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  1. Default Road trip itinerary to the West

    Hi all !

    This is my first post on this forum, in fact I've just discovered your website recently and it's great !

    I'm looking to make a nice road trip of approx 16 days in the Summer.
    I'm quite new in the US I come from France, last year I've done a great "classical" road trip Los Angeles -> San Francisco -> Las Vegas -> Los Angeles which was really nice

    Now I'm looking to make a nice road trip in July this year, I am planning to focus on the Western area again, but not California, so something like Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and eventually end in Seattle in Washington if schedule works.
    I know I'd like to visit Salt Lake City, the Yellowstone Park, but I don't know the region enough and do not find anything detailed on the internet.

    So since you guys seem to be road-trip gurus I would appreciate if you could point me to some great stuff to visit during a road trip along this line - feel free to provide itineraries that you think would be interesting, I'm really excited to visit a lot of stuff !

    Thanks again in advance for your help !

    See you

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


    Welcome the RTA Forum!

    There's certainly no shortage of options.

    You could certainly start in Vegas or Denver and work your way across through the many national parks of Colorado and Utah (possibly northern Arizona too) and then work on up towards Yellowstone and across to Seattle.

    The problem is that there is so much out there and so many possiblities, its tough for us to narrow things down much more than that. I'm not sure where you've looked that you haven't found much, but I'd certainly be taking a look at the National Parks Service to start. There are also plenty of articles and other resources on this site - in the forum and in the planning, routes, and map center sections of the RTA.

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


    You could 'catch' quite a bit along the way with a trip from Denver to Seattle, going through the likes of Rocky mountain NP, Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce, Zion NP's [to name a few] and North through SLC to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone before continuing West towards Seattle. The main thing to consider with a one way trip is the extra charges that might occur, such as a one way drop off fee on your car rental and possibly higher flight costs. If that is a factor, you could always do a complete loop, but Seattle would be a bit 'out of the way' compared to your other possible stops.

    As Michael has suggested, take a look around and when you have a better idea of what you want to see, we can help fill in the blanks.

  4. Default

    Thanks for your help !

    I've designed a small itinerary with advices from friends, and I'd like to know what you think of it :
    1. Arrival in Denver (CO), and spend 1-2 days in Denver to visit
    2. Denver (CO) to Grand Junction (CO), to see Colorado National Monument.
    3. Grand Junction (CO) to Oljato Monument Valley (UT)
    4. Oljato Monument Valley (UT) to Salt Lake City (UT)
    5. Spend a few days in the city
    6. Salt Lake City (UT) to Twin Falls (ID)
    7. Twin Falls (ID) to Idaho Falls (ID)
    8. Idaho Falls (ID) to Yellowstone National Park
    9. Yellowstone National Park to Great Falls (MT), going through Beartooth Highway (I've read it's very beautiful)
    10. Great Falls (MT) to Spokane (WA)
    11. Spokane (WA) to Seatlle (WA)

    Full itinerary is available here

    I have about 16 days in whole I think this is doable, what do you think?
    ANy advice on what is to see the big and not-so-big town I'll come across?
    ANd if you have recomendations on the roads to take between each step (like which road from Monument Valley to Salt Lake City?) I would truly appreciate it !

    Thanks, do not hesitate to give me some feedback on this, I want to plan the best possible trip in the area !

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

    Default A nice itinerary.

    What stands out to me straight away is that you are not visiting Rocky mountain NP just a short drive from Denver. I would certainly recommend driving to Estes park for a night and then next day drive across RMNP on the Trail ridge Road [highest continuous paved road in the US] at the very least.

    Monument valley is an iconic land mark of the Southwest and is a worthwhile visit. Having said that, I would consider stopping in Moab and visiting Arches and/or Canyonlands NP and head towards SLC from there given the time you have available. If you stay with MV you can head North on UT261 and up the Moki Dugway [Google is your friend] to UT 95 to Hanksville and then UT24 to I70 and North from Green river on US191/US6 to I15. From Moab it's just a case of heading back to I70 to Green river and as above.

    From Idaho Falls I would head through Jackson Hole [would also make an alternative overnight stop] and into Yellowstone via the Grand Tetons. I would spend at least 2 nights around Yellowstone, perhaps 1 in the park and 1 on the way through Red Lodge on the Beartooth Highway.

    I think it will make for a nice trip, but to keep it at a comfortable pace I would consider your "few days in the City" to mean a couple of days.

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