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  1. #1
    skamboj Guest

    Default Help Needed: 10 days in the west...

    This will be my first road trip and I need a little help (ok, perhaps a lot of help) planning it...

    I will be flying to Los Angeles in mid-June for 10 days and want to see as much of the west coast as possible. I know that my time-scale is fairly limited so I am not looking for an in-depth exploration of any one place. Instead I'd like to spend one or two days at various different places just to get an idea of whats available so that I can come later for more exploration ;-)

    Here is what I am thinking... I want to travel from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and then on to Grand Canyon National Park. From there I'd like to go to the Rocky Mountains National Park and then back to Los Angeles. I'd like suggestions of what to cover in between, scenic routes that I could take and good places to camp... (I'd prefer to camp rather than stay at a hotel...) Hope I am not asking for too much :-)

    Also I'd welcome people's opinions on whether the above is doable in 10 days or am I being over ambitious? Anything I should be aware of?

    Thanks for any help... It will be greatly appreciated (In return perhaps I can help with your computer-related questions..)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default West Coast?

    I will be flying to Los Angeles in mid-June for 10 days and want to see as much of the west coast as possible.
    If you actually stayed on the west coast, 10 days would be a reasonable period of time. However, your plan calls for trips to Grand Canyon and Rocky Mtn NP and your roundtrip mileage will easily exceed 3000 miles. A lot of miles for a solo roadtripper who also expects to camp along the way. Do you really need to travel that much? Are you used to driving 10+ hours per day in the mountains?

  3. Default Yes you are asking to much of 10 days...but

    If you really want to do it, then here is the route I would take...of course I would do it in about 3 or 4 weeks.

    Los Angeles to Grand Canyon 490 miles. You will need reservations if you want to camp at the Grand Canyon in the summer. Mather Campground at the South Rim is a nice forested campground. There are some national forest campgrounds just south of the the Grand Canyon but since you will be getting there late in the day, I don't know if you would be able to get a site. There are pay showers.

    Grand Canyon to Mesa Verde National Park 290 miles. You might add another 50 miles and go see Monument Valley just north of Kayenta, AZ. Morefield Campground in Mesa Verde is a nice campground and you shouldn't have a problem finding a campsite there. There are pay showers.

    Mesa Verde to Durago and then take Hwy 550 up to Montrose. This is called the Million Dollar Highway. It's a very scenic mountain route. When you reach Interstate 70 I would head east and save Rocky Mountain National Park for another time and spend a little more time in other places. Mesa Verde to Grandy near the RMNP is 460 miles.

    RMNP to Moab, Utah is 470 miles. Exit I-70 at Cisco, Utah and take hwy 128 into Moab. There are a lot of BLM campgrounds along the Colorado River before you reach Moab and there are some along the river on the Potash Road Hwy 279. Near Moab explore Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Island in the Sky District. The Willow Flat Campground in Canyonlands only has 12 sites but is nice with great views. Arches Devils Garden campground will be impossible to get into unless you make reservations.

    From Moab head north on Hwy 191 to I-70 and then take Hwy 24 down to Hanksville and spend a night at the Fruita Campground in Capitol Reef National Park. 160 miles.

    From Torrey head south on scenic Hwy 12 to Bryce Canyon and Zion Canyon National Park. Both parks have campgrounds. Bryce might be hard to find a place in the late afternoon...Zion might be easier. There are national forest campgrounds between Bryce and Zion...closer to Bryce.

    From there head to Las Vegas and back to L. A. as you can see you aren't going to have time several days in each location. This route is about 2400 miles total.


  4. #4
    skamboj Guest


    Quote Originally Posted by Editor
    A lot of miles for a solo roadtripper who also expects to camp along the way.
    Thanks for the replies. Sorry that I didn't mention it earlier - I am not travelling alone and will have four friends with me who can share the driving. We have driven a lot but we definately don't want to do all driving and no sightseeing/hinking...

    I am not dogmatic about the places that I'd like to see and would be willing to drop the Rocky Mountains NP plan if its too far off... Thats why I wanted some opinions on whats doable...

  5. Default Question?

    Do you have to fly into Los Angeles? You could save yourself almost 500 miles by flying into and out of Las Vegas, Nevada. Or have you considered flying into Los Angeles and out of Denver? Just keep in mind that car rentals are more expensive one way.

    If you want to have time for some hiking you will probably have to drop one or two more of the places I mentioned. I hate to tell you to drop Colorado because the mountains are so different from the canyons of Utah.

    I would make camping reservations at the Grand Canyon because you will know what day that will be, then wing it from there. Start on your trip, spend as much time in each place as you want and then when it gets to be two days (Las Vegas) or 3 days (L.A.) before you have to get back for your flight...dead head it back.

    Here's a great website on southern Utah to give you an idea of what is out there:

    Here are some other good sites to explore:


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