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  1. #1

    Default Road trip from Edmonton to Los Angeles


    We are planning on driving down to Los Angeles from Edmonton to show some visitors from Czech Republic the country side in early August. We have 18 days in which to do this trip. What do you suggest in showing them? What would be the most interesting things to see and most beautiful drive? I was thinking of perhaps showing them Old Faithful in Yellowstone if enough time but not a necessity. There are 5 of us and want to keep costs down, maybe do some camping along the way on some nights. THANKS FOR ALL YOUR HELP!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Is this a one way trip? That would be a big factor in just how much you are able to shop them. Camping in the west is not difficult -- there are many national forests and parks that have campgrounds suitable for tents, if that's the way you want to do it.

    Off hand -- Jasper, Banff and Lake Louise in Alberta. Glacier National Park, US. Missouri Headwaters in Montana. Craters of the Moon National Monument. Yellowstone and Grand Teton. The Great Salt Lake. Zion National Park. Grand Canyon. Joshua Tree National Park. I've been to all except the Missouri River Headwaters, which is on my bucket list, and can recommend them all.


  3. #3


    Oh sorry, I forgot to mention that it IS round trip. They will be visiting a week before this trip. One Czech person is already here as he is studying and wants to show his girlfriend. Los Angeles is important for him to see. We were in Zion last year and bought an annual NP pass in August. Is it prettier to go along the coast (I.e. Seattle and up) or go through the middle, up to Salt Lake City then Zion then LA? I will look at your suggestions.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Welcome to RTA!

    Is it prettier to go along the coast (I.e. Seattle and up) or go through the middle, up to Salt Lake City then Zion then LA?
    Why not do both? You are doing a round trip, go one way and come back the other way.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Mix Rather Than Match

    Since this is a round trip, there is no need to choose between going along the coast or up through the middle. You can go one way on your drive down to Los Angeles and the other way coming back, thus maximizing the amount of countryside that you and your guests get to see. Either way, you'll need about three and a half to four days for each transit, plus any significant time that you'd like to spend at major venues including Los Angeles.

    It would probably make a bit more sense to do the 'coastal' route on the way down, since that will probably take a bit longer and by going that way, you'll have the actual coast on your side of the road for ease in pulling off at scenic overlooks and such. However, I probably wouldn't head for the coast as far north as Seattle as that would add a lot of time to the drive and cause you to miss some great mountain and valley scenery. Rather, look at crossing the Rockies through Banff, Kootenay, Glacier, and Mount Revelstoke National Parks and then take BC-23/BC-6 down to Washington and use some 'back' roads, WA-31/WA-20/WA-211, to work your way down the east side of the state through the Palouse to US-2 and Spokane. From there, US-395 (duplexed with I-90 at first) will get you down to the Columbia River Valley around Richland/Kennewick. You can follow the river on either I-84 on the Oregon side or WA-14 on the Washington side to Biggs Junction and US-97 south which will take you through the high Oregon desert to Crater Lake National Park and OR-62 over to Medford. At this point you could choose to either follow the Central Valley (I-5) or the Redwood Coast (US-101) to San Francisco. And certainly use the Pacific Coast Highway (CA-1) from there down into Los Angeles. You could easily spend a week or more traveling those roads at a relaxed pace and stopping at the many parks along the way. Five days would be about the minimum to allow for such a non-direct route, but that allows for only the relaxed drive.

    Then after as much time as you want to devote to Los Angeles it will be time to head home. This time a more direct and quicker routing would be in order. The fastest route is just I-15 all the way up to the Canadian border and then AB-4/AB-3/AB-2 up through Lethbridge and Calgary to Edmonton. But even such a direct route offers plenty of opportunities for great stops including Mojave National Preserve, Las Vegas, Zion National Park, the Great Salt Lake, the US Glacier National Park, and maybe even (time permitting) a quick detour through Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 02-01-2014 at 03:30 PM. Reason: Corrections

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I would agree, there's no reason to pick one or the other (coast vs. inland) since this is a round trip, you might as well do both.

    Since you bought the annual pass, and it will still be good during this trip, I'd take full advantage. Yellowstone would be a must stop for me, although I'll point out that there is so much more to the park than just Old Faithful. It is a park where you really need at least 2 full days just to scratch the surface. Certainly, hit Grand Teton has you leave the park too.

    Of course from there, you could go to any of Utah's National Parks, the Grand Canyon, perhaps Las Vegas. Heading back, you could go up the coast, or explore mountain areas of California and Oregon like Sequoia, Yosemite, Crater Lake, etc. Of course, you could reverse the order on that too.

    Of course, you're looking at roughly a week of driving round trip all by itself, so that leaves you with about 10 days for exploration, so you'll have to pick and chose how to spend your time, but you are set up nicely for a good trip.

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