Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17
  1. Default Need help planning a round trip NC-West Coast trip

    So I'm a college student that has one last summer before heading off into the real world, and a couple buddies and I want to do a cross country road trip. We've done long trips before, including backpacking stretches of the AT, but I've never done a road trip like this. We'll be heading out of the research triangle area of NC (Raleigh/Chapel Hill/Durham area) and hope to spend most of our trip camping, hiking, and exploring nature. Ideally we want to make Mount Rainier, but at the very least we hope to do Yellowstone and Big Sky. We're allocating 3-4 weeks, with probably a $2000 budget. Doable? Tips? Itinerary? Any help is welcome! Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    At first look, I think your budget may be a bit light. What does your vehicle get for gas mileage, what kind of camping equipment do you have, and are you able to prepare your own meals?

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Welcome to RTA!

    At first look, I think your budget may be a bit light. What does your vehicle get for gas mileage, what kind of camping equipment do you have, and are you able to prepare your own meals?
    Hey sorry that's $2000 per person, so about 6-8K total depending on if we our 4th guy to join us. My vehicle gets about 24, we'll have a tent and a couple hammocks, and yeah we're going to try to mainly prepare our own meals and treat eating out as a special occurrence.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    That's a lot more doable. To get all the way to Washington State and back, you need to look at taking the whole month if you want time to enjoy things. Just to get to Seattle from RDU is 3000 miles and about 6 days with no sightseeing stops. So - I'd plan on more like 8000 miles, that's about $1000 in gas at 24 mpg and $3 a gallon. Campsites will average $25 a night, some nights less or even free, some more. That's another $750, which may allow for an occasional night in a motel, which you will wind up doing due to weather or the need to get cleaned up.

    Get yourself a good set of paper maps and start marking the places you want to see. A rough route will start to form and we can help you refine it. I'd take a northern route in one direction and a more southern route the other direction. Depending on exactly when in summer you go, you may want to consider the weather at the particular time - the farther north you go, the shorter the summer is, and vice versa for the south. You don't want to hit cold weather in the north and excessive heat in the south.

  5. Default

    Awesome yeah I'm thinking RDU-Cumberland Gap Park in Kentucky, from there to St. Louis. The part we're tripping on is where to go from St. Louis, most places are 10+ hours so we might just do a whole travel day? Then head north to Mount Rushmore and camp there and hike. Keep going west and explore Yellowstone and Big Sky. Depending on time constraints is where we're deciding if we want to keep going or turn back south and east. Once we turn back we want to head south to Utah to the grand canyon, go through Colorado, and then we need help planning our trip back home east. I appreciate everyone's help, we've got plenty of time to plan and we're all smart resourceful guys so we should be able to figure more stuff out. Just trying to do that last big adventure you know? And one of my friends really wants to see Crater Lake but not sure if it fits our constraints. Thanks!

  6. Default

    And we're leaving probably mid/late-May, like the 23-25 or so, and be back by June 23-25

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    In that case, I'd go out the southern route and return by the northern route. The high altitude northern parks are not fully open till after Memorial Day. I'd roughly follow the I-40 corridor out to the Grand Canyon, work your way north, then back east. It will probably be too early for Crater Lake, it's one of the last parks to open the roads. The road to the visitor's center should be open, but you won't be able to drive around the lake or find any comfortable camping. Make sure you guys all have 3 season gear.

    If you are going to be visiting several national parks, buy a $80 pass at the first one you come to. It's good for the whole car for a year for admission at all fee-based national parks and facilities. It does not cover camping and other amenities but some parks may give you a discount on some things with it. It doesn't cover parking at Rushmore because the parking is operated by a concessionaire.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Parking was $11 at Rushmore this past summer, if I recall correctly, and you park in a parking garage. That was the only charge at Rushmore unless you buy something. We lucked out and got $5 t-shirts on sale. :-)

    You should allow several days at Yellowstone. If you want to camp inside the park, you should nail down the dates asap and get your reservations. They fill quickly.


    Donna

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Big Sky infiormation centre.

    One of the most important and informative places to visit before you go to Big Sky is the Big Sky Visitor centre. It is located at the turn off on US-191, not in Big Sky.

    Lifey

  10. Default

    Awesome loving all the information, wondering whether it's best to just have a couple long driving days where we don't leave the car or break up each stretch?

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 8
    Last Post: 01-24-2013, 08:21 PM
  2. West coast & Vegas trip which way round to do it?
    By california dreamer in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 08-23-2012, 03:15 PM
  3. West coast & Vegas trip which way round to do it?
    By california dreamer in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-22-2012, 04:31 AM
  4. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-15-2011, 03:44 PM
  5. Round Trip Around The West Coast
    By ademafreak101 in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 08-27-2006, 10:09 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES