Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

    Default June/July 2012 - Road Trip advice needed

    Hi everyone,

    I have been checking out your forums and I am really impressed - great info.

    My husband and I are coming over next June/July for 5-6 weeks from Australia and staying with family in Oregon. We are hoping to do a bit of a road trip while we are there - by hiring a car and tenting. We are thinking the best thing to do to see all we want is to do a round trip from my families place in Portland. So anyhow the rough itinerary we have done up is:

    Day 1 - Portland to Seattle.
    Day 2 -Seattle sightseeing
    Day 3 - Seattle to Spokane
    Day 4 - Spokane to Glacier National Park
    Day 5 - Glacier national Park sightseeing
    Day 6 - Glacier national park to Teton National Forest
    Day 7 - Teton National Forest sightseeing
    Day 8 - Teton National Forest - Mt Rushmore
    Day 9 - Mt Rushmore sightseeing
    Day 10 - Mt Rushmore - Denver
    Day 11 - Denver - Grand Canyon
    Day 12/13 - Grand Canyon sightseeing
    Day 14 - Grand Canyon - Las Vegas
    Day 15/16 - Las Vegas sightseeing
    Day 17 - Las Vegas - San Francisco
    Day 18 - San Francisco sightseeing
    Day 19 - San Francisco - Crescent City, CA
    Day 20 - Crescent City, CA - Florence, OR
    Day 21 - Florence OR - Portland.

    So 3 weeks travelling. Is this do-able?? We do a lot of driving here in Australia (long distance) and my husband is used to driving on the opposite side of the road..

    Also with campsites we are pretty happy to rough it and don't need power.. but i DO need a shower! Are amenities blocks common in all campsites in the US? Here in Australia all campsites pretty much have them with full laundrys and camp kitchens, so I hope its the same over there!

    Also any recommendations for the best car hire with unlimited mileage??

    I look forward to chatting,

    Rach :)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    You do have some long days within your itinerary, but they do seem balanced with other days of staying in the same place or shorter distances.

    As far as campground amenities - this can vary by campground, but most have shower facilities, though they may be a bit, er, "rustic." By that I mean very dated and without adequate hot water.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "camp kitchen." If you mean a sort-of hamburger, hot dog, and ice cream joint, many have something similar. If you mean a place where you can cook your own meals, that is usually the picnic table and surroundings at your site.

    I don't recall ever staying at a campground that didn't have some sort of laundry room. However, if I'm only staying at a place for a night I tend to overlook things like that.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Yes, But...

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Certainly you can complete the loop you've outlined in three weeks, but there are a few places where some minor tweaking is in order. For example, Denver to the Grand Canyon is 680 miles. That's just too much to try to accomplish in one day. While you may be used to long distance drives, you can't change the laws of physics and physiology. Besides, there's simply too much between those two points that deserves your attention and time, such as Colorado National Monument, Arches National Park, and Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. Another example is Las Vegas to San Francisco. That's 600 miles and although it could be done in a single grueling day on the Interstates, taking two days and enjoying Death Valley and Yosemite National Parks would be memorable for far better reasons. So, the first thing I'd recommend is that you go over your itinerary a bit and pay as much attention to what's between points as to what is at your intermediate destinations. That, after all, is the point of a RoadTrip. And leave time each day, even when your main objective is covering miles, to get out of the car to enjoy the sights you find and just to get some fresh air and exercise.

    As to campsites, you will find considerable variability in the States and so you will have to do a little research into what's available in each place you plan to stay. As a general rule (to which there are many exceptions) commercial campgrounds will offer the most amenities including showers laundromats and convenience stores. But most of the individual campsites will be occupied by RVs and larger motorized campers. State and national parks will usually have fewer services but showers (often rustic) will be available more often than not. Such parks also sometimes 'segregate' tent campers from the homes on wheels crowd. Finally national forests offer even less developed camping as a rule, including distributed camping where you would hike back into the woods and set up your tent wherever you would like (some restrictions apply) but with no services whatsoever.

    There is simply no way to tell you a hard and fast rule about which car hire firm is cheapest. Their prices vary all over the place and will depend on the company, the location, the time of year, the make of car, how the local franchisee views the market, etc, What you should do is compare all the renters in a given location at the time you actually plan to travel. If you look at the green tool bar near the top of this page, you'll see a tab (button) for 'Reservations'. Click on that and follow the link to 'Rental Cars'. Put in your information and it will do all those comparisons for you.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default what you are missing

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    While I think you could make this itinerary work, what stands out to me is the number of places that you will be near, but won't have time to visit.

    The biggest one is Yellowstone. You mention stopping at Teton National Forest, but that's not the same as Yellowstone National Park, nor is even the same as Grand Teton National Park. I would also suggest that you give this area more time. I think 2 days is the bare minimum to do a quick tour of Yellowstone, and that's not including the tetons.

    Similarly, between Denver and the Grand Canyon there are about a dozen national parks and Natural Wonders worth considering. You've got places like Rocky Mountain NP or Mesa Verde in CO, Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon and Zion in Utah, and many many more in the area.

    And then finally, in the last part of your trip, you also leave out some amazing stops in California. Vegas to SF in a day means you won't have time for Death Valley, Yoesmite, or Sequoia National Parks.

    Where to stop is always a personal decision, and as I mentioned, the outline you have here could be done. However, it it were me, I think I would give some strong consideration to scaling back the distance, and see a lot more places. I'd consider dropping South Dakota and Colorado, and instead do a loop to Glacier and Yellowstone, down to Utah and the Grand Canyon, before heading back along the coast. Alternatively, you might look at breaking the loops up north and south, doing either Glacier, Yellowstone, South Dakota, or Vegas, Grand Canyon, Utah.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 10-15-2011 at 11:12 AM. Reason: brain not working

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia


    Thanks everyone - I'll do a bit more research and see about changing our itinerary based on your recommendations. I am so happy for this forum as there is so much to see over there I really had no idea how to narrow it down. ;

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default From One Aussie to Another.

    Hi Rach,

    Quote Originally Posted by Mass Tim View Post
    I'm not sure what you mean by "camp kitchen."
    For clarification, a 'camp kitchen' is an area usually equipped with a fridge, hotplates or gas burners, a microwave, and sometimes a toaster and electric jug, or any combination of these. It usually also has a sink for doing dishes and most have hot water on tap. Some even have power outlets to plug in appliances. These are for the use of all campers.

    Just about all commercial campgrounds which welcome tents have camp kitchens... some better than others. But the scene over there is so heavily focused on RVs, that you may come across campgrounds which do not make room for, or welcome tents. I have even come across the odd one which does not have an amenities block, just a dump station... assuming all RVs are completely self contained.

    Just like at home, you will rarely find much of a camp kitchen in a State Park or National Park campground.

    I would have to agree with many of the comments made above, your itenary overlooks many of the most amazing places on earth... places where you will want to linger just that bit longer. You can't possibly by-pass Yellowstone. Neither can you see it with just a drive through. My inclination would be to follow Michael's advice, scale back the distance and see a little more of the many National Parks in a smaller loop. Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce and Zion, as well as Death Valley and Yosemite are like nothing you will ever see at home. You may find that you will want to spend days at some of those parks.

    The Southwest of the US is an amazing place!

    Lifey in Melbourne
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 10-15-2011 at 09:39 PM. Reason: correction

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Invercargill, New Zealand

    Default You can do it, and yet will miss so much

    hi Rach, my wife and I did a similar trip back in 2006 and I have to say I agree with the comments of all the others, we took five weeks and found that although I thoroughly enjoyed driving the big miles after a three day stint at the wheel I felt like staying the next location for two night just to recharge my own batteries so to speak. I found that 300 miles per day or driving untill 3 pm witch ever came fist was a good guide for us. This allowed breaks and siteseeing as and when we decided. Point the GPS in the direction we were headed for the day and used the GPS to locate a motel atthe appropriate time.

    We unfortunately missed the Yyellowstone national park due to snow but saw vitually everything else you have mentioned but we started out and finished up again in San francisco.

    My first piece of advice is to make sure you have an upto date GPS because they travel faster than we do in New Zealand and Australia, my wife is an excellent navigator but to be fair we would have struggled to keep up with the flow of traffic and handle some of the major interchanges at the speed of the rest of the traffic if we had not had the GPS. All of this and the fact that both Aussies and Kiwis drive on the left hand side also can add to a bit of stress but you do soon adapt to the opposite side but keep in mind the natural instinct after all the years of driving on the other side can offer up a few "special" moments now and thenwhen you least expect it.

    The beuaty of most GPS's is that they offer the user the choice of "most use of freeways" "least use of freeways" " fastest route or shortest route" We more often than not chose least use of freeways as we felt we would see more of the country side and weren't dissapointed.

    The yosemites is a must see along as well as Bryce and zion NP's. To be honest I appreciated all three of those parks more than I did the Grand Canyon. I think when I next go to the grand Canyon I will try and do a scenic flight and also get down on the floor of the canyon as just seeing it from the rim for me was just about too much to take in and therefore appreciate the overall size of it all.

    We stayed at Super 8 or Days Inn chain motels all the way as they are all in the same chain and offer free breakfast each morning albeit in a form of a continental breakfast and you also sign up for their card and qualify for a free nights stay I think every seven nights, need to check that, I know this adds cost but for us anyway in the long run was way easier than having to pitch a tent each night and we wern't weather dependent. I spent 28 years pitching tents for a living in the Army so that also helped me determine that motels were the way to go for us.

    I hope you have a great trip, my wife and I are booked for five weeks again this July/ August to go to New york and we were going to go and do the Eastern Seaboard, New york to Florida and back but are now considering heading west again as we loved it so much last time.

  8. #8


    Hi there
    I have done part of your route and i can suggest some thing.
    I have done your

    Day 1 to Day 5 looks OK, can be done in 5 days no issue.
    From there i went upside into calgary, so no idea of day 7 to day 9 but this is possible based on my experience. I would rather advice you to stay in YELLOW STONE NATIONAL PARK for 2~3 days than driving to Denver. In Denver you are also ignoring Rocky Mountain National Park which is a great place to visit.

    Day 11 - Denver - Grand Canyon -Possible very well, I did it by taking I70 which is great highway, however by the time you reach flagstaff, it will be night, so i suggest stay a night in either Moab, UT and G. Canyon is not too far from there next day.

    Day 14 - Grand Canyon - Las Vegas---Very much possible.
    Day 15/16 - Las Vegas sightseeing ---You need atleast 2 days in LV, i think (1 night and next day to sleep enough)
    Day 17 - Las Vegas - San Francisco --I think it is also possible...
    Day 18 - San Francisco sightseeing
    From San -Francisco to Portland you need some good 4~5 days if you want to take highway 101 (the costal highway)..

    So, I think either you are skipping Yellowstone and Rockey Mountain National park or you need 1 more week in extra.
    I think by adding 1 more week, you will cover all with good pace and easy with en enjoyable trip........

    enjoy the trip anyway

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Day 17 - Las Vegas - San Francisco --I think it is also possible...
    Possible, yes - but you would have to miss Death Valley and Yosemite.

    From San -Francisco to Portland you need some good 4~5 days if you want to take highway 101 (the costal highway)
    You don't need that long. 3 days is plenty.

  10. Default

    Leave plenty of time for the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park. It is one of the most scenic drives in Glacier National Park but there will be construction and the delays can be long.

    Be sure to stop in at the Many Glacier Hotel while there - it's beautiful and the views are incredible. Many Glacier is also where you are most likely to see bears along the hillside.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 04-06-2012 at 07:53 AM. Reason: New Members May Not Post Off-Site Links

Similar Threads

  1. Road trip advice please. Orlando to Key West 2012.
    By Mattday007 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 08-09-2011, 03:22 PM
  2. Advice Needed - SPRING 2012 TRIP - ORLANDO to VEGAS
    By Bad Boy Bazza in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 07-07-2011, 02:59 AM
  3. East to West Coast Road Trip - June/July 2011
    By Twiggy22 in forum Share the Gas
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-25-2010, 02:14 PM
  4. June roadtrip help/advice needed!
    By Bambi in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-10-2008, 03:22 PM
  5. Looking for 1 or 2 per for US road trip June-July
    By Marco Martin in forum Share the Gas
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-12-2004, 12:06 PM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name