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  1. Default August road trip: Washington State-Yosemite-Las Vegas-Grand Canyon-ZioArches-Chicago

    Dear all,

    I am here again. Last summer I posted my trip from Ohio to Washington state and I have benefited a lot from the advice from people here. This summer, I am going back to the midwest (Chicago). I will drive back again. Last summer, I took I-90, so this summer I will take the south route. One big challenge this summer is that I may drive alone,but my schedule is very flexible. The following is my tentative trip. Any suggestion or advice is welcomed. Thanks a lot.

    Day 1: Walla Walla, WA - Jamestown, Ca
    Day 2 and 3: Tour in Yosemite National Park
    Day 4 and 5: Drive to Las Vegas, stay two nights
    Day 6 and 7: Drive to Grand Canyon
    Day 8: Zion National park
    Day 9: Arches National park
    Day 10: Drive to Denver (6 hrs)
    Day 11: Drive to Omaha (8 hrs)
    Day 12: Drive to Chicago (8 hrs)

    My biggest concern is whether my days in those national parks are ok, although I know that I need more days to see those parks thoroughly. I am also thinking about dropping Las Vegas and Grand Canyon because it will be too much for myself. So what do you guys think?

    Thanks again. Have a great summer.
    Last edited by ycsgeorge; 06-25-2011 at 10:51 PM.

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

    Default Decisions, decisions !

    Hi, welcome back !

    Day 1 is really too far to travel safely and it will leave you feeling weary the next day, that could continue further into your trip. I would recommend that Reno be as far as you should push, then get a good nights rest and up and out early next day, it will be far more beneficial in the grand scheme of things. It's not always easy getting the balance right and dropping such wonders as the GC is a tough call to make, but yes it's going to get a little rushed.

    If you decide to go to GC you will be driving through Vegas, but from Yosemite you will head across Tioga pass into Death valley, so I would plan to spend a night on route.

    If you don't head for GC, you could take US6 through Tonopah and cut across to Zion. If you stayed in Lee Vining/Tonopah to the East of Yosemite on your second day there, you could get to Zion same day. If you took this option you could visit Bryce canyon and take Utah scenic 12 through Escalante on route to Arches via Capital Reef and Hanksville on 24 to I70.

    Another option would be to skip Zion NP and visit GC then head through Monument valley on a more direct route to Arches and have a bit of quality time there, perhaps dropping in on the 'neighbour', Canyonlands. If you made up a little time you could always consider a drive through Rocky mountain NP on the Trail ridge road, which happens to be the highest continuous paved road in the US, from Grand lake to Estes park.

    Never an easy choice, but the good news is, there isn't a wrong choice !

  3. Default

    hi Dave,

    Thank you very much for your suggestions. I will do a little more research and see which option I will take. Thanks again!
    George

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

    Default

    You're welcome. Once you have figured it out, if you need any help with the 'fine tuning', just ask. You will find a wealth of info searching the forums and the road trip planning pages above.

    Enjoy the planning !

  5. Default which route is better?

    Hey guys,

    I have redesigned my route from Walla Walla to Chicago. I am thinking about choosing one from the following two routes. I am wondering which route you guys would recommend.

    1. Walla Walla, Wa - Reno, NV - Lake Tahoe -Yosemite National Park - Zion - Bryce - Arches -Chicago

    2. Walla Walla, WA - Sacramento, CA - Yosemite National Park - Zion -Bryce -Arches -Chicago

    My biggest concern is that I do not want to get so tired because I may drive alone.

    Thanks a lot.

    Moderator Note: Please don't create multiple threads about the same trip.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 07-04-2011 at 09:58 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    I'll say the biggest difference between the two routes is that your 2nd one is much more direct, where as your first option would have you going back and forth over the Sierra Nevada mountains.

    In fact, other than the destinations themselves, that's really the only difference. Which route you pick will have zero impact on how tired you'll get - that's something that will be completely decided by making sure you are stopping and getting enough rest every day. Some of these places are a day or less drive apart, but obviously, Walla Walla to Sacramento or to Reno is too much for a day, and you'll need a few days to drive from Arches to Chicago.

  7. Default

    Hi, Michael,

    Thanks for the response. What doy you mean by"your first option would have you going back and forth over the Sierra Nevada mountains"? As I can see from Google map, I will drive from Reno to Lake Tahoe and then from Lake Tahoe to Yosemte, then from Yosemite to Zion. I do not see where I need to go back and forth. Can you clarify a little bit on that?

    Thanks a lot.

    George

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Little in it.

    You have to cross the Sierra Nevada to get to Yosemite and then back across them to head to Zion. You could use Tioga pass both way's but a nice alternative that would not take much longer would be to use CA4 and head down 49 through Jamestown. Whether you opt for Tahoe or Sacramento, mileage wise there isn't much in it from Walla Walla to Zion and I would personally opt for the Tahoe route.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Pretty simply, the Sierra Nevada Mountains lie between Lake Tahoe and the Yosemite Valley. You'd have cross the mountains to get from Tahoe to Yosemite, and then you'd have to cross again to head back east towards Zion.

    Its not a huge problem, especially since you are starting from eastern Washington, and will have to head west first to get to any destination in CA anyway.

    On Google, switch to a "Terrain" view (top right corner) to get a visual look.

  10. Default

    Thanks Dave and Michael,

    I will do a little more work. Have a great day.

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