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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    9

    Default LA-Yellowstone-Denver-Albuquerque-Phoenix-LA

    Hello, we are a family from Australia looking at doing a road trip sometime between May and October this year. I have just been considering possible destinations and came up with this possible route. Just wondering if 4 weeks would be long enough and also what time of the year do you think would be best for this trip. I don't like sightseeing when it's hot but I'm also a bit scared of travelling in heavy snow since I'm unfamiliar with it. We did 2 road trips last year. LA-SF-Lake Tahoe-Las Vegas-GC-LA and another on the east coast.

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

    Default Timing It Right

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    First, our sympathies, especially if you are in coastal Queensland. Yes, with four weeks, you can easily cover the ground you have indicated. LA is probably the most cost effective place to fly into/out of for your trip, and the sequence of stops is in the right order. Depending on how much time you want to spend where, you should organize your departure/arrival so that you are in Yellowstone in late September or early October. This is likely to be the coldest point in your trip, and I've been up there at that time of year. It is definitely Autumn, it will be cool during the day and could get quite chilly at night, but serious snow should still be a few weeks to a month off. The best part of that time of year is that almost all of the seasonal tourists will have gone home and you can actually enjoy the solitude of the park and see the geysers and buffalo herds without being shoulder to shoulder with hundreds or thousands of other people. This arrangement also means that your time in the desert, Albuquerque to Los Angeles, is at the end of your trip when it will be coolest.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    If you want to go through Rocky Mountain National Park outside of Denver, I'd recommend you try to do that before the first of October. I was through there this past September and it was snowing lightly up top. That and Yellowstone need to be coordinated to try to hit the "shoulder" season - after the summer hordes are done and before the snow flies and closes the roads.

    Between Denver and Albuquerque/Phoenix I'd highly recommend the southern Utah parks. Look at Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, Zion, and Monument Valley.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default

    September and October are my favorite Months to travel for Fall colours, lower temps and less crowds. It's not without risk of exposure to early winter weather but in the main shouldn't be too disruptive [if at all] to your trip. Four weeks would be a nice amount of time to get around your planned route and have time to do some sight seeing.

    From LA you could enjoy the coastal highway to San Francisco or to Sequoia NP and make your way through the wonderful National park of Yosemite and to the East of the Sierra's on Tioga pass [CA120]. From Yellowstone drive through the Grand Tetons and towards Arches and Canyonlands in Utah, with Zion and Bryce canyon being possibilities as mentioned. As you head towards Denver you can enter Rocy mountain NP and weather permitting drive over the Trail ridge Rd between Grand lake and Estes park. South towards Albuquerque there are possibilites such as 'Garden of the gods' and 'Cave of the winds' near Manitou Springs and maybe a drive up 'Pikes peak'. Further South is Great Sand dunes NP, Taos Pueblo and Santa Fe. From Albu back you have Petrified forest, Walnut canyon and you could head through Sedona and Red rock country to Phoenix and finish off with a trip to Joshua tree NP back to LA.

    Of course these are just a few options out of thousands to choose from so search the forums and take a look at the 'Routes' and 'Attractions' pages plus the Map centre in the tool bar above to see what appeals. Once you have some dots on the map we can help fill in the blanks.

    Enjoy the planning !

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    If you decide to go up Pikes Peak, check with the car rental agency to see if it's allowed. The last 5 miles or so of the toll road are not paved. The toll was $15 when I went up last September. Coming back down, lock the transmission in 1st gear and do not ride the brakes. There is a brake check station part way down where they check the wheel temperatures with a pyrometer and if they are too hot you will be required to park the car and wait 30 minutes minimum for the brakes to cool down.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    9

    Default

    I just realised that I forgot to thank you guys for your great advice. We have decided to head to the UK and France instead of doing this trip however if our dollar is still holding up we will definitely be back in 2012 and I can't wait to visit even more amazing places in the US. I want to see the entire country (eventually).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default

    You are welcome.

    With a lot of European visitors at RTA, it could be worth posting in the 'Off Shore Roadtrips' section if you need any help with your UK/France tour.

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