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  1. Default Good Routes out to California from Baltimore, MD

    I've really been wanting to drive cross country and this is the year it happens. I'm really happy about my decision and can't wait to get started. Then I started looking at all the different routes and got extremely overwhelmed. There are so many choices.

    So I put it to you, RTA, if you guys had 3-4 weeks to drive out west what would be your favorite way to go.

    As i said, i'm working with a 3-4 week window. Starting on June 20th. I really want to go to new sky walk at the grand canyon, see the painted desert, big bend, joshua tree. There will be two of us in a jeep patriot.

    Let me know your thoughts.

    Thanks :)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default There is no one favorite route!

    Welcome to the Roadtrip America forums.

    We just don't do "best" or "favorite" very well around here. There are way too many wonderful options to choose a best.

    Is your 3-4 weeks for a 1-way trip or a round-trip? That will make a big difference. In general, it takes about 5-6 days to drive coast-to-coast so this leaves you plenty of time for exploring. Moreso, obviously, if this is a 1-way trip.

    Basically, the best way to plan a route is to figure out what you want to see and then plan your routes to get from must-see to must-see. It's actually easiest to do this with a big map of the whole US. Mark the places you have always wanted to visit and some general routes should jump out at you.

    If you need other ideas, poke around these forums. And keep asking questions. We will be glad to guide you through your planning process and to help you tweak your route. Happy planning!

  3. Default

    thanks for your response. I absolutely love your forum. I've been looking around it for weeks now. So much excellent information.

    The trip will be round trip and i'm flexible on time. I have been looking at maps like crazy. I guess I started to feel overwhelmed when I realized I was going to have to plan this trip. I have always been the type of person to jump in the car and go and NOT make too many plans. Just find a place to stay at the end of the day. After looking at your site, i'm thinking this might not be such a good idea.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    I have always been the type of person to jump in the car and go and NOT make too many plans. Just find a place to stay at the end of the day.
    There is no reason why you can't do that! When you are halfway through your time allocation and/or your money is half gone, just turn around and start heading home via a different route.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default How did you get this idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Bear View Post
    I have always been the type of person to jump in the car and go and NOT make too many plans. Just find a place to stay at the end of the day. After looking at your site, i'm thinking this might not be such a good idea.
    That's the best kind of roadtrip! Go for it.

    Most people don't have the luxury of as much time as you have and/or have specific things they really want to see, or just prefer something more planned out so, in those cases, we give them advice on how to plan an itinerary. But none of this is necessary with an adventurous spirit.

    The only places you might run into some trouble finding lodging would be in touristy areas on holiday weekends and within the more popular national parks. But lodging outside the parks should still be something you can find on a whim, although you may be farther from the entrance to the parks than you'd prefer.

    If we can help you further, let us know. I hope you'll share your adventure with us after you return.

  6. #6

    Default Big Bend

    Hello Red Bear,

    It occurs to me you might be able to spend a fair amount more time in your stated target areas of AZ and CA if you were to save Big Bend for another trip. Big Bend is liable to be very, very hot in late June/early July, too. And, if you were to incorporate I-70 into your route from Balto out west, or the return trip, you'd have some time for the Colorado Rockies. The segment of I-70 between Glenwood Springs and Denver is as fine of alpine scenery as you can find most anywhere. Look at getting up to Estes Park (if outbound) or Granby (if on the return leg) and driving Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park over the crest of the Rockies. That should put your Jeep above timberline for the first time!

    Enjoy the planning and the RoadTrip!

    Foy
    Last edited by Foy; 05-27-2009 at 01:33 PM. Reason: inserted RMCP in section about Trail Ridge Rd

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