A loop road trip from Chicago (our American friend lives there) that should include California and New Orleans, because we are going to visit friends there. We are six people (three drivers) driving probably a mini van and also planning to camp in National Parks. This will take place from mid July to mid August 2016. Here is the map.
We start from Chicago, we take Great River Scenic Road, then we go Rapid City and around Rushmore, then Yellowstone, Salt Lake City, then we take "Loniest Road in America" from Elly to Lake Tahoe, then we cut through California to reach Pacific Coast Highway, San Fran, Yosemite, Sequoia, LA, Death Valley, Vegas, Grand Canyon, a bit from Route 66 until Albuquerque, El Paso, San Antonio, maybe Austin, New Orleans, then follow Mississippi's 8,000-year-old pathway from Natchez to Nashville, Kentucky countryside, Louisville, Indiana scenic countryside, Chicago.
I am reading all day about interesting byways, national parks and scenic routes in forums. The book "The Most Scenic Drives in America" was a really good starting point for planning the actual itinerary and not only highways. I incorporated my knowledge in the map. The idea of avoiding Oregon was actually a very good one. Makes it work our road trip better. What do you think about this primal schedule ? Can this work ?
1 - Chicago
2 - La Crosse [320 miles - 6 hours]
3 - Chamberlain (?) [430 miles - 7 hours]
4 - Rapid / Rushmore [250 miles - 4,5 hours]
5 - Deadwood (drive afternoon and sleep closer to Yellowstone) [250 miles - 4 hours]
6 - Yellowstone [315 miles - 6 hours]
7 - Yellowstone [100 miles - 2 hours]
8 - Yellowstone (sleep to Salt Lake City) [300 miles - 6,5 hours]
9 - Salt Lake city (sleep to Ely) [250 miles - 5 hours]
10 - Drive through Desert - Lake Tahoe [332 miles - 8 hours]
11 - Drive through California - Point Arena [310 miles - 6 hours]
12 - Pacific Coast Highway - San Francisco [140 miles - 3 hours]
13 - San Francisco [0 miles]
14 - San Francisco - Yosemite [200 miles - 4 hours]
15 - Yosemite [40 miles - 1 hour]
16 - Yosemite - Sequoia (sleep closer to LA) [240 miles - 5,5 hours]
17 - LA [170 miles - 3,5 hours]
18 - LA (drive at evening and sleep closer to Death Valley) [200 miles - 4,5 hours]
19 - Death Valley - Las Vegas [230 miles - 4 hours]
20 - Las Vegas (drive at afternoon to Grand Canyon) [300 miles - 5 hours]
21 - Grand Canyon [40 miles - 1 hour]
22 - Grand Canyon-Albuquerque ( drive to Albuquerque) [ 410 miles -7 hours]
23 - El Paso [280 miles - 5 hours]
24 - Boerne (San Antonio) [580 miles - 10 hours]
25 - Houston (Sleep Closer to New Orleans) [300 miles - 4,5 hours]
26 - New Orleans [280 miles - 4,5 hours]
27 - New Orleans [0 miles]
28 - New Orleans [0 miles]
29 - New Orleans [0 miles]
30 - Mississippi (Sleep French Camp) [385 miles - 7 hours]
31 - Nashville [300 miles - 6,5 hours]
32 - Louisville (Sleep in Indianapolis) [220 miles - 4,5 hours
33 - Chicago [230 miles - 4,5 hours]
Points of Improvement:
- California is a problem organizational-wise because we miss coastline between San Fran and LA (in terms of miles and time, someone should select either Yosemite and Sequoia or coastline), if we had both we could do both in a loop, of course. This is the main reason I added Pacific Coast Highway, which I read that is very beautiful. We shouldn't miss all the coastline. Any suggestions about California?
- Between Grand Canyon and New Orleans needs more details but time-wise we may need to rush anyway.
- Between Chicago and Rapid City same situation.
- New Orleans to Chicago we should be able to drop plans, if we get late with the schedule