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  1. Default Minneapolis to San Francisco

    I am planning a road trip this summer. I plan on taking the northernly route

    rather than 80 all the way across, because i figured it would be a much nicer drive, plus it allows us to stop at Yellowstone on the way and only adds an hour of driving time. Would it be better to go south at Pocatello Idaho and take 15 down to salt lake city? There looks to be lots of state/national parks around there. Anything worth seeing?

    I am looking for interesting places to stop on the way (mainly campsites, We will be tenting with no hookups needed all the way until san francisco, where we will get a hotel (recommendations?)

    I am looking for scenic, secluded stops with rugged hiking, picture opportunities, as well as museums, tourist destinations, etc.

    There are no kids on the trip, and i am in a car, not afraid of steep grades through the mountains, etc. I have never been out west, and need any advice i can get!

    A very tentative timeline is 2 weeks. Is that unreasonable?

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 02-22-2009 at 11:36 PM. Reason: the image was too large for our format -- sorry

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Many More Ways to Skin a Cat

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    I like your first cut at finding a way to get to San Francisco that suits you rather than just taking the output from some mapping routine. There are, of course a host of other option. The choices will be up to you, but you should have a look at some other possibilities as well including I-90 through South Dakota, US-89 south through Wyoming and into Utah, and I-15 past Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks to Las Vegas. If your two weeks is for a complete round trip, you won't have time for all of that, but at least you'll have an idea of some alternatives.


  3. Default

    I've driven I-90 to wyoming, and until you hit the bighorn mountains it's pretty unbearably boring ( I was in an RV with no A/C, and it was 90+ in SD, so that may have skewed my opinion of it! haha )

    is 94 any better? pretty much my whole trip is up for changing, except the destination. I have never been farther west than mid wyoming, and never farther south, so I have no clue where the good driving roads are.

    The 2 weeks was round trip, that could maybe be extended to 3 weeks maximum, assuming i have my current job this summer. The trip is really just as important (if not more important) than the destination, so I want the most interesting drive possible.

  4. Default

    does anyone have any reccommendations on how to find campsites? most of the KOA ones we found on the way are not very scenic. I realize they all can't be breathtaking, but i would like to find some not very busy places to stay a couple nights and enjoy the views and hiking

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

    Default what works for me

    I usually just open up my map and start looking for the little green triangle (campground symbol). That will generally point you either to good public campgrounds, like state parks. Otherwise, I'll simply look at the state park websites for any of the states I'll be visiting. Personally, I don't stay at KOAs because I think they are overpriced and too focused on RV traffic for my tent camping needs.

  6. Default

    in that case, any map brand recommendations, or are they pretty much all going to have the same campgrounds on them?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    The AAA camping guide is pretty good. It has SP, NP and commercial camp grounds. I usually judged from the number of tent sites, versus the number of hook-up sites, as to how tent friendly they were likely to be.

    Like the websites I checked out, I find that generally, the prices are out of date.

    If you are a member of AAA your maps for States and Cities are free.

    Lifey who uses the AAA for all her maps

  8. Default

    another specific question: Several roads lead into yellowstone, which one would be best to take in coming from the east on i-90?

    I just discovered how to actually get the google map links to work instead of a print screen... what do you think of this route? It includes yellowstone, san francisco, the hoover dam, grand canyon, and salt lake

    I am also curious about cost estimates? leave gas out if that's easier, i can calculate that pretty easy
    Last edited by bonnevillain; 02-22-2009 at 10:33 PM.

  9. Default MN to Western U.S. trip - LOTS of stops!

    I have put the link to my planned route at the bottom. I would appreciate it if you guys could take a look and tell me what you think. I am looking for any insight. For the most part, each point represents a stop where we will spend the night. We will probably spend 2 nights at a couple of them, depending on where we find ourselves wanting more time. I still need a night's sleep between C and D, probably somewhere in Nevada. I need suggestions for that (not much out there that i can see... will i have a good chance of finding a motel/hotel?) Most of these stops will be camping, as you can see most of them are placed in a state or national park.

    we will be stopping at the grand canyon which is not on the list, because Google couldn't calculate a route including it for some reason. given my current route, what would be the best to see without taking a huge detour? I know the south rim is more popular, but is it worth a large detour?

    This trip will take about 15 days. we have one night at each place, plus 3 extra days the way i have it planned. I know some of you might think this is rushing, but that's all the time i can take off from work. I am taking this trip with one other person, and we will both plan to drive about an average of 4 hours each day.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 03-26-2009 at 09:24 PM. Reason: Merged - Please don't create multiple threads about the same trip

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Intermediate

    Ely Nevada would be pretty close to the halfway point for the 1000 mile trip through Nevada you've got right now. There are motels there, or if you'd like to camp/explore, Great Basin National Park would be a good option.

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