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  1. Default Canadian, US Roadtripper.

    So let me preface by saying I have made roadtrips to both the east and west coast trips of Canada and understand what a long trip with friends can be like. I also know what essentials and headaches I will be subjected to.

    I to this point have been a bad neighbor and know very little of the proper ways to travel within the US. I have been to New York, Detroit and Chicago via road. I've also been to LA via plane but I had little opportunity for sightseeing on all of the trips.

    Basically what I want to do is drive from southern Ontario, Canada to LA and back again.
    Obviously I want to see as many sights there and back again.

    Must haves on my roadtrip are monument valley, the arches, grand canyon etc. Anything else along the way is butter. Forested parks and mountain are obviously nice to see as well.

    As far as accommodation goes I'm planning to camp or stay in economy class to save as much money as possible.

    I am hoping people here could help me plan a trip for late spring, early summer that meets my sparse itinerary.
    Suggestions and help planning is requested. Let me know what you think and what kind of timelines such a trip can be completed in!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default pretty similar

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    A Roadtrip in the US really is not that different from one in Canada, so really all the same principals you've used for planning your other trips. If anything, this should be a much cheaper trip for you since gas costs about $1 per gallon less, and the exchange rate is strongly in your favor these days.

    For a timeline, I'd think you'd want at least 3 weeks to hit what you've listed so far, and have some time to enjoy those places. Having more would certainly open up even more options, and you could make do with as little as 2 weeks, but your time would become quite rushed at that point.

    If I were you, I think I'd spend some quality time simply looking for more things I'd really like to do. The possibilities between Toronto and LA are in the thousands, so I'd start with looking at the National Parks Service website, which really will have the "best of the best," but also look into National Forests, National Monuments, State Parks, etc which all will have great things to see and do and often provide excellent, low cost camping opportunities. Of course, looking around more on this site, both in the forum and in the Routes and Planning sections should help you find even more ideas.

    Once you've got a better idea of the trip you think you'd like, with a timeline and a few more places, we'll be glad to offer some more guidance in what will work, and what might need some improvements.

  3. Default

    That link is my first attempt at making a nice loop.
    My gripe so far is that my return trip (the one through south dakota) is a bit bland. Any ideas on how to spice things up without adding a ton of KMs?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    How much time do you anticipate having for this trip?

    My first reaction is that NYC is a very long way removed from everything else on your trip, and since its such a short drive from Toronto, I'd save that for another day and focus only on the west.

    As far as your return trip, you're leaving out a ton of potential sites - some of the biggest being Zion and Bryce Canyon in Utah and Yellowstone. And of course, there is a whole lot more to the Black Hills and Badlands than just Mount Rushmore.

    I'll also note that you really aren't spending hardly any time in California - and a drive along the coast and stops at places like Sequoia, Yosemite, and Death Valley. Of course, you will have to keep in mind that in early summer Tioga Pass and the other passes over the Sierras can still be closed for the season.

    But if it were me and I was going to go all the way out to the west coast, I'd focus on my time on those things, rather than rack up extra miles driving all the way to the east coast first.

  5. Default

    Thanks for the tips. NYC was added mostly because we have multiple friends who have moved there since finishing school. Its definitely not a necessity and I'll mention to friends that it does stick a bunch of mileage onto our total trip. Without New York I'd like to have 3 weeks for the trip. there will be at least 3 drivers so we should be ok in that respect.

    When we are in California we hope to spend a few days in LA for a couple Hockey games (Kings, Ducks). Also we would check out some beaches and things for touristy photo ops.
    can you map a better route using google maps if you have the time for some other california and/or badlands sights that I've missed? I still wanna see what death valley is all about... I know there isn't tons there but I'd like to see it nonetheless.

    Thanks for any and all help.

    P.S. The Colorado (Denver) stopover is for friends and a Hockey game so I'd like to keep it intact.

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