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  1. #1

    Default First timer to Western USA

    In May 2010 I'll be taking a road trip in the Western part of the USA. I'm wanting to see Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, and Vegas. I will have two weeks and I'm coming from Kentucky so I have a few options:

    A) Fly out to Vegas or Denver and rent a car (very much higher in Denver). Drive around to my destinations for two weeks, and then fly back.


    B) Start driving from Kentucky heading up through Wisconsin, ND, to Glacier. End up making my way down to Vegas, etc seeing the sites listed above and back to Kentucky.

    I'm just looking for information on the best way to do this. All I have is two weeks and think of planning two days in each place or so.

    Any advice? Info? Routes?

    Flying into Denver would be perfect, but I can't afford to rent a car for two weeks around 1500.00 when I can do that in Vegas for about 500.00. OR even driving from KY for the rental at 500.00.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Travel time.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    With plan B you simply won't have time to spend a couple of days in each place. With just a day in each place you mentioned would be equal to spending 9 or 10 hours a day driving for the other 10 day's of your trip.

    Denver would make a nice loop but is actually more miles than starting and finishing in Vegas. Ideally picking up your car in Vegas and dropping it in Denver would be my choice but then you are faced with one way rental charges.

    If this is what you want to do that's fine, it's the beauty of the open road going where you want to, but I can't help thinking that it's a lot of miles to cover between a few major attractions in such a short space of time and would consider doing a more concentrated trip either North or South. North could include Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons and Rocky mountain NP, maybe even Mount Rushmore. South could include Grand Canyon, Monument valley, Arches, Canyonlands, Zion NP, Bryce canyon and Vegas.

    When you have decided what fits you and your budget the best, let us know and we can help you with your chosen route.

    I would also search for different rental co's as I find it hard to accept that Denver is $1000 dearer across the board than Vegas, but it could be so !

  3. #3

    Default Is this a big country, or what?

    Hello Natalie,

    There are a couple of things you may need to get accustomed to: the sheer size of the states of CO, WY, MT, ID, NV, and AZ, and the fact that Spring comes late in much of MT WY, and CO.

    As to the former, Southwest Dave's idea to break it up into two trips is spot-on. I would also consider flying in and out of Salt Lake City inasmuch as it's a big Delta hub with much competition amongst onsite and offsite vehicle rental agencies. For example, in early January, I'm renting a Jeep Grand Cherokee off-airport (but only 4 miles away from it) at SLC and the weekly rental rate is $495, plus the local taxes are somewhat less off-airport.

    As to the latter, be aware that the most sought-after drive in Glacier is Going-to-the-Sun Road, and it rarely opens before very late May and is often closed well into June. Ditto Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mtn Nat Park. And, ditto the Beartooth Highway accessing Yellowstone from the northeast via Red Lodge and Cooke City. At high elevations such as those noted, the snowpack is measured in tens of feet and unless there's a light snow, an early melt, or some combination of the two, high elevation roads just can't be opened until late Spring.

    Have fun planning and taking your RoadTrip.


  4. #4


    Thanks for the info so far. I'm going to do some research. Hopefully I'll get some more great info!!!

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