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  1. Default los angeles, san francisco, seattle, yellowstone, las vegas, los angeles

    Firstly, this site helped me immensely in the organisation of a fantastic 3 week road trip in 2011. The holiday was extremely memorable and enjoyable to the point we've been itching to fly back over for another experience.

    Availability 3-4 weeks
    Family of 5 (3 x teenage boys)
    Time period: October 2014
    Basic direction
    Los Angeles north to Seattle stopping along the way at San Francisco and seeing a few other sights in between including possibly Crater Lake.
    Seattle across to Yellowstone NP and Grand Teton NP, seeing sights in between then heading in the direction of Las Vegas back to Los Angeles.

    There is so much information on this forum but I am having difficulties searching for pertinent information in respect to such a trip thus hoping you can point me in the right direction to save on repetition.

    First and foremost is covering such an area doable in a 3-4 week timeframe and secondly, does the time of year play a part in the decision making.

    Thanks again.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Could be a bit late for Yellowstone.

    Welcome back. Great to hear that you had a memorable trip in 2011.

    For this year the first thing you need to consider is that Yellowstone pretty well starts to shut down by the end of September. It is at a high altitude, and could see snow by then. Even if the roads are still open to vehicular traffic, most of the services will no longer be available.

    Since this could well have been the highlight of your trip, you may like to reconsider the timing, if possible. As for covering the places you would like to visit, it is completely feasible in a three to four week period - though I'd lean more towards the four week.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome back!

    Not only will Yellowstone and Grand Teton be mostly closed by October, so will Crater Lake. Looking at their calendar online, it appears that most of their services will be shut down by either Oct. 6 or Oct. 13 this year. Can you move your trip back to September? You'd have better luck with these three national parks, and possibly Mt Rainier National Park and Olympic, should you move your trip back to Sept. The crowds would be lighter in Sept. than if you tried July and August (peak season for all 5 parks).

    Another thought, if October is the definite time, is doing a different trip. There is so much to see and do in the US, and October is a great time in many areas -- just not in the higher elevations!


  4. Default

    October is preferable. The other option was to head south east from Los Angeles, making our way through Texas and beyond as far as we can go within the timeframe before needing to head back to Los Angeles. We've already driven a loop which included Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, Las Vegas, Death Valley and San Francisco. I shall do some more research, totally agreeing their is so much to see and getting the time of year right is so important.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Have you thought of Colorado?

    You might like to check out a loop trip through Colorado, out of Denver. There is so much in Colorado without the same distances. Here is a trip which took place late September, early October.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Yellowstone first?

    The weather is unpredictable at the best of times so there is just no way of knowing what to expect. We also like to travel in October but we recently took a trip to Glacier NP and Yellowstone etc and decided not to risk going so late, so we traveled in September and it worked out well for us. If September is an option for you, I would certainly recommend your first trip choice. Even if you traveled mid/late Sept into October, I would consider getting up to Yellowstone and the Tetons as quickly as possible and then sight see on the way back. You could start and end in Vegas as you could then get up to the Tetons and Yellowstone in a couple of days and then make your way to Seattle before heading south. You could also enjoy large sections of the coast with the Ocean on your side of the road to LA, the advantage of travelling the coast when driving south. LA back to Vegas for a couple of shows and to unwind.

  7. Default

    Thanks Dave. As recommended by you, now looking at the option to arrive in the States mid/late September and head straight to Grand Tetons & Yellowstone. Direct flights to Las Vegas are more expensive than to Los Angeles so I am going to look at the option of purchasing flights LA to LV separately or alternatively driving from LA to LV. Can you advise any threads on the forum which will provide advice travelling from Vegas to Grant Tetons, Yellowstone, Seattle and back down to San Fran and to LA or LV (dependent on where we hire the car). We'd have about a 3 week timeframe and it is a family of 5 (3 teenage boys). I have a National Geographic Road Atlas (picked up from our last trip), and have also spent time reading the National Parks websites. Thanks again.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default LA start will work.

    You could start your roadtrip from LA if it saves money and spend a day or 2 in Vegas on route towards the Tetons, it's not too far to drive and would save the hassel and expense of an internal flight.

    If you continue to search the forums you will come across plenty of info to help you put your trip together and of course we can answer any questions you may have. You can also look at the Map centre in the Green tool bar above for routes and attractions. If you look in the 'Roadtrip field reports' forum you should be able to pick pieces of our last journey from Vegas to Yellowstone and the Tetons and get a feel of the parks [Titled 'Highways of Happiness'] and a few reports between Seattle and LA have been written. Once you have worked out how much time you would like to spend 'where' and discovered what appeals to you along the way, we can help to 'fine tune' it and offer alternative suggestions as well as ask any specific questions.

    Once you have the first part of your trip nailed down you should think about lodgings in and around Yellowstone as it is a popular place with a short season and places get booked up well in advance.

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