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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default The Great [American] Escape !

    We had hoped to visit re-visit the USA last October, but life has a habit of getting in the way of the best laid plans and we have had the road trip itch ever since, but still had not been able to commit for various reasons. That all changed just 2 weeks ago and a window of opportunity opened up, things fell into place and I booked flights into Vegas. I had had a lot of ideas floating around in my head for potential trips, far too many in fact, so the last 2 weeks have been a little hectic narrowing down my options.

    With such short notice and the fact there will be just Lezli and I travelling this time, the RV lifestyle we like so much was decided against due to costs [big difference with 2 travellers rather than 4] and campground availability being a potential problem in the NP's at such short notice, so a rental car was booked. A road I have wanted to drive for a quite some time that is not possible in an RV due to lenght restrictions, is the Going to the Sun road in Glacier NP, so with no RV, now seemed like an ideal time to scratch that particular itch. To have any chance of making this possible we have to be in Glacier NP before Sept 22nd when it closes for the season, [Unless the weather beats us to it that is !] so we are also travelling 4-6 weeks earlier than we normally do, flying in on Sept 2nd, 10 days Yikes !

    We are going to spend a couple of nights in Vegas [one full day] to adjust and then hit the road. Some of you may have already worked it out, we don't do Interstate and prefer seeing more from the Highways and Byways, so we plan to take 4 or 5 days getting up to Glacier on US93 through the Great Basin and into Idaho. Places we want to visit on the way include Cathedral Gorge, Great Basin NP, Shoshone Falls, Craters of the Moon and the National Bison Range. Places on the 'maybe, maybe not' list depending on time, include Echo Canyon, Spring Valley and Cave Lake SP's in Nevada, Bonneville Salt Flats, Big hole National Battlefield, Nine Pipe refuge and Kerr dam/Flathead Lake, as well as taking time in places like Salmon and Missoula to look around.

    The pace should then settle a little as we spend 2 or 3 nights around Glacier NP [I managed to book 1 night in the park] before heading to Yellowstone NP. I have been visiting the NP lodging page frequently for the past 10 days or so and have managed to secure 3 nights in the park due to their cancellation policy, although it means 1 night in Canyon lodge [a cabin] then to Grant village for a night and then back to Canyon for another cabin. Of course the Beartooth highway is high on the agenda !

    From here the plan is to head to Capital Reef/Torrey with an overnight stay at Flaming Gorge Res to break the journey while still avoiding Interstate and then travel along Utah scenic 12 once more with a quick visit to Bryce on route to Jacob Lake. I have managed to secure a cabin at Jacob Lake Inn for 2 nights giving us a little time to explore the area, relax and visit the North rim before heading back to Vegas via Valley of Fire. I think Antelope canyon, Horseshoe bend, Lake Powell will be set aside for another time so that we are not rushing too much at the end of the trip. Marble canyon and Coral Pink sand dunes may be on the agenda.

    We fly out on the 19th and arrive home on the 20th Sept.

    I can't think of any specific questions at the moment, but any comments or suggestions will be taken on board and appreciated.

    Dave.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    Have you driven the E.T Highway yet?

    A note - there are 3 ways to get to Ely - 93 all the way, 375 (E.T.) to US-6, or the NV-318 shortcut. If you take anything except 93 all the way, there is NO GAS between Alamo and Ely.

    Recommendations in Ely - if you are looking for an "interesting" hotel, the Hotel Nevada is something else, the rooms are themed. If you want an old-fashioned motel where you park in front of the room, I can recommend the Main Motel. Note that they don't have wifi, but they DO have free wired Internet in the rooms and they will loan you a patch cable. For dinner, the Cell Block Steakhouse is very good, you sit in an old jail cell.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default A night behind bars sounds interesting.

    Hi George. Yes we have driven the E.T. on a previous trip. The plan is to take US93 through Caliente to Pioche as we want to visit Cathedral Gorge and Great Basin NP.

    Thanks for the tips on Ely, they will come in handy if we make it there on night one and I like the sound of the Steakhouse 'prison'. This will depend on if we have enough of the day left to visit Great basin NP and drive Wheeler peak etc before sunset. If not we plan to stay near Baker for the night at the Border Inn on US50 which brags that the building is in 2 different States, Utah and Nevada. I believe there is gas available there, but might top off the tank in Alamo in case we go wandering out to Spring Valley etc, Thanks.

    Next day we will be heading to Twin Falls.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default My favourite patch.

    Dave, be aware that Shoshone falls are spectacular in spring, but quieten during summer, and may only be a trickle in autumn - depending on how much rain they have had lately. On the other hand, you will be able to see the spot where Evil Knievel (sp?) failed to jump the canyon of the Snake River.

    In Twin Falls, make sure you visit the bridge (hwy 93) over the Snake. There is a parking area on the east side, and you can then walk under the bridge and view the river valley on the west. Then if you head straight north up 93 and then 75, to 20, where you can turn off to Craters of the Moon. Along the route north you will also come across Lava fields, which in places come right up to the road. There are also Ice Caves along this road. I made enquiries, but since there were many steps involved, it was out of the question to visit them. I believe they are quite impressive.

    May I also suggest that instead of heading north all the way along 93, to Salmon, you backtrack to 75 through the Sawtooth Recreation Area and over Galena Pass, and of course, through the lovely settlement of Stanley - pop 100. It will also take you through the ski resorts of Ketchum and Hailey - though there are huge fires there at the moment. 75 Follows the Salmon River most of the way, and passes several ghost towns. If time permits, Red Fish Lake is worth a visit. It might be the time that the salmon are there.

    Have a great trip.

    Lifey

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    777

    Default Small world

    Interesting. We're leaving in less than a week on our 3.5 week road trip to the northern parks.

    Our route has us going east on I80 then making a big left turn up to Twin Falls (one night).

    We plan on doing Craters of the Moon and EBR-1 on our way to Grand Teton (three nights).

    Yellowstone for three nights, then on to Glacier for another three. We're staying in the Many Glacier area (east side), so the Bison Range (west side) isn't going to be on our itinerary this time...

    Sounds like we may be just leaving Glacier as you arrive.

    I've been keeping an eye on the water flow over Shoshone Falls, and it's looking low but not grim. The city has simulated pictures that show what the falls look like at the current flow rate.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    There is gas in Caliente and Pioche.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Good stuff !

    Thanks for all the great info.

    Lifey. Every time I look there is another weeks worth of discoveries to be explored ! I like the look of going through Sawtooth and over Galena Pass [it's my type of road] and if we are doing OK with time when we have finished at the Craters I will go that route. The Perrine bridge and 'Evil' site are on the agenda.

    Don. Small world indeed ! We plan on visiting Swiftcurrent Lake [Many Glacier] on the 9th Sept having spent the previous night at Rising Sun on St Marys Lake. Thanks for the links, have a great trip !!

    Thanks again George.

  8. #8

    Default

    A great part of the West to do a road trip.

    Everyone sees things through different eyes so it will be a pleasure to read about your adventure on your return.

    Bon Voyage.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Timely reminder.

    Thanks Eris. I have been told on more than on occasion that I see the world differently, not sure if that's a good thing or not ! LOL

    I enjoyed following your adventure and that just reminded me, I didn't mention the Tetons and Mormon row in my first post, but it's certainly part of the plan.

    Dave.

  10. #10

    Default

    It is good to see the world differently………how would we learn from one another if not.

    If you make Jackson Hole don’t forget to look up Moulton Barn, in Mormon Row.

    Beartooth Highway is so near to Yellowstone yet so far if not on a journey via Red Lodge. Never done it but maybe a good day trip to the main part of the highway from Yellowstone Park. Decisions, decisions…. Eris.

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