We are coming over to the states from the UK at the beginning of June for three months. We are buying a camper in Seattle and are trying to finalise a rough journey plan.
My question is whether you think this route is realistic or are we trying to fit too much in? This will probably be a once in a life time experience so we are trying to see as much as possible, not too bothered about the major cities as we feel they can be done just as a two week holiday in the future.
Anyway, our planned route is -
Seattle - Glacier nat park - Yellowstone - Chicago - Niagra falls - Montreal - Boston - New York - Tennessee - New orleans - Dalla - Roswell - El Paso - Petrified Forest - Grand canyon - Bryce nat park - las vagas - san diego - LA - death valley - yosemite - san francisco
Having no idea what the roads are like in america, all input would be appreciated.
You will be driving a lot but you will have time and it should be a blast.
I suggest you go to the roadtrip planning tools on this website. Plug in your itinerary and you will get suggested routes with the mileage between them. This should give you a pretty good idea of how much time to plan for driving.
If you get confused or have further questions, just ask and I'm sure many of us will try to lend a hand.
Wow what a trip you have planned!!!
The first thought that came to mind is what kind of camper? There are hunderds of different kinds from pop ups that you pull behind a car to busss size. Each has its own advantages and dis advantages. If you camp along the way (and that seems to be your objective), you need to start reserving your camping sites now in some of the more popular areas. Driving a big camper in some of our major cities is a very real challenge. Then taking a camper into Death Vally in the summer time will greatly tax the cooling system. We know this from experence last August.
You may want to purchase a full size conversion van instead of a camper. you can sleep in the van, carry a cooler for milk, lunch meats, and other items that may spoil, eat breakfast and lunch along the road side. Finding a place to park for the night is no problem any road side rest area, most Wal-Mart stroes parking lots, and many churches will allow a quick overnight stay. another advantage is they can be easyly sold when your trip is finished.
A lot of driving, but with 3 months it is very doable. Good luck.
More National Parks to add to your list
Yellowstone, you will need to get there early in the day to get a campsite. You can make reservations in advance. I suggest Madison Campground for a good location to all points in the park. I would also consider the Grand Tetons while you are in the area. After Yellowstone stop at Devils Tower National Monument, WY (great campground) & Badlands National Park, SD (campground makes you feel like you are camping on the moon.)
Not that far from El Paso is Carlsbad Caverns National Park. No campground in the park.
I would suggest exploring Canyon de Chelly (beautiful campground) before you get to the Petrified Forest.
After leaving the Grand Canyon (you will need to make reservations if you want to camp in the park) spend some time at Lake Powell (near Page, AZ) and after Bryce (you can now make reservatins for Bryce campgrounds) go to Zion National Park. I love both the campgrounds in Zion and you can make reservations at Watchman Campground.
You will need reservations to camp in Yosemite.
Hi and thanks for the info, I am a bit confused now about booking the camp grounds in the national parks because we were hoping not to be constained by booking places as we want to beable to 'drift'. Would the campgrounds have spaces available only one or two weeks before the stay when we know where we are going to be?
Those in the know
The most correct answer is that you need reservations with sufficient passage of time to exceed the next ice age. However, I have never had that much problem securing spots (even when the campgrounds are posted "full") Always ignore the sign and ask someone, it is amazing how often they can find places if you are a) polite and b) friendly and c) interested in "being there".