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  1. Default Boston to San Francisco in April


    Me and my husband are planning a road-trip coast to coast from Boston to San Francisco. We have about 15 days and plan to spend about 7 days from Boston to Death Valley and then another 7-8 days doing Death Valley, Yoesmite, the coast and San Francisco. We are driving a Toyota Corolla 2002.

    This is our first road trip so any help we could get are very helpful. First of all, do we have to little time? What is the best way from Boston to Death Valley? We were thinking that we can spend most days driving (550 miles/day) and then pick 2-3 different places along the way where we can stay one whole/half day each. Any suggestions on such good places to stay?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Just to be clear, this is only a one way trip?

    Your plan is basically sound, but right now, there's just not much we can help you with. There is no single "best" way from Boston to Death Valley, and since the entire US is available between those two points (and you've told us nothing about your interests) there's just no way for us to start narrowing down the millions of possibilities.

    You really need to spend a little time figuring out what it is between point A and point B that you want to see and do (and there are plenty of idea available on this site if you spend some time looking around), once you've got a better idea of what you hope to achieve we can be of more help filling in the gaps and answering whatever specific questions you might have.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Basic Pacing

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Everyone's a little bit different in how they like to schedule their RoadTrips, particularly as it relates to how many miles to drive in a day and how many days 'on' and how many 'off'. If the schedule you've laid out seems reasonable to you then that's the one you should go with. In general, you are looking at about 5 solid days of driving from Boston to Death Valley. Even that pace would allow a couple of hours each day for short out-of-car breaks. Longer stops at special destinations will have to be budgeted for as you indicate. There are a few choices for routing that aren't that much different in mileage: (1) I-90 to Chicago, I-80/I-76 to Denver, I-70 to western Utah, I-15 to Las Vegas, then local roads to Death Valley. 2870 miles. (2) I-84 to Scranton, I-81/I-80/I-76 to south of Cleveland, I-71/I-70 to Denver, then as above. 2920 miles. (3) As in (2) to St. Louis and then I-44 to Oklahoma City, I-40 to Kingman, AZ, and then US-93 to Las Vegas. 2840 miles. So you can pick any of those three (or combinations thereof) that appeals to you and still pretty much plan on 5 to 5½ days of solid driving to get to Death Valley. Once you make that basic choice, suggestions will be much more meaningful.


  4. Default


    Thanks for your replies! Yes, it is a one way trip, we plan to drive to San Francisco, sell our car there and then take a flight back to Boston. We are then moving home to Sweden a few days later.

    You are so right, there are of course a million of possibilities to choose from between Boston and Death Valley. First I think we needed to know if it was at all doable in 7 days, we have no experience driving such long distances before. As I understand from both your answers, you think it is.

    Another post here in the forum mentioned the route via Columbus, OH, Tulsa, OK, Albuquerque, NM. Which is pretty much the 3rd alternative that you suggested, AZBuck. That could be a good route for us since we have not been in those states before. We have been to Las Vegas and Grand Canyon/Zion before so that is not really an option.

    Our interests are mainly nature, hiking and photography. On the road to Death Valley we would like fo find some nice small towns along the road to just "hang around" and hopefully find some scenic routes since we are planning to spend a lot of time in the car.

    What about camping, are there a lot of camping sites in general to put up your tent? Are backcountry camping in general allowed/recommended? Are motels in general fully booked or would it be possible in most cases to just drive by and try to get a bed?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default In Which Case

    If you plan to use my option (3) as your basic route, a few of the natural settings you might want to look at include the Delaware Water Gap, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the Ozarks, El Malpais National Monument, and Petrified Forest National Park, Remember, those are just the high spots! As for camping, state parks are the most widely available cheap options, but also be sure to have a look at a good set of maps and see which National Forests are on your route. Besides prepared campgrounds, many of these forests offer 'dispersed' camping which is free but does require you to set up camp some distance from roads, trails and streams.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I have seldom had a problem finding a hotel room on a "walk-in". April should be no problem at all, it's not peak tourist season anywhere. The only problem might be if there is a "special event" going on in the area.

    Be aware that you may have a hard time selling your car in California due to their very restrictive emissions regulations. It will have to pass a very detailed emissions inspection.

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