Need help planning
Want to make a 2-3 week trip from Cincinnati to SF. I want to hit Denver, Mesa Verde, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, two days in SF, Redwood, Crater Lake, Yellowstone, and Mt Rushmore. I know it may not be enough time, I would like to camp in a few places, get a hotel in the others. If you have any advice on routes, places to stay or things to do, please let me know! Thanks.
I think you may have JUST enough time to do a quick survey of the places you've listed in 21 days, in the order you list them. Of course there are many other things along your route that you won't have much additional time to stop for.
If you have any suggestions as to where we should go or places to see or anything else, please let me know. Maybe an alternate route or whatever else.
That's a LOT to try to do even on a 3 week trip. You're looking at really just driving by these places if you attempt it. I don't even think I would try it unless you had 5 weeks to really see everything you mentioned. You are looking at 6,000+ miles of driving and not all of it will be at 75 MPH. You are looking at about 100 hours of JUST driving time. That won't leave much time to see the sites you drove all the way to see.
If you only have 3 weeks, I would drop SF, Yosemite, Redwood and Crater Lake and your mileage will drop to about 4,500 and driving time to about 70 hours.
From Denver I would take I-70 to Grand Junction which is a scenic mountain drive. Nearby is Colorado National Monument. Head south on Hwy 50 to Montrose. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is close by and can be seen in a couple of hours. Then keep going south on Hwy 550. This is know as the Million Dollar Highway down to Durango and it's a very scenic mountain drive. Then head west on Hwy 160 to Mesa Verde.
From the Grand Canyon you will be really close to Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks and then go north to Yellowstone. There is a lot more to Yellowstone than just Old Faithful. Please allow 3 days or more to see this park!