Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. Default 14 day road trip, from Chicago to Las Vegas and back, loop, father and two 14 yr olds

    i have 14 days to take a road trip with my two 14 year twin boys. we will start in chicago, end the one way in las vegas and return via a different route. a loop. seeing wyoming from the north and south utah from the south path. want to see mt rushmore, spend time in utah (arches, bryce, moab and zion) colorado (boulder, estes, continental divide), wyoming (tetons, jackson). i have purchased two very informative books/guides and would like any input on best route and how long in each location. need help balancing time as i am the only driver and want to spend 4-5 hours in the car each day and the rest of the time sight seeing. SUGGESTIONS WELCOME. thank you.

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

    Default the math is a struggle

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think you might struggle doing what you want to do, in the time you have. Chicago to Las Vegas and back, especially when adding in a detour to Mt. Rushmore, the Tetons (and Yellowstone?) is pretty tough to fit into two weeks. Doing it, with a goal of driving just 4 to 5 hours a day is really more than can be done.

    The loop you've proposed is about 4,000 miles. Trying to do that while only driving 4-5 hours a day, would take you 16 days just to cover the miles! Even if you doubled that, to 8-10 hours a day (the maximum we'd recommend, especially with kids), it would take you 8 days - which doesn't leave much time left to visit all the places you want to go.

    If it were me, I would make this an either/or trip. Either look to visit the northern sites you've listed, places like the Badlands, Black Hills, Yellowstone, and the Tetons or look at the more southern sites - like the parks in Colorado and Utah, perhaps not even making it all the way to Las Vegas.

    I think that will go a long way towards giving you the kind of trip where you'd have a lot more time to explore, and sounds a lot more like the trip you're hoping to have.

  3. Default

    that was the exact advise i needed as i'm in the early stages. my boys are fascinated with vegas but i can easily take them there another time. this is about bonding and sight seeing. they have never been to utah or wyoming.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Honestly, when you're 14 years old, there isn't a whole lot to do in Las Vegas. There's the Adventuredome (theme park indoors, Circus Circus), Circus Circus' midway acts and video game arcade, a few other theme park type rides, walking the Strip at night, and some museums -- that's about all you can do when you're that age. During the 90s, Vegas tried to revamp into a more family-friendly area, but it's reverted to the Adult Playland very quickly. My daughters were that age when we went through there one time, and were very bored -- quickly. One has never been interested in returning. Another one has been back 3 or 4 times as an adult, but (smartly) waited until she was 22 for her first trip.

    I tend to agree with Michael when he said to pick one area and spend time there. Getting to Yellowstone is about 1500 miles. At 5-6 hours per day, not including stops at Badlands and Mt Rushmore, that's about a 5 day drive in itself. Badlands can be seen in a few hours, as can Mt Rushmore, but Yellowstone and Grand Tetons is worth at least 4 days. (On Day #1, you could drive US-212 from Laurel MT over Beartooth Pass into Yellowstone. On Day #2 and #3, drive the Grand Loop of Yellowstone, and on Day #4, see Grand Tetons.) So there's 10 days right there, and you have 4 to drive back via a different route.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Benefits for the boys.

    There's nothing like the nature parks for a bonding trip. Beautiful nature without the distractions of city sights which would be what they are used to at home. It will be totally different. And no matter whether you choose Yellowstone (could perhaps also include Glacier NP) or southern UT, there will be more than enough to fill two weeks.

    At 14 the boys will not be too old to take part in the Junior Ranger program at each NP and NM you visit. It will give them a great understanding of the parks and leave them with some souvenirs to take home. You too will benefit from the program if you do it with the boys.

    Be sure you have good maps to check out all these places with the boys. They are not to young to learn to read a good map. Maybe they can do some of the research for you, to pick the places which appeal to them most. The more they have invested in the trip, the more they will get out of it.

    Have a wonderful trip.

    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 06-18-2015 at 02:12 AM. Reason: Moved Post to the Correct Thread

  6. Default

    after the advise of a few more knowledgable, it appears it's too much of a stretch. does it make sense to do wyoming, utah and colorado. seeing tetons, arches, bryce, jackson and rockies with stop at mt rushmore, forget about vegas and cut distance down to spend more time exploring?? thanks all for feedgack

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Well, that is sort of what we recommended - both in this thread, and when you proposed heading to the Pacific Northwest last month.

    However, As has also been said in this thread, just going to Yellowstone and the Tetons, via South Dakota, is close to a 2 week trip by itself. You could probably swing through Rocky Mountain National Park on the way back, and if you significantly increase your daily driving distances, you might be able to squeeze in a stop at Arches, but adding in Bryce or much else in Utah is more than you have time for.

    As I said in my previous post, you're better off focusing either South Dakota/Yellowstone/Tetons OR Colorado/Utah than trying to drive to everything, and have no time left to see anything.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 49
    Last Post: 10-20-2011, 10:17 AM
  2. Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-02-2011, 02:15 PM
  3. Advice for 4 day road trip from Denver to Yellowstone and back
    By tamara in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 06-04-2010, 12:00 AM
  4. Road trip from NJ to Chicago and back!!!
    By needavacation in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-14-2009, 12:17 PM
  5. Road Trip from Chicago and back
    By vah in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11-01-2008, 05:23 PM

Tags for this Thread


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