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  1. Default Need suggestions on Lake Charles (LA) to Las Vegas trip in December

    My wife and I are planning to go on a road trip from Lake Charles (LA) to Las Vegas this December for about 12 days. We have the experience of going on a couple of fairly long road trips (1700 miles over 4 days), but this looks way longer than what we have done until now. I see that there are two major routes (I-40 and I-10) that we can take, and have found the following places of interest en route based on what I have read on this forum:

    Fredericksburg, TX
    Carlsbad Caverns
    White Sands National Monument
    Santa Fe, NM
    Durango, CO
    Mesa Verde National Park
    Monument Valley
    Mexican Hat
    Flag Staff
    Grand Canyon
    Hoover Dam
    Petroglyph National Monument
    Petrified Forest
    Canyon De Chelly
    Zion National Park
    Roswell, NM
    Sunset Crater Volcano

    Considering that we are planning to stay in Vegas for 4 days, while visiting Zion, Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon during a couple of those days, can you please suggest the ideal number of places that we can plan to visit, and the not-so-interesting places that we can exclude from the above list? Also, how we can possibly plan the trip, stops to make, motels/hotels to stay on the way, places to visit in terms of variety, etc. Any other places not listed above are also welcome. Finally, is it way too much driving/travel over 12 days that we cannot enjoy the trip? I will be doing most of the driving.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default dialing it way back

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    There's never a single answer for how many places you can go in a time, because each place requires a different amount of time to enjoy. However, right now you are way beyond what you can fit into a 12 day trip.

    Just to break it down for you, you've got basically 6 full days of driving (3 each way) and you want to spend 4 more days in Vegas. That only leaves 2 extra days to see everything else. Some of those stops you've mentioned can be worked in as a couple hour stop on a mostly driving day, but you've got some detours that would also add hundreds of miles to your trip too.

    I will also say that Grand Canyon/Zion/Bryce should not really be thought as locations that are included as part of Vegas. Only Zion is close enough for a daytrip, and even there it would probably make more sense just to include it as you enter or leave town, depending upon what else you decide to do.

    What I would suggest is that you try to roughly plot out day by day what you hope to do, that can help you get a feel for what would work and what will be just too much.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default The answer is Yes!

    Agreed, your list needs trimming, but only you can do that in line with your interests. Suffice to say, that going via Mesa Verda, through Monument Valley, Bryce and Zion to Vegas, and return by way of Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon and Flagstaff, would put you on the road for the best part of seven full days.... not counting any weather related holdups.

    Considering that it is extremely difficult to view, explore and understand a place like Mesa Verda, in one day, you are not really allowing yourself much time to get a real appreciation of all the other great sights to be seen in that corner of the globe.

    For me, you summed it up yourself, when you asked, "Finally, is it way too much driving/travel over 12 days that we cannot enjoy the trip?" My answer would be "Yes!"


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A loop.

    I agree, you have a lot of ground to cover and will need to pick and choose your options based on your preferences. I also agree that basing yourself in Vegas for 4 days and taking day trips back to the GC and Zion etc doesn't make the best use of your time.

    You could do this trip though, perhaps creating a loop taking I10 out towards Phoenix and up to the Grand canyon south rim [the north rim will be closed] and then to Vegas for a couple of days, Zion, Monument valley and down towards I40 and Albuquerque and home through Fort Worth. That's still pushing hard with a weeks worth of driving but it would give you a little time to explore some of your list briefly.

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