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  1. #1

    Default Roadtrip from las vegas to chicago!

    Hi everyone! I am from Chicago and I'm flying to Las Vegas because I found the car I wanted to buy out there. So I will be in Las Vegas on Saturday May 7th, I will stay for one day, than I will leave Monday, May 9th and I will drive my new Jeep Wrangler back to Chicago from there. I know that I can make it back to Chicago in about 2 days, but I was wondering if I could extend this roadtrip to 3-4 days and what is there to see or do on the way back to Chicago? I have to be back in Chicago by Friday, May 13th. So now that I'm planning on extending this trip to 3-4 days, what do you guys suggest I see? What routes should I take? I want to see nice scenery (mountains, valleys, landsapes, etc...) and I'm wondering are there places that I should definitely not miss, places that are a "must see?" I am 31 years old, traveling alone, but have a lot of experience in roadtrips. I guess I'm looking for the best route(s) to take back home that will be interesting enough for me to stop at and video tape it, maybe even weird attractions, and beautiful scenery. Also, anything I should be weary of, or looking out for, anything dangerous? Hope you guys can help. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default At least three days.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    It is 3 full days on the road from LV to Chicago so that's the minimum you should be looking to make the trip with a little time at each place you stop for the night. Anything on top of that you will have time for a little sight seeing/detours.

    The odd thing is that if you leave Mon and do not have to be back untill Friday that is 5 days you can 'play' with. We don't do 'must See's' as such as that is a personal thing but if you look around the forums and plot routes in the Map centre you should have no problem finding places that appeal to you. Once you have some dots on the map we can help to 'fine tune' your trip and make suggestions.

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks for replying Dave. OK, so I plotted out my route in the "map center" and I saved the map. I have never done this before, sorry for the lack of experience. But how do I show you the map I saved in "map center?" I' taking I-15 from Las Vegas to I-70, than I-70 to I-76, than I-76 to I-80, than I-80 to I-94. Hope this helps in advising me on where to stay and what to see,and what I should expect. I am looking at making this preferrably a 4-day trip, not 5. So, leaving Vegas on Monday and I hope to be in Chicago by Thursday night. Thanks again!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    If you have already plotted out that route, possibly the most direct, check a good (paper) map, and see what attractions are marked along the way... whatever interests you. I am yet to come across any decent map of the US or the individual States, which does not have all this marked on it. Once you have that, use the digital map to refine your trip.

    If it were me, and I was going so close past Zion and Moab, then Zion and the Arches would be a certainty. But then, that's me. So what are your interests along this route?

  5. #5

    Default

    I am taking that route because I figured I would be driving through the mountains and the scenery would be beautiful, at least thats what I'm assuming. But if you think you know a better route with more attractions, fun, and scenery, please suggest it. This route is not set in stone, it was just what I came up with. All I know is that i have 4 days for this trip and I would like it to be as fun, scenic, and interesting as possible, especially since I will be alone. Thanks for your help.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by prophotodude View Post
    ... fun, scenic, and interesting ...
    What exactly is 'fun', 'scenic' and 'interesting' to you? You may have to be more specific, as we all have our own ideas of what they mean. You really only have one day to play with, so what fun things, what interesting sites are you looking for?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    My suggestions - if you only have 4 days, you are going to have to strictly prioritize. I think that the Utah parks would give you the most spectacular scenery, so you would need to make it to Grand Junction CO for night 2 and Kearney NE for night 3.

    So - I'd suggest this. Head out of LV and go through Zion. Exit through the tunnel and head up US-89 to Bryce Canyon. Spend the night in the Bryce area (Panguitch, Tropic, or one of the expensive places right outside the park entrance), then take UT-12 and UT-24 through Capitol Reef to I-70. This is going to give you very little time to actually explore any of the 3 parks, but you will have spectacular scenery in all of them plus all along UT-12.

    From a timing standpoint, you can make it from Zion to Bryce in about an hour and a half. Now - what I did do a couple years ago was this - I spent a night in Panguitch and got on the road about 7:30am to Bryce. At Bryce, I stopped at the visitor's center and watched the short movie, then drove down to the end. On the way back, I spent a few minutes at each viewpoint. I was out and back on the road before 11. I spent an hour or so at Capitol Reef going down to the end and back and I made it to Moab around dinnertime. It's 3.5 hours from Capitol Reef to Grand Junction driving the speed limit. If you do this, that will be a rushed day, but both parks are very easy to do the quick looks in. Zion is a lot more time-consuming because you will need to take a shuttle bus to see the canyon, the road is closed to private vehicles except in the winter.

  8. #8

    Default

    GLC, those are great suggestions, thank you! Life Magician, "fun" would be any weird attractions or attractions which the area is known for, "scenic" would of course be mountains, bodies of water, hills, just nature in general. I loved South Dakota and the Badlands because of the scenery. I love anything that looks like it came from the Old West, ghost towns and small towns with that small-town feeling, but I don't think I'll be able to see that kind of stuff from Vegas to Chicago, unless you guys have sugggestions. Just like anyone else, I dont care to see flat land, im sure I'll be seeing plenty of that in Iowa and areas near there. So I'm looking for something that isn't too far off the beaten path I guess since I only have 4 days, but I still want to be able to make this a memorable trip. Any other suggestions would be great, ie; what cities or towns to sleep in monday through wednesday (Don't want to spend more than $50-$60 for a motel, just need somewhere to lay my head, nothing fancy, maybe a Super 8 or similiar).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Enjoy the West

    If you have saved your map, you can display it by clicking on the appropriate saved map 'My maps' link in the left hand corner. When the map is displayed you can copy the URL under the map and open the 'Insert link' tool on the top of your reply box and paste the link and select OK.

    You will then have pasted the link to the Map like here. You can see the number of attractions along the route represented by each flag. If you select the option to search along your route on your map page you can click then click on each flag and get a lot more info.

    I promise the markers will show up here eventually.... debugging the code right now...
    [iframe]http://www.roadtripamerica.com/maps/display.php?mapnumber=4rpj9n1echkw&name=[/iframe]
    well, maybe it's going to take a bit longer....

    The most important thing to remember is you can create your own route rather than just following the path of a mapping program route, you have many options. Lifemagician and glc's suggestions through Utah are as good as it gets without adding too many miles, but you could head to the Grand canyon and through Monument valley and up to I70 via Moab and Arches NP, or from MV continue to Durango and drive up the spectacular 'Million dollar Highway' to Montrose and take US 50to Poncha Springs and up to Denver. They are all great scenic options, but most of the sight seeing would be done through the windshield. I would make the most of your time in the West as you can and look to get close to Denver by the end of day 2 [Around Georgetown/Idaho Springs I70] and that will leave you with a couple of reasonable days on the road to get home stopping around Grand Island/Lincoln NE.

    {Editor's Note: We're looking to see how we can import your saved "My Maps" into the Forum posts, as recommended by Southwest Dave}
    You can see we've got some of your map to display...
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-02-2011 at 06:18 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default And these are CUSTOM maps

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    The most important thing to remember is you can create your own route rather than just following the path of a mapping program route,
    And it's helpful to remember that we built this Custom Mapping application so each member can choose the route they want to go. If you use the Way Point mapping tools, you can drill down a route as specific as you want it to be. And, of course, Dave's point was that no matter how custom your map route is, once you're on the road, you still get to decide where you are going!

    Mark

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