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  1. #1

    Default Road Trip: East to West Coast and back

    Hey everyone!

    My boyfriend and I are planning a road trip, sometime in July/August, and really our basic goal is to make it to the West Coast. I've done the east coast, (my parents had a REAL travel bug, we moved back and forth between Maine and Florida at least every two years) literally dozens of times, but never anything further west than Kansas. We both reside in Massachusetts, and my first initial idea was to take 1-90 all the way out to Seattle.

    After discussing this a bit further, we both decided that we'd want to take one way all the way out to the west coast, and a different route back in order to get as many different parts of the country into our journey.

    The idea now is to take 1-90 until it splits off into 1-80, take 1-80 all the way to Sacramento, travel up the West Coast, (Pacific Coast Highway??) end up in Seattle, and take 1-90 back again.

    Does anyone have any sort of advice for a trip like this? Are we overreaching? I've done a lot of roadtrips along the east coast and have this real hunger to see the West/mid-west, and this is the first realistic opportunity I've ever had. We're both not working/schooling at the moment so we're not on any sort of real time crunch, I was thinking possibly 2-3 weeks. We have an E-Z pass to cover tolls, but I am wondering if there are any tolls not covered by the pass. We also have a brand new 08 yaris, so we're figuring the car won't be an issue. The car is actually the reason why we're taking the trip, now that we have solid transportation.

    Our main goal is to see a few of the national parks, camp as much as possible, see some unique roadside attractions and eat interesting, local food. Would a national parks pass be a good idea? We'd really like to see the badlands, Arches National Park, Yellowstone, Redwood National Park and the Olympic rainforest. Would these parks be covered by the pass? The site says that it covers 3 adults with each basic entry fee, is this correct? Would we be able to get away with buying just one or two?

    Also, We'd like to see carhenge/Ames Brother's monument or any other weird/off beat attraction. IF anyone has any other sort of offbeat attractions such as that, definitely throw them out there too!!

    Thanks to anyone who has advice to offer in advance!!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    EZ-Pass States

    Driving coast to coast, fastest route, with no sightseeing, will take 6 days each way. Plan accordingly.

    You will only need one parks pass, it admits up to 4 adults in one vehicle. The break even point is 4 major parks, the pass is $80 and it's good for a year. It pays for admission to fee-based facilities and can get you discounts on other things, but it does not completely pay for a campsite - or parking at Mt. Rushmore (free admission but $10 to park......).

  3. #3


    Thanks for the site on the E-Z pass, definitely good to know!!

    Just a bit of clarification- The park pass only covers 4 major parks, as in we'd have to chose four we'd like to see the most? Or did I completely misunderstand what you were saying?

    Thank you!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    No, it will admit you free to just about every Federal fee-based facility. I'm saying that if you visit 4 major parks, the pass can pay for itself - visit as many as you want within a year. Admission fees without a pass can be as high as $25.

    Badlands: $15
    Arches: $10
    Yellowstone: $25
    Redwood: free
    Olympic: $15

    That's $65 right there. One or two more major parks shouldn't be too hard to find. Yosemite would be $20.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default The difference between 2 and 3 !

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Yep, the parks pass is the way to go if you are visiting a number of them. The NPS site find a park map is a good way of researching those that interest you the most.

    I was thinking possibly 2-3 weeks.
    There is a big difference between 2 and 3 weeks, and with 3 you will have some time to explore but it will soon disappear. With only 2 weeks it will be rushed and you will be driving solidly the whole time and sight seeing from the car window, so basically it isn't enough time to have an enjoyable trip. An option would be to visit more of the wonderful parks of Colorado and Utah before heading to Yellowstone etc and taking more time to enjoy it but only you can decide which is more important between the coast and your time.

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