Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. Default Driving cross country with 4 teenagers

    My husband thinks I am nuts but I am planning on driving cross country from NJ to CA this summer with my 4 teenage kids in our Honda Odyssey. (They kind of think I am nuts too but are willing to humor their mother because they are good kids.) I want to do Grand Canyon, BRyce, Zion, Arches, Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore, Grand Tetons, Badlands, and Mammoth Cave, among other places. We already have a reservation to stay in Grand Canyon for July 7, but no other reservations yet. We will be doing some camping and cheap motels. I have heard that state parks have cabins but I have not had much luck in finding information on them online other than for Dead Horse State Ranch Park.I am planning on leaving June 27 and returning to NJ on July 30. Any advice on the best route or what National Parks to do in what order would be appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Get the Kids involved in planning.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    NJ and CA are big target areas as to where exactly you are starting from and heading to but even if we knew there are no single 'best' routes other than those that take you to the places you wish to see. I would recommend you get a big wall map of the States and start marking out the places you have listed. Once you start to join them up a route will form and then you can check out other possibilities nearby and route through them, hitting the northern places one way and the southern the other direction. You should also get the Kids involved in the planning so that they have a vested interest in the trip, they will enjoy it far more if they aren't just humouring mom. ;-)

    If you are heading all the way to CA then Yosemite is an amazing place and so is it's neighbour, Sequoia NP. You will also find some great parks and drives in Colorado. Once you get these early stages in planning sorted we can help you 'fine tune' your trip and offer further suggestions.

    One other thing is that the parks get booked up in the summer months so to guarantee a camping spot you need to book in advance, although there are 'First come first served' non reservable sites but it would be best to arrive early. The State and National park lodgings will all be listed on the relevant website.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Cabins in State Parks.

    Half an hour east of Bryce Canyon (23 miles) is Kodachrome State Park. The cabins there looked lovely. Though I was camping I made a note of them for future reference. The Park itself is also an interesting small place. There is a lovely walk/drive out to the spire of rock (can't recal what its official name is). Unfortunately it is a much underutilised State Park, though the camping facilities were very good.

    There was something most satisfying waking up in the shadow of the hoodoos.

    You already have an amazing list of places to visit, and if you are using good maps, you will see there are many more, as well as some of the most scenic routes one could experience. If you do not already have good maps, you can pick them up at AAA (free if you are a member). A road atlas such as the Rand McNally is a good alternative option. On those maps you are able to see most, if not all the attractions along the way, and all State Parks. You can then look up each State Park on the internet and pick the ones which have cabins.

    Now as to the question of whether you are nuts....... there is nothing I enjoyed more than travelling with our five children when they were that age. All too soon they will want to be independent. Make the most of it. Give each one a map or road atlas and see what they come up with as to what would interest each one most. You might be surprised what they would like you to build into the trip..

    Lifey

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Teenagers may humor you for awhile, but what was said above is correct: give them some input into the trip, and they will come up with things that help them enjoy it. From experience, teens may not appear to be enjoying the trip. But when they get older, it will seem like a highlight for them. My now grown kids are proud of the trips we took them on, and of course I've been road-tripping since I was about 2 and I still love it.


    Donna

  5. Default

    Thank you for the suggestion of Kodachrome State Park. Unfortunately when I googled it, the website said the cabins were no longer available. But on the plus side, the park looks like a place we may want to check out.

    I have gotten AAA maps and guidebooks. Now I just need to sit down and really plan this trip out. Also, I agree with your advice that I need to get the kids more involved in the planning. They did suggest Mt. Rushmore and Grand Canyon, and they definitely want to see Las Vegas so I think they will probably be happy to have some voice in suggesting where we go.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Cabins, parks and maps...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lalvosadiky View Post
    Thank you for the suggestion of Kodachrome State Park. Unfortunately when I googled it, the website said the cabins were no longer available.
    Awwww! That is a pity, they looked really nice.

    But on the plus side, the park looks like a place we may want to check out.
    Speak with the rangers at the office in the park, and they will give you all the details. You may also like to venture to Grovernor's Arch, but that will be on unmade roads, Here I would definitely get the information from the ranger in the Cannonville office first. (The SP rangers may not cover the national monument area.)

    Some years ago I drove from Big Water on US89 through Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, to Cannonville. It was a magnificent drive. The road is a dirt road all the way. Those 46 miles took some four hours to drive (including lots of stops and lunch), but took me through a spectacular canyon most folk will never see. (I was driving a 12 year old Toyota Camry.) Half way along there was a family herding their cattle, which roam free in the national monument, and droving them to Cannonville. I was on my own, and checked in with the rangers at Big Water first, then let the ranger at Canonville know that I had completed the trip, as per request of the Big Water ranger office.

    If the teenagers are up to something outside the box, you may like to discuss this with them. Anyone can go see Las Vegas, etc., but there are still so many places in the country very few people get to see.

    I have gotten AAA maps and guidebooks. Now I just need to sit down and really plan this trip out.
    Give them to the teenagers and see what they come up with. They will get to see just how much there is other than the Grand Canyon and Vegas. Besides they will learn a lot about the essential skill of map reading.

    Lifey

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Some years ago I drove from Big Water on US89 through Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, to Cannonville. It was a magnificent drive. The road is a dirt road all the way. Those 46 miles took some four hours to drive (including lots of stops and lunch), but took me through a spectacular canyon most folk will never see.
    That is the Cottonwood Canyon Road, and it may or may not be passable. Even if it is, it would be pretty rough on a minivan.

    The unpaved Cottonwood Canyon Road is a relatively popular cross-country route through Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, starting in the south along US 89 near milepost 18, and eventually leading past Kodachrome Basin State Park to Cannonville on UT 12. Some sections of the road are rather steep and narrow, with overhanging rocks, but 2WD cars usually can make the 47 mile journey although for a few hours after heavy rains the route may be impassable even by 4WD vehicles, and in recent years the level of maintenance has lessened, resulting in the surface being rough in some places.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Slowly does it.

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    hat is the Cottonwood Canyon Road and it may or may not be passable. Even if it is, it would be pretty rough on a minivan.
    That is why you would not attempt it without discussing with the rangers, at either end. They are aware of its condition, ask lots of questions and then tell you if you or your vehicle will cope with it, and how to.

    No point dismissing that spectacular drive for a few bumps, which really won't matter, when you are driving at less than 25 mph all the way. One just crawls over those patches.....which are few and far between. The speed limit along the full length through the canyon is 25mph, but that was pretty difficult to maintain. The average would be around 10 - 15 mph.

    Not as if it is rocky..... and wear out your tyres.

    Lifey

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Las Vegas with Teens

    Also, I agree with your advice that I need to get the kids more involved in the planning. They did suggest Mt. Rushmore and Grand Canyon, and they definitely want to see Las Vegas so I think they will probably be happy to have some voice in suggesting where we go.
    They can do some research to find out where teenagers can go in Las Vegas. From experience, our first trip to Las Vegas was with two teenage girls, and they weren't allowed to do much there. We gave them tickets to the Adventuredome, which is an amusement park inside Circus Circus. We also gave them each a roll of quarters to use in the huge video arcade inside that same hotel. That was a long time ago, but it might be a place for one of your teens to start researching. There are also some museums and exhibits that might interest them, along the Strip.

    One last thing about the Strip: distances can be very, very deceiving. My husband and I decided to walk from our hotel last summer, down to another hotel on the Strip where we had tickets to see the Blue Man Group. (VERY family-friendly, btw, highly recommended if you like good percussion and a lot of clean humor.) We discovered, by pedometer, that it was over a mile, though we could see the other hotel quite easily from ours. Wear decent shoes and be prepared to climb up and down to cross streets on pedestrian overpasses.


    Donna
    Last edited by DonnaR57; 03-25-2016 at 08:12 AM. Reason: grammar

Similar Threads

  1. Two Teenagers Going On A Cross Country Road Trip Summer of 2016
    By Yazmyne in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-27-2015, 08:31 AM
  2. driving cross country with pets
    By coderster in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-05-2007, 08:27 AM
  3. Driving Cross-Country Website
    By tas246 in forum RoadTrip Field Reports
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-05-2006, 10:03 PM
  4. Cross-country Driving Issues
    By NY Joe in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 04-28-2005, 11:48 AM
  5. Driving Cross Country Next week
    By Andrea Richardson in forum Gear-Up!
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-25-2003, 07:07 PM

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