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  1. Default 7 day trip Nashville to LA

    Hey ya'll,

    I'm a travel nurse leaving for my next assignment in LA at the end of the week. I want to take 7 days to drive out there. It will just be my Husky and I. I would like to swing through denver and then down through utah and potentially see some of the national parks I've heard so much about. I couldn't begin to say what the best route and places to see going that way would be given this time frame and that I don't know much about that side of the country. I'm from NC. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Limits

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums

    You can do and see a lot while crossing the continent in seven days. But you can't do everything, so you'll have to understand what the limits are. You'll need a solid four days just to cover the all-Interstate route to Denver and on to Los Angeles. But that leaves you three days (not as much as it seems!) to see some of the great scenery in the Rockies, the major red rock parks of Utah, and a few other sights as well.

    Plan on first heading up towards St. Louis and then taking I-70 west from there to Denver and on through the Rockies. You can, if you really want, head north through Bolder to Rocky Mountain Park and then return via US-34/US-40(east) to I-70. But you can also get a good taste of mountain driving on US-6 over Loveland Pass rather than taking the Eisenhower Tunnel under it. Once Across the Rockies on I-70, you'll be in Red Rock Country with a number of great parks more or less on your route including Colorado National Monument (NM) and Arches National Park (NP). Then along I-15 into Los Angeles there's Bryce Canyon NP, Cedar Breaks NM, and Zion NP, as well as a couple of smaller parks in the Las Vegas area: Valley of Fire State Park and Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. You probably can't even see all of those, so you'll have to choose which of them are most interesting to you. There are also some great desert parks in southern California, but those and sites like the Grand Canyon are either close enough to Los Angeles to do on one of your days off or just far enough off your direct route that detouring to see them would cost you stops at too many other places.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    For route, I-70 is likely the backbone of the route you'll want to take. You'll need at least 2 days to get from Nashville to Denver - via St. Louis. It's another 2 days from Denver to LA via I-70/I-15, so that gives you about 3 days for exploring. There are plenty of National Parks in Utah, like Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, and Zion that are the big ones right along the way - although you do have to keep in mind that most national parks are fairly restrictive about where you can take dogs. You might also consider state parks - like NV's Valley of Fire, and National Forest and BLM lands that are also right along your path.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default The Grand canyon ?

    You can, if you really want, head north through Bolder to Rocky Mountain Park and then return via US-34/US-40(east) to I-70.
    The Trail ridge road (US34) mentioned above will almost certainly be closed for the winter so check the status. You could still go to Estes Park and check out the Bear Lake area of RMNP and then head south to I-70 via Nederland which is a scenic drive. Although if you took I-70, probably the most scenic of Interstates to Moab (Arches and Canyonlands NP's) you would also have the option of taking US191 south through Monument Valley to 160/89 south and enter Grand canyon NP from the east entrance. From there you could drive through some old route 66 towns (Williams, Seligman, Kingman and Oatman as you head towards LA.

    Of course if you will be returning east you may have time to consider Grand canyon heading back and continue on I-70 as suggested above and visit a couple more of Utah's parks.

  5. Default

    Awesome! Thanks so much for responding. This definitely helps me map out my drive and choose a few stops along the way. I definitely won't be able to see everything but maybe 3-4 of the major spots.

  6. Default

    Thanks for responding. Definitely didn't think about having potential restrictions for my dog so I will definitely have to look those up before visiting!

    - - - Updated - - -

    I will be heading back to NC in about 3 months and would love to see GC on the way back so will definitely look into the alternative route you suggested. Thanks for responding!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    When you're heading back, I would look at using I-40 as the backbone of your trip. It will give you a different landscape to enjoy, as well as take you past the Grand Canyon and other natural wonders like the Petrified Forest/Painted Desert and also follows the path of historic Route 66 for much of your drive.

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