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  1. Default Planning two-week road trip Chicago -> LA (one way), with lots of camping

    My fiancee and I are getting married in July in Chicago. After relaxing for a few days we will be driving her car down to my place in LA. We love to hike & camp and we thought this would be a great way to see the country. (We are also planning a 'traditional' honeymoon, but this is just an opportunity we can't pass up.) We are just starting to plan our trip now. We have started to make a list of things we want to do, but I was wondering if you have any suggestions for key parks to go to, how much is possible to do in two weeks while also doing such a huge drive, etc. What kinds of resources should we start looking at?

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

    Default So many options !

    Hello, congratulations and welcome to the RTA forums !

    From Chicago to LA is a 4 day drive, so with a couple of weeks you have time to do some exploring. There are many options open to you so I would continue to add to your list of things and get some dots on the map, then we can help to fill in the gaps, but not knowing where your list is taking you makes it hard to make meaningful suggestions.

    If you enjoy hiking and camping then the National and State parks take some beating. If you head through Colorado into Utah and Arizona some of the greats would include Rocky mountain NP, Arches, Canyonlands, Zion, Bryce canyon and the Grand canyon, with Lots of options in between. You will have to pick and choose, as you don't want to be too rushed on your honeymoon, but you have time to make an enjoyable trip.

    Take a look around the forums and road trip planning pages above where you will find loads of info !

    Add RTA to your 'favorites' as the new RTA map centre is soon to be released, where you will be able to plot routes and find attractions etc listed along it.

  3. #3

    Default The Rockies in July

    Hello jasonl,

    Your plans remind me of my own honeymoon just over 32 years ago, when my bride and I RoadTripped from Charlottesville, VA to Rocky Mountain National Park in her 1977 Honda Civic, one of the early ones with a 1,200 cc 4-cylinder engine, a 4-speed manual trans, and the tiny 12" doughnut tires. We spent a week backpacking within the Park and drive-touring the west side and some NF campgrounds over there.

    You have an almost infinite variety of options as to where to camp and hike so long as your planning horizon includes National Forests. Strictly for the likelihood of pleasant summer temperatures I'd restrict my plans to the Northern Rockies of CO, WY, MT, and ID. Those 4 states have tens of millions of acres of National Forests, liberally sprinkled with wilderness areas, multi-use areas, thousands and thousands of miles of trails, and hundreds of campgrounds. I love the mainstream National Parks, but one must be prepared for droves of people in July/August and campgrounds booked to the max. Visiting some NFs gets you away from the crowds for the most part, and the more offbeat and out-of-the-way NFs will be visited largely by locals and it's fun to meet and interact with folks from the Mountain West.

    Long ago I purchased a NF campground guidebook entitled "Campground Guide for the Northern Region", a resource which lists, locates by map, and describes most of the NF campgrounds in the Northern Rockies. I don't know if it's still in print and/or has been updated, but if I were to be planning a trip and wanted to do at least some camping away from the National Parks, I'd look for a copy. Last year I found similar listings/descriptions/map locating tools within a couple of the NF websites, so simply locating the various NF units and perusing their websites would seem to be an effective way to plan, as well.

    Have fun planning and taking your erstatz honeymoon RoadTrip!


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