Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 16 of 16
  1. #11

    Default

    Springfield, MO, is the home of Bass Pro Shops, and they have a HUGE store there. Restaurants, camping gear, and you name it. It could substitute for the Baxter Springs stop.

    Before Albuquerque is a nice little Rt 66 stop over town, Santa Rosa, with a very inexpensive and super clean motel with frig and microwave in the room.

    There is a wealth of scenery, hiking, camping in Utah and Western Colorado, including Mesa Verde. All the car time could result in bone weary bodies that need some fresh air and stretching rather than just windshield tours ;) My trade-off would be some longer driving days on your return journey, e.g.,, from Denver to Chicago, for some quality time in the national parks.

    The AAA state maps show a lot of scenic roads. There are also several travel guides you might find at the library or bookstore on scenic routes (browse through them to see which ones are most appropriate to your needs).

    Quote Originally Posted by somers515 View Post
    Thank you all for the feedback. Super helpful to me to bounce ideas off you all. I kinda felt like I had to make it to CA but I don't HAVE to. I think this revised trip gives us more time to camp/hike in Grand Canyon and Colorado mountains and I further scaled back any longer days, now there is nothing over 500 miles. Keep the input coming! It is appreciated!

    Day 1 Leave HOME to Hershey, PA (son may have a soccer game) - 140 miles
    Day 2 to Madison, WV (coal mine museum) - 410 miles
    Day 3 thru Lexington, KY (churchill downs) to Louisville, KY (louisville slugger) - 270 miles
    Day 4 to St. Louis, MO (gateway arch, mississippi river) - 260 miles
    Day 5 to Baxter Springs, KS (Route 66) - 330 miles
    Day 6 thru Oklahoma City, OK (oklahoma city national memorial) to Amarillo, TX - 470 miles
    Day 7 to Alburquerque, NM (nuclear science museum) - 290 miles
    Day 8 to Grand Canyon National Park, AZ - 390 miles
    Day 9 Grand Canyon National Park, AZ - 0 day
    Day 10 Grand Canyon National Park, AZ - 0 day
    Day 11 to Las Vegas, NV & Hoover Dam - 270 miles
    Day 12 to Zion National Park, UT - 160 miles
    Day 13 to White River National Forest/Aspen, CO - 490 miles
    Day 14 White River National Forest - 0 day
    Day 15 White River National Forest - 0 day
    Day 16 to Denver, CO - 200 miles
    Day 17 to North Platte, NE - 265 miles
    Day 18 to Omaha, NE - 280 miles
    Day 19 to Iowa City, IO - 250 miles
    Day 20 to Chicago, IL - 220 miles
    Day 21 Chicago - 0 day
    Day 22 to Dearborn, MI (Henry Ford Museum) - 280 miles (stopping along the way in South Bend, IN)
    Day 23 to Cleveland, OH (Rock & Roll) - 160 miles
    Day 24 to Niagra Falls, NY - 210 miles
    Day 25 to Syracuse Museum (Erie Canal) - 160 miles
    Day 26 to HOME! - 280 miles





    Good point about Day 7, so I made the longer day the day before. Baxter Springs is more of a holding spot - representing about how far I want to get that day. Once I'm happy with the overall big picture plan I'll start planning out exact campsites/motels/hotels etc.

    Thank you in advance for your continued feedback!

  2. Default New and improved revision!

    First off - thank you again everyone for chiming in. I really do appreciate all the advice. Like a lot - thank you!


    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    I'm in agreement with Dave, for a trip where you seem to be interested in camping, hiking, and nature, it seems a bit strange how you are really just blowing through Utah. The longest drive of your entire trip (day 13) is a drive where you'd otherwise be going past more than a half dozen National Parks and Monuments. I'd think you'd want to check out at least a couple of them (Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonlands).

    On the other hand, you're giving yourself 4 days to get from Denver to Chicago and then 5 days to get from Chicago back to NJ - and both of those drives could be done in as little as 2 days.

    That's not to say you shouldn't give yourself time to explore places east of Denver, but if you're going to take the time and energy to drive all the way out to the American West, most people want to make the most of the time out there. Think of it this way, you could go see the sites around Detroit and Cleveland sometime when you have a long weekend, but if you want to see the National Parks of Utah, you'd either have to take another multiple week trip, or get on an airplane. Again, that's not to say what you have down right now is bad, and if those places in the east are all top priority stops, then you're in good shape. It's just something to think about.
    The boys and I really do enjoy camping and hiking but it's not the only thing I want them to get out of the trip - we haven't really been off the east coach very much and I want them to see as much as possible (both nature and urban areas) in the 26 days we have. Even if its only a taste or quick exposure so they may consider other parts of the country beyond the east coast that they may want to come back to later in life. Also by driving I want them to grasp how big our country really is. I hope I'm making sense in what I'm trying to convey, I'm not sure if my meaning is coming across. Just trying to do the best I can with the limited time I've been given and that's why I'm so appreciative of all the assistance.

    None of the above is to say I don't 100% agree with your advice quoted above. In fact, I think it's spot on, so I shortened up by a day the trip from Denver to Chicago and the trip from Niagra Falls back home, giving us more time in southern Utah.


    Day 1 Leave HOME to Hershey, PA (son may have soccer game) - 140 miles
    Day 2 to Madison, WV (coal mine museum) - 410 miles
    Day 3 to Louisville, KY (churchill downs) - 270 miles
    Day 4 to St. Louis, MO (gateway arch, mississippi river) - 260 miles
    Day 5 to Baxter Springs, KS (Route 66) - 330 miles (or Springfield, MO)
    Day 6 thru Oklahoma City, OK (oklahoma city national memorial) to Amarillo, TX - 470 miles
    Day 7 to Alburquerque, NM (nuclear science museum) - 290 miles (or Santa Rosa, NM)
    Day 8 to Grand Canyon National Park, AZ - 390 miles
    Day 9 Grand Canyon National Park, AZ - 0 day
    Day 10 Grand Canyon National Park, AZ - 0 day
    Day 11 to Las Vegas, NV & Hoover Dam - 270 miles
    Day 12 to Zion National Park, UT - 160 miles
    Day 13 thru Bryce Canyon National Park, UT to Capitol Reef National Park, UT - 180 miles
    Day 14 to Arches National Park, UT - 130 miles
    Day 15 to White River National Forest/Aspen, CO - 230 miles
    Day 16 White River National Forest - 0 day
    Day 17 White River National Forest - 0 day
    Day 18 to Denver, CO - 200 miles
    Day 19 to Lake Ogallala, NE - 225 miles
    Day 20 thru Omaha, NE to Des Moines, IA - 470 miles
    Day 21 to Chicago, IL - 335 miles
    Day 22 Chicago - 0 day
    Day 23 thru South Bend, IN to Dearborn, MI (Henry Ford Museum) - 280 miles
    Day 24 to Cleveland, OH (Rock & Roll) - 160 miles
    Day 25 to Niagra Falls, NY - 210 miles
    Day 26 thru Syracuse (Erie Canal) to HOME! - 440 miles

    TOTAL miles: 5,850

    Ok how'd I do? Better right? Any other changes before I start working on the more detailed logistics of nailing down campsites and places to see?

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,697

    Default A nice route from Arches.

    I think you are piecing a good plan together and at the end of the day they are your decisions to make, we just try to give you a helping hand with thoughts to chew over. I think you will be 'blown away' by the size and nature of the west, I know I was and the drive from Zion through Bryce and Capital Reef to Arches is fantastic !

    When you leave Arches NP don't take US191 back to I70, use UT128 through Castle valley to Cisco, it doesn't really cost any time but it's a lovely drive following the river part way through the red rocks.

  4. Default

    Living in Michigan, my parents alternated our annual family vacations between Florida and the Western U.S., a tradition I continued with my children. Of all my Western memories, the one that far surpasses them all is the NARROWS WALK UP THE VIRGIN RIVER at ZION NATIONAL PARK. Nothing else even comes close but hiking down into BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK would be a distant second. Third would be ARCHES NATIONAL PARK (including the gorgeous riverside road mentioned above). You'll notice that the Grand Canyon isn't even in the top three. Although beautiful and breathtaking, as a child all I remember is stopping at a number of overlooks. THAT just doesn't compare to actually hiking down and through my top three. DOING far surpasses watching.

    I am now 63 and still try to hike the NARROWS every time I visit Utah. In fact, if I were told that I could only make one more trip before I die, it would be the NARROWS HIKE without a second thought. It is drop dead gorgeous and tons of fun. You should arrive in Springdale the day before (reserve your campground!!!) and rent hiking sticks and perhaps non-slip water shoes for tomorrow's hike. Don't even think of going barefoot! The next morning, hop the free bus to the Park entrance. From there you must use the Parks buses to get around. If you plan to camp within Zion, get reservations now if they aren't already sold out.

    Some samples of the NARROWS.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=O08xeAWHH4c

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=k4xB8ItTunY

    Warning: only go if the flash flood probability is extremely low.

    Other favorite memories of OUT WEST include the BADLANDS of South Dakota and the adjacent fun tourist trap old west city of WALL DRUG

    One important suggestion: Check the operating hours of museums and other attractions. I see you plan to drive from Chicago to Dearborn, then visit THE HENRY FORD the same day. That wouldn't leave much time after a long drive. Furthermore, I think your boys would far more enjoy GREENFIELD VILLAGE where they can ride the train, ride the carousel, ride in a real Model T, ride in a horse-drawn wagon etc. You can get a combination ticket for both (they are directly next to each other) , BUT the VILLAGE and the HENRY FORD close at 5pm every day! I know; I have a season pass. This can be an expensive place to spen only a couple hours, about $100-$150 for the 3 of you depending which options you go with.

    https://tickets.thehenryford.org/E-Commerce/ItemList.aspx
    Last edited by travelingman; 01-16-2016 at 05:34 AM.

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    I think you are piecing a good plan together and at the end of the day they are your decisions to make, we just try to give you a helping hand with thoughts to chew over. I think you will be 'blown away' by the size and nature of the west, I know I was and the drive from Zion through Bryce and Capital Reef to Arches is fantastic !

    When you leave Arches NP don't take US191 back to I70, use UT128 through Castle valley to Cisco, it doesn't really cost any time but it's a lovely drive following the river part way through the red rocks.
    I just wanted to let everyone know that I'm back from our trip and it was absolutely AMAZING! I was worried about the miles in the car but driving out West on uncrowded roads while on an extended vacation is just so much less stressful then driving in New Jersey.

    We loved so much about the trip and all the advice here was right on. We did spend two nights in Zion and my boys loved cooling off in the Virgin River on a hot lazy afternoon. We did a breathtaking hike at Bryce and our campsite in Arches had a backdrop that couldn't be beat. My favorite part was a 15 mile day hike in the Colorado Rockies and drinking from snow melt just a day after sleeping in a dessert perfectly summed up our trip. The cities were great too and we were really impressed by Chicago and St. Louis. And of course there was a lot of time for family bonding. Thank you all!

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,697

    Default Good to know.

    Thank you for dropping by with an update, it's great to read that you had a fantastic family adventure. We also love the diversity of it all and have experienced that change from hot desert to snowy mountains in a day, brilliant !

Similar Threads

  1. road trip from east to west coast. suggestions requested!
    By traveldiaries in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 04-23-2015, 04:55 AM
  2. Summer Road Trip -- East Coast to West Coast and Back!
    By ptobencropper in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 02-23-2015, 12:54 PM
  3. Summer 2014 East to West Coast and back
    By Caliwali in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 03-11-2014, 09:16 PM
  4. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-13-2010, 07:43 PM
  5. Road Trip: East to West Coast and back
    By bmozz in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 06-25-2009, 02:24 AM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

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

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES