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  1. Default Roadt Trip from Albany, NY to San Diego, California

    Hi everyone,
    I'm trying to plan a road trip to CA from NY from late Nov 2009 to mid Jan 2009. I know this sounds really immature but I haven't thought of sitting down and plan it before I go.

    There are a lot places I'd like to visit, I'm not much of a hiker but I enjoy the sightseeings very much. Most of the places I picked are national parks. Do you have any suggestion on where else I should go?

    I cannot plan the routes by myself neither because I never done this before, but here are the places I'd love to go, if you could guide me, I'd really appreciate it.

    Day 1: NY to St Louis, stop there for about 3-4 days to visit family.

    Day 5-6: Illinois to Denver Colorado (is it realistic to make it in 1 day? maybe 2?). Is Hovenweep in Colorado? Is it on the way to Dnever? I'd love to stop there but if it's out of the way, I don't have to stop there.

    Day 7-14: Utah, I'd love to visit Bryce Canyon, Zion national park, Yellowstones, and possibly Moab...

    Day 15-17: Grand canyon. We already been to Las vegas earlier this year so I don't want to stop by Vegas.

    Day 18: California (Do you have any suggestion of where to go in CA? I've been to the LA area before so I don't need to concentrate too much on it neither)


    Around Jan 2nd, 2010: Yosemite.

    Jan 11th: Head home to NY


    Another question is, I know it's too cold now to camp, but is it possible to find a campsite with lodge? We're trying to cut down cost as much as we can...

    Please, I need suggestions, ideas, anything you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    What you need to do is go to the bookstore and buy a United States road atlas to start your planning. Supplement that with the online mapping programs such as Mapquest and Google maps. However, if you do use mapping software, add 20% to its predicted driving times. Also, the National Parks website is invaluable.

    Day 1 - this is not at all realistic. It's over 1000 miles from Albany to St. Louis and is 2 full driving days. We highly recommend you drive no more than 500 to 600 miles in one day.

    St. Louis to Denver is 850 miles - it would be best to make that a 2 day drive.

    Hovenweep is in the far southwestern corner of Colorado on the Utah border, near Cortez CO. Visiting it would be reasonable in between Denver and the southern Utah parks.

    Yellowstone may be a disappointment to you in the middle of the winter, because so little of the park is open to cars. You could certainly take the northern route back home and stop by and take a look, but I wouldn't try to take that and all the southern Utah sights and the Grand Canyon in on the way out.

    Something that needs to be kept in the forefront is the weather. Being from Albany, I assume you are an experienced snow driver, but what you could potentially find in the Rockies will be nothing like you have ever seen before. You need to keep an eye on both the weather and road reports on a daily basis, and be prepared to be very flexible. For this reason, I would not recommend that you try to plan your trip down to every last detail.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Research.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    I think your best plan of action at the moment would be to get the map out and have a look at where the places are you plan on visiting and see how they can fit into your route with other things of interest as there are so many routes you could choose with the amount of time you have available.
    To answer some questions, St Louis to Denver is a 2 day drive as would be New York to St Louise, at 950 miles you will not get to St Louis on day one.

    Hoovenweep is around 450 mile Southwest of Denver, it could be part of your plans but again you need to figure out where you want to go.

    Yellowstone will be snowbound and most of the park will be closed down for the season.

    There is much to do in Cali, the Sequoias, Pacific coast highway, wine country, San Francisco and Yosemite.

    You can use the search button to find lots of info throughout the forums, start mapping it out and then we can help you piece it together, but you have to take the first step.

    Enjoy the planning !

    [Basically what glc said while I was still typing !] Lol
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 11-09-2009 at 09:50 AM. Reason: Slow fingers

  4. Default

    Thank you for your fast respond!

    Day 1 - this is not at all realistic. It's over 1000 miles from Albany to St. Louis and is 2 full driving days. We highly recommend you drive no more than 500 to 600 miles in one day.

    St. Louis to Denver is 850 miles - it would be best to make that a 2 day drive.
    Oh yea, that's why we're planning to spend 5 days to drive and stay in St louis.

    Yellowstone may be a disappointment to you in the middle of the winter, because so little of the park is open to cars. You could certainly take the northern route back home and stop by and take a look, but I wouldn't try to take that and all the southern Utah sights and the Grand Canyon in on the way out.
    Thank you for that worthwhile info!

    Yosemite would be a better place to visit don't you think? Would it be warmer there?


    Do you have any other recommendation for attractions in utah and colorado?

    Thanks

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default in the mountains

    Yosemite can be a great place to visit in Winter, but know that its location in the think of the Sierra Nevada Mountains means it very much is within a winter climate zone. That means you will see snow, on the ground, and possibly falling. There are also chain restrictions in effect, which means, you will have to buy or rent chains before driving into the park.

    My last visit there was in Febraury, and it was quite nice. There are some aspects that make the park very nice to visit during this time of year, but expect winter like weather.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    To me, the "should sees" out there are Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Monument Valley, Death Valley, and the Grand Canyon.

    Also, the coast between LA and SF is spectacular. You don't have to go anywhere near LA, you can take I-40 or I-15, then CA-58 to Bakersfield and one of several roads over to the CA-1 coast road.

    If you will be visiting more than 4 or 5 national parks, buy the yearly pass, it will save you money.

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