LA to Chicago!
Help! We are planning to go from LA to chicago at the end of june. there are four of us....major desires include, las vegas, denver and continuing on thru the northern states. i am looking for directions...literally and figuratively on how to go. We would like to see as much as possible!!! please advise on books, maps, ideas for this journey!
Route and Maps
Sounds like you've already got your route chosen. What maps to buy depends a bit on what kind of traveler you will be. If this is a National Parks and Interstate highway only kind of a trip, then the Rand McNally atlas of the 50 states you can buy at a drug store or grocery is more than good enough. If you want to get off the main roads and explore a little, you can still get the single-state paper maps the gas stations used to give away (now about $3 to $5 each if you go to a map store or gas station, or FREE from most states' websites for the asking). Last, for camping and back country adventures in one or two states, I like the large format public lands maps available from Benchmark and others -- these show most backroads and are great when you want to focus on a smaller area.
Along your route, the most concentrated area for exploring is the Utah/Colorado section -- although there is plenty to do elsewhere as well. See the parks in southern Utah, and then work your way over into the San Juan Mountains of SW Colorado before turning north toward Denver through the central valley of Colorado (Salida, Buena Vista, Leadville, etc.) From Denver, I'd go north through Wyoming to the Black Hills, then across South Dakota toward Minneapolis. Alternatively, from S. Utah, you could use I-70 across Colorado to Denver and then go north from there. If by the time you reach the Black Hills, you're wanting MORE, continue on to North Dakota and see Theodore Roosevelt Natl Park and old Fort Union near Williston before heading east.