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  1. #1

    Default Week long raodtrip. Zion to San Francisco

    Hello everyone,

    me and my girlfriend are planning our first roadtrip in USA. This will be our first visit in USA this summer - we are coming with J1 visa for students for seasonal employment with possibility to travel after the work contract. We are planing to travel roughly from Zion, UT to Point Reyes National Seashore in CA in one week from September 17th through 24th. We are planning to rent a car in Cedar City or St. George UT and start the trip, then leave it in Oakland CA. Here is our draft itinerary at RoadTrippers Take in mind that not all of the places of interest are a must to visit. Like I said it is only a draft. Anyway, would appreciate any advice in regards of POI , highways etc. Tell me if it is even possible to cover 1600 miles in one week or should I take extra time? :D I'm not used to American traffic and miles, so please enlighten me.. Thanks !

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default If you can take more time, take it.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You can do the trip in a week, but it will all be a bit rushed, so if you have the opportunity to spend more time exploring, I would use it. You could easily spend a couple of days in Yosemite alone and at the start of your trip you could look at Bryce canyon and the Grand canyon as a golden opportunity.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Some Rough Rules of Thumb

    When setting up anything other than a simple, one day, straight shot drive with no stops, there are a few general numbers that can be applied for planning purposes. The first is that 550 miles or so is a full day of driving. Trying to do more than that simply makes what should be a pleasure into a grueling chore. Going too much beyond that turns that grueling chore into a dangerous roll of the dice for you and every one else sharing the road with you at the end of an exhausting day. Even for shorter drives, by the time you factor in traffic and any stops for food, fuel, bathroom breaks or to just take your eyes off the road and your hands off the wheel for just few minutes, 55 mph (90 kph) is a reasonable number to assume.

    So, you can cover your 1600 miles in about three days of driving. Now that won't be three continuous days of driving, and keep in mind that you still have to account for driving within and around the various points you'll be driving to, but you should still have roughly 4 and a half days or so to spread out amongst all the stops that make your final list. But note that I'm assuming your basic itinerary doesn't change and that you aren't including flying days in your September 17-24 timeframe. Even at that, I count over two dozen sites on your list of places to see. That's just not going to happen, even if all you did was take a quick snapshot at each one. As Dave pointed out, a couple of those places, notably Zion and Yosemite, could eat up your entire four and a half days all by themselves.

    Clearly the thing to do here is to start paring down your wish list and deciding which few (three or fewer) places you'd really like to experience, and limit everything else to maybe some quick stops at sites that are directly on your route between those places. I understand that you would want to try to do a lot on your first visit, but you will have much better memories if you enjoy the trip rather than turn it into a workout.


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