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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    New York, New York, United States

    Default April Cross-Country Road trip

    I am hitting a milestone birthday this April and would love to do a cross country road trip. I would love to hear ideas and the reality if I would be able to see at least 4 national parks (especially Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone and Grand Canyon) starting April 7-21. My son would also like to see the Golden Bridge (San Francisco, CA). Currently I have a minivan, but I would rather rent a car so I could travel back to NY via air. Any thoughts or advice???

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO



    Yellowstone is not an option in April, the park will still be in winter mode and the roads will still be closed.

    If you only have 2 weeks, why not fly into a western city and do a "loop" trip with a rental? This would maximize your 2 weeks and also probably save money - one way rentals usually carry a hefty surcharge.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default things to be aware of

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    2 weeks certainly is enough time for a cross country trip, since you're planning to just do it one way. Doing it as a round trip would be difficult in the time span, as you really wouldn't have time to see much anything as you'd need almost all the time just covering the miles. You should keep in mind, however, that one way car rental fees can be very expensive, especially on a cross country trip. In fact, you might find that it is actually cheaper just to fly out west and do a loop of several national parks.

    Either way you do it, seeing several national parks should work well with the time you've got, with the exception of Yellowstone. Most of the park will still be closed to car travel in April. An option that might work better is to explore the many national parks of Utah, like Arches, Canyonlands, Zion, and Bryce Canyon, before you get to the Grand Canyon. Of course, between GC and San Francisco, Death Valley, Sequoia, and Yosemite would be other great parks to consider - although keep in mind that Tioga Pass, the road that crosses the Sierras through Yosemite will still be closed for the winter as well.

    If you are going to visit 4 or more National Parks, you should consider getting the Annual National Parks pass, which is $80 and covers all park entry fees (but not extras like camping, parking, or guided tours, etc) for 1 year. Major National Parks like Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, and Yosemite cost $20-25 each, so you could be breaking even by visiting 4 parks. Keep in mind, that each park has a different entry fee and some are free (Like Mt. Rushmore, although you have to pay to park, not covered by the pass) so it's not a sure thing that the Annual Pass will be a good deal for you unless you are visiting more than 4 parks.

  4. #4


    Not sure what your "milestone" birthday is but, if it's 62 or more, you can get a Golden Eagle Pass for the Nat'l Parks which allows you and an additional person to enter the Nat'l Parks free of charge. I think there is a one-time charge of around $10 and it is good for life.

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