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  1. Default British family living in America, taking a big road trip in August - please advise!

    Hello everyone! What a great site! Well, we are living in Vegas for the next few years and are hoping to do what we consider to be big road trip this August! - you guys may not think so! The plan is to set off from Vegas and up to Salt Lake City for an overnight stop in KOA cabin? - see a bit of the place the next day and continue up to Yellowstone, where we thought of stopping for a couple of nights, again in a KOA. Then it's off to Little BigHorn and then find somewhere to stay as it looks about half way from there to our next stop of Rapid City for another stop over before we drive to Denver! This means we can take in 7 states on our way! - Utah, pass through Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, pass through Nebraska and into Colorado! We hope to see Mt Rushmore, the building of the crazy horse monument, obviously Yellowstone National Park, but can anyone reccommend anything for us to see as we go through Idaho and Nebraska? We have 2 children who will be 9 and 12 and they are great travellers! We hope to treat ourselves to a nice hotel in Denver but be on a budget the rest of the holiday and staying in KOA's and the like! Denver back to Vegas will be huge (752 miles) so any suggestions welcome on where to break our journey and things to see would be welcome! We are open to suggestions to adapt our current route/plan also! Thankyou in advance, I can't wait to hear from you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default A Lot of Sedentary Time

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    I'm sure that you have visions of this trip being all about exploring and experiencing the wonderful locations that you'll be driving to. But in fact it's going to be little more than the odd few hours spent outside the car and the day after day of driving to get to those few hours. Read over your itinerary. There is only a single day out of the eight enumerated that is not mostly about the driving. I just don't think that this is going to be as much fun as you think it will be. If, instead, you returned from Yellowstone through Moab, UT (Arches National Park) and cut out the Little Bighorn, Rapid City and Denver, you could save almost two full days of driving that you could devote to actually getting out of the car and doing stuff in the many national parks and monuments that you are currently just driving by including Zion, Bryce Canyon, Grand Tetons, Flaming Gorge, and Dinosaur. I think your kids would much enjoy doing more, even if it meant hitting fewer states, and by the way, be sure to check at each national park and monument about their Junior Ranger program. Your kids are just the right ages.


  3. Default

    Brilliant, thankyou! We did Zion and loved it! Beautiful! Will re-look and take on board what you said! Thanks again!

  4. #4


    Re Idaho - You can see a bit of it on your way from SLC to Yellowstone if you hop off the interstate north of the SLC area and take US 89 northeast through Logan, UT. Logan Canyon in the Cache Nat'l Forest is beautiful (we hope to return to that area to camp some day), and then the road takes you by Bear Lake which you first see from way up high before the road descends. Then it takes you through southeast Idaho, which is full of small towns and scenic old barns. Montpelier has the Oregon Trail Center, which your kids might enjoy. The road then goes north through Wyoming through more small towns and then through Jackson and Grand Teton NP before getting to Yellowstone. It's quite a scenic drive, and one I'd love to do again.

  5. Default

    Thankyou so much for taking the time to reply, I appreciate that so much! It sounds lovely!

  6. #6

    Default Yellowstone to Utah, with the kids..........

    Hello Heide,

    If you're thinking of taking AZ Buck's excellent advice to cut off the giant "left hook", I have a handful of suggestions for you:

    The Beartooth Highway leaves/enters Yellowstone's Northeast entrance and offers arguably the most dramatic alpine scenery in the Lower 48. Above timberline for many miles along the MT-WY border, it is nothing less than breathtaking. The descent from the Beartooths on the route brings you into a classic "U" shaped glacial valley and then to Red Lodge, MT. Red Lodge is a fun little town famous for its ice cream and candy shops catering to Yellowstone travelers.

    From Red Lodge back towards Utah, one can drop down into WY and across to Dubois and Jackson, passing through/by the Grand Tetons NP along the way, or you can go west along the I-90 corridor from Red Lodge to Bozeman and drop south towards West Yellowstone, MT from there. The former route would enable you to head down US 191 into Utah from Jackson Hole, cross I-80, thence to Dutch John, UT and Flaming Gorge Reservoir. At Flaming Gorge, regularly-scheduled raft trips take you on a half-day or full day float down the Green River. It's nicely moving water but in no way an extreme whitewater trip, so no worries there. The beginning point is striking, being at the foot of the Flaming Gorge Dam, which towers over you at 503' in height.

    From Flaming Gorge, travel directly south takes you close to Dinosaur NM and then further south to Arches/Canyonlands in the Moab area. Moab outfitters run one-day trips on the Colorado River above Moab and those trips are a bit more exciting in terms of heavy water, but many thousands safely complete the trips annually. I'd have to say the Dead Horse Point State Park outside of Moab offers one of the more dramatic canyons vistas outside of the Grand Canyon NP.

    If you were to go towards Bozeman instead, you might be interested in visiting Quake Lake, west of West Yellowstone. It's the site of a 1959 earthquake which caused a landslide of such volume it dammed up the Madison River. Travel south from there returns you to UT and ID, and you can still slant over to Flaming Gorge, for that matter.

    I mention these routes with fond recollection of having been to all of the noted places when my two sons were 15 and 11 years of age just a few years ago. They thoroughly enjoyed the trips, so perhaps yours might, as well.

    Safe travels,


  7. Default

    Thankyou Foy! That must have taken you ages! Thanks for taking the time to share all of that! I just hope that we are not biting off more than we can chew!

  8. Default

    Heidi and family,
    What a great trip!!! From Little Big Horn to Rapid City is a pretty motorcycle ride but nothing spectacular in a car. You can swing south into Wyoming and see the Devil's Tower just before you get to S. Dakota. If you drop this leg and go on the Beartooth you can then swing south into Wyoming and go to E. Thermopolis and the Wyoming Dinosaur Museum (it's not far from the Beartooth). This will please the adults and the kids - it will blow you away. Also you can go to Cody, named for Buffalo Bill Cody. Utah offers incredible natural wonders (Arches, Canyonlands, Escalantes...). If you go to Moab do it on a weekday. It is way overcrowded on weekends with mountain bikers, off road jeepers etc. Nebraska is pretty but I'd skip it. It goes on forever and one mile looks like 500 other miles. Not much scenery. Have a wonderful trip. Your kids will thank you for the rest of their lives for exposing them to the great American west!
    -- Ironpig

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