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  1. Default BC, Canada to California and Grand Canyon

    We are 3 friends planning a roadtrip from BC, Canada to California to Grand Canyon and back.
    While researching for the trip, I found that I can take another route to Grand Canyon through rocky mountain states Wyoming etc to grand canyon and then drive 5.5hrs to san jose, califronia.
    I was also told by someone during the roadtrip on the coastline, there are some great scenic routes. Now, my question is which way should I take while coming down to grandcanyon. Should we first go to california then to grancanyon or its better we go through rockymountains.
    Next, we need to know the best thing to do. Get camping essentials and stay along the camps or try hostels (we want to save money).
    How is the car rental services. Will it be cheaper if we get car rental from US or Canada?
    And anything else we should keep in mind?

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


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    There's no generic answers to your questions, just lots of possibilities.

    I'm particularly confused about what you way about driving 5.5 hours to San Jose? 5.5 hours from where? I hope you're not talking about the Grand Canyon - that's 750 miles, a day and a half on the road!

    How much time do you have for the entire trip? Which direction you do a loop doesn't matter all that much, although you might want to head south down the coast, so you're driving down the ocean side.

    Car rental - you'll really have to shop around. Prices can change dramatically based on exactly when/where you pickup. Make sure you're factoring all the taxes and fees, including extra driver fees and underage (if you're under 25) fees.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Are you trying to plan this trip using electronic mapping programs? If so, you're much better off going to a big box store and picking up a road atlas of the US, or ordering one online. Seeing it on paper will give you much more perspective and more information, especially regarding scenic routes and things to see/do along the way.

    On paper maps, scenic roads are usually tagged with dots along the side. Camping spots are tagged with a small green triangle and the name of the state park or national forest that runs the campground. The other issue here, a paper map won't get you into trouble like a GPS or mapping program will do. (Just last week, a colleague gave directions to her home, and told us all not to follow a GPS because it will try to take you down a cow path with a locked gate.)

    Get camping essentials and stay along the camps or try hostels (we want to save money).
    Campsites will be the better bargain, but the public campgrounds are not often located at the side of a busy highway -- sometimes you have to go 20 miles or so out of your way to use one. For 3, hostels may be more expensive in the long run than a cheap motel. (We have a regular member here with experienced advice about hostels in the US.) When you're not in a tourist-laden area, you may be able to find a mom-and-pop motel for under $60 for the three of you. If you can't get into a national park campground because it's full, you might try a national forest campground outside of the park. You'll have to drive into the park, but it's an alternative to staying in a motel, which near a national park is likely to be more expensive.


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

    Default Time ?

    Knowing how much time you have available for the entire trip is essential to helping you. There are thousands of different routes and attractions you could choose from, but scenic byways and coast roads will eat up much more time than Interstates. On Interstates and main highways you shouldn't be looking at covering more than 550 miles per day and that would be without major sight seeing stops, just rest breaks along the way. Take no notice of what an on-line mapping program may tell you for time, a computer has no need to rest, go to the bathroom, eat and sleep, nor does it consider 'real world' issues such as road congestion and construction. Think of 550-600 miles as 10 hours on the road using major routes and then add time for getting set in the morning and having an evening meal etc, which will take longer than normal if you are setting up and tearing down camp each day.

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