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  1. Default Summer Roadtrip from Pittsburgh - National Parks

    Hello all!
    I'm in the process of planning a roadtrip this summer with my boyfriend, leaving from Pittsburgh and hoping to see National Parks. We have the trip planned to take 4 weeks. We could possibly add on another week but are hoping to keep the costs under control. I've read a lot of other threads here and tried to use a lot of the their advice when planning. While I think the trip we have planned is possible, I'm afraid it may start to feel rushed. I'm hoping someone will be able to give their impressions or point out any glaring impossibilities.

    1 Pittsburgh --> Madison, WI
    2 Madison, WI --> Badlands, SD
    3 explore Badlands, maybe see Mt. Rushmore?
    4 drive to Yellowstone, camp
    5 Yellowstone , camp
    6 Yellowstone, camp
    7 drive to Grand Teton early in AM. camp that night.
    8-9 Grand Teton --> San Francisco. Need somewhere to stop in between.
    10 San Francisco
    11 leave SF. Drive pacific coast highway for a bit. stop.
    12 drive to yosemite. camp
    13 Yosemite. camp
    14 Yosemite Valley --> Las Vegas, maybe via Death Valley? can this be done in one day?
    15 Las Vegas
    16 Las Vegas
    17 drive to Zion NP
    18 Zion NP
    19 Zion NP --> Grand Canyon (south rim)
    20 Grand Canyon
    21 Grand Canyon --> Mesa Verde
    22 Mesa Verde --> Moab, UT
    23 Arches/Canyonlands
    24 Drive to Vail
    25 Vail --> Rocky Mountain NP
    26 Rocky Mountain NP
    27-9 Rocky Mountain --> Pittsburgh

    We're hoping to camp as much as possible in the National Parks, stay in motels off of interstates in between destinations, and stay in somewhat nicer hotels in SF and Vegas. I've learned that lodging in Yosemite is hard to come by in late June, so the trip is sort of being centered around 2 nights of camping that I was lucky to find in Yosemite. Is there anywhere else that it's advised to have reservations?

    Thank you for your help!!

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

    Default Nice trip.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You could have problems finding camping in the popular NP's such as Yellowstone, Zion, GC and Arches. Although there are 'first come -first served' non reservable sites you would need to be around quite early to increase your chances of finding a spot, especially at weekends. Of course there are always campgrounds around the areas and you will find somewhere.

    Yosemite to Vegas via Death valley is doable in a long day, providing the Tioga pass [CA120] is open, if not you will have to go around the Southern end of the Sierra's via Bakersfield. That would be a tough day with only time to drive through Death valley, skip it, or take an overnight stop on the way.

    Your first few days are quite tough, you can certainly get to Yellowstone in 4 days but you would be better off shortening your 2nd stop [Murdo?] and push on the other side of Badlands next day, perhaps Rapid City and not plan on spending a whole day around Badlands/Rushmore.

    From the Tetons to San Fran, somewhere around Winnemucca NV would make a good day on the road. I am not familiar with them but looking at the map there a couple of spots that might have camping facilities, Lassen Meadows and Rye patch rec area.

    That's a nice trip you have planned !
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 04-28-2011 at 05:04 PM.

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