Las Vegas to Ellensburg, WA
Hello, I am planning to drive my parents SUV up from Palm Springs area in the beginning of June. I will driving up with my 14-year-old daughter. We’re going to head to the Grand Canyon and then to Las Vegas. I am looking for some interesting suggestions between Las Vegas and Ellensburg Washington. I want to make it somewhat interesting for my daughter without veering off of the main route, as well as staying in safe, comfortable accommodations at night. Thank you Advance for any suggestions!
Welcome to RTA!
Which rim of the Grand Canyon National Park are you planning to visit? Coming out of Palm Springs and Las Vegas, you could really do either one. Right now, the South Rim is receiving record numbers of visitors, but the North Rim (which is every bit as gorgeous) opens on the 15th of May.
If you went the most direct route up to Ellensburg after the GC, you could go up US-93 to I-84. The 93 is close to Great Basic National Park, the historic town of Ely, Nevada, and at Twin Falls there are the Shoshone Falls and the Snake River Canyon, where Evil Knievel did his famous jump.
After a stint on I-84, you'd take I-82 up to Ellensburg. Or, you could cut up to Walla Walla and do up the Whitman Mission National Historic Site.
As for staying in safe, comfortable accommodations at night, there are a couple of thoughts. My husband and I always look at hotels online, their reviews, and make reservations. When I read reviews, I look for certain comments that might steer me away, and anything about the local area right around the hotel will get my attention. We have yet to feel unsafe in a hotel by using this method. On the few times when we might go without reservations, we check the area carefully before pulling in, and ask to see the room. I should add that we don't usually stay in beautiful-downtown-anywhere, and we DO like the mid-range hotels in the Choice chains (Comfort Inn, Quality Inn, and an occasional Econo-Lodge).
Hope this helps. If you give us more information about what you and your daughter are interested in, it would help us make more meaningful suggestions.
Tell us a bit more.
Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !
How much time do you have available ? That makes a huge difference to what you might be able to see and where you will need to stay. Safety shouldn't be a concern as long as you use the same common sense you would at home, everywhere is someones hometown where they take their kids to school and shop safely. Gut instincts tell you if your in the wrong place, listen to those, move on if neccesary and you will be fine. Next, what do consider the main route ? There are always multiple choices that won't differ much in time or distance but one may take you to a place that appeals to you. To make it a real parent/daughter bonding trip to be remembered, ask her to do some research and ask what she would like to do. I'd be tempted to go up through the Cascades and explore some of the natural wonders, going through the Great basin to Twin Falls would still be an adventure but it comes back to time and your interests. Tell us more !
As others have pointed out, what attractions you see depends not only on your departure and destination points, but also on your interests and the time you have available. So what usually happens in good Roadtrip planning is that you start with a first, basic plan and then adjust it a few times (iterating) until you get what you want. We can help with basic outlines to the trip and suggestions, but in the end if you want the best trip for you, then you should be making the decisions.
But... if I were thinking about making the kind of trip you've described and I had at least three or four days, the basic route I'd be looking at would start out using I-15 between Las Vegas and Salt Lake City. That would take you within visiting distance of Cedar Breaks and Bryce Canyon National Parks, as well as Great Salt Lake itself. Continuing north, you'd then switch over to I-84 through Idaho and into Washington State. Along the Snake River in southern Idaho, check out Thousand Springs. And although it's currently closed, I've met few if any teenagers who aren't interested in fossils, even if the fossils aren't from dinosaurs.
So... that's where I'd start my planning. Your first basic plan might look different, indeed it probably will. But just let us know how/as you progress and we can offer more detailed suggestions as you (and we) home in on the best drive for you and your daughter.
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