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  1. #1

    Default Have Shovel Will Travel: Las Vegas, Southwest, CA, Northwest in Feb/March

    Greetings!! Boy am I glad to find this treasure trove of information. My husband and I have recently decided that we're going to break away from the norm (heading to the carribbean) and travel west this February/March.

    Our plan is to fly into San Diego and spend 3 days before heading out. We're looking at 2-3 weeks spent traveling around but don't really know what will be open. Some points of interest are:

    San Diego (3-4 days)
    Monteray Bay Aquarium
    Grand Canyon
    Petrified Forest National Park
    Carlsbad Caverns National Park
    Napa Valley
    Arches Naitonal Park
    Redwood National Park

    We're thinking about flying out of Las Vegas, but we're not setting anything into stone until be can figure out a sensible path for our travels. We're not looking to travel anywhere close to Los Angeles either. If anybody can give some helpful suggestions on a sequence for these places, or let me know if I'm completely out of my mind with this itinerary - I'd really appreciate it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default A Specific Treasure Chest for You

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There is, as you've discovered, a wealth of information that has been gathered up in these forums over the years and sometimes it can be extremely daunting. But a while back I gathered up some of the best discussions about the area you'll be visiting and I still can't do better than make sure you read through those. If you still have questions, by all means come on back and ask them, but that should get you well on your way.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default large distances

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    One things I would really keep in mind is that its very easy to underestimate distances in the west. The many of the places you've listed are a very long way apart.

    You've got a couple real outliers. Carlsbad is 900 miles from San Diego, 500 to Petrified Forest and 700 miles from Arches.

    Arches is 400 miles from the Grand Canyon, 900 miles to the Bay Area, and 1200 to Redwoods.

    And just to give you a fun idea of how large the area you are talking about is, the Distance between the Redwoods and Carlsbad is more than 1600 miles, via the fastest route. That's 3 full days of driving!

    There isn't an obvious loop for this trip, but you'd probably have to do something where you are going all the way to Carlsbad then back to the Canyon via Petrified Forest, up to Arches the back to California for the Redwoods, and down the coast to Napa/SF/Monterey.

    I'll also note that despite all of that driving, you haven't listed several very popular national parks in this area, including Yosemite, Death Valley, Zion, or Bryce.

    You'll have to map out what works for you, but I think you'll probably want at least 3 full weeks to do all of this simply because of all the driving. Personally, I think I would look at a more focused trip where you just take a look at the parks of California or those in Arizona and Utah, but what works for you depends upon your own styles and goals.

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