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  1. Default Seattle to Yellowstone with meanderings

    Hi All! I am just planning my very first RV trip and my first trip to the US where I will be driving on the wrong side of the road.

    I have had a good luck through the pages on this forum and composed a trip plan and was wondering if anyone had any thoughts, comments, stop-offs or suggestions on my proposed route? If you know of any good RV parks along the route that would also be really useful.

    I fly into Seattle late on the first day and have a pick up arranged for early the next day. The plan is to spend two full days in the city and watching some baseball, you could say it was a coincidence my favourite team was in town that week!

    I than plan to travel in the morning to Olympic NP for the rest of the day in the park and an overnight.

    The next morning I am to travel to Mount St Helens and then onto Mount Rainier NP for an overnight. I think I read in an earlier post that doing this in one day is achievable.

    The day will be a day of driving with some stop offs passing White Pass, through the Nez Perce reserve and finishing the day at Riggins near Hells Canyon.

    Then on to Craters of the Moon NM for a look around before pressing onto an overnight in Yellowstone.

    The next three days I plan to spend in Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Cody.

    Then I aim to set off early the next morning to Bozeman, Grant-Kohrs Ranch, Missoula, National Bison Range, Flathead Lake before arriving at Glacier NP in the evening. This sounds like a lot but they are all on the way and it was the only way I could fit everything in, I would really appreciate your thoughts.

    Then spend a day in Glacier NP before setting off the next morning to Grand Coulee Dam/Lake Roosevelt.

    Finally on the way to drop off stop in at Leavenworth and Snoqualmie Falls before back to Seattle.

    Just to give you a bit of background it will be both my girlfriend and I travelling who are both 25 and will be sharing the driving, especially on the more demanding days. We are fairly used to hectic holidays and have fairly demanding lives back home so we are not craving lots of time to rest.

    I hope you can help, if not thank you for all the extremely useful information you have posted to this forum in the past, it has been incredibly enlightening.

    Many thanks in advance,

    Matthew and Emma

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Pretty reasonable plan

    Quote Originally Posted by mwiles View Post
    Then spend a day in Glacier NP before setting off the next morning to Grand Coulee Dam/Lake Roosevelt.
    Yes, I can see that you've read the forum posts and spent some quality time planning this trip. Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! One of the problems with your plan is the part in Glacier NP -- You won't be able to drive your RV on the Going-to-the-Sun where were you planning to go? One your way back west -- I would certainly suggest Sandpoint and one of our personal favorite campgrounds -- Fox Farm. But you really need to pick up a Woodall's Directory so you can choose your RV parks as you go. You can also think about doing some boondocking in your RV and be sure to use this checklist when you pick up the RV.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default It's Up to You , But...

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    As I read your itinerary, you plan to cover nearly 3000 miles in only 7 days of driving, much of it on two lane highways and through crowded national parks. While I suppose it is doable, and you do have a few 'extra' days of rest scattered through your trip. This all seems to be too much, especially driving an RV on the 'wrong' side of the road. I certainly understand your desire to squeeze as much as you can in to what may be a once in a lifetime trip, but I think you'll end up regretting that you spent so much time driving to so many places rather than taking the time to enjoy a few of the more spectacular ones in depth. For example, people can and do spend a week in Yellowstone or Olympic National Parks without even beginning to see everything they have to offer. You've got at least 15 other stops scheduled. It's not a matter of just getting enough rest, but also of getting anything more meaningful that a 5 minute photo opportunity out of any of your stops. To me, this is all just too much.


  4. Default

    Hi Guys,

    Mark thanks for your advice Fox Farm and Sandpoint look pretty amazing on the quick search I have just done on them.

    With regards to the Going to the Sun Highway, good spot, I think I should be okay as I have a 19 foot RV, does this sound right to you?

    AZBuck, I appreciate your comments and it has been a concern of mine to keep this trip to one where I actually get to see things other than out of the window, I did also have San Francisco in here but took it out along with many other places that weren't viable. However, I calculate the trip to be 2500 miles over 11 days which takes my daily average down from 430 miles to 225 miles a day. It is perfectly possible I have miscalculated though and I guess I need to add some mileage on for travelling around when I am at a destination. I'll have another look.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    You might consider taking the park shuttle instead of driving the Going-to-the-Sun yourself. You may enjoy that a lot more than if you were driving it yourself in a RV on the right side of the road.

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

    Default Busy but do-able? Worth it?

    I like being on the move when I'm on a roadtrip. However, I think you're not accounting for the types of roads type of vehicle. What kind of RV are you renting? A, B, or C? I think you're going to find some of the roads quite challenging due to elevation, narrow roads, curves, etc. I've driven on many of the roads you're planning on driving and whenever I come across an RV, I end up slowing way down and can't hardly wait until I find a safe place to pass. It's going to take a lot longer driving these roads in an RV.

    How are you getting from Seattle to the Olympic Peninsula? There are several options. If you're going from downtown Seattle, the best and quickest option is the ferry to Winslow. Depending on when you're going, you may need a reservation for an RV.

    Where on the Olympic Peninsula are you going? You will really only have time for the east side unless you plan on spending a couple of days. If you're driving around the peninsula, you probably won't get any farther than half-way around the first day, unless you just drive and don't make any stops but what's the use of that? This doesn't leave you enough time the next day to do MSH/Rainier. You would be lucky to just make it to either of them.

    White Pass and most of the drive from Lewiston to Riggins are going to be somewhat brutal in an RV. The roads from Naches to Lewiston are good and will be fine but, even so, there are so many scenic viewpoints along here that, even in a car, the distance to travel is longer than the miles driven, if that makes sense. I shudder at the idea of driving this in one day in an RV.

    How are you going to Yellowstone from Riggins? If you're going through Boise, it's a more doable drive but, at 584 miles and considering you're still going to be driving on some twisty roads for part of the drive with rough elevation gains/losses, I think this is pushing it in an RV. Doable? Maybe but not pleasant, imho. The Lolo Pass is a far more beautiful drive but there is no way you can do this distance in a day, especially in an RV, so I hope you're not going that way. Well, actually, I'd recommend it but you'd need to break it into a 2-day drive.

    How long are you allowing for going from Glacier to Seattle?

    I'm looking forward to hearing more about your trip. I just think you're pushing it a bit considering the RV as this would be a pretty intense trip even in a car. Maybe I can help you smooth out some of the rough spots.

  7. Default Making the journey photogenic

    Hi Judy,

    Thanks for your comments, your help in smoothing out the rough patches world be much appreciated.

    The RV is a class C - 19 footer. This looks comfortable to drive to me although with no actual experience of driving it I could be completely wrong! Would you treat this type of vehicle more like a car than a truck or vice versa?

    With regards to Riggins-Yellowstone. I would agree with you that Boise looks the best route. If you think I can achieve this in one day then I will probably go for it, (see below for rationale).

    In terms of Glacier to Seattle I have given myself two days with a stop over at Coulee Dam in the evening, does this sound reasonable?

    In reference to White Pass/Lewiston/Riggins, I guess the other option would be getting on highway 84 earlier and going through Oregon. Does my planned route give me better views than highway 84? This probably sounds a bit bizarre but all the way from MSH/Mount Rainier to Yellowstone is just a journey so if I can pass through some great scenery whilst I am doing it with photo stops and odd breaks here and there then that would be a real bonus. I am resigned to the fact that I may miss out some stuff doing this but I have found in the past that doing this lets me discover places that I can go back to and spend some serious time in. I apologise in advance if this makes me sound unappreciative of this part of the journey, I just want to be able to appreciate it without getting distracted by it. Given this between two of us in the vehicle mentioned above does this still sound like a push too far?

    Okay, Olympic Peninsula. As you mention I have limited time so i have decided to go for the Quinault area to see the coastline and the rainforest. Would you recommend this area? My thoughts were that I would see some of the other landscapes further on in my travels but this presents a unique opportunity. It also gives me a better start for my journey to MSH than the North. I like the idea of the Ferry. I will certainly look further into it, do you know the best place to find this info?

    If you do find the time to let me know your thoughts I will very much look forward to your incites.


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