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  1. Default Cross Country Trip

    Before I get started I wanted to thank RTA's website for helping me with some of my planning/research for this trip.

    So anyway, I live in South Carolina and am planning to visit some friends in California (the Los Angeles area). It first started as a simple cross country trip, but then I figured this would be a great opportunity to see all the cities/landmarks that I wouldn't normally be able to see.

    My idea is to drive through the south on the way there (through Mississippi, Texas, Arizona, etc..) and then take the north way back (through Montana, South Dakota, Minnesota, etc..) My Dad lives in Pennsylvania so I would go there before making my trip to the far Northeast. It won't be a straight trip across the country since I will be going to Utah and Missouri and all the other areas that are a little more out of the way.

    Some questions I have:

    - I've been trying to find some places in Maine to go to along with the Acadia National Park. Anybody know some areas to check out? *Also, is it true you can see the Aurora Borealis in Northern Maine?

    - I wanted to camp in some of the National Parks along the way, but I won't be able to make reservations since I won't know the exact day I will be getting in at a certain Park - I hope that made sense. What are the chances of being able to arrive the day of and find a camping spot? (especially at some of the bigger ones like Yosemite, Yellowstone, and so on)

    Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A chance for camping

    Before I get started I wanted to thank RTA's website for helping me with some of my planning/research for this trip.
    Pleased that you found us, Welcome to the R.T.A. forums !

    I can't help with your first question but regarding the camping, I think you should be O.K but as they say when they are gone they are gone. Your chances are better the earlier you are travelling. Here's the view from the Yosemite page;

    Yosemite N.P.S./October through April (approximately)
    From fall through early spring, you may be able to find a campsite at one of the reservation campgrounds or at Wawona and Hodgdon Meadow Campgrounds, which operate on a first-come, first-served basis from October through April. You can also double-check the reservations website to check for any last-minute availability.

    May through September (approximately)
    Note that very few first-come, first-served campsites are available in May and June (until additional first-come, first-served campgrounds open).

    In order to have a reasonable chance of finding a campsite from spring through fall, you should arrive by noon on weekdays and midmorning on weekends. (Camp 4 usually fills by 9 am; Tuolumne Meadows Campground may fill by 8:30 am on Fridays and Saturdays.)

    Once you get a campsite, you can register for more than one night. In May and June, you're very unlikely to find a first-come, first-served campsite (until later in June, when additional campgrounds open).

    If all else fails, try to find a campsite outside of Yosemite National Park.
    In case you haven't come across it here is the nps website where you can navigate yourself around all the parks of interest to you. It also has all the info on conditions/ any closures in place at the time [such as Tioga pass in Yosemite]

  3. #3


    you can see the aurora in northern Maine. However you are more likely to see it when there is more nighttime (re: winter). So that means serious cold and possible weather(snow, clouds). So even if there is an aurora to see, you may not be able to see it. While there are sites that predict aurora's they are short term predictions for next day or few days at best, so it would be hard to plan for it. The aurora is beautiful but it would be hard to plan to go see it.

    Up here in Alaska there is a pretty good business for Japanese tourists going to Fairbanks to see the aurora in the winter. But Fairbanks is a lot farther north then Maine.


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