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  1. Default Seattle to Yellowstone to MtRushmore to Denver

    Gday everyone, we are planning to to a road trip from Seattle to San Fran, Yosemite, Las Vegas, Yellowstone, Mt Rushmoe to Denver.
    First can i congratulate everyone associated with this site, from the mods to the posters, great work and very informative.
    I am seeking anyone's advice on where to go, what to do etc etc, as well as any comment on what we should do different, all advice greatly appreciated.

    We will be picking up a hire car after doing an Alaskan cruise and after seeing Seattle plan on heading south in late September.

    The places and dates i've highlighted in red are already booked by our travel agent, the rest of the dates we are free-wheeling and are pretty flexible of where and when we go, sort of.

    28 Sept- 30 Sept 3nights Seattle - San Fran.
    Day 1Leave Seattle and head to MtStHelen, then continue onto Astoria or futher if possible.
    Day 2 Travel down Oregon coast on the 101 to Bandon, Brookings or even Crescent City.
    Day 3 Travel through the Redwoods ie Jedediah Smith, RedwoodNP and Humboldt. Once we get to Leggett should we continue along 101 or head down CA1? Any suggestions where to stay along this section?
    I know it is a rushed trip down, but we only have 3 days. If any one would like to suggest a different route i would love to hear.

    1 Oct- 3 Oct 3 nights San Fran
    Any suggestions on what we shouldn't miss?
    By the way, is it worth taking a day drive down Big Sur, or will we not see much different spectacular scenary than what we would have just experienced?

    4 Oct 1 night Yosemite.
    Head to Yosemite and then stay the night in Oakhurst.

    5 Oct 1 night. Sequoia
    Is the easiest and quickest way to Sequoia via Fresno? From Sequoia we would futher south to somewhere near Bakersfield, any ideas?.
    I know this has been asked a few times here but is Sequoia worth going to, seeing as though we would have come through the Redwoods of the Cal coast and Yosemite. I know Sequoia and Redwoods are different species of trees' but is it worth the long winding trip into Sequoia, or do they need to be seen to be believed. By the way which are bigger, the Seq. or Redwoods, i've heard conflicting stories. If we didnt go to Sequoia, is Death Valley really worth seeing, as we could head over the Tioga Pass from Yosemite to there and then on to Las Vegas the next day. Im probably more of a tree persn than a desert person , if that makes sense, but i dont want be 'big tree'd out',
    So the question i put forth is, Sequoia or Death Valley?
    Anyhow moving on.

    6 Oct - 9 Oct 4 Las Vegas
    We have prebooked helicopter flights to Hoover and Grand Canyon and i think we should be able to find something to do in SinCity, but if anyone has any suggestions for the dates we are there then that would be great.

    10 Oct 1 night Bryce Canyon
    Anything we should see and do on our way there?

    11 Oct-12Oct 2 nights.
    We have two nights to get to Yellowstone. I had thought maybe 1 night in Salt Lake City and 1 night in Jackson. Any thoughts or should we go elsewhere?

    13 Oct 1 night Yellowstone Old Faithful.
    We could only get 1 night here as it closes from the 14 Oct apparently!!
    Hope we see a Grizzly, what are our chances at this time of year?

    14Oct- 17 Oct 4 nights Yellowstone to Denver via Mt Rushmore.
    Was planning on staying close to Yellowstone, Cooke City perhaps, so we could enjoy it a bit longer, for the 1st night and maybe Billings, Rapid City and the Cheyenne for the next few nights. Should we stay elsewhere? What should we see and what should we miss?

    18 Oct 1 night Denver
    19 Oct Drop off hire car and fly to Washington for 2 nights, NYC 4 nights, Boston 2 nights, Toronto 2 nights.
    Then we say goodbye to Nth America for the UK and Ireland for 3 weeks and then back home to Melbourne and back to work to pay for it all. Phew..


    Can anyone offer any tips, suggestions etc of what to do, see or what you would change.
    Driving long distance is no problem for me as i normally drive upto 1500km (1000mi) a week anyhow.
    My GF and I are both 34.
    We enjoy fun, quirky, entertaining things, be it natural or man made. We would like to see the good, bad and ugly(?) of americana.
    Cheap clean accom, motel or cabins, is all we need, nothing luxurious and we wont be setting up tents or staying in hostels either. We would also like to see some sort of event, football, hockey, baseball whatever it might be so if some one can suggest something along those lines then that would be great.
    One last thing, I know i've already asked a hundred things, but does anyone know of a similar site for Road trips in the UK and Ireland, i have checked out the threads here but was wondering if someone knew of a 'RoadTripUk' site that is of the same high standard as this one.

    Thank you all in advance, and keep up the good work

    Daniel



    here is also a google trip map, i hope it works.
    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=e...er&ie=UTF8&z=5

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default The bits i can help you with.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums.

    1 Oct- 3 Oct 3 nights San Fran
    Any suggestions on what we shouldn't miss?
    San Francisco is a lovely city and China town and Union square are in the heart of it and a trip up to coit tower is worth it for the view of the bay.
    There are some lovely parks including Alamo square,which is associated with the famous "Painted ladies", a row of brightly painted old houses with the city landscape in the background, and of course The Golden gate national recreation area and the bridge itself.
    The usual suspects such as Pier '39 [for food,fun and atmosphere]and Alcatraz[a brilliant tour] are well worth visiting.

    4 Oct 1 night Yosemite.
    Head to Yosemite and then stay the night in Oakhurst.

    5 Oct 1 night. Sequoia
    Is the easiest and quickest way to Sequoia via Fresno? From Sequoia we would futher south to somewhere near Bakersfield, any ideas?.
    I know this has been asked a few times here but is Sequoia worth going to, seeing as though we would have come through the Redwoods of the Cal coast and Yosemite. I know Sequoia and Redwoods are different species of trees' but is it worth the long winding trip into Sequoia, or do they need to be seen to be believed. By the way which are bigger, the Seq. or Redwoods, i've heard conflicting stories. If we didnt go to Sequoia, is Death Valley really worth seeing, as we could head over the Tioga Pass from Yosemite to there and then on to Las Vegas the next day. Im probably more of a tree persn than a desert person , if that makes sense, but i dont want be 'big tree'd out',
    So the question i put forth is, Sequoia or Death Valley?
    Anyhow moving on.
    .
    you are really pushing it for time here

    San Fran to Yosemite is a 4 1/2 journey and from the valley floor to oakhurst will probably take another 1 1/2 hours leaving you only a few hours in yosemite,which is absolutely stunning.
    The sequouias are fascinating but given your time here i would give it a miss and have another night in yosemite and visit the Mariposa grove area for the trees. If you were to do this i would recommend exploring the valley floor on the afternoon of your arrival and then the following morning take a drive up to Glacier point which has a jaw dropping view that should'nt be missed and then leave as you suggested by way of the tioga pass,which again has amazing views and spend your second night in the mammoth lakes or lone pine area. This will give you time to explore parts of Death Valley on the way to vegas.

    So given your time frame i would opt to miss the seqouias [as great as they are]and visit Death Valley.

    And in answer to your question,sequoias v redwoods, as i understand it the redwoods can get taller but in overall volume the largest living thing on earth is indeed a sequoia tree.

    6 Oct - 9 Oct 4 Las Vegas
    We have prebooked helicopter flights to Hoover and Grand Canyon and i think we should be able to find something to do in SinCity, but if anyone has any suggestions for the dates we are there then that would be great.
    No suggestions for the dates but you won't be short of things to see and do.
    All the Hotels have lots to offer and are huge. The Venetian was one of our favorites with the streets and canals running through the lobby but they are all spectacular.Watch out for the "street shows" at night which include a Pirate ship battle,a giant volcano errupting and of course the Ballagio water fountains dancing to music.You should also get chance to go to the original Freemont Street as well.

    10 Oct 1 night Bryce Canyon
    Anything we should see and do on our way there?
    With an early start you could possibly take in a quick glimpse of Zion N.P. which is a lovely place but again time is'nt on your side. Between Zion and bryce you will come across Red Rock canyon which is worth a short stop.

    In Bryce itself you can visit the main area by free shuttle bus but you can also drive right through the canyon to Rainbow point on a good paved road.
    There are lots of viewpoints with brilliant views but if you drive to the furthest point first all the turnouts are then on your side of the road returning.

    Thats as mutch i can suggest as i am not familiar with the other areas,however there will be many topics on the forums which you can find by using the search button in the green panel above.

    If you have more questions don't hesitate to ask. :-)

    One last thing, I know i've already asked a hundred things, but does anyone know of a similar site for Road trips in the UK and Ireland, i have checked out the threads here but was wondering if someone knew of a 'RoadTripUk' site that is of the same high standard as this one.
    Not of the top of my head but if you have any specific questions i will be pleased to try and answer them as i am from the U.K. and have travelled a lot of it.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 07-21-2008 at 02:47 AM. Reason: added info.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default Trees, Forests, etc

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Sequoias and Redwoods are quite different, and if you can I would certainly see both. This thread has some good information about how the trees are different.

    Having said that, I agree with Gommy, and think with the time you are giving yourself for this particular trip, it probably would make more sense to skip Sequoia and head from Yosemite, over Tioga Pass, and go through Death Valley on your way to Las Vegas. Seeing Sequoia NP will take up pretty much an entire day, which means you would pretty much spend all of your first "Vegas day" traveling to Vegas. Crossing the Sierra at Yosemite will give you much more time to enjoy the area you will be traveling through.

    At the back end of your trip, its pretty easy to get from Yellowstone to Mt. Rushmore in one day. I would probably try to spend a couple days around Rapid City and the Black Hills. Trips to Custer State Park, Wind and/or Jewel Caves, or even out to the Badlands could keep you very busy. From that area, its pretty easy to get back to Denver in a day.
    Last edited by PNW Judy; 07-22-2008 at 09:59 AM. Reason: changed Yosemite to Yellowstone

  4. Default

    Thanks Gommy and MwMick,
    You guys pretty much confirmed what I was thinking about skipping Sequoia and going via Death Valley. Is the 190 through DV the most appropriate touristy route then via the 160 to LV?
    Apart from the sight-seeing attractions etc from Yellowstone to MtRushmore, is it basically corn fields and farms in between?
    Thanks again for the help.
    By the way Judy, none of your messages appeared, gremlins in the system perhaps.
    Bye

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Your welcome

    Quote Originally Posted by lbr20 View Post
    Thanks Gommy and MwMick,
    You guys pretty much confirmed what I was thinking about skipping Sequoia and going via Death Valley. Is the 190 through DV the most appropriate touristy route then via the 160 to LV?
    Bye
    I would personally take the 190 through Death valley,it's a fascinating journey in which you will come across the sand dunes near Stovepipe Wells and you could stop herefor lunch and time permitting take a look at 'Badwater' the lowest point in the U.S.A. [and the western hemisphere i believe]. There is a lot more to see such as the view from Zabriskie point or Dantes view.

    Heres some more info on the place.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 07-23-2008 at 06:27 PM. Reason: typo

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Yeah, a glitch occurred

    And I wish I could remember what all I originally wrote!
    11 Oct-12Oct 2 nights.
    We have two nights to get to Yellowstone. I had thought maybe 1 night in Salt Lake City and 1 night in Jackson. Any thoughts or should we go elsewhere?
    If you are interested in seeing a city, buildings related to the Mormon religion, and possibly taking a side trip to someplace like the Great Salt Lake, then it's probaby worth it to go to SLC. Personally, I would bypass SLC and veer into SW Wyoming, turning north towards Jackson at Evanston WY. I would spend that extra time exploring the Grand Tetons and for some extra time in Yellowstone myself. The southern section of Yellowstone is only about an hour from Jackson so you could easily explore that area a bit.

    13 Oct 1 night Yellowstone Old Faithful.
    We could only get 1 night here as it closes from the 14 Oct apparently!!
    Hope we see a Grizzly, what are our chances at this time of year?
    Probably not great. And that might be just as well. They're not behind bars in a zoo, ya know. :) I would spend some time looking for bison though.
    14Oct- 17 Oct 4 nights Yellowstone to Denver via Mt Rushmore.
    Was planning on staying close to Yellowstone, Cooke City perhaps, so we could enjoy it a bit longer, for the 1st night and maybe Billings, Rapid City and the Cheyenne for the next few nights. Should we stay elsewhere? What should we see and what should we miss?
    On the way to the Mt. Rushmore area, you might want to swing by Devil's Tower in NE Wyoming. There is so much to see in SD that an extra night there should be more than worth it. Two more if you can swing it. Just a short list of SD sights: Wall Drug in Wall, Deadwood (the entire town is a national historic site), Crazy Horse Memorial, Badlands, Wind Cave, Black Hills.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 07-24-2008 at 12:14 PM. Reason: removed the extra white space

  7. #7

    Default Overnight in Utah

    Hello Daniel,

    Just a quick comment about your overnight en route to Jackson, WY. You'd noted the possibility of staying in Salt Lake City. While I like SLC a lot, I'm positively wild about Park City, some 30 miles east, just off of I-80. PC is around 3,000' in elevation higher than SLC and is a gorgeous and fun town full of good restaurants, bars, brewpubs, and live music venues. Contrasted to rather conservative SLC, PC is often thought of as the "sin city" of Utah.

    There are units of the various "chain motels" at Kimball Junction, where the 5 mile UT-224 leaves I-80 for Park City, and I would imagine inexpensive overnight accomodations could be found there. I suppose it'd be possible to find reasonably priced overnight stays in the heart of PC, too, since your trip precedes ski season by a couple of months. That would put you within walking distance from the Main Street venues or at least on the shuttle bus route to same.

    Foy

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