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  1. Default denver to seattle

    my son and i are doing a 2 week road trip from denver to seattle.
    trying to see many things:
    Wednesday 7/16 Newburgh->Denver
    Thurs 17 Denver-> Wheatland Wyoming
    Fri 18 Wheatland-> Keystone South Dakota
    Sat 19 Keystone->Riverton Wyoming
    Sun 20 Riverton-> Yellowstone Park Wyoming
    Mon 21 Yellowstone
    Tues 22 Yellowstone-> Helena Montana
    Wed 23 Helena-> Glacier National Park Montana
    Thurs 24 Glacier->Spokane Washington
    Fri 25 Spokane->Portland Oregon
    Sat 26 Portland->Olympic National Park
    Sun 27 Olympic National Park
    Mon 28 Seattle
    Tues 29 Seattle
    Wed 30 Seattle->Newburgh

    is this too much? any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Yeah, too much.

    Way too much.

    Welcome to the Roadtrip America forums.

    If you're talking about Newburgh, Indiana, it's roughly 1000 miles to Denver. We recommend people limit their longer driving days to about 500-550 miles as that is a good 9-10 hour day of driving once fuel stops and very quick meal breaks are factored in. So figure it will take you 18-20 hours to cover that 1000 miles.

    This drives seems easy compared to your last one. Seattle to Newburgh, IN, is 2,315 miles....a good 40 hours.

    But the distance between cities isn't the only problem as the entire distance is really too long for an enjoyable 2-week vacation. At about 5800 miles total, this is about 100 hours on the road. If you drove 10 hours/day, that's 10 days of driving, leaving you 4 days to play. If you want to make a trip like this it's do-able but it doesn't seem like much fun as you'll have little time to explore the wonderful sights along the way. Also, you will obviously not have 2 days each for Olympic National Park or Seattle.

    If Olympic NP/Seattle are your main goals, I think you'll have to go by the quickest route and leave out Yellowstone and Glacier for this trip. You would still need about 8 days total to make the trip from Indiana to Washington but this would give you 6 days to enjoy Olympic NP, Seattle, and other Washington sights before heading home.

    But I think you'd actually be better off enjoying Yellowstone, possibly Glacier, and then heading home from there.

    However you do it, you need to either add more days or shorten your trip or I fear you're going to be spending virtually all your time in the car.

  3. Default denver to seattle

    the newburgh is in ny. we are flying into denver, getting a rental car and driving the two weeks, ending in seattle

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Oh, that makes quite a difference

    Yes, at about 2400 miles, that's much more do-able. I do think you're going to want to schedule a tad more time in Yellowstone and Glacier, however. Same for the Mt. Rushmore area.

    In essence, you have planned a very good whistle-stop tour...by this I mean that you will have time to see a lot of great stuff but you won't have time to explore any of it in great depth. And there's nothing wrong with that as long as you realize that's what you're doing.

    I'm most familiar with the Pacific NW and I think that there are better ways to get to the Olympic Peninsula than going via Spokane and Portland. Unless, of course, you're going to those cities for particular reasons.

  5. Default more questions?????

    portland is for the columbia river gorge...

    Is Mt. St Helens is worth driving to see since we will not be hiking it.

    Also, if would we be better staying in the Forks area or lake Quinault.

    Is Victoria woth a look?

    What should we see/do in Seattle? Should we stay in the city? where? Is it easy to stay outside the city and travel in and find parking?

    thanks for any suggestions

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Pretty extraordinary place!

    Quote Originally Posted by susudio View Post
    Is Mt. St Helens is worth driving to see since we will not be hiking it.
    Very few hardy souls can do this hike these days!
    Here are some threads you ought to read -- lots of resources here:
    Mt. St Helens and Crater Lake
    Olympic Peninsula and Seattle
    A whole list of ideas -- perfect for your trip!

    Happy Planning!

    Mark

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Just my opinions...

    Quote Originally Posted by susudio View Post
    portland is for the columbia river gorge...
    The Gorge is beautiful. Are you planning on driving the Washington side or the Oregon side?

    The Washington side is a narrower 2-lane road with delicious twisty-bits. For most of the drive, the road is quite a bit higher than the river-level and the views from above are pretty amazing. On the way, you might enjoy a stop at "Stonehenge" built as a memorial to fallen dead of WWI from the general area by Sam Hill. Hill also built an amazing home on the Gorge which is now a pretty awesome museum with works by Rodin and other famous artists, Native American artifacts and art, and more. This home, Maryhill, is just down the road from Stonehenge and is worth a stop, imho. If you don't want to go in, at least enjoy the architecture of this lovely building that looks quite out of place where it's at. You might also enjoy the Columbia River Gorge Interpretive Center.

    One of the amazing features of the Gorge is Beacon Rock which is on the Washington side. However, you can actually see it better from the Oregon side. If you decide to drive that side, there are quite a few interesting things to see along that route. It's a quicker drive as it's on interstate and it's closer to water level. The views are equally awesome from this side, just from a different perspective.

    If you drive the Oregon side, enjoy watching the wind-surfing in Hood River and then you might want to take the this historic/scenic byway which takes you past beautiful Multnomah Falls. Also stop and enjoy the scenic views from Vista House.

    Is Mt. St Helens is worth driving to see since we will not be hiking it.
    Yes, if you can only see one thing in Washington state, it should be Mt. St. Helens. Barring some kind of natural disaster, Olympic National Park will be there for a long time. But the amazing devestation caused by the eruption of Mt. St. Helens is slowly and surely being healed by Mother Nature. Each year sees this healing advance a bit. So go. Just do it. In the links Mark gave you is some information on how to get to the quicker access viewpoints. If you have any questions, let me know. You'll need 2 hours to drive there/back and at least an hour, preferably 3-4 hours but 1 hour would do it, to enjoy the sights.


    Also, if would we be better staying in the Forks area or lake Quinault.
    Hard to say. It depends on where you're at when it's time to stop for the night. If it's getting later, stopping at Lake Quinault would make sense because there is so much to see in-between Lake Quinault and Forks that you shouldn't miss. About the only place to stay in-between these towns are various campgrounds and the lodge at Kalaloch Beach. I think those links Mark gave you detail a lot of what there is to see at Lake Quinault and points in-between Lake Q and Forks. If not, let me know and I'll give you some more detail on this. You could really take a whole day to explore this segment and you'd just be brushing the surface.

    Is Victoria woth a look?
    Yes, but I really don't see how you'll have time for it on this trip unless you really cut the time you're spending elsewhere.

    What should we see/do in Seattle? Should we stay in the city? where? Is it easy to stay outside the city and travel in and find parking?
    Here are some ideas of what to do in Seattle. It's fairly easy to stay outside of Seattle and drive in. Parking is fairly easy to find, although it can be pricey. However, it's only easy outside of rush hour. The commuter traffic is pretty bad. If you stay outside the city, you will want to wait until about 9am to go in and either leave by about 2:30 or so in the afternoon or wait until later, maybe 6:30-7:00.

    Since you're coming from the Olympic Peninsula, I suggest you consider taking the ferry over. You could spend the night near the ferry. This post details some of the potential ways to get from the Peninsula to Seattle. Feel free to ask more questions.

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