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  1. Default Late spring, New York to Utah to ???


    My wife and I are in the early stages of planning a 2.5 week (+/-) roundtrip trip starting in upstate, NY, in either mid-May or mid-June. Our tentative destinations are Buffalo, Ann Arbor (via Canada), Chicago, Minneapolis, South Dakota (Badlands, Rushmore, Black Hills), Yellowstone, northern Utah (Logan), Colorado (Dinosaur National Monument and Rocky Mountain National Park) and then heading back east.

    Curious to hear from the experts whether this sounds doable (assuming Yellowstone isn't still buried in snow) and what we might see/where we might stop on the way back from Colorado, presumably through Nebraska and Iowa. Also anything we're not hitting or should be avoiding on our tentative itinerary. The only stops that are set in stone, for family visits, are Minneapolis and Utah.

    In a perfect world, we'd head up to Glacier National Park in Montana, but after agonizing over our map/atlas for a week, we just don't see how that's doable.

    One thing that's puzzling us at the moment is where to stop between Rocky Mountain National Park and Omaha, which seems to be an awfully long haul.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default As Long as You Realize...

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    ...that this trip is going to be mostly about sitting in the car for 8-10 hours a day for about half of your travel days, then the trip is certainly doable. As you note, the biggest question mark is going to be whether Yellowstone is open, and even if it is - is it worth the visit. The only way to know that is to give them a call from Rapid City and determine at that point whether to proceed to Yellowstone or just head straight for Logan As far as what to see on heading east through Nebraska, just remember that you'll be following (besides the current I-80) the Platte River and the old Oregon Trail. There is plenty of history and scenic landmarks en route. In Iowa, make a stop at the Amana Colonies. But from Davenport, I'd suggest that you look at heading a bit south to I-70, avoid the tolls of I-80/I-90 and visit some sites such as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, The Air Force Museum and Wright Brothers sites in Dayton, and then use roads such as I-99, US-15 and/or others to get you back to New York,


  3. Default

    Thanks, AZ! I've read a good amount about the Old Oregon Trail, all really positive.

    We realize we're in for some heavy driving days. Our ideal plan was to just go one-way to Portland and fly back. The airfare was reasonable, but the car rental -- as widely discussed elsewhere on the site -- was not. I hate the thought of burning so much time on the drive back, but I don't know that we have a whole lot of choice unless we want to drop $900 on a one-way rental.

    If anyone knows any decent alternatives, I'd love to hear them. A drive-away doesn't seem realistic since we'll need to plan the time off well in advance.

    Thanks again!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Just Make Use of All of It

    If you look at the drive back home as a 'price' you have to pay for the pleasure of the trip out, then you're not going to have nearly as much fun as you could. The fact is that you have a 5000 mile adventure ahead of you and not a 2500 mile vacation followed by a 2500 mile trudge home. There is a ton of stuff to do on any route you choose to take home. I suggested just a few in my previous post. Take a look at your return route and start treating it as part of your vacation, and the whole trip will be much better for just that change in attitude.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Agreed!

    Having criss-crossed NE and IA quite a few times, every which way, on my journeys, I would have to agree with the above comments. Following those suggestions will afford an opportunity to enjoy the history and geography, as well as serenity of the secondary highways, the wide open spaces and the peace and tranquility of these States. Allow it to penetrate your whole being.

    It always saddens me when roadtrippers regard these areas as something to traverse at high speed on the Interstates. They may not be as spectacular as the great NPs of the west, but they have a lot to offer, if you look for it. I would add the Covered Bridges of Madison County and the many historic barns in IA, to the list above.

    Enjoy every mile.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    One thing that's puzzling us at the moment is where to stop between Rocky Mountain National Park and Omaha, which seems to be an awfully long haul.
    It's a long haul, but it *IS* doable in one day if that's all you have time for. It's 560 miles and could possibly be done in 10 hours or so - probably 12 by the time you stop for food, fuel, and bathroom stops.

  7. #7


    If you can stretch your trip to a full three weeks, I would like to give you an alternate route that will take you to Glacier National Park and going to northern Utah and then back home.

    Go to Minneapolis first. Take I-94 north to Grand Forks, ND. Take US 2 all the way across to Glacier National Park. If the "Going to the Sun" road is of open (last year it was closed until up in July), take it across. If not open the eastern entrance as far as possible and forget about the western side-much more interesting scenery on the eastern side.

    If open all the way, on the west side take I-15 south to Yellowstone and take US 89 south through Yellowstone all the way south to northern Utah.

    If partially closed, backtrack to US 89 and take it south through Yellowstone and Tetons to northern Utah.

    Take I-80 east to Cheyenne Wyoming. In Cheyenne, switch over to the Lincoln Highway (approximately US 30) and take it to Philly and then on home.

    Hope this will give you something to ponder and just remember,



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