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  1. Default July Roadtrip from Atlanta - Help!

    My best friend and I are trying to plan a trip in July. We are 22 and 24 year old recent college grads. We have 17 (at most 18 days) to leave from Atlanta and come back. We have already been up the East Coast so we are much more interested in heading west. We were thinking we might be able to go to Yellowstone, but after reading online it seems like it might be too much driving. We are really open about routes, so long as they head west and are scenic.

    Does anyone have recommendations for routes that would be reasonable in 17/18 days? Or has anyone driven from the south to Yellowstone in this amount of time without being exhausted? All suggestions are welcome! We just want to see something new!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    For planning purposes, Atlanta to Yellowstone by fastest direct route is just under 2000 miles, which can be done in 4 driving days of around 10 hours a day allowing for normal stops. This is very doable in 17 days, and you would have time to see quite a few other sights.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Your choice.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You are correct in thinking you could get to Yellowstone as glc pointed out, but only you can decide what is "Too much driving" for the purpose of your trip. An option a little closer to home would be to head towards Denver/Colorado springs [Rocky mountain NP among many others] and drop down to New Mexico and home, creating a nice loop. You could "step into" Utah and visit Arches NP and/or Canyonlands.

    If that could be an option and you have the time take a look here for more info.

    Of course you could stay more to the South and the Grand canyon and surrounding area is also an option. Search the forums and when you have decided what you want to do I am sure we can help you "fine tune" your trip.

  4. Default More questions

    Thanks for your help guys. Before posting I looked at some maps and know that it is physically possible to drive to Yellowstone. However, 10 hours a day for four days in a row seems excessive. The point of our trip would be about the drive, not so much the destination. We would like to take our time and make lots of stops along the way. We want to see as much as possible without feeling like we are trying to "get somewhere." I think the Rockies would be a great alternative to Yellowstone.

    There are so many possible routes out there! Should we plan something or just "go with it?"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default If the Road's the Thing

    If this RoadTrip is to be mostly about the road and if 4 successive 10 hour days in the saddle seems excessive, then consider more 'driving' days with fewer hours driving each day and more hours taking time out to see things along the way. For an example of what I mean you might want to read through a trip report of a 7000+ mile RoadTrip I did in roughly the same number of days as the one you're contemplating. As you'll see, it is quite possible to do a trip where you're spending a good part of each day exploring 2 or 3 different things and still manage to put down some miles towards your destination. Your round trip mileage would start out a good bit lower, 4000 miles to Yellowstone and back, but will start to climb as you add side trips. Still I think you can have a great drive, see a lot of the country, spend a few days at Yellowstone, and still not knock yourselves out by spending all your time behind the wheel.

    To do this, you will have to do a fair amount of pre planing. I've found that, for me at least, the trick to getting the most out of my time on the road is to do as much research as possible beforehand and have the basics already worked out before I leave. Where I'll be spending my nights, major stops, goals, etc. That doesn't mean I know exactly what I'll be doing each day. I always leave time for the serendipitous and to talk to and get recommendations from the locals wherever I am.But it does mean that I won't just be winging it and regret later that I missed something that "if only I had known".

    So I think the next thing now would be to sit down with your friends, decide what kind of trip you want, how many hours a day you're willing to drive, how many days you're willing to drive, what your destination will be, and which of the literally hundreds of attractions between Atlanta and that destination you would love to visit.


  6. #6

    Default Don't Overplan

    While I generally agree with AZBuck, I say don't overplan your trip - if something happens and you either can't make your next destination or you want to stay longer somewhere - your whole itinerary will be thrown off and you'll find yourself spending a bunch of time changing reservations, etc.

    I take a more "zen" approach to travel - I figure out how many days I have, divide it into "chunks" - so many days in this area, so many in that - and then let your nose be your guide and just make sure you move from one "chunk" to the next relatively on time! I write down things I want to see in each area from my research, but don't make reservations until I see where we are each day - in a year on the road, we never couldn't find a place to stay - but we had a small RV, so could stay in that or a motel or whatever we saw along the way - there are some great cabins in Rocky Mountain park.

    I broke my ankle on our trip, we had a car crash (stupid UPS driver!) and Phil had to have minor surgery - so we know all about plans that get changed. Don't overplan - it is a lot more fun to let serendipity guide you along. The people you'll meet will give you great ideas too.

    You can take a look at our travel journal here: - and you can sign-up for your own trip journal right here on RTA!

    Carol White

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Agreed

    As I read Buck's post, planning is not necessarily making reservations. I read it more as making sure you know what is along your route, what there is to see and do, and what there is in the way of accommodation, so that you do not spend half your time asking and searching.

    Your trip will be a great one if you take advice from both previous posters, and make sure you know of the points of interest to you, as well as where accommodation is available.... and then wing it each day, having some rough idea as to how far you would like to go.

    BTW, you could spend the whole time in CO and be absolutely blown away by all there is to see in that State... the history and scenery are overwhelming. And if it is the road which is high on your interest list, few States could offer as much diversity as CO.

    Lifey who loved driving in Colorado

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