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  1. #1

    Default From SF to NY in three months


    I'm a 30 year old male from switzerland and got a taste of the US in august 2013 when I roadtripped for three weeks (San Francisco, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Death Valley, Yosemite) and approx. 2000 miles.

    Now I want to fulfill a dream of mine by traveling from San Francisco to New York starting from mid of may 2015 or begin of june to august.
    I have three months for this adventure.
    After some research here and in other places I came up with the first draft of my journey

    How I plan to travel
    The things on my map are not all must-see they are more waypoints so I see where I go and how far it is.
    I first thought that I will include Yellowstone National Park, but after some thinking it's seems a bit too much to drive (bear in mind I'm from tiny switzerland ;) )
    The last time I drove 2000 miles in three weeks which was cool but my personal top limit of driving, so I will probably spend more days on less destinations. Maybe this will change, maybe not.
    Normally I only book the hotels at the beginning and the end of the trip. Everything between I book one day or so in advance. Worked great last time, even in august.
    On my travels I'm really interested in nature, history and music and I normally don't spend too much time in big cities because I usually get bored after some days ;)

    I have the following questions regarding travelling:
    What places could you recommend in colorado? I'm interested in kajaking or river rafting and hiking.

    Like I said I want to start mid may or begin of june. I know Tioga will probably be closed then and it can be quite cold.
    As far as I know river rafting (Colorado River for example) should be possible then, correct?
    I know I will arrive in august on the east coast (probably high season too). But I assume SF to NY is better than NY to SF considering the months I'll travel.

    I plan on staying in motels and from time to time camping.

    If you have other tips what I absolutely have to see, tell me :)

    It will probably be expensive because of the one way trip with the rental car (don't want to buy a car, too much hassle)
    I don't want to spend more than 30000$ including car, flight, and probably the rent I still have to pay for my appartment at home. Those three things will probably cost already 10000$ but I think I can get along with less than 30000.
    Last edited by Arikael; 10-01-2014 at 04:40 AM.

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


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    With 3 months available, I don't think you have to cross anything off your list - including Yellowstone. You can drive from coast to coast in about a week, so really everything is available within your timeframe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arikael View Post
    Like I said I want to start mid may or begin of june. I know Tioga will probably be closed then and it can be quite cold.
    Well, probably is a bit too harsh of a term. The pass typically opens up between mid-may and late june, so it is entirely possible that it would be open by the time you travel. The last few years, the pass has been opening in May, because of a lack of snowfall in the mountains. There's just no way to know what this winter will bring, but I certainly wouldn't write off the possibility.
    As far as I know river rafting (Colorado River for example) should be possible then, correct?
    That shouldn't be a problem at all. The earlier in the season, the more likely you are to see higher, and faster, water - because of snow melt. It will also depend upon where/what river you end up choosing, but there should be options all summer long.

    I know I will arrive in august on the east coast (probably high season too). But I assume SF to NY is better than NY to SF considering the months I'll travel.
    Really, if you're traveling from June to August, you're going to be in the peak of the summer season for pretty much your entire trip. It shouldn't really make too much difference, although I might opt to go east to west, to ensure that mountain areas of the west are completely open by the time you get out west.

    Another option I would give some serious consideration to would be to do a complete loop. With 3 months, you've certainly got the time to do it, and it would let you easily see things in both the north and south parts of the US. It could also reduce some of your costs, since you'd eliminate the one-way drop fee on the rental car.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 10-01-2014 at 05:31 AM. Reason: fixed quote format

  3. #3


    Thanks for the reply

    I'm not really fixed with the dates, I could probably go earlier (I'd prefer not earlier then 1. April)
    Last time we did approx. 130 miles/day so I thought of about 6000 miles in total would be fine. I always thought a roundtrip is just too much and I would have to leave out multiple nice spots. A round trip would be about 11000 miles which means 137 miles/day (aleady subtracted the days I'll spend in SF and NY).

    I think I will have to refine my must-sees to create a more detailed plan.

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

    Default Maybe not so many miles.

    Depending on exactly where you want to go, a round trip doesn't always add that many miles as you don't have to zig-zag up and down the country so much. I think you would be surprised at what you could see and still be well under the 11000 miles you are estimating. As well as getting rid of the one way drop off charge your flights would be significantly cheaper and especiall y if you started and finished on the east coast as it's less flying.

  5. #5



    I've given it some thought and a roundtrip seems like a doable and nice option

    What do you think with the route (approx) given below, is april or may a better option to start?

    south (starting in new york, not SF)

    Still need some planning what to see/do after yellowstone since I haven't given it much thought yet.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I would start as late as you can and do the south first.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    The Great Midwest, Illinois to be precise

    Default Drive the Lincoln Highway

    San Francisco is the western terminus of the famous Lincoln Highway, America's first trans-continental highway dating to 1913. It ends up in New York City. As you can see, this is essentially the route you want to drive.

    A real trip back into America's past. There are several good sources, but I especially recommend Brian Butko's "Greetings from the Lincoln Highway."

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