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  1. Default 1st Road Trip- Columbus to Grand Canyon


    This is my first time planning a significant road trip, and I was wondering if my itinerary may seem too daunting. This June, three of us are going to be traveling (all in our early 20's) -we'll be mostly camping/staying with friends along the way.

    Also, we have never driven through this section of the country before, we are taking a 2004 Camry -any safety concerns? I keep having these fears if being stranded in the desert without gas. I'm not really accustomed to driving in remote locations I guess- contemplating getting a CB radio.

    Overall we really want to see the national parks of the southwest and Colorado. I have a time constraint of 10 days and here is what I have planned. It is roughly 4000mi total, is this too much for the amount of time we have? We are basically taking the sounthern route from Columbus to the Grand Canyon, then up to Zion NP, and back onto I-70 through Denver back to Columbus.

    1 Columbus OH to Springfield MO
    2 Springfield MO to Amarillo TX
    3 Amarillo TX to Albuquerque NM
    4 Albuquerque NM to Grand Canyon AZ
    5 Grand Canyon AZ
    6 Grand Canyon AZ to Zion NP UT
    7 Zion NP UT to Arches NP UT
    8 Arches NP UT to Denver CO
    9 Denver Co to Kansas City KS
    10 Kansas City KS to Columbus OH

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Daunting Indeed

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Yep, you're being way to ambitious. The simple fact is that you've got over 4000 miles to cover in just 10 days. While you can do that, it leaves just a few hours each day for any sight seeing. But even what little time you have will be taken up with visiting your friends and/or setting up camp. This only seems to work because you have unrealistic plans on your first two and your last two days where you seem to think that you can cover 2400 miles in 4 days. Having three drivers helps a bit, but not to that extent. You'll be pushing yourselves beyond what is safe and even if you manage it, you'll be exhausted through what should be the most enjoyable part of the trip. But the biggest obstacle to making this work is that to pull it off, the three of you will have to be in close proximity - jammed in a car, stuffed in a tent, sharing a living room floor at a friend's house - for 240 hours straight. I know, I know, you're all the best of friends and would never get on each other's nerves. Except that you will. and in about 3 days max. Either find several more days or shorten up your trip by about 500 miles. If you want to have fun, that is.


  3. Default

    Thanks for the insight and for being honest! I'm going to work on some possible revisions/and or see if I can get some additional time off work. I guess the areas we really want to see are NM,AZ,UT, and CO, but it is just getting there from ohio that is part of the battle. How many days minimum would you recommend for this trip?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Proper Pacing

    450-500 miles a day is a good sustainable pace for a RoadTrip. It allows for a few relaxing, short hikes in scenic locales spread throughout the day. But you can't keep it up forever, You'll also need to schedule a few half to whole days which are devoted to alone/down time just to recharge your mental batteries and keep the trip enjoyable. About every third to fourth day, plan to stop somewhere that allows you to go your separate ways for a while and meet back up later. These don't have to be fancy deals, maybe a museum that you each see at your own pace, a downtown where you just window shop or visit a library as your individual tastes dictate, even a mall in a pinch. So that's roughly 1500-1750 miles every 4 days. So, about 9 days for the driving portion of the trip. Add a couple of days for stops at major attractions such as the Grand Canyon, Zion and Arches and a full day to sprinkle around among your friends that will be supplying you with free lodging so that you have time to repay their kindness and not just sleep and creep. What are we up to? 12 days? Yeah, I'd say that's about right and will be much more enjoyable than trying to do it in 10. Not that much more after all, but well paced.


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