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  1. Default 1st timer Road Trip Questions :)

    Hello,

    I am getting ready to hit the road for a semi-cross country road trip! The first leg is starting in DE and heading to Austin, Texas to visit a friend. Then the fun begins...We are heading to the Grand Canyon (South Rim first, then North Rim), then we would like to hit Bryce Canyon, Arches and Canyonlands. We will be camping the entire trip and have about three weeks to get it all in.

    Here are some things I am wondering about:
    1. We are looking for any scenic driving (from my reading it seems that Rt. 12 is a beautiful road) suggestions anyone might have as we travel from the North Rim to Bryce and so on. This is our first trip out West and we really want to take it all in while we are out there.

    2. When at Canyonlands, is it possible to do both the Needles district and the Island in the sky? How long do you think it would take to explore both?

    3. Is there anything out there that we CAN NOT miss? I have read about Zion National Park and Capitol Reef...are they must see places?

    4. When we head home, we are going to go through Colorado. Any suggestions for stops in Colorado? We wanted to try and do a concert at Red Rocks if we can get tickets.....

    This is longest road trip we have ever attempted so I am open to any and all suggestions whether it is for campgrounds, hiking reccomendations, good food places etc. I look forwad to hearing from anyone who has any advice to send my way!

    Thanks for your time,

    ASC

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Default Are you experienced "hot weather" campers?

    Quote Originally Posted by ASC1319 View Post
    I am getting ready to hit the road for a semi-cross country road trip!
    Sounds like an impressive first-timer road trip! Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!

    Before specifics -- a couple of general comments. Camping is a great way to road trip, it's less expensive and it ensures that you'll be getting some exercise as you set-up, cook and strike camp each day. The downside to doing it, is that you need to allow 3-4 hours each day for set-up/cooking/striking and since you are trying to cover huge ranges of distance nearly every day -- you need to expect to be on the road for about 8-10 hours a day. Like we say often on this forum, please, please, build a rest-day at least once every seven days so you can adjust your schedule if needed and also kick back and enjoy wherever you are.

    And.... camping in the southwest in the heat of summer is more work than in the fall or the spring. Ground temperatures at some of the likely campsites will be 110+ and you need to be ready to deal with those kinds of issues with your camping gear.
    Here are some things I am wondering about:
    1. We are looking for any scenic driving (from my reading it seems that Rt. 12 is a beautiful road) suggestions anyone might have as we travel from the North Rim to Bryce and so on. This is our first trip out West and we really want to take it all in while we are out there.
    Route 12 is pretty special.
    2. When at Canyonlands, is it possible to do both the Needles district and the Island in the sky? How long do you think it would take to explore both?
    What is the off-road capability of your road trip vehicle? It would be easy to spend the entire three weeks in Canyonlands and see only 1/10 of the park.
    3. Is there anything out there that we CAN NOT miss? I have read about Zion National Park and Capitol Reef...are they must see places?
    If you drive UT-12, you are probably going to use UT-24 to reach it and so will drive through a part of Capitol Reef (here's a field report). But since you are wanting to do Arches and Colorado -- you might be wise to save Zion for another trip.

    Depending which approach you use to Arches, if you do the I-15 to I-70 route, be sure and stop at the view points -- here's some ideas about that.
    4. When we head home, we are going to go through Colorado. Any suggestions for stops in Colorado? We wanted to try and do a concert at Red Rocks if we can get tickets.....
    There's a real fun 1/2 trip around the "peaks of Colorado" that I think you'd enjoy -- it sort of circles red rocks.

    Here's a good overview about the various considerations for summer roadtripping!

    Mark

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sedenquist View Post
    Sounds like an impressive first-timer road trip! Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!

    Before specifics -- a couple of general comments. Camping is a great way to road trip, it's less expensive and it ensures that you'll be getting some exercise as you set-up, cook and strike camp each day. The downside to doing it, is that you need to allow 3-4 hours each day for set-up/cooking/striking and since you are trying to cover huge ranges of distance nearly every day -- you need to expect to be on the road for about 8-10 hours a day. Like we say often on this forum, please, please, build a rest-day at least once every seven days so you can adjust your schedule if needed and also kick back and enjoy wherever you are.

    And.... camping in the southwest in the heat of summer is more work than in the fall or the spring. Ground temperatures at some of the likely campsites will be 110+ and you need to be ready to deal with those kinds of issues with your camping gear.
    Route 12 is pretty special.
    What is the off-road capability of your road trip vehicle? It would be easy to spend the entire three weeks in Canyonlands and see only 1/10 of the park.
    If you drive UT-12, you are probably going to use UT-24 to reach it and so will drive through a part of Capitol Reef (here's a field report). But since you are wanting to do Arches and Colorado -- you might be wise to save Zion for another trip.

    Depending which approach you use to Arches, if you do the I-15 to I-70 route, be sure and stop at the view points -- here's some ideas about that.
    There's a real fun 1/2 trip around the "peaks of Colorado" that I think you'd enjoy -- it sort of circles red rocks.

    Here's a good overview about the various considerations for summer roadtripping!

    Mark
    Hi Mark,

    Thank you so much for getting back to me. We are now heading straight from DE to the Grand Canyon, plans changed with friends so no stop in Austin. Do you have any suggestions on getting from the east coast to the Grand Canyon? Any good scenic roads or ideas for this leg of the trip? We are planning to stop in Great Smokey National Park for one night and to hit some of the over looks there.

    I have never camped in the heat of the desert before but am aware of the challenges it presents. My BF is an experienced camper and I know that I need to stay well hydrated and should avoid hiking during the peak hours. We are planning mostly day hikes with our goal to get up early and be back to camp early. Our car is not 4 wheel drive so I don't think we will be doing the tough driving in Canyonlands!

    We are def. going to hit rt. 12 and are going to skip Zion this trip to give us more time in the Grand Canyon and Utah. I checked out I70 and that looks pretty awesome too. I think we are going to hit that for our trek home...seems to be the easiest route since we live just north of Baltimore. Any suggestions for the trek back east that could be interesting/worth checking out?

    One more thing, you mentioned a real fun 1/2 trip around the "peaks of Colorado" that I think you'd enjoy -- it sort of circles red rocks. Can you give me some more details about this? It sounds interesting!!

    Thanks again for your ideas, we will put them to good use! I have found this site so helpful in more ways than 1!

    Ang
    Last edited by ASC1319; 07-06-2009 at 08:42 PM. Reason: I forgot to ask a few questions...

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