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  1. #1

    Default From Chicago to LA

    Hello guys, I'm Diana and I'm from Romania.
    I will come in september to the States and I want to cross the country from Chicago to LA. I will leave Chicago on 11th and I need to be in LA on 26th. We will drive and we would like to see as many nice places as we can. Mostly interesting cities and natural parks or so. We don't have yet a route, but can you give me some examples of really nice places to see between Chicago and LA? And which route would you choose?

    Thanks a lot :)

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

    Default Getting started.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    There would be thousands of combined route options and even more attractions so before we can be of much help it's important that you do some of your own research to see what really appeals to you. You can search the RTA pages and get some good maps to check out your options and once you have a few 'favourites' marked out we can help fill in the gaps and make meaningful suggestions. If it were me I would certainly be looking at the natural beauty and National parks found through Colorado, Southern Utah and Arizona and possibly include some of California's highlights, Death valley, Yosemite NP, San Francisco and the scenic coast highway through Big Sur to LA. You may well have different preferences so take a look and as you have new questions come up, just ask. Enjoy the planning !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default So Many Options

    Bine at venit! Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    While we'd all like to have your problem, two weeks to drive what could be done in three and a half days, it is still a problem. Because although you can see a lot, you can't see everything. So the first thing you're going to have to do is decide how much time you want to spend driving vs. how much time you want to spend exploring and enjoying the places you stop along the way. Then, depending on that choice, you'll have to decide which basic route to take. There are an almost unlimited number of variations, but to put it all in a bit of context, you should initially be looking at three major possibilities:

    1) Northern Rockies and Pacific Northwest: Highlights might include Badlands National Park (NP), Yellowstone NP, Glacier NP, Seattle, Portland, Pacific Coast, Redwoods NP.

    2) Central Rockies and Great Basin: Oregon Trail, Rocky Mountain NP, Great Salt Lake and Salt Lake City, Yosemite NP, San Francisco, Point Reyes National Seashore, Pacific Coast Highway.

    3) Southwest and Red Rock Country: Old Route 66, St. Louis, Ozarks, Santa Fe/Taos, Mesa Verde NP, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon NP, Bryce Canyon NP, Zion NP, Las Vegas.

    Keep in mind that those three possibilities are not mutually exclusive. You could do parts of one and different parts of another (within reason). So what I'd urge you to do is to pick the top four or five sites that you'd like to visit and then we can help you build a trip around those places, including as many other interesting locations that won't take you too far afield and just wear you out before you got to the end.


  4. #4


    Thank you AZBuck (multumesc, prietene!) and Southwest Dave

    I'm so sorry that I'm late with my response but I still had to manage some things for this trip. Now, I was thinking that we will drive through Missouri, Oklahoma, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and, of course California. I saw some beautiful places like Wichita Mountains in Oklahoma; in Colorado - Rocky Mountain national park, Pikes Peak, Gardens of the Gods; in Utah - Bryce Canyon, Zion, Moab, Arches National Park; in Arizona - Grad Canyon, Sedona, North Rim; in Nevada - Red rock Canyon, Valley of Fire and in California Yosemite national park.
    I'm pretty sure that we won't be able to see all this great places but for you to have an idea, this is what we would like to see, al least some of them. We want to enjoy these places, not to be on the run all the time.

    Thanks and I can't wait to hear from you!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default America on the Fly

    You can hit every place (just about) on your list if you are willing to spend about half of your available time sitting behind the wheel of a car and to limit your time at any one natural wonder or city to half a day or so. That's probably not the best way to experience some of the slower-paced aspects of American life, but it could certainly serve as a sampler.

    You could stat your trip with a run down to St. Louis, a quick drive down a bit of the Great River Road along the Mississippi River and then striking southwest into the Ozarks and a bit of quintessential American Kitsch, Branson. Next turn westward and use some of the old 'surface' (non-Interstate, non-freeway) "US" highways through Dodge City and other Plains towns to Pueblo and Colorado Springs (Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak) and on to Denver and Rocky Mountain National Park (NP). Continue across the Rockies to Moab and Arches NP, then head down through Monument Valley to the Grand Canyon, Oak Creek Canyon, and Sedona before doubling back up into southern Utah for Bryce Canyon and Zion NPs. Then onto Las Vegas, and northwest through Death Valley NP and over Tioga Pass into Yosemite NP before finishing up driving through the Central Valley or along the Pacific Coast Highway to Los Angeles.

    Just a few notes. I've provided links to some spots that you might find interesting along your route. Since you're going to include Sedona, it makes little sense to include the long detour needed to get into the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, just view it from the more popular and more easily accessible South Rim. There are a few places that you might want to consider skipping this time if you decide on a more relaxed pace. Yosemite is pretty far off the more direct route from Las Vegas to Los Angeles through the Mojave National Preserve and deserves far more time than you can possibly devote to it on this trip. Bryce Canyon NP is another example of needing a full day even to get to, hike and get back from (from Zion NP), where you just can't devote a full day to any one site given the number of places you plan to visit. Conversely, using 'surface roads' rather than Interstates in the Great Plains const very little in the way of extra time since the surface roads are so straight and flat with relatively high speed limits, and it's a chance to experience small town America rather than be bored by the 'sameness' of the landscape.


  6. #6


    Thank you so much

    I was thinking about what you said and we will pass Yosemite, Bryce and Zion, it's too much, I got too excited about this. I used the map on the website and I got this:
    1. Branson
    2. Ozarks
    3. Dodge City
    4. Pueblo
    5. Colorado Springs
    6. Denver
    7. Rocky Mountains
    8. Moab
    9. Arches NP
    10. Grand Canyon
    11. Oak Creek Canyon
    12. Sedona
    13. Las Vegas
    14. Death Valley
    15. LA

    How much time do you think it would take to enjoy all these places, not to be on the run all the time? Do you think there are too many places?

    Thank you so much AZBuck!

  7. #7


    Hello AZBuck

    I was thinking about this route:

    The places that I think that we have time to see are: Branson, Ozarks, Dodge, Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Denver, Rocky Mountain, Moab, Arches NP, Grand Canyon, Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona, LV, Death Valley NP and LA.
    Do you think that I have enough time to see all these places without be on the run all the time?

    Thank you

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