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  1. Default from wisconsin to california journey

    me and 3 other Friends are going for a roadtrip from Wisconsin to California,we will start from Milwaukee at the 22 of DEC and will be back in the 1 Jan.
    we want to go to grand canyon before we get to las Vegas,we will stay in Vegas till 27 of DEC and then drive to California.
    this is our first Cross country road trip,and we want to make the best of it,is there any places that you guys suggest that we visit while we on the road.any places close to las Vegas that worth driving to,I'm interested more in nature then seeing city's.any places in California?.i never been to any of these city,so any advise will be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A little confused.

    Am I reading it correctly, You want to leave Vegas on the 27th and head for California yet be back in Milwaukee on the 1st Jan?

    Hello and welcome to the R.T.A. forums.

    At a little under 1800 miles to Vegas, which will require 3 very long days behind the wheel, make that 4 with a visit to the Grand canyon. The North rim will be closed so you will have to head for the South rim That will give you a couple of days in Vegas leaving you 5 days from there.

    To make your journey more interesting you could take a more Southern approach by heading down through St Louis, Oklahoma and Albuquerque and returning through Denver.
    With the time you have I would forget Cali, other than a tour around Death Valley, and look at some of Utah's amazing parks, you could head out of Vegas on I-15 to Zion N.P, Bryce canyon, Capitol reef and Arches which are all amazing and take a run home through Denver.
    Of course travelling at this time of year it would be wise to keep checking the weather and road conditions before deciding on routes.

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

    Default an appreciation

    I think you might be lacking an appreciation for just how big the US is and how much time you need to drive across it.

    It really is tough to do a roundtrip from Wisconsin to California, with stops at the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas, in a week and a half. Dave has laid out the amount of time you'll be looking at to cover the ground (in good conditions, certainly not a guarentee in late December).

    The only real specific of your plan that you laid out is that you want to leave Vegas on the 27th and head to California, but you still want to be back home by the 1st?

    You could easily burn through more than a week and a half just seeing the major cities and national parks, so you'll be extremely limited on what you can see. If you were to pick just one, say Yosemite in the middle of the state, you're looking at driving basically all day on the 27th, spending just a little bit of time in the park on the morning 28th, and then racing home after that. Its 2200 miles from Yosemite to Madison, so you'd be be looking at very full days to get back even with just a token look at the park. That's really about the best case for any destination in California.

    Certainly, you can drive out to California and back with the time you have, but know that you will very much be on a fast paced schedule, where you'll really only have time to spend a very brief amount of time at any place you stop, and that's in a best case situation.

  4. Default Good Trip IF... ditch the California idea and stick with Vegas as your westernmost destination.

    I still wouldn't say great trip unless you're able to add a day or two to your total. You'll be logging long hours behind the wheel and driving across a large section of the country infamous for lousy winter weather. The interstates and other major highways are well-maintained, but you will almost certainly be slowed down at one point or another. I drove from Minneapolis to Denver in early December several years back and it wasn't pleasant driving through Iowa and Nebraska from what I remember. (Think hundreds of miles at a time going no faster than 45 to 50.)

    Personally, I'd put off a trip like yours for late spring/early summer, and head south this time instead. Milwaukee to New Orleans would be a comfortable 2 day drive and you'd have the better part of a week to spend down there. The French Quarter has all the nightlife you could ask for, and you wouldn't even have to ditch the gambling idea...there are riverboat casinos down there too. You can also consider detours through Memphis or Nashville, or even pop over to Great Smoky Mountains National Park if weather permits. You can make it even more nature-oriented if you detour first to Shenandoah National Park and then drive the Blue Ridge Parkway to the Great Smokies.

    In any event, plan well and have fun.

    Good hiking,


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