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  1. Default Washington D.C. to California - Trip 5

    Hi all—

    You guys have been helpful over the years in planning my cross country trips. This will be my 5th coast-to-coast trip, and I want to make it a little different/special. It will probably be the last one I do for a while (the need to go twice/year is now ending). In the past I have taken 4-6 days to do the trip. This year I have a little more flexibility. I have at most 10 days. I'd like to stay in the 6-8 day range, but if there is something truly worth doing, then I'd be willing to spend 1-2 days there doing it. Depending on the route, my past trips have been around 2,800 miles coast-to-coast. Thinking about adding a little more this trip, I'd go up to 3,800, I think.

    This is where I've taken the trip in the past:


    This new trip must originate in D.C. and end in Los Angeles. I'd very much appreciate your suggestions for stops along the way. We've considered Niagra Falls, Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, Yosemite, New Orleans as possible "anchors" for the trip. Let meknow what you think!

    Thanks so much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default The Challenge

    Yeah, one problem with getting hooked on RoadTrips is that as you do more and more, you start having to think a bit more about where to go. I almost said that you start to run out of new places to go, but with around a million miles under my tires, I'm finding more and more places I want to get to and more and more roads to take me there. In your case, I think the clear winner is a northern route that takes in the Great Lakes, upper Midwest, South Dakota Badlands, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Salt Lake and maybe Death Valley. That should be fairly straightforward to work out and can be done in 10 days, even 8 in a pinch. If you decide on that route, or even if you decide on another, have a look around at similar trips and if/when you have specific questions we'll try to help.

    AZBuck

  3. Default

    That's great advice! After stopping at the Badlands, is it possible to drive by mt Rushmore? I'm not really familiar with the area? It looks like a slight detour, but as long as you don't get stuck in a national park for hours, it seems it would be worth it to take a look and a picture?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    Easy. If you take Highway 240 through the Badlands going from east to west, that will take you out to I-90 at Wall. Stop at Wall Drug. Take 90 west to Rapid City, get off on 190, take that into town and take US-16 out of town to Alt-16 through Keystone to Rushmore. From there, you can take 244 back to 16 west through Custer and back to I-90.

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Easy.
    that's perfect! When you get to Rushmore, how long does it take to get to a good viewing spot? Are you able to view from the freeway, or do you drive into the monument?

    --


    We're planning this all out and I'll put up a map/route later so you guys can comment/critique. We're looking into a KOA near Yellowstone. I'm not sure if it's close enough, though. More details on that in a bit.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    At Rushmore, you park in the lot ($10) and walk to the visitor's center and other facilities. They suggest you plan on spending 2 hours there.

    There is no freeway anywhere near Rushmore, it's all 2 lane mountain roads.

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