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  1. Default East coast to West on foot.

    Hi my names Matt I'm from the UK, I'm planning to do a solo trip starting in New York and finishing in Los Angeles. I'm not going to rent out a car I plan to get buses and trains and see how it goes. Ive got around $10,000 - $14,000 is this enough for a trip that I'm hoping to last about 4-6 months and is 4-6 months long enough to seeing the states by foot? I have not made plans of what route I'm going to go and I probably won't I'm going to play it by ear however I would like to see some of the national parks so I going to atleast need a vague idea of where I'm wanting to go. Any help you guys could give me would be much appreciated thanks.


  2. Default

    Here is a map of US national parks to get you started.

    Some of m favorites are Yellowstone, Glacier, Bryce, Cape Cod, Arcadia, Death Valley, Grand Canyon, Bad Lands, Joshua Tree, Zion, and some people im sure will say you need to see Mount Rushmore (even though I didnt find it that amazing myself).

  3. #3

    Default Go for it!

    Although I'm not a seasoned road tripping veteran, this seems very doable to me. My brother backpacked from Georgia to Maryland (the southern half of the Appalachian trail) in 2 1/2 months. He did it on less than $800. Granted, you're going to be paying bus fares and such, as well as for lodging. But if he lasted 2 1/2 months on $800 then certainly you can last more than twice that long on $10,000 to $14,000. As far as the national parks go, don't miss Yosemite. It is perhaps the most gorgeous valley I have ever seen.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 09-20-2007 at 09:28 AM. Reason: Link Formatting

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default In between points...

    Are you planning on taking buses or trains in between all points, or will you be taking some of this time to get out into the woods and take a trail, such as the Appalachian?

    I've always had a curious interest in this type of trip (along with bicycle trips), but I'm not sure if I'd be willing to make that big of a commitment.

    If you're going to be spending a lot of time in National Parks - I would recommend getting a pass. I guess you could put the hang tag on your belt!

  5. Default

    Hi guys, thankyou so much for replying to me, the map of the national parks is exactly what I need, and I'll definatly be visiting Yosemite it looks beautiful. Mass Tim, I'll be spending as much time in the wilderness as I can I'm planning on camping alot I hope, can you camp in the national parks? Ive been thinking about bicycle trips to after Ive completed my east coast to west coast trip Ive been thinking about cycling from Mexico to Canada. Once again thankyou for all your help anymore tips or advice is always welcome.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Camping

    National forests allow disbursed camping for free. This means that you can camp someplace without getting a permit but you must be for enough from any road where you can't be seen and follow "leave no trace" rules.

    National parks allow back-country camping but I believe most require permits for this. I know those I've done it at have required them. They only issue a set number of these at a time so as not to overload their eco-systems. You can check out how each park handles this and find out how you'd request them at the National Parks service website.

  7. Default Check the regulations before camping..

    Just as a note, Judy, some national forest don't allow dispersed camping. For example, the Angeles and Cleveland National Forests near here don't allow it. The reason is fire hazard and number of people using the national forest. Campgrounds are free to use, on a first-come first-served basis, but you need a "Forest Adventure Pass" to park in the forest ($5 per day) You typically also need a stove permit (it's an annual thing, and free) if you want to use a camp stove -- I asked a few month ago and one of the local rangers wrote me out one on the spot. And if course, some parts of the year, there may also be a fire permit required for an open campfire, or you may not be able to have one if its a high danger fire season. If you're going into a wilderness area, you need a free permit for that as well, as well as complying with the regulations there (having to do with trash, waste, fire, etc.)

    I know other areas also have similar regulations. And in others, there are no permits required.

    The regulations have been put there because of idiots who have set fires and walked away, or trashed areas of the national forests, or just too many people loving an area to death. I've found, unless its a very sensitive or very popular area, the permits are pretty easy to get and typically don't cost more than a phone call or email. As a rule of thumb, if its a fairly heavily used public area there will probably be some level of permits required. In some areas, they charge a nominal fee to use the campground to help maintain the campground.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Thanks for that clarification, Larrison

    I've done very little disbursed camping and the little I've done has been fairly close to home so I appreciate your more expanded information. I don't want to lead someone astray.

    Since I live in a fairly damp area, restrictions on using a campstove is something I've never heard of. However, I think it's pretty typical to now allow open fires. Even up here, that is pretty standard. If fires are allowed, the rules are still fairly strict. Must use established fire rings, most only use dry cutting of any green wood, etc.

    I didn't think of addressing the open fire issue because that's just not something I would do while on the road anyway. It could be a dangerous omission so I'm glad you touched on it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Keithville, LA

    Default Cool Idea

    It sounds like a good idea to me. You will defintely have to tell us how it goes. I'm ready to just start walking now. :)

  10. #10

    Default A suggestion

    Hi Mattyboy, welcome to the site.

    National Parks are definately well worth the effort involved in getting to them and, without a car, they're generally going to take an effort to get to. It's ironic that something the celebrates something so natural should require a car to see but that often the case. Public transport is generally pretty bad into national parks.

    I don't have my copy here to check if it has information on accessibility but I am really happy with my copy of the National Geographic Guide to the National Parks and can highly recommend picking a copy up.

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