Hello road trippers!
My fiancee and I are planning a six-week road trip through the Western part of Canada and most of the USA, with the basic intent to skip the fancy and expensive wedding day in order to do the things we love and visit the people we love in their own cities. I've been planning the trip, and my biggest challenge is how much I want to see - and how big America is! We're more interested in hiking/camping/photographing wilderness areas, and eating incredible food, and less interested in the typical sights (i.e. Vegas, Mount Rushmore, etc).
We love road trips and have done quite a few, but those have been 3-4 day ones down the coast. I'm a little concerned that I'm being too ambitious, and that we'll be sick of driving and sick of each other by the end of the proposed trip. What do you think? We also will have a young dog, so need to plan enough time to get her out and about.
Here is my planned itinerary, and the questions I have about it. I bolded the things I'm most excited about, and italicized the things I'm questioning/less keen on. We're leaving at the end of August and will be back mid-October.
Tofino - 3 nights
Vancouver - 2 nights
Okanagan (somewhere) - 1 night
Canadian Rockies - 2 nights
Edmonton - 1 night (visiting friends)
St Mary/Glacier National Park - 1 night - to drive the Going to the Sun Road
West Yellowstone - 1 night
Pinedale - 3 nights (spending the morning checking out Yellowstone geysers, then two nights in the backcountry in the Wind River Range)
Salt Lake City - 1 night
Zion NP - 2 nights (second day doing Angel's Landing, leaving the puppy in doggy daycare)
Durango - 1 night
Crested Butte - 2 nights (really want to do an overnight hike near Maroon Pass - any suggestions?)
Now we need to get to Kansas City... Is there anywhere good to stop? Should we just power through? We could do an overnight, but that reduces the amount of time we can spend in places I'm more keen on going.
Kansas City - 2 nights
St Louis - 1 night (do we need to bother stopping? Or should we just drive straight through to...)
Louisville - 1 night
Asheville - 2 nights
I really want to go see the Low Country/Savannah & Charleston... but with all the driving we're doing, it's an additional distance. Should we just do it?
New Orleans - 2 or 3 nights
Mid-Texas - 2 nights (visiting friends)
Marfa - 2 nights (or should we just do 1?)
White Sands National Monument - 1 night
Tuscon - 1 night (really just set to break up the drive... should we just power through to Phoenix? It would mean a 7.5 hour drive one day instead of a 5 and 2.25)
Phoenix - 2 nights (visiting friends)
Stopping somewhere on the way to the coast.. San Bernadino National Forest?
San Luis Obispo - 1 night
Drive the coast up to San Francisco - 2 nights
Somewhere to stop between SF and Portland?
Portland - 1 night
And then back home.
Is this too ambitious? Just right? I included some stops that I'm less excited about because I was trying to break up the drive, but the other option is to have really long driving days 8-10 hours driving, and then stop somewhere for a few nights. Which in your experience is better?
Really appreciate your advice!