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  1. Default One month road trip that covers N. California to Yellowstone and back

    Thinking about flying family from Hawaii to San Francisco or Portland for Summer 2012 to go on a road trip. What would be a good round trip route and attractions to see? Willing to drive as far east as Yellowstone. We have friends and family we are hoping to visit in Sacramento, Eugene, Vegas, and Aspen. But we only have a little over a month so we may have to simplify. Would like to camp as much as possible. Hoping to visit Redwoods, Crater Lake, Coeur dalene, and more along the way. Because the kids are between age 7 and 10 they probably won't be able to handle more than 4-6 hours of driving at a time. Hope there's some good advice out there. Thanks!

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

    Default starting with you

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    There's never a one-size fits all list of good routes and attractions on a roadtrip - that's up to you and what your family wants to do.

    The good news is that you already have a decent start just by the places you've listed. Starting from San Francisco, you could head up the coast to the Redwoods, cut inland to Crater Lake and Eugene cut across to Coer D'alane on your way to Yellowstone and the Tetons. Head onto Aspen and then make your way back through Vegas and Sacramento. Of course there are no shortage of things you could add to it, like Glaicer National Park, Mt. Rushmore/Black Hills/Badlands, Rocky Mountain National Park, Arches, Canyonlands, Monument Valley, Zion, the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, and Yosemite just being some of the biggest names.

    With a month, you can do a whole lot of that. And don't underestimate your kids, there's no reason you can't do a full 8 hours on the road at those ages, you just don't want to be doing it every day. And of course, even there, make sure you're making lots of stops and including things that they are interested in - and make sure they are involved in the planning too, as the more they are involved, the more they will be looking forward to it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Something to Start With

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    I took your stated cities where you'd like to visit family (always a plus on a RoadTrip) and put together the following loop drive beginning and ending in San Francisco, since I think that would work out best for you in terms of frequency and cost of flights to and from the mainland. Traveling the loop in a clockwise direction you first stop would be Sacramento after which you could head over to the coast and follow the Pacific Coast Highway (CA-1/US-101) up to Eugene. At 4 hours a day of driving, that would take you about three days, but there are a ton of state and national parks to explore that include both giant redwoods, beaches and wildlife sanctuaries that will keep the family entertained. After Eugene, you can continue on up to Portland and then drive up the Columbia River Gorge which has a ton of waterfalls as well as Lewis and Clark historic sites. Continue on I-84 over to the Snake River Valley and hit spots such as Bruneau Sand Dunes, Bruneau Canyon and Hagerman Fossil Beds on your way over to Yellowstone National Park. Leave another three days for this drive. After Yellowstone, two or three days will take you through the Grand Tetons, then down US-89 to Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area and US-191 to Dinosaur National Monument on the way to Aspen. Next you'd head west on I-70 past Colorado National Monument, and Arches National Park and then I-15 south to Zion National Park and Las Vegas, While there take a couple of days and make the drive to the Grand Canyon. You would finish up by getting back to San Francisco by either the expedient route I-15, US-58, and I-5 skirting the Sierra Nevadas to the south, or by going up through Death Valley and then crossing the Sierras via CA-120 into Yosemite National Park.

    This trip should b3e a great hit with the kids. A couple of general pointers. You will be hitting enough national parks to make the annual pass well worth the $80 it costs, so be sure to buy one at the first park entrance you come to. And your kids are the perfect age for the Junior Ranger Program so check in with the rangers at each visitors center and get the age appropriate activities booklet(s) and be sure that they present there completed booklets for recognition and their badges before leaving each park.


  4. Default

    Thank you both. This gives me a great start.

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