Hello everyone. I'm planning a solo road trip this summer and I'd love to get everyone's opinion and advice. I read the similar thread here so I hope that this thread isn't too redundant.
The long and short of it is I want to drive around the country and visit a bunch of the National Parks. I have 22 days off and I'm going to be starting and ending in Olympia, WA. I have a 2007 Subaru Forester and I plan on camping or sleeping in my car the whole way. In order to save money and not worry about full campgrounds in the parks I plan on mainly dispersed camping on National Forest and BLM land outside the parks. If it comes to it, I'm fine with just finding a (legal) parking lot or a (legal) quiet spot off road and sleeping in my car. I'm also planning on staying one day each in Las Vegas, NV; Cedar City, UT; and Yakima, WA to visit with family and friends that are in each city. (Also I'm going to use their showers.)
My general game plan is to pack up my camp each morning and drive into the park for some sightseeing and day hiking, then driving back outside the park to find another campsite in the evening. I'm going to keep my camp light, and I might end up sleeping in the back of my car most nights. I'm gonna be going on some shorter local camping trips in order to get my rhythm down and figure out exactly what I need to bring with me.
The places I'd like to see are:
- Las Vegas, NV
- Grand Canyon (North Rim)
- Monument Valley
- Capitol Reef
- Bryce Canyon
- Cedar City, WA
- Grand Tetons
- Glacier NP
- Yakima, WA
Looking at a map and figuring driving distances, I think I can visit all these spots. Am I being overambitious? A couple questions do pop up though regarding my route. Monument Valley is probably the spot that looks the furthest out of place there, but I'd love to visit just to drive through and take pictures. Would going there after the North Rim and then visiting - Capitol Reef - Bryce - Zion - Cedar City make sense? Or should I do it the other way around? I'm skipping Arches, Canyonlands and all the other sites in the area, will I be missing too much by doing that? Are there any other great spots that I'm overlooking?
At the Grand Canyon I'm planning on camping in the Kaibab National Forest, it looks like there's some crazy beautiful camping spots there on the North Rim if you can make the drive. Will I be missing anything by skipping the South Rim?
Right now I have July 3rd - 24th off. I know the crowds are going to be really bad in July, but when I was originally planning this trip it was with some friends who were only going to be able to go in July. Now they've canceled though, and I'm thinking about changing it to September 4th - 25th. I think September will be much better as far as avoiding the crowds, but I'm a little worried about the weather getting colder, specifically on the North Rim and Glacier NP. Any thoughts? Would August be better?
I'd love any and all advice and criticism that the community can offer. Thanks in advance!