Is 6 days from Chicago to L.A. pretty decent? (I've been trying to read a lot of the threads in this forum. They've been very helpful in terms of getting me started, but my questions are getting more specific.)

    Thanks!

    -Amy

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default I thought you were going to the Grand?

    Quote Originally Posted by ernchze View Post
    I thought that taking the southern route meant that we would have to go through the DV to get to LA, but I guess we could keep heading west on US-50 until San Francisco and then take the coastal road to LA.
    Not necessarily, there are hundreds of alternative roads from Lake Tahoe to Los Angeles -- but I thought you also wanted to go to the Grand Canyon the way?
    What do you think about the duration of our trip? Is 6 days from Chicago to L.A. pretty decent?
    That is an excellent length fo time.

    You can still go through Death Valley -- but it is sort of out of your way...

    Mark

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Central California
    Posts
    378

    Default How 'bout these?

    Hi,

    The northern route may be a little cooler, or have some cooler spots, mostly because you are higher, not further north. (for example: it isn't unheard of, though rare, for there to be snow in Yellowstone in August)

    If you did: Black Hills, Yellowstone/Tetons, Yosemite/Sequoia, Calfornia coast (probably from Monterey on south) you'll have about 2,700 miles. Not bad if you can stretch it out a couple of days. You'll see lots of varied scenery, more than the southern route, and the highlights are nicely spaced.

    If you can delay a week or so you might be able to hit the Burning Man festival in late August (now that would be something to write home about)!

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide America's Living History-The Early Years

  6. Default Nice, concrete ideas

    Thanks! Those concrete suggestions are really helpful. My tendency's probably just to go along with them. You listed some of my most "wanted" sites/sights.

    -Amy

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