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  1. Default MN to CA and back through Yellowstone

    My first post here, but I've been reading on a regular basis for the last month. I'm afraid this is long..sorry. My husband and I have done several road trip vacations in the last few years, but have always needed to stay fairly close to home because of time constraint.

    We are leaving in one month on our trip...this time with three kids along for the ride (13,12,and 5). We'll be driving the MN to CA part in two different legs. First, an all night drive to Littleton, CO. Then staying there for a couple of days with relatives. Second part of that marathon will be from CO to Chino, CA. We drive these distance on a regular basis in a one shot deal when we travel to Texas. Our drive home from CA will be far more laid back, with several days in the Yellowstone/Cody area.

    I have one main concern:
    The drive from Colorado to California. Mileage is the same as some of our regular all night driving marathons, but I'm assuming the terrain is going to slow us down. I'm wondering if we should try and break up that part of the trip. Husband says no....I'm still worried about it. It's about 1000 miles.

    Second, not a concern...but some help??

    We're driving up through Utah to the Yellowstone area, and then over to the Black Hills area on our way home. I've seen all of this...20 years ago. My family has seen none of it. We love side trips, and I've seen numerous options on the web. I just can't decide which would be worth the detour.

    Scenery, local pubs and food stops, friendly family owned motels/campgrounds are our favorite. We're booked in chain hotels now..but prefer the local owned ones. We are seasoned tent campers and will have stuff with for that option as well.

    Right now I just have the obvious stops planned on the obvious interstates. I'd like to change some of this before we leave. Or at least find some unique places to side trip from the chain hotel.

    1st stop - Cedar City, UT (one night)
    2nd stop - Pocatello, ID (one night)
    3rd stop - West Yellowstone (two nights)
    4th stop - Gardiner, MT (two night)
    5th stop - Cody, WY (one night)
    6th stop - Deadwood, SD (two nights)
    7th stop - Mitchell, SD (one night on the way home)

    I know this is a horribly tall order...but any suggestions would be extremely helpful.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default I Have Concerns as Well

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Minneapolis to Littleton is 925 miles. Sorry, this is not an overnight drive. It is a full two days. As I've said before, almost every one of the regular contributors here has done a 1000 mile drive at some point in their 'careers' and not a one of them recommends it. Especially not with children. Similarly, Littleton to Chino is another thousand miles. On a one time basis, maybe. On a repeated basis, I am seriously concerned that you will be putting yourselves, your children, and every one else on the road, at risk as you become more and more fatigued. All to save two days. Please reconsider this part of your plans.

    The rest of your journey, by stark contrast, allows time for you to actually show your children something of the wonderful country you'll be travelling through. You won't have time for major stops on your way up to Yellowstone, but at least you can let the kids some exercise in some great parks like Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada and Zion National Park in Utah. Unfortunately, Bryce Canyon is too far off the Interstate to fit into your hurried schedule. You will have a few hours in the Deadwood area, so here's a report on some places and activities there.


  3. Default Thank you

    Thank you, those links are great information.

    I was aware that the mileage to Littleton was that far. We generally drive twice a year to the Dallas/Fort Worth area (about 1000 miles). Our regular schedule is to leave at 5 in the evening or so...and trade drivers every 4 hours. The kids sleep for most of it. We usually arrive between 10-12 the next day. Littleton is comparable and we are spending 2-3 days in Littleton relaxing before we continue our drive. After our drive to Chino...we are spending a week in the the Chino/Anaheim area for a medical conference. Then...we start the road trip home. Sorry that I wasn't clear. And I do know how fatique can set in as I drive for a living. I'm very used to spending 8-10 hours behind the wheel, but we always stop if we need to. I'm glad that safety is a priority here on these boards.

    We did leave most of our time for the Yellowstone area on this trip, the Black Hills area is just a good place to stop. We thought we'd see Mount Rushmore and drive through Custer State Park and save the rest for another vacation.

    The Nevada and Utah links are exactly what I was looking for. If we ramble too long on the way up, we'll just have to extend our time a bit, or steal a bit from the Yellowstone area.

    Thank You!!
    Last edited by muzikgirl; 06-10-2007 at 07:12 PM. Reason: spelling

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