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  1. Default first trip out west

    My wife and I are taking a road trip out west this summer and I was looking for some help. Our two main stops are the traditional Yellowstone and Grand Canyon stops. Besides those stops, we are looking for things to see and do. It is our first trip out west of the Mississippi and are looking for any advice or suggestions from the more experienced travelers. Thanks for the help.

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

    Default Help !

    Hello and welcome to the R.T.A. forums,

    There are so many options it is hard to know where to start. It would be a help if you were to tell us a little more. How long have you got and what are your main interests? Are you road tripping out there or flying and renting?

    There is also a lot of info that can be found by searching the forums and planning pages, so have a good look around to get ideas.


  3. Default

    My wife and I are driving. We are leaving from Ohio and will be on the road for approximately 2 weeks. Our initial plan was to head southwest to the Grand Canyon, stop in Vegas for a night, venture up north towards Yellowstone and Mt. Rushmore, then head back east towards home. These are the spots that we want to see. As for the in-between, right now we have the mindset of just going where the road takes us and stopping if something intrigues us. I was curious if there is anything in-between the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone that is a must see. Thanks for the help.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Not much time to spare.

    Hi again,

    A round trip is in the region of 4700 miles [I used Columbus as a start point] and add to that for side trips and you will be looking at nearer 5000. That will give you 10 days of driving an estimated 8-9 hours a day with short stops so you won't have an abundance of spare time for the G/C and Yellowstone but it will make a nice loop.

    I was curious if there is anything in-between the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone that is a must see.
    Zion N.P is very scenic and situated just of I-15 north of Vegas and North of SLC you could take the 89 past Bear Lake and drive through the Tetons into Yellowstone that way.

    If you could find a few more days it would make a big difference.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default lots of options, not lots of time

    There are tons of great things you could see between Grand Canyon and Yellowstone. Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, and Great Basin are just a small sample of the national parks that could be a part of a trip between those two points.

    I will say that 2 weeks probably isn't as much time as you think it will be, and you'll probably not have that much extra time. You're looking at 4 days to get to the Grand Canyon. If you spend 3 days between the Canyon and Vegas (including the 1/2 day drive between the two). That only gives you a week left to visit Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore and cover the 5 days of driving to cover the miles between them.

    Its easy to forget just how big of a country this is, and while you can do this trip, I think you would benefit greatly from either giving yourself another couple days or actually making a slightly smaller trip - choosing between Yellowstone or Grand Canyon and spending a little more time enjoying the places you do decide to go.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 01-13-2009 at 02:12 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default mileage prediction?

    Just to be clear, whatever a mapping program tells you about mileage, add about 20% or so to it to get closer to the real mileage you'll be driving. This allows for a few unexpected side-trips, and the miles you'll add just driving off the main roads to lodging, restaurants, etc.

    And thousands of roadtrip miles driven by us regulars here tell us that you will likely average about 57mph during the course of the day. This allows time for quick stops for fuel and bio-breaks, and for things like traffic delays, construction, etc.

    I think once you figure the miles and the average travel speed, you'll see that this trip is really only going to allow you to make brief whistle-stops at the parks. So, if it were me, I'd plan a loop to either Yellowstone or Grand Canyon and back again. I think you're going to feel too rushed trying to hit both.

  7. Default thanks for the advice

    Thanks for the heads up. My wife and I have never taken a trip like this before. The advice you guys are giving us is greatly appreciated.

  8. Default

    Personally, you need two full days to truly experience Yellowstone. I flew through it in 1.5 days and really wish I had more time to see parts of the park I missed (namely the east side near the Fishing Bridge (I did see the waterfalls).

    I do agree, a few extra days (like 18 instead of 14) would work out quite well for your trip. A little more leisurely as well.


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