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  1. #1

    Default Heading out west from OH

    Hi,
    I am enjoying reading all the awesome info on this site. We live in Copley OH and are planning a trip out west this June with our 3 kids (ages 11, 9 & 7), 3 dogs (I know they won't be allowed in many parks but they are great travelers and can stay in the camper when needed) and a 30 ft travel trailer. We have about 5 weeks for the trip.
    The main focus of this trip is to be in CO with family, but wanted to also see some other states/parks since we will going this far! I know Yellowstone is far out of the way but really want to make it work if possible. This is what we have in mind so far (as you will see the beginning and the end of the trip are sketchy), and are open to any suggestions or "you are crazy" comments :) The goal is to leave OH on the 8th and be in Evergreen CO by June 19th. Any RV park suggestions along the way are greatly appreciated.

    Leaving on June 8 we would like to max out the driving times the first 2-3 days and get to Mt. Rushmore
    June 11: Mt. Rushmore to Buffalo WY area (stay the night)
    June 12-14th: to Cody, WY & yellowstone area/grand teton (tried to stay in Fishing Bridge but our camper was too long)
    June 15: leaving Grand Teton area to head to Rocky Mtn National Park (stop 1/2 way to break up this 8 hr drive)
    June 16-19th: Estes Park (staying at Spruce Lake Campground)
    June 19th-25: staying with family in Evergreen CO (will do day trips from there)
    June 26-30th: staying with family in Durango (day trips from there to Ouray, Mesa Verde etc)
    July 1-2 Arches National Park
    July 3-4: Grand Canyon
    then heading back to OH...we have that whole last week to travel home.

    Thank you in advance for any suggestions :)
    Beth

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    With that crew and towing a trailer, it's going to take you three 8+ hour days to get to Rushmore. You might want to open up a bit more time from later in the trip so you won't be rushed there and in Yellowstone. 4 days in RMNP and only 2 in Yellowstone is backwards, in my opinion.

  3. #3

    Default

    ok thank you! The extended time in CO is because we will be with family, but I am worried we are rushing Yellowstone...these comments will help us tweak this schedule. thank you!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Mostly for children.

    Like glc, I'd change the time allotted to Yellowstone and RMNP. Yellowstone is a HUGE park with much to see and very slow travelling through the park. Wildlife gets right-of-way, and they are not always in a hurry.

    I am puzzled at you going all the way to Estes Park after Grand Tetons, and then back to Arches and the Grand Canyon.

    Be sure to sign the children up for the Junior Ranger Program at each NP and NM you visit. It will help them appreciate and learn much about the parks, and earn them some momentoes to take home.

    Give each child a blank book and get them to keep a journal of the journey. Each night, before bed, record the most memorable moments of that day. You'll be surprised how these will vary from child to child. These journals are great to look back on later and share with friends and family. Can always add photos later.

    Lifey

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    The extended time in CO is because we will be with family,
    Oh, I understand that - I'm referring to the time in between you leave home and arrive in Evergreen. That's where it needs some tweaking in my opinion.

    I am puzzled at you going all the way to Estes Park after Grand Tetons, and then back to Arches and the Grand Canyon.
    I think this is because of the family obligations in Evergreen and Durango. If those dates are adjustable, it would in fact make more sense to rearrange the stops to be more efficient.

  6. #6

    Default

    would the most efficient route be from Tetons (down 191) thru Utah to Arches, Grand Canyon, then Durango and back up thru CO? The reason for our scattered stops is because of a family gathering over the weekend of 20th in Evergreen...it seems to be complicating the rest of the trip :) I am going to look back at all these maps. Thank you for your advice. Love the tips for the kids too...they are very excited and will love the journals and Jr. Ranger Prgrm.

  7. #7

    Default

    I have not plugged all this in to the computer yet but would a better route be to go straight from OH to Estes Park, then Evergreen, down to Durango (these are all the family visiting stops and would allow us to be there for the Father's DAy weekend events), THEN to Grand canyon, up thru Utah and end up at Grand Tetons/yellowstone area and then pass thru Mt. Rushmore on the way home? or am I just getting more confusing?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AkinsGB View Post
    would the most efficient route be from Tetons (down 191) thru Utah to Arches, Grand Canyon, then Durango and back up thru CO?
    Definitely!! and there are some other great attractions along this route which will interest the children . Besides Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, there is the western end of Dinosaur National Monument (a must for that age group), and just south of Wellington, Nine Mile Canyon with lots of significant ancient rock art.

    But on the other hand, family is more important than saving miles and time. In the end it is your choice.

    I have not plugged all this in to the computer
    You might find you will be much better off if you used good paper maps, such as produced by AAA (free to members) or a quality road atlas such as the Rand McNally. It will give you the overall picture, as well as the extra attractions along your route. You will need maps on the road (don't be tempted to rely on electronics), so may as well get them for the planning.

    Lifey

  9. #9

    Default

    Lifey,
    Thank you for the suggestions!! We have our AAA paper maps out now and are looking at UT, may just do our trip in reverse so we can see the family in CO, then go from Grand Canyon up thru Utah and then to Grand Teton/yellowstone :)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default So much to see...

    Sounds like that is a good idea which could well work for you.

    If you're visiting Arches, then don't overlook Canyonlands.... virtually across the road. Taking that route will also take you through the lovely little town of Pinedale - worth a stop. Then through Hobach Canyon and onto Jackson. At the southern end of Hobach Canyon are road side boards which tell all about the canyon and its history.

    If your travel trailer is completely self contained, you might look at some of the wonderful public lands natural camping sites along the way. All of them are by a river. Some free, others for a nominal fee. All are furnished with primitive toilets only.

    Last year I drove the complete length of US-191, you might like to check out the last page or two of this trip.

    Lifey

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