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  1. Default Tallahassee Florida to Las Vegas

    Hi folks,

    This is my first post on the forum and after reading through a few posts I can see this is a pretty active community of travelers, I sure hope to contribute where I can and maybe get some help along the way.

    As the title of my post suggests, I am looking into planning a road trip from Tallahassee (north) Florida, to Las Vegas Nevada. Time of year would likely be early September and duration would be 7 driving days.

    I have done a little research and realize this is around 2100 miles in its most direct route. This would likely be a 1 way trip; renting a vehicle and then flying back to Florida from Vegas on Sunday. I will be with one other person, and the goal of our trip would be to camp or stay at hostels and other cheap lodging along the way, enjoying sites along the route, with an emphasis on outdoor scenary and the Grand Canyon. A very ROUGH itinerary would look something like this:

    Sat Sept 1 Tallahassee to New Orleans
    Sun Sept 2 New Orleans to East Texas area (suggestions?)
    Mon Sept 3 East Texas to North Texas (Amarillo area?)
    Tues Sept 4 North Texas to Albuquerque (or Santa Fe?)
    Wed Sept 5 Albuquerque to Grand Canyon
    Thurs Sept 6 Grand Canyon to Las Vegas
    Fri Sept 7 Las Vegas
    Sat Sept 8 Las Vegas
    Sun Sept 9 Fly Home

    Am I biting off more than I can chew? Is this too much time on the road, and not enough time enjoying sites? Just looking for any feedback- I am an experienced driver with a good record, but farthest I have ventured so far is Florida to West Virginia.

    (Also-Anyone ever rent a vehicle for a trip like this? Whats the good, bad and the ugly?)

    Cheers!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    I think your current plan could work, but I also think you might want to do some drives that are a bit longer, so you have more time elsewhere.

    For example, you could really do New Orleans to Albuquerque in 2 long days, stopping somewhere around Fort Worth. That would free up more time to explore places like the Petrified Forest and Walnut Canyon before heading to the Grand Canyon. You could even possibly go up to Monument Valley.

    One other thing you might think about - instead of doing a one way cross country trip, you might do a fly and drive from Las Vegas. That might be more rewarding, giving you a chance to really explore the many national parks in the general 4 corners area, like Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, and more. Considering the typical one way drop fee, which will set you back several hundred dollars, doing a Vegas based loop could actually be a cheaper option too.

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post

    One other thing you might think about - instead of doing a one way cross country trip, you might do a fly and drive from Las Vegas. That might be more rewarding, giving you a chance to really explore the many national parks in the general 4 corners area, like Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, and more. Considering the typical one way drop fee, which will set you back several hundred dollars, doing a Vegas based loop could actually be a cheaper option too.

    Wow, I did not even think of this as an option..I would pay a little more for a round trip airfare ticket, but a preliminary search on the price difference for renting a car one way vs return is showing a BIG difference! I had no idea car rental was so much more expensive when pickup and drop off is different.

    I will look into this, as it may also give more time for exploring and camping. Although, I suppose it may take away from some of the 'allure' or doing a full scale cross country trip...

    Thanks!

  4. Default

    Does anyone else have any input, or experience with a trip like this? We would really like to do the one way drive- experiening Lousianna, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and then Nevada...but wow the one way prices are staggering compared to a return rental.

  5. Default 5 day road trip; Start/End in Vegas- where would you go?

    Hi Folks,

    Looking into flying into vegas this September, spenging two nights in the city and then renting a vehicle for 5 days and exploring the American Southwest. Never been & not a clue where to start...although I would like to see the Grand Canyon, and I would like to camp along the way with a focus on the outdoors.

    Anyone want to chime in on what they would do? Must see? Off the beaten path? Recommended routes?

    Cheers

    Please keep all questions regarding this trip in one thread. Thank-you
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 05-09-2012 at 02:49 PM. Reason: Merged threads.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Grand loop.

    The classic 'loop' from Vegas to include the Grand canyon would take you north on I15 to Zion NP in Southern Utah. From Zion you can head through Page [Antelope canyon/Lake Powell] to the south rim of the Grand canyon before heading back to Vegas with a possible detour onto route 66 through Seligman to Kingman and stop at the Hoover Dam. You would have the option of visiting the North rim, Bryce canyon and Monument Valley along the way among other options. A wonderful drive and some amazing scenery awaits ! It would be worth booking NP campgrounds in advance if you know your dates.

    With the time you have available, I would agree that flying into Vegas is a much better option than driving across country. Perhaps that can wait until you can affor more time.

  7. Default

    Thanks Dave,

    Would you mind taking a look at this route and giving me your feedback? Looking at a total time of 5 days/5 nights outside of vegas. I really want to try and hit all four states (UT, CO, AZ, and NM) and just looking for an efficient route that touches on a little bit of everything. We Don't mind putting some miles on the road, but at the same want to enjoy our destinations. We will be Camping everywhere we have the opportunity.

    sw route.jpg

  8. Default

    Well picture didnt turn out very well, let me try a link:

    http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=...7cf60b1f&msa=0

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Give yourself time.

    Just be aware that Mesa Verde is not a park you will want to see in a couple of hours. It is a very large park and the highlights of the park can only be accessed on a ranger led tour. The two major ones are Balcony House and Cliff Palace. To get a real understanding of what this park is all about, I think it is essential to do these tours. If you know your dates, you can book ahead - not months, but a week or so.

    It is possible to do both tours on the one day, if you get there early. It is a long drive from the park entry to the visitor centre, and again from the visitor centre to the attractions, which are also a ways apart. As I said, it is a BIG park.

    Once you have been on the tours, you are likely to be eager to see much of the rest of the park and the lesser structures, which are accessible without a guide. And Bingo... your day is well and truly gone!

    Lots of camping nearby.

    Lifey

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default One way.

    I think your trip is doable, but you will need to keep on the move. As Lifey mentioned, Mesa Verde tours take precious time, as do Antelope Canyon tours, but they are worth the effort. It's just a shame you don't have a little more time to spare, you could spend 2 days in Zion NP and only scratch the surface !

    With 5 nights I would leave Vegas early and head to Zion NP and arrive in Bryce Canyon in time to set up camp for night 1. Explore Bryce and head to Antelope canyon for an afternoon tour and stay night 2 nearby. Drive through Monument Valley to Mesa Verde and stay night 3 at Mesa Verde NP. Have another look around [tour] and make your way to Petrified Forest/Holbrook for night 4. Next night stay in GC NP before heading back to Vegas, possibly via Seligman on route 66 and the Hoover Dam.

    Note] On your way to the Grand canyon head North on 89 from Flagstaff and enter the GC via the east entrance on 64, [Desert View drive] where there are good viewpoints as you make your way to the Village area and campgrounds. Next morning you could hop on and off the shuttle bus up to Hermits Rest before departing through the south kiosk to Tusayan.

    If you can make things 'fit' to your liking then I would get and book up those NP camping spots asap !!

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