Hello all! I've been using Roadtrip America for a couple of months now to plan a 2 week roadtrip for myself and my soon-to-be husband for next fall. Let me start by saying this site and forum have been an incredible resource for me! I'm a veteran weekend roadtripper, but I'm new to trips that last more than a few days, so I needed all the help I could get!
Now that we've spent a considerable amount of time deciding what states, cities, attractions, etc. that we can't afford to miss, I'd like to post the plan and see what you veterans think about the distance and pacing. If we're in over our heads, I'd like to know now so we don't get too attached to the itinerary!
We're from Florida, and one of my close friends lives in Seattle, so we're planning on flying in late on a Friday night, 9/14, spending Saturday in Seattle with my girlfriend, and then leaving early Sunday morning heading east on I-90. We want to be back in Seattle by Friday night, 9/28, so we can fly out early on Saturday, 9/29. The basic plan is to travel down to the Grand Canyon through WY, MT, & UT, and then head back up to Seattle through CA & OR. The breakdown will go something like this:
Day One - Seattle to Deer Lodge, MT
Day Two - Deer Lodge through Yellowstone to Bridger-Teton Nat'l Forest, WY
Day Three - Bridger-Teton to Antelope Island State Park on the Great Salt Lake, UT
Day Four - Salt Lake to south Zion Nat'l Park, UT
Day Five - Zion to Grand Canyon (we hope to camp at Toroweap Point, but the contingency plan is the North Rim in case road conditions prevent us from getting to Toroweap)
Day Six - Grand Canyon to Death Valley, CA
Day Seven - Death Valley to Mammoth Lakes, CA (specifically Silver Lake)
Day Eight - Mammoth Lakes to Yosemite Nat'l Park
Day Nine - Yosemite to South Lake Tahoe, CA
Day Ten - Lake Tahoe to Umpqua Nat'l Forest, OR near Crater Lake
Day Eleven - Umpqua to Portland, OR
Day Twelve - Portland to Hoh Rainforest near Forks, WA
Day Thirteen - Forks to Seattle, WA
We're not at all interested in cities or urban areas, and hope to hit as many National Parks & Forests as we can, as well as a few State Parks. The only city we'll be stopping in purposefully other than Seattle is Portland, OR because we're interested in moving there (it's a 5-10 year plan, at least ;)) No amusement parks, no tourist traps if we can help it, no museums. We just want to experience nature in the Western states.
Based on that, is this trip do-able, or are we over-reaching? Neither of us are opposed to spending a whole day in a car, but obviously we don't want to spend *every* day stuck in the car watching nature fly by. We know we won't be able to see and do everything we'd like to in this time, but from my estimation, we'll be able to meander a little here and there and still enjoy ourselves. I've used Google Maps to figure out driving times and distances, always overestimating based on what Google said. If there is a better program for realistic driving times and itinerary building, suggestions are welcome!
Any and all advice or comments appreciated, since like I said, I've never done this before and want to get it right! Thanks in advance, and sorry if this post was too long, I have a tendency to be long-winded. :)