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  1. Default Advice on NY To Grand Canyon

    Hey all!

    I'm currently in the works of planning a road trip starting from central New York and ending up hitting the south rim of the Grand Canyon next summer, June 2016. I've mentally mapped out a timeline of three weeks, possibly a little longer if need be, and was just wondering if this is feasible.

    Travel wise it would end up being myself, and most likely two friends at the most. We are all very willing to camp and save some money costs wise, if that is even an option. Honestly, none of us have ever done a cross country car trip this far or in depth before and all are novices at best and could use all the advice available.

    Also, if anyone has traveled this way, what would be some typical spots to stop by? Also worth noting, we aren't all interested in theme park attractions as much as we are national parks, natural sights to see, what cities would be best to hang in for a while, etc. I know for a fact we want to take a little extra time and also wander Utah and Colorado before/after hitting the canyon, but again, this is only the beginning and as of now our research has been at a minimum and we haven't really made exact plans for specific spots to stop.
    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    First off, do you have a set of paper maps, or a road atlas? This will help immensely in your ability to plan a trip. If not, you can get them at AAA, your local big box store, or buy a road atlas from the RTA store (link below).

    Time-wise: going direct from central NY (I used Ithaca as a starting place) to the south rim of the Grand Canyon, is about a 2400 mile journey. Novices should probably not drive more than 450 or 500 miles in one day, and slightly less than that if you are planning to camp, say 400 miles per day. That means it will take you around 5-6 days just to get from NY to GCNP. BTW, if using Google Maps or Mapquest, or a GPS, to figure mileages, that's fine, but realize that their estimating DRIVING times are just that, and don't leave time for gasoline, food, or restroom stops, or slowdowns for construction or traffic accidents.

    The other thing that jumps out at me involves who's going. Realize that you're going to be in a car, and perhaps sharing tents or motel rooms, which means a lot of togetherness. Iron out issues BEFORE you go, particularly money/finances, how to find places to eat, and other things that cause friends to disagree a lot. Build some time into your schedule where you are NOT together. (My husband and I regularly do that on our vacations, and we've been married more than 30 years. It's possibly why we still love to road trip together.)


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default How not to ruin a friendship.

    Before you go any further with your plans, it may pay you to each undertake this quiz, then discuss it together. Also read some of the articles on roadtripping on this site, just to make sure you are all on the same page. Here is a great article for starters.

    Last edited by Lifemagician; 09-14-2015 at 05:44 AM. Reason: typo

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


    You do need to sit down as a group with the maps and at least get the basics of your trip sorted and once you have a few dots on the map a route will start to form. Three weeks is a nice amount of time but can soon disappear when there is so much to see and do. You seem to have a good idea of where you are headed and I would certainly endorse Southern Utah and Colorado and there many National parks and scenic drives. If the main goal is to get out west I would allow 5 days to make it comfortable with a few small stops on the way and trying to even out your overnights but also looking at what appeals. For example it could be a night in St Louis and visit the Arch, or Nashville and and Memphis if you take 140. Take a different route out and back to experience new things. Once in the west I would point you towards Zion and Bryce canyon and then take UT scenic 12 to Capital Reef before continuing to Arches and Canyonlands NP's. The depending on time you could head along I70 towards RMNP, taking in the Colorado National monument and a detour over the continental divide at Loveland Pass. Alternatively you could head down to Mesa Verde NP and then drive the Million dollar Highway [US550] found between Durango and Montrose before heading east on US50 past Black canyon to Currecanti Nat Rec area and over Monarch pass. Head into Rocky mountain via Grand Lake and you will get to drive the highest continueous paved road in the US, the Trail ridge road. Check conditions first. To the east I will leave it to others who have first hand experience.

    Once you have made a start we can help fill in the blanks and make suggestions but you need to make a start. Enjoy !

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