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  1. Default DC to Denver…too ambitious?

    Hello All! I'm so glad I stumbled upon this site. My boyfriend and I want to take a road trip this summer and are thinking of renting a car at Dulles Airport (outside of Washington, D.C.) in August and driving west to Denver, CO. We have about 7-10 days to complete the trip. Once we get to Denver we would fly home and don't need to spend time in the city. We both enjoy driving so that's not an issue. We'd probably like to keep it to 6-8 hours a day.

    1.) Do you think that's feasible?
    2.) Any recommendations of where to stay? We are open to anything and love both interstate driving and off-the-beaten path (we are also trying to keep to a modest budget to the best we can and plan on packing stuff for breakfast and snacks).
    3.) I would really love to see Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons; is it crazy to try to fit this in? (Debating if we should fly out of Salt Lake City if that is more convenient…)

    This is kind of a spontaneous "we need to travel and see the country" trip so any and all advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    1) Yes, feasible. You'd spend about 4 days driving from DC to Yellowstone. Spend 3 days seeing Yellowstone and 1 day seeing Grand Teton, then another day to drive to SLC. So you need 9 days to do the road trip portion, NOT including your flight days. BTW, this plan is using the fastest method to get from one place to another, not the small towns-off-the-beaten-path method, which will take longer.
    2) If you can afford it, stay in the parks. Otherwise, your most affordable option would be to stay in West Yellowstone, MT, for the Yellowstone portion. There is no such thing as a modest budget place in Jackson, WY -- even the Motel 6 is $189/night in the height of summer. You have to stay in Driggs, ID, or similar.
    3) Yes. See plan above.


    Donna

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default

    I think Yellowstone might more than you really want to do on your timeline. While you could get to Yellowstone in 4 days, that would be 9 hours a day, sticking all to freeways. It is certainly possible, but I get the impression you want slower paced trip.

    Have you considered flying out to Denver or SLC? When you factor one way car rental costs, it is quite possible that it would actually be cheaper to do the trip that way.

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    Welcome to RTA!

    1) Yes, feasible. You'd spend about 4 days driving from DC to Yellowstone. Spend 3 days seeing Yellowstone and 1 day seeing Grand Teton, then another day to drive to SLC. So you need 9 days to do the road trip portion, NOT including your flight days. BTW, this plan is using the fastest method to get from one place to another, not the small towns-off-the-beaten-path method, which will take longer.
    2) If you can afford it, stay in the parks. Otherwise, your most affordable option would be to stay in West Yellowstone, MT, for the Yellowstone portion. There is no such thing as a modest budget place in Jackson, WY -- even the Motel 6 is $189/night in the height of summer. You have to stay in Driggs, ID, or similar.
    3) Yes. See plan above.


    Donna
    Thank you so much for your advice and input! It was very helpful. When talking it over, we decided we may enjoy a round trip from Denver, CO rather than leaving from D.C. I think we would get more out of it. Do you think we'd be missing too much in Nebraska/South Dakota/Illinois if we didn't go that route?

    Also, thanks for the tip about lodging! I'm looking into AirBnB too. Driggs seems like a better idea especially if we want to stay for a couple of nights.

  5. Default

    Hello! Thank you so much for replying. You got us thinking and with some research and comparison, I think we'd save some money (and money on gas) going with the round-trip flight from Denver. I don't want to have to take freeways the whole time. Do you have any recommendations for 'off the beaten path' stops between Denver/Yellowstone/Grand Tetons? We were looking at Rocky Mountain NP, too. Thanks again!

  6. Default

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  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sc753 View Post
    . Do you have any recommendations for 'off the beaten path' stops between Denver/Yellowstone/Grand Tetons? We were looking at Rocky Mountain NP, too. Thanks again!
    Try GEOCACHING in some of the national parks! Take a geocaching tour or just head for the caches with the most FAVORITE points. You'll need a handheld GPS. A cell phone will also work if you have cell coverage.

    http://www.yellowstonepark.com/go-geocaching/

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