Trouble determining best route in western half of US
Four of us are planning a trip from D.C. to the West Coast and back (may15-june8). We're heading out along the lower half of the states and returning through the upper half.
We cannot seem to create an optimal route through the western half of our trip while hitting all of our destinations. (everything in between Dallas and the Dakotas)
We are up for anything, but the main places we want to hit are as follows:
Cities-Dallas, San Diego, LA, San Fran, Vegas, Park City UT
Parks-Carlsbad Caverns, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Redwood, Lake Tahoe, Mojave National Preserve
We would really appreciate any advice on any part of this portion of our trip. We are life long east coasters, so planning that part was no problem. It just seems we can't make it to all the places I mentioned above without some serious backtracking. (For example: grand canyons - before San Diego or after LV)
PLEASE HELP US!!!!!!!!
Thank you everyone
I ran your stuff through Microsoft Streets and Trips, which has an optimizing feature. I can't guarantee it's perfect, but the results look serviceable! The route meanders, but doesn't really backtrack much.
From Dallas to Estes Park, the mileage is a bit over 4600. Driving time (no stops included) is about 6.5 daylight days, 8 AM to 7 PM. The Black Hills add another 400 miles.
Try this route -- Dallas to Carlsbad, then add Lincoln County NM and meet the real Billy the Kid, and then Grand Canyon (South Rim) via Albuquerque and Gallup, then Las Vegas via I-40 & Kingman or you could add North Rim and Zion National Park as well via Cameron AZ and US89.
After Las Vegas, head south down I-15 to Mohave, then San Diego, Los Angeles, Yosemite, San Francisco, Redwood (Crescent City CA), Tahoe, Park City, and Rocky Mtn National Park (Estes Park).
From there, the Black Hills and Badlands of SD are an easy drive. You can see which roads to take if you follow the prgression I've laid out for you -- just grab your atlas!
hey, im from cali so i can help u with that part of your trip. if u start from the south in SD u should take the 405 up to LA and check out santa monica. the 101 north will take u up to San Fran along the coast, going through Santa Barbara (where im from originally) which has great beaches. u can also take the 1 on your way up to SF which goes right along the coast. in san fran you should check out fishermans warf and the madison and powell area. if u have any more questions or anything, dont hesitate. -Dina