Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. Default Photography trip - Yellowstone to LA and everywhere in between!

    Hi all

    I am very excited to be arranging a road trip around West America, primarily for photographing the amazing landscapes of the area. I am planning on renting a car but need to double check I will be able to do this at the age of 23 - does anyone know about this?

    So I have around 2 months, will try to extend this a little but here is my list of places and time (in days) in each area.

    Yellowstone - 7
    Grand Tetons - 3
    Arches - 4
    Canyonlands - 4
    Antelope Canyon - 2
    Petrified Forest - 6
    Zion - 6
    Grand Canyon - 6
    Vegas - 3
    Death Valley - 7
    Yosemite - 7
    San Francisco - 3
    Los Angeles - 3

    First - is there anywhere I have missed that I really shouldn't have?

    Second - is this a reasonable amount of time to appreciate the area? I know I really need as much time as possible, but is this sufficient?

    Last - Is my allocation about right - or should I take days from some locations and add to others?

    Thanks for reading and any help is GREATLY appreciated!

    Fred

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default A photographers dream !

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    The car rental is possible at the age of 23 but you will be penalised with a fairly hefty "young driver premium" which I understand can be $25 a day on top of your fees.

    You have plenty of time to do your trip and there are lots of other possibilities between the destinations you have mentioned such as Bryce canyon, Monument valley, Capitol Reef, Mesa Verde NP and many more as well as many wonderful drives along scenic byways and highways so for now I would get a good map of the US and use the RTA pages to do a little research and gather info and when you have put things into place we will be able to help you fine tune your trip.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default adjustments

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    At 23 you will be able to rent a car, but an underage driver fee will be pretty much standard. That will generally run $25 a day on top of your base rental rates. I will also note that it is generally much cheaper to do a loop, rather than a one way trip where you'll also be looking at a drop off fee.

    For time, you've got a lot of it and it should leave you tons of time to explore. You're spending far more time at a lot of places than most people even dream - which isn't a bad thing.

    A few tweaks I would make.
    6 days at the Petrified Forest is really a lot. Most people spend a day there, and while there are lots of things in that part of Arizona (including Sedona) you could also include, but I would probably trim that down quite a bit. You did leave Monument Valley off your list, so that's another place where some of that time could be spent.

    Arches/Canyonlands, and Death Valley at a week each seems like it could be a bit much. I'm sure you would have no problem filling out your time there, but you could trim down a few days there quite easily.

    Zion for nearly a week is also a bit high, but you could also include Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef into your time frame there.

    One area I would add more time is California. I'd plan to spend 3-4 days driving along the coast between SF and LA.

    With all the time you have, you could also quite easily start looking at parts of Colorado. Mesa Verde in SW CO would fit in quite easily with your plans, but you could also go even further east to Rocky Mountain NP, Sand Dunes, or some of the other great parks over there. You might have to trim down some of your time at the bigger parks like Yosemite, Grand Canyon, and Yosemite/Tetons, but I think you could do that and still not feel rushed if you wanted to expand your scope a bit.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    You will be able to rent a car, but the underage fee is going to be considerable - probably about $25 a day. You have more than enough time planned for everywhere, but don't forget about the driving times between all these places!

    I wouldn't plan a detailed itinerary, play it by ear. I would also make it a "loop" trip, flying in and out of the same city, thereby avoiding an additional expense for turning in your rental car in a different city. Airfares and car rental costs will vary widely depending on city, you have several to pick from. You can probably save quite a bit if you purchase basic camping gear on arrival rather than spend every night in a hotel, the best bet would probably be a Walmart or a secondhand store. Before leaving, you could just donate the equipment rather than pay for excess baggage. In the cities you can probably save by using hostels instead of hotels, camping is not very realistic in or very near large cities. Purchase a National Parks pass for $80 at the first park you come to, this will cover admission fees for all national parks. You are visiting enough parks to make it worth it.

  5. Default Thank you for the warm welcome

    Wow, what a great forum! Thanks very much for the quick and informative replies. It's good to know about the young drivers fee, which I kind of expected as we have the same thing in the UK, hoped the US might be more lenient! Anyway, good to know I will be able to hire a car. Thanks.

    Also knowing about the national park pass is very helpful.

    Thank you for letting me know about Monument.

    Good to know I will have enough time for my trip! I really want to get to White Sands so it sounds like this may well be a possibility. Thank you for all the additional suggestions - like Rocky Mountains - I will have a look at these

    I will consider the idea of the loop, do you have any idea what the drop off cost is?

    Also will definately leave plans pretty loose as you suggest. I do plan to stay in hostels and campsites to save on costs. Do you have a rough idea of average costs per night for camping (1 person)?

    Thanks again

    Fred

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    Dropoffs generally range from $250 to $500, depending on the city pair. I'd plan on about $20 a night to camp in a facility that has basic amenities, camping in the popular parks will probably require reservations, especially on weekends.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fridge View Post
    Wow, what a great forum! Thanks very much for the quick and informative replies. It's good to know about the young drivers fee, which I kind of expected as we have the same thing in the UK, hoped the US might be more lenient! Anyway, good to know I will be able to hire a car. Thanks.
    Check out Adventures on Wheels. They do not have a young driver's surcharge for 23 year olds.

    Quote Originally Posted by fridge View Post
    Also will definately leave plans pretty loose as you suggest. I do plan to stay in hostels and campsites ............
    Make sure that you are aware of US holiday weekends. At the places you plan to visit, crowds can be huge and accommodation (even basic campsites) can be hard to find at times like that. If your visit is over one of these weekends, I suggest you book well in advance. For the rest, winging it should be fine. But it always pays to give hostels a call the day before, just to be sure.

    Lifey who was caught out

Similar Threads

  1. Yellowstone Job/ self finding trip
    By Mountaindrifter in forum Gear-Up!
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-20-2010, 10:05 AM
  2. Eternal Summer Road Trip w/kids: Return Trip from Yellowstone NP
    By Nachomama in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-18-2008, 01:07 PM
  3. Yellowstone 5 day trip
    By gman1979 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 05-07-2007, 12:02 PM
  4. photography on your trip
    By uclid in forum Gear-Up!
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 10-03-2006, 08:31 PM
  5. ideas for 4-day LA to yellowstone road trip?
    By Bids in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-08-2004, 08:03 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES