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  1. #1

    Default Return Winter Road Trip from Vegas

    Hello all,

    My brother and I are returning to LV in November and want to plan a road trip for about ten days returning back to LV.
    Last year we did California and Utah, this year we want to go further afield. One 'must' is the last night in Cedar City UT.

    We don't mind driving 5-7 hours per day and prefer towns/countryside as opposed to cities- really don't want to do cities!

    I've plotted lots of routes on Google Maps incorporating as many states as possible, many of which are about 4000 miles, 60 hrs of driving.

    Will the northern states be too cold in late November? Was thinking of incorporating Yellowstone.
    Really got a passion to visit the Deep South....do you think this would be do-able?

    In summary, we want to see as many states as possible, and we must have the last night of 10 in Cedar City.

    Your thoughts and ideas will be very much appreciated, thank you

    John

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    Welcome!

    Yellowstone is pretty much a no-go in November, almost all the roads are closed to wheeled vehicles in the first week of November. Your only access to the park will be the north entrance and the only road open from there is the one through the Lamar Valley to the northeast entrance.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default What's Within Range?

    With ten days at your disposal, even with a moderate daily driving limit, the desire to return via Cedar City, and allowing plenty of time for sight-seeing, hiking, and back roads travel, you can cover a goodly amount of ground from Las Vegas. I would put a rough limit on your outermost destination at the Mississippi River. Allowing for a crossing of the river, that would bring about a dozen states into play, although hitting all of them would require a bit of zigzagging. Very generally, you could head east through northern Arizona and New Mexico to Texas, cut southeast a bit to New Orleans, cross over to the east side of the river and go north through Oklahoma and Missouri, go west across southern Kansas and Colorado to say Denver and over to Cedar City and home. So - 4000 miles (plus detours and side trips), 13 states, and can be done in ten 8-hour days. That's perhaps a bit more driving than you want to do, but if you only went to the Gulf Coast of western Louisiana and cut out Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri you could knock off 500 miles, bring it down to ten 7-hour days and still get 9 states and a lot of variety.

    AZBuck

  4. Default

    Hi,

    You might find enough activities in Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado for your trip, especially if you haven't been to the Grand Canyon.

  5. #5

    Default

    Hi all,
    thanks for the welcome and suggestions.
    AZBuck, found your route particularly interesting, presume it's similar to the attached url?

    According to Google Maps, this route equates to 4202 miles- 61 hrs
    Do you reckon this is fairly accurate and do-able in 9-10 days?

    Regards,

    John

    http://goo.gl/maps/yws3p

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

    Default Real world driving.

    Doable, Yes. Accurate, No.

    With 'real world' driving where us humans have the need to take rest breaks, eat, visit the rest rooms and take time to fill the vehicle with fuel, plus the possible added inconvenience of traffic congestion and construction delays, it's always going to take longer than in a perfect 'virtual' world.

    Over a period of 10 days you are more likely to be on the road for 7.5 to 8 hours a day to cover 4200 miles, especially by the time you add up the extra mileage brought on by all the little detours into the city or to an attraction. To do that sort of distance every day for 10 days solid might become a bit of a chore, it's good to have a break from the car and take time to smell the roses, however it's certainly doable if your main aim is to visit as many states as possible.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default More or Less What I had in Mind

    I'd make a couple of changes, such as straightening out the leg from Memphis into central Kansas. You don't lose all that much in speed limits out on the plains using non-Interstate roads. Certainly not enough to make that big jog up to KC worthwhile. Look at way points of Miami OK and Salina KS. The other thing is to change your expectations about drive times. As gets repeated on these forums over and over and over again, the numbers you will get from mapping routines are pure fantasy based un unrealistic and overly optimistic assumptions. In the real world count on 550 miles a day, maybe 600 on the occasional (NOT every) day. Distances like 4200 miles should not be measured in hours but in days, in this case 7½ or so. So quite doable in 9-10. You'll even have some time to get out of the car, hike, visit sites, and enjoy the places you've taken all that time to drive to.

    AZBuck

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    I think I see what you are trying to do between Memphis and Denver - and that's to hit as many states as possible. Correct?

    If so, this would be considerably more efficient:

    Take I-40 to Fort Smith, then take I-540 north. This will become I-49 after you get into MO. Take it to I-44 near Joplin and take that west to Exit 1. You will come to a roundabout, follow the signs into the Downstream Casino - when you walk into the building you will be in Oklahoma. The parking lot is in Kansas and the entrance road is in Missouri. In fact, there is a 3 states marker on the way in - just after you come off the roundabout on the entrance road, look on the left for a little sign, there's a short road on the left that takes you to a marker monument. There's a pen with buffalo in it at that corner. Leave the casino and go back to the roundabout, take US-400 all the way to Wichita to K-96 to I-135 to Salina to pick up I-70. If you want to bite off a corner of Nebraska, get off at Goodland and take K-27 to US-34. Go west and that will take you to I-76 to get to Denver.

  9. #9

    Default

    This is all really helpful stuff...thank you.

    Probably a silly question (I know glc has already alluded to this) but my brother has mentioned about going north- MT to ND then due south to KA and west back to LV.
    I know it will be cold but is it likely that there will be a lot of snow?

    Thank you,

    John

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default

    It is pretty much a certainty that there will be part of your trip that will have seen a good amount of snow on the ground by November, if you head North. As GLC mentioned, Yellowstone is one area that will be largely closed to cars, because of snow.

    Having said that, it is just impossible to say what you might see during your specific times of travel. It is entirely possible that you would go your entire trip without seeing a single case of snowfall, or you could end up trying to do a trip while the area is being hit with a winter storm.

    Considering the time of year, and your goal to cover a relatively large number of miles in a short amount of time, I'd think the going with a more southern plan will be your better bet. However, be aware, it wouldn't be impossible to see snow or ice on your southern trip route either.

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