Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19
  1. Default Chicago to Los Angeles via Yellowstone....

    Hello. What a great site this is!

    I'd really appreciate some help in choosing a route for a mate and mines first road trip through America this May/June. We're still very much in the early planning stages so please bare with me if I suggest anything silly!

    Our hope is to go on a roughly 2 week road trip taking in as much natural beauty as possible but to also have some of the typical American road trip fun (i.e.random tourist attractions, funny signs and quirky diners). Our budget is quite flexible, obviously keeping things as cheap as possible is preferable but we don't need to be too worried about it.

    So here's the first draft my mate drew up:
    Rent a car in Chicago, 2 nights here.
    Drive to Minneapolis stopping at Wisconsin Dells and stay a night in Minneapolis which is the land of 10,000 lakes.
    Drive on to Pierre to see the misouri river and the corn palace and stay 1 night here.
    Drive to Mount Rushmore and stay overnight in the national park or keystone which is just outside it.
    Drive through to Yellowstone national park and stay here 3 nights
    Drive through Grand Teton national park through to salt lake city and stay here 1 night.
    Drive through the Bryce Canyon, Dixie National forest and the cedar breaks national monument to cedar city and stay 1 night here
    Drive to the grand canyon and stay 1 night here
    Drive to Yosemite national park and stay here 1 night
    Drive to Los Angeles and stay here for 2 nights before flying back to the UK
    .

    This totals 12 days give or take, going by my mates guesstimations. My mate based this route on a similar coach-trip itenerary which implies it's do-able, but I was wondering if people really think it is? Is there enough time to really enjoy the national parks? And are the places from Chicago to Mount Rushmore fun to travel through? I can't find much about them in any other threads which doesn't fill me with hope!

    Really appreciate any and all opinions on our route! Or suggestions for any other ones. Anything! :)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Welcome!

    Without fully analyzing the route, what you need to do is look at how many miles you will be driving each day on the road. To be able to drive when it's light out and enjoy the scenery, you should limit each day to 500 miles if you are using Interstate highways, somewhat less on the secondary routes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Too much.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    That looks like 14 days to me and in places it is to rushed to have time to see what you want to see other than to drive through, but it's a start.

    You can find fun just about anywhere, but as your trip is going to be based on natural beauty and value, I can't help wondering if you wouldn't be better off starting somewhere in the West and doing a loop. It's going to be 1400 miles or so from Chicago to Yellowstone, almost 3 days of driving, plus by dropping the car off in LA will mean one way drop off fees.

    At the moment it would make no sense to go to Bryce and then to Cedar City and then back on yourselves again to the Grand canyon. I doubt you will have time for Cedar breaks in the same day and have fun.

    The Grand canyon to Yosemite is more than a days drive. It's almost 700 miles and to do it in a day to spend one night and a morning totally exhausted before driving to LA would be a total waste IMO. That's like driving from Portsmouth to John O Groats for a couple of hours there !!

    To have time to enjoy these natural wonders I would recommend cutting back the miles, which at present is equal to a week in the car, 3 days in Yellowstone and 2 in LA = 12 DAYS.

  4. Default

    Thanks for the advice. I was meant to take of Yosemite as like you said, it's a tad out of the way!

    I think you may be right Dave, a loop may be a better idea, so I've done a redraft. What would your opinion be on this: Starting in Florida go up through Salt Lake City to Yellowstone, then down through Denver to meet up with the old Route 66 at Albuquerque leading back to Los Angeles. ...Going by google maps it's about 2900 miles, so according to the maths if we could average 400 miles a day it'd be about a week of driving, so with our 2-3 weeks we should have plenty of time. Do you think that's realistic in reality? Does this sound like a fun route to anyone? Once again, really appreciate any advice!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,545

    Default

    I think something in there is a typo, as I can't see that Florida to Los Angeles via SLC, Yellowstone, Denver and Albuquerque can be 2900 miles????

    So call me confused....

    Donna

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Me too !

    I think Florida must be a typo, as I don't know where that came from ? [Closer to 4500 miles me thinks]

    What I actually meant by "creating a loop in the west" was to start and finish in the same City and make a circular route to the places that interest you the most, not a 'Loop the Loop' type thing. I should have been clearer. LOL. I was thinking this would prevent you having to pay a one way drop off fee on your car rental and cut down on the mileage and related expense. You might even get a better flight deal flying in and out of one City.

    You would need to work out how much time you have for the trip as there is a huge difference between a 2 week trip and a 3 week one.

  7. Default

    Yes it was a typo. haha.

    I meant Los Angeles! Start and finish in Los Angeles. No idea where Florida came from :S

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,545

    Default

    Oh, good, I really thought I might be losing my mind.:-)

    That round trip sounds MUCH better! You might have time to get the Grand Canyon visit in there, too!


    Donna

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default If it's what you want.

    As I mentioned, I think the loop will work well but I think you need to study a good map of the US and do some more research and decide what you think would be 'fun'. Once you have a really settled idea of what you want to do then we can help fill in the blanks and 'fine tune' your trip. Seeing lots isn't always the same thing as clocking up lots of miles and you now plan to do a large loop out to Denver, but what happened to Yosemite, Bryce canyon, Grand canyon and the like ? Some other great places in the Southwest are Zion NP Death valley, Monument valley, Arches and Canyonlands NP's, Las Vegas, Big Sur and so on.

    You are right in that you can drive the loop you have mentioned in the time you have and that's fine if it's what you want to do and are happy with the pace. You just need to work out what it is that attracts you to LA, Denver and Albuquerque and Salt Lake City etc when you want to spend time "in as much natural beauty as possible" as you put it yourself. Of course you will drive through some great wonders when on the road, but do you want some time to enjoy them ?

    I understand you are in the early stages of planning, but it's probably time to take a step back and do some research and see what you come up with.

    Enjoy the planning and let us know when you have more questions.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    I would certainly keep in mind the time it takes things as you are building your plan. The thing that stuck out to me with your original list is that you had a lot of days where the drive times were feasable, but they would have been all day drives, and you would have had very little time for the stops along the way you'd also listed.

    With your revised idea of doing a loop, I think you'll be in much better shape, but most national parks deserve at least a half to full day of your time, so I would really keep the miles down on any day you are planning to see a park. For example, days like trying to drive from Yellowstone to SLC via Tetons would mean little to no time to actually see the Tetons beyond the car window.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-05-2011, 07:59 PM
  2. Los Angeles to Yellowstone
    By Bigwaymire in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-10-2010, 03:34 PM
  3. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-03-2009, 10:22 AM
  4. Roadtrip from Chicago to Yellowstone
    By nuchto in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 06-12-2007, 01:29 AM
  5. Los Angeles to Yellowstone
    By LA Native in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-30-2006, 10:00 AM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

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

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES