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  1. Default Minneapolis to San Francisco - 2 weeks in October

    My husband and I would like to travel from Minneapolis to San Francisco and back again in the beginning to mid-October of this year. We want to spend a significant amount of time in CA, but still want to stop to see a few sites (like Mount Rushmore, possibly the Badlands, and Yellowstone National Park) on the way.

    Can anyone suggest how the weather will be in mid October travelling through the mountains? Will driving be difficult or still enjoyable? Any suggestions about the safest routes through the Rockies? Are there any 'must-see' stops along this route that I'm missing? Also, how much time should we budget to travel quickly but still make a few quick stops/detours for National Parks?

    Also, a last caveat, we're visiting the U.S. from Russia so will both need to purchase drivers insurance - any suggestions about good rental companies to go through or ideas on the cost of insurance?

    Any and all suggestions/advice would be much appreciated!

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


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The first thing I'll point out is that it is a solid 4 days of driving each way from Minneapolis to SF, so that's 8 days of driving round trip, before you include extra stops and detours. I bring things up because it is easy to underestimate just how big the US is, plus, I don't know what you consider to be a "significant" amount of time for the California section. As it is, 6 days is about the most you could have there without extra detours.

    Mid-October is certainlly at the end of the tourist season, and that will have an impact on your trip. In the Badlands/Black Hills/Mt. Rushmore, all of the main attractions will still be open, but a lot of the tourist services like hotels, restaurants, and minor attractions will be closing down. Similarly, Yellowstone is very much moving into winter mode, where most of the roads are still open, but most of the lodges and other services within the park are closing up. With both, there are still places you can go to eat and sleep, but you will have to go a bit farther than you would at other times of the year.

    Its unlikely you'd see a lot of winter weather, but snow is a possibility in mountain areas, and you should plan for pretty cool to cold temps.

    Its probably going to be easiest to get insurance from the car rental firm, but you really just have to shop around for the best overall prices.

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