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  1. Default west from illinois and back in 10 days

    Hey everyone, we are a family of three with a 16 year old that's trying to plan a late summer trip from Northwest Illinois. We want to head West with a small motor home and have 10 days to see whatever we can see of interest...National Parks, interesting towns, points of interest, etc. Just looking for ideas. Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Tradeoffs and Decisions

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    As your first step, you're going to need to figure out how much time you want to spend driving, how much making relatively short visits to places, and how much pretty much camped out in one place and exploring the 'neighborhood'. Only then can you even decide how far to go before turning for home. For example, if you were to be comfortable with six or seven days devoted to pretty much nothing but driving, then you could get as far as the west coast. But that would only leave you three to four days worth of time to actually experience and enjoy any National Parks, interesting towns, points of interest, etc. that you could get to.

    At sort of the other extreme would be a plan where you stop short of the Rockies, explore a bit of the High Plains and Front Range, and then return home by a completely different route. One example would be to initially head west to western South Dakota which has about a half dozen great sites (Badlands, Mount. Rushmore, Devils Tower, Wind and Jewel Caves, etc.), spend a couple of days there, then head down to Rocky Mountain National Park, Pike's Peak, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument (all within an hour or two of Denver) before heading home along the old Oregon Trail (I-80/US-30).

    Another, somewhat in-between option would be to head to Utah and spend your time exploring the "Big Five": Canyonlands, Arches, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks as well as the Great Salt Lake. Or, if camp sites are still available (unlikely) you could just head to Yellowstone. Even four days there would barely let you scratch the surface. The possibilities are really endless, so first the adults will have to figure out a timeline and pace that you'll be comfortable with, see how far that will realistically get you, and then sit down as a family and decide which of the many options open to you fits within those parameters and has the most universal appeal.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 04-24-2016 at 08:43 PM. Reason: Typo

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