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  1. #1

    Default Planning our summer or fall RV trip out west, advice much appreciated!

    Hello traveling friends,
    I was hoping someone could give me some advice or point me where to go to help me set up a trip out west this summer / maybe fall if I am too late to book it in the next week or two.
    We are outside of Chicago and can drive our car where necessary to pick up the RV. I would like to see the places below. I have listed them in the order of importance to us, not necessarily the order in which to see them. We will have a total of 14 days to travel and most likely would rent a 28-30’ RV.
    We are also open to other stops if you think we should see something interesting.
    Roads to travel on for good scenery would be helpful too.

    Grand canyon
    Yellow Stone
    Hoover Dam
    Glacier National Park
    Mount Rushmore
    Grand Tetons
    The Arches National Park

    Thank You
    Last edited by remodman; 01-30-2014 at 07:06 PM.

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

    Default Somethings gotta give

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    With 2 weeks, you really can't do everything on your list. It's just too many places in too short of time, and that's even before you factor in the drives! You've listed 8 places to see, and with the exception of the Hoover Dam (and Mt. Rushmore if you ignore everything else in the black hills), all of the places you've listed require at least a full day or more to scratch the surface.

    As a loop from Chicago, you'd be looking at a trip of close to 7,000 miles, which is 12 days of hard driving in an RV. Even if you flew out west and picked up the RV, there's just no way to make the math work.

    I'd say the best you could do, in trying to see as many stops on your list as possible would be a loop out to Grand Canyon, up through Arches and the Grand Tetons to Yellowstone, skipping Hoover Dam, Yosemite, and Glacier as they would just be too far away. Even there, that would be a very rushed trip, and I think an RV would be a very poor choice of transportation for that kind of trip, because it would be too slow of a transportation mode, and you'd still have to be on the road almost every night.

    If I were you, and you want to do this trip in an RV, I would narrow your focus. A loop out to the Grand Canyon, and the some other National Parks of Utah and Colorado, like Arches, Canyonlands, Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Monument Valley Tribal Park, Mesa Verde, or Rocky Mountain National Park would make for a great couple of weeks. Alternatively, a loop out to Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone/Tetons, and Glacier could work. Yosemite would be tough in a 2 week trip, as just the miles out there and back alone require 10 solid days on the road, really limiting what else you can see and do.

  3. #3


    Thanks Michael,
    That was the advice I was looking for. We can make the second trip next year and I will layout a plan that focus's on your first recommendation the Grand canyon. My wife didn't want to do the RV anyhow so we will use our car or truck.

    Thanks again for the help

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default On the limit.

    If you are driving from home and creating a loop you could have a great trip as long as you don't mind keeping on the move, it will still be quite busy.

    A loop to the GC south rim could start with a 2 day drive to Rocky mountain NP, followed by Moab, [Arches/Canyonlands] Bryce canyon, Zion, Grand canyon, Monument Valley/Mesa Verde. From Durango CO you could then head north on the wonderful 'Million Dollar Highway [US550] to Montrose and US50 past Black canyon, through Currecanti Nat Rec area and over Monarch Pass. Perhaps overnight in Colorado Springs and then 2 days back to Chicago. That would be around a weeks worth of driving, half your total time in the car, but the drives between RMNP and Colorado Springs are all spectacular and part of the adventure. It wouldn't leave you a whole lot of time at any one place and you might want to pick and choose, but you would get a good overview of the area for future trips.

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