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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Cornell University, Upstate NY
    Posts
    41

    Default CA-NY with as much to see in between!

    Hey Guys!

    I'm new here and am planning a road trip this summer from Palm Springs CA, to New York City, NY. I was wondering if anyone could offer any advice on which route to take, and/or which sites would be worth visiting along the way.

    My original idea was to drive west to Phoenix, then up to the Grand Canyon. From there I would drive up through eastern Utah, through Monument Valley and past Canyonlands and Arches National Park. I would then join the I-70 into Colorado and then take US-50 the rest of the way.

    I would have have loved to visit Yellowstone NP in Wyoming and then Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, but that would be quite a big detour... Are there any scenic roads worth taking along this general route? I would also love to visit as many national parks as I can along the way, particularly in the west.

    Since I really don't know the midwest very well at all, what cities and/or landmarks should I stop to see? I'm open to any suggestions at the moment and would like to eventually take the route that gives me the greatest taste of America's culture and landscape. I would rather take a longer trip if it offers more along the way.

    Thanks for all your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Welcome to the Ride

    Quote Originally Posted by NH87
    I'm new here and am planning a road trip this summer from Palm Springs CA, to New York City, NY. I was wondering if anyone could offer any advice on which route to take, and/or which sites would be worth visiting along the way. Since I really don't know the midwest very well at all, what cities and/or landmarks should I stop to see? I'm open to any suggestions at the moment and would like to eventually take the route that gives me the greatest taste of America's culture and landscape. I would rather take a longer trip if it offers more along the way.
    Welcome to the Forum!

    What is the time frame for your road trip?

    I would say that a stop at the St. Louis Arch would be enjoyable. What is your expectation about "America's culture"? The American culture is a little hard to pin down. We could probably offer a number of destinations, but it would be helpful to know what you are seeking.

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Cornell University, Upstate NY
    Posts
    41

    Default

    I would like to complete the trip in roughly 10 days give or take. I guess I wasn't too clear with my question... I'm looking for the drive that offers the most to see along the away without really stopping (landscape and scenery-wise). I'm not planning on stopping in every town along the way, but I would like to see some of the more famous and well-known monuments and landmarks (like the St. Louis Arch as you suggested).

    I have a fairly good idea of what I want to see on the west coast, but towards the east, I really don't know what is worth visiting. Would US-50 be the best choice for the most scenic-route? Because that is ultimately what I am looking for.

    I might even extend the trip up through Wyoming and South Dakota, since I would really love to see Yellowstone NP, Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills, and I have heard the scenery is beautiful up there. What would be the best route to get from northern Wyoming to NY? Would it perhaps offer a more scenic drive than the one I proposed along US-50?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Us-50

    US-50 east of the Rocky Mountains is mostly a slow, two-lane highway. Although there are sections where you can drive greater than 65 mph, the greater incidence of small towns will drop your average speed in the low 50's. I think that given your time frame of ten days, that your time would be better served to use the interstates wherever possible and then you can spend more time in the national parks along your route. With rare exceptions you can never plan on more than a 35 mph average speed in any national park. Again there are places where the marked speed limit is faster, but your average speed in a park will be in the low 30 mph range.

    Your original plan:
    My original idea was to drive west to Phoenix, then up to the Grand Canyon. From there I would drive up through eastern Utah, through Monument Valley and past Canyonlands and Arches National Park. I would then join the I-70 into Colorado
    could be driven in as short as two days, but it would be easy to spend 3-4 days in this section of the trip. In any case, there is alot of discussion on this site about US-50 over the rockies. In particular a visit to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

    If you were to add in Yellowstown and the Dakotas, you need to figure a minimum of 2-3 additional days into you plan. If it were me, I would do US-2 across the country, past the little visited upper penisula of Michigan before cutting south towards Detroit and eventually NYC, but such a route would cut out virtually the entire mid-west and most of the Ohio Valley.

    How firm is the time frame you have outlined?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    169

    Default you're so close....

    ...to ZION & BRYCE national parks in southern Utah! Both are not to be missed. However, it will mean actually entering the parks & doing a drive-through or short hikes. Even 1/2 day drive-through of each is worth it. You'll want an excuse to get out & stretch the legs anyhow!

    This would mean from Phoenix probably up to Grand Canyon Village (min. 8 hrs, 455 miles), then go west towards VEGAS & up into southern Utah - going to Zion, Bryce, Canyonlands, Arches (you really need to "stop" in Arches as well & take a few walks to see the arches). Moab is a nice friendly town for a stopping point in that area.


    Another option would be to head straight up to & through Las Vegas (not Phoenix), to ZION National Park (7 hrs 445 miles min.) Then go to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (depending on time of year for this trip) (3.5 hrs min. 155 miles) From the north rim, go to BRYCE Canyon National Park (3.5 hrs min. 165 miles). Carry on eastward to Canyonlands & Arches.

    It looks like a minimum 32 driving hours, 2130 miles using mostly I-70 and I-80 from Moab, Utah to NYC. (4 - 8 to 10 hr driving days)
    Stay on I-70 to St. Louis if you want to see the Gateway Arch.

    Another nice stopping point would be NIAGARA FALLS.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Cornell University, Upstate NY
    Posts
    41

    Default

    Thank a lot for the suggestions.

    I have reconsidered the trip and have decided to drive up through Western Utah from Arizona, through Page, allowing me to visit Zion and Bryce Canyon NP. From there I will drive up through Salt Lake City and into Wyoming where I can visit Grand Teton and Yellowstone NP.

    West from there will take me into South Dakota through the Black Hills and Badlands NP. This is, as you pointed out, a longer drive but would seem to be more scenic than US-50 past Colorado. My question is what is the I-90 like from Wyoming to Chicago? Is it a nice drive or should I opt for another route?

    What about east from Chicago to New York? Should I take the I-80? What is there to see along the way and which towns or cities should I stop to visit?

    The 10 days I proposed is not firm, but I would like to complete the trip in under 2 weeks if possible.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    169

    Default I-90

    We did I-90 from Wyoming to Chicago. Nice & "boring" which means straightforward driving... But we enjoyed driving through country instead of cities, seeing farmland, the plains.

    We stopped near Sheridan for DEVILS TOWER and Sundance Buffalo Jump. We also stopped in South Dakota to see " Little House on the Prairie " Laura Ingalls Wilder site.

    From Chicago to New York, see Niagara Falls. Lancaster Pennsylvania is a great area - Pennsylvania Dutch / Amish history.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Cornell University, Upstate NY
    Posts
    41

    Default

    Great, but would it perhaps be a better choice of route than US-50 through Kansas, Misourri, Illinois...? I have no idea what lies in these mid-western states, but I guess any drive through the great plains will not be particularly exciting. Anything to see in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio..?

    I am still torn between driving up through western or eastern Utah. I either visit Zion, Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef, or drive up through Monument Valley and visit Canyonlands and Arches NP.. I wish I could see it all but unfortunately I cannot... Which should I go for?

    Also, how long did the drive from Wyoming to Chicago take? And how long would it take to New York from there? Is there usually a lot of traffic along this freeway during the summer months?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default RoadTrips as Entertainment

    Great, but would it perhaps be a better choice of route than US-50 through Kansas, Misourri, Illinois...? I have no idea what lies in these mid-western states, but I guess any drive through the great plains will not be particularly exciting. Anything to see in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio..?
    You might be missing the point here. In our view, a "road trip" is a state of mind, it is not merely traveling between point A and point B. There is always something to see in every possible place while on a road trip. The secret is simply to notice.
    I am still torn between driving up through western or eastern Utah. I either visit Zion, Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef, or drive up through Monument Valley and visit Canyonlands and Arches NP.. I wish I could see it all but unfortunately I cannot... Which should I go for?
    That is a tough choice. If it were me, I would opt for Monument Valley and Arches. If you do Monument Valley -- take the time to drive in the Navajo Tribal Park -- it is a dirt road, but well worth the admisssion price.

    Also, how long did the drive from Wyoming to Chicago take? And how long would it take to New York from there? Is there usually a lot of traffic along this freeway during the summer months?
    You should plan on 2-3 days to drive from Wyoming to NYC

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Cornell University, Upstate NY
    Posts
    41

    Default

    Thanks very much. You've all been very helpful. I have thought about driving through Canada and instead of driving through Chicago and Cleveland, I would drive up through Sault Ste. Marie, past Sudbury, Ontario and then down towards Toronto where I could visit Niagara Falls before re-entering the US through NY. What do you think about this idea?

    I guess it's a nicer drive than along I-80, but it would probably take a day or two longer... Has anyone taken this road through Canada before? Are there any national parks or scenic drives along the way? I've thought about visiting the Pictured Rocks shoreline. Has anyone been there before?

    By the way, I have changed the destination for this roadtrip from New York to Boston and I believe the drive through upstate NY is quite a scenic one as well.

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