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  1. Default KS to Cali in 9 days?

    I am planning a spring break road trip for me and 3 friends. We all go to KU!! And would like to go to California. We will have about 9 days to make a loop out and back. Now I am more the planning type while the rest of the group wants to just pack up and set out and see where we end up!! I am ok with this as long as we have some sort of time line and plan on where we have to be on what day to make sure we get back in time. We are all experienced outdoor adventure guys(rock climbing, snow skiing, kayaking etc.) and will be camping along the way. To my surprise not one of the other 3 has done a road trip like this. They all usually fly to their adventures!! So this will be new for them. I am used to driving, mainly KS to CO. So for me this is somewhat a new experience. OK my questions are. We are planning on taking a 05 Ford Focus with a roof bag and camping will we be able to take everything we need in that? Also in 9 days are we going to be able to see much with driving and camping, or would we see more if we stayed in motels or hostels? And is it wise to just set out with a minimal out line of our route or should we set a route and use it as a guide and we can deviate from that a little.

    Thanks D

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default What kind of trip are you planning?

    Do you want one filled with the activities you all enjoy (rock climbing, skiing, kayaking, etc.)? Or do you want a roadtrip where you are just exploring the sights near the roads? Or something in-between?

    If you're planning on head straight west and ending up in San Francisco, you're looking at about 1800 miles one-way to get there. This is a good 3 days of driving, preferably 4 days. And then you have to get back home. If you were thinking of heading further south, like LA or San Diego, you're looking at about 1600. Still a good 3 days drive. And then, of course, home again. So, either way, you're looking at minimum of 6 days traveling during your 9 days off. Leaving only 3 days to focus on things like rock climbing or skiing, etc.

    To be clear, during your driving days, you will have time to make some quick stops places to explore a won't be stuck in the car every second of the travel days, in other words...but you won't have time for the types of activities you really enjoy.

    I'm thinking you might enjoy a trip a bit closer to home. Possibly only going to Utah or Colorado. Both of these states offer a lot of opportunities for the types of activities you like.

    I suggest you and your friends sit down with the Roadtrip Compatibility Quiz. This is designed to get you talking about specifics so you and your friends can make sure your planning something that you all feel comfortable with and that you're, basically, all on the same page about what you're doing and why you're doing it.

    I could be wrong....a dash to the coast, with a few days to explore the coast, and then a dash back...well, that might be just what you all want. And that does have the makings of a fantastic trip. But only if you're not planning a lot of time for your extreme sports activities.

    I really can't answer your question on whether your Ford Focus will work for 4 of you PLUS gear in a roofbag. It depends on how big you are, how much gear you're taking, etc. You might want to do a practice packing session to see what fits. My car is about the same size and I do roadtrips that includes camping along the way. But there is usually only two of us. Sometimes with the dog. So I have my entire backseat, trunk, and gearbag. I'm not sure it would work if I had people in the backseat instead of gear. But maybe you pack less than I do? I dunno. I don't tend to bring too much extra stuff. Do you have time to take an overnight camping trip, preferably an entire weekend trip, together with all the things you expect to take to CA loaded up? This should give you an idea if your gear fit and if 4 of you are comfortable traveling together.

    I like to camp while roadtripping. I'm not convinced you'll see more with hotel stops intead of camping stops. If you have easy-up tents, I'm not convinced you can pack things into your hotel that much quicker than you can put up a tent and throw in your sleeping bags. I've can put up/take down my tent in about 5 minutes. 5 minutes max for sleeping bags, etc. So time isn't really an issue, imho. What might be an issue is your space? I'm skeptical all 4 of you plus camping gear plus clothes plus the other little things you'll want and need will fit in the Focus, even with a roof bag. That might be the deciding factor, moreso than time.

    And is it wise to just set out with a minimal out line of our route or should we set a route and use it as a guide and we can deviate from that a little.
    Yes! These make some of the best trips. You might want to consider just getting in the car, heading in a general direction, and winging it. If you come to an intersection and right looks more interesting than left or straight, go right. If you see a sign pointing you to something intrigueing, follow it. Some of the best trips are those with no destination at all. Just get in the car and see which way it goes. (Just allow for time to get home again.) A meandering loop drive might be just the thing!

    Anyway, start with the compatibility quiz and go from there. Let us know if we can help you further.

  3. Default

    Thanks Judy for the help. The majority of the trip will be non sports based. Just exploring the west!! We plan on leaving on a Friday and making our 1st stop around Salt Lake City, UT to camp on Sat. Can anyone tell me where is a good tent camping spot in the Salt Lake area in late March? From there we will go where the road takes us!!! We plan on stopping a lot in CA. I am looking for a list of good tent campgrounds in CA. Can anyone help?

    Thanks Drew

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default A few ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by hhsdrew123 View Post
    I am looking for a list of good tent campgrounds in CA.
    Here is a thread that addresses that subject and here is one about camping on beaches in California.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    The Great Midwest, Illinois to be precise

    Default LA? Get Your Kicks On...

    If you're heading to Los Angeles, drop down and take Route 66, the Mother Road, part of the way. It runs alongside I-40.

    If you go to the Grand Canyon, there are several old Route 66 motels in Williams within walking distance of the downtown bars. A real good one to visit is the Canyon Club.

  6. Default

    Change in plans, We now only have 7 days for our road trip!! From KS going west or southwest where can we expect to go and get back in 7 days?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default And Still Leave Time?

    With only 7 days total, that pretty much means that you're limited to a range that you can cover in two days of normal driving, to leave time for stops along the way and at your destination. That means your goal should be somewhere within, say 1200 miles - tops. Fortunately, there are some great destinations within that range that meet your requirements. I'd suggest a loop with the Grand Canyon as your goal. on one leg you could head down through Wichita and Dodge City, along the Oklahoma Panhandle and some tall grass prairie, and into Santa Fe, NM. Then by way of Albuquerque, the Petrified Forest and Meteor Crater to the Canyon. On the way back, come up through Monument Valley, stop at Mesa Verde, drive north on the Million Dollar Highway (US-550), and then through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, before making the final run for home. I suspect that you won't even miss the two days you've 'lost'.


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