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  1. Default road trip from DC to Seattle in April

    Hey Everyone,
    My family and I are moving from Washington DC to Seattle in mid April. My Wife and kids will be flying but I'll be driving across with our two dogs. I'm just beginning to plan my trip and was hoping I could get some advice from more experienced roadies.
    I'm trying to guage which route to take. I have 10-14 days and would like to see some of the sites and national parks. I imagine I may have trouble with the two dogs and am trying to come up with a strategy. I'm also trying to decide whether to take a northern, southern or middle route across country. And if I do go the middle or southern route should I cross the rockies and then head north or go north and then cross the rockies.
    I do have friends in Boulder that I'm trying to meet up with and I'm hoping to do a mix of camping (or cabin) and staying in motels along the way.
    I haven't seen much of the US except the East coast.

    I'm trying to figure out what is feasible and any advice you could offer would be gratly appreciated.
    Thanks
    Karl

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,004

    Default Some of the Best of the West for not too Many Miles

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    You could make that drive in as little as 5 or 6 days, maybe a day more to allow for the dog stops. Oh, will you be pulling a trailer or are your household good being moved separately? If I were in your shoes, I think I'd be looking at taking I-64 across the Virginias and Kentucky, and then use I-65/I-74 to cut up to the Quad Cities and use I-80 and I-76 to the Boulder area. Then see if US-34/US-40 across northern Colorado and US-191/US-189 north through western Wyoming don't meet your needs, even going as far north as Glacier, if Going to the Sun Road is open. Such a route doesn't add all that many miles to the overall length, but does get you to quite a few of the best national parks. By not making the drive unduly long, you leave yourself some time for you and the dogs to actually get out of the car and take some walks through all the lovely scenery you'll be passing. Here's an article with some tips on travelling with pets that you might find useful as well.

    AZBuck

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

    Default Dog travel tips

    This thread has some information that might prove useful. Especially the last post with lots of links to dog-travel information. I believe you might have a tad bit of trouble traveling with two dogs. It seems most hotels only allow for one dog. You may need to consider doing some camping in order to accomodate your dogs.

    Dogs will limit the sightseeing you can do in national parks. You can usually just take them out in parking lots and, once in awhile, on paved trails. But you won't be able to take them out in most other areas. So plan accordingly for them at these locations.

    If you're towing a trailer, I don't blame you for wanting to avoid some steep elevations. But if the rig is designed to tow, don't let this intimidate you too much. Interstates are required to be designed to allow the big truckers and other big rigs to travel on them safely. Many RVs, trucks/trailers, etc. drive these roads every day without a problem. Unless you're towing something that is overweight for the tow vehicle, you should be fine. (Of course, you might also need auxiliary brakes. Make sure you're doing this safely and check out if you need them.) If you're NOT towing, then don't sweat the Rockies at all. Most any vehicle should be just fine crossing them.

    While Glacier would be a great trip, I'm not sure that I'd bother this trip. That seems like an ideal trip for the whole family at a later time. But if you don't think that would be possible, then go for it.

  4. Default Alternate routes

    Thanks Judy and AZBuck for your help!

    I'm travelling early next week and it looks like roads through Yellowstone and some of the more northern parks are closed. So now after Boulder I'm thinking of heading a little more west through Colorado, Utah parts of Nevada and up the Oregon coast. With the two dogs I've been looking into going through national forest land which is a litle more lenient with dogs.
    Do you have any more suggestions for getting from Boulder to Seattle heading west and then north?
    PS I don't have a trailer just my Xterra my two dogs and a friend to help with the driving.
    Thanks again,
    Karl

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Two dogs, a friend, an Xterra....great trip in the making!

    Unless you're truly set on going west, the most expedient way would be to go through Salt Lake City, Boise, and the northeast corner of Oregon into Washington, then northwest through Kennewick and Yakima to Ellensburg, then west to Seattle. And it's a gorgeous drive, imho. You won't be bored. You could do it in 2 days but 3 would be better.

    Going west and then north through Oregon does add some miles and it's also a lovely drive. I would take 4 days for this drive. Simply go west on I-70 and then US-50 (The Loneliest Highway in America...open for dispute, LOL) into Reno, then 395 to the merge with I-5 at Shasta, CA, then head north on I-5. Expect some possible snow between Reno and Shasta. We drove this in April two years ago and had snow but it wasn't any problem and just made a pretty drive that much prettier.

    Both of this routes should have plenty of places to stop to run the dogs as both will have their share of national forest and other designated areas. Plus both drives have significant portions without any population centers where there is plenty of open space for dogs to play in.

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