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  1. #1
    mountainman2510 Guest

    Default CT to WA and home through Canada, quick question, please help!?!?

    Hi, in a week I will be heading west making stops in these destinations:

    *Starting in CT
    *Badlands (sleeping here)
    *Mt. Rushmore (quick stop)
    *Tetons (sleeping here, possibly backpacking)
    *Yellowstone (driving through)
    *Mt. Rainier (sleeping here)
    *Olympics (sleeping here, possibly backpacking)
    *Then north to Banff (sleeping here, possibly backpacking)
    *Then blitzing home back to CT as fast as we can drive.

    There will be two drivers and I was just curious how long people who have done more traveling then I think this trip would take. As far as the backpacking goes it all depends on how quickly we get from place to place but most likely we will only stop for multiple nights in one of those places. My boss is wondering how long I will be gone and help is greatly needed cause he needs to know soon.... Haha and I'm leaving in a week.

    Thank you so much for any help

  2. Default Variables

    Your trip has too many variables for an accurate estimate, but given the normal capabilities of the average driver, it's probably in the NEIGHBORHOOD of 110-115 driving hours.

    Some of the places on your itinerary have more than one approach and access point (Rainier and Olympics, for examples), and that adds or subtracts miles from the trip. Also, I didn't figure total days because of the uncertainties of your overnights, hiking, etc. The total miles as MS Streets and Trips figured the route (quickly) was 6451.

  3. #3
    mountainman2510 Guest

    Default little more info

    I have the whole trip planned out right up to the exact entrances and exits to each park and the entire trip will be right around 7000 miles and 115 hours of driving. And to make a better guess lets just say we will only sleeping one night at each of the places mentioned. Maybe that info will help for a general guess of how many days...

    Thanks again for any help...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Curious about the time

    Quote Originally Posted by mountainman2510
    I have the whole trip planned out right up to the exact entrances and exits to each park and the entire trip will be right around 7000 miles and 115 hours of driving.
    I did some rough calculations and I think that total is much closer to 135 hours of driving. I am curious how you calculated it. For instance, are you aware that the highest average speed you will be able to maintain while in Yellowstone will be 15 mph and the other parks are closer to 28 mph? Plus, in general, after literally a couple million miles of experience -- the average daily speed for traveling in a 10 hour day is 53 mph. Yesterday I drove pretty close to 82 mph much of day and yet the average speed for the day (9 hours of travel) was 57.8 mph due to stops for fuel, photos, stretches and food.

    Planning for exact entrances -- there is no such thing when it comes to roadtripping -- stuff happens and you ALWAYS have to change your route. The best you can do is have some general sort of goals, unless you make the timing the "thing" and the experience of the road trip is secondary.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default's my attempt to help.

    I plugged your route into MS Streets & Trips using the following parameters:

    * driving at 65mph on interstates & limited access highways, 55 mph on other highways, and at 35mph through cities/towns (NOTE: It is over-optimistic to think that you can average these speeds due to occasional thick traffic, getting caught behind slow-moving vehicles, construction, accidents, etc. but let's shoot for it anyway)

    * stopping for 15 minutes every 4 hours for gas, bathroom breaks, meals, etc. (NOTE: again, this is overly-optimistic and not doable for long-term. You might be able to do it for a day or 2 but not for the whole trip. Even the most experienced, hard-core speed run drivers here couldn't do it long-term. But, hey, let's shoot for it anyway)

    * driving from 6am-9pm many of the days (NOTE: again, I don't see you actually being able to keep up this pace without getting too tired to be driving safely. But let's shoot for the gold ring here.)

    OK, at this relentless pace, your trip looks something like this:

    Day 1: 6am-9pm, 903 miles, Connecticut to the western suburbs of Chicago.

    Day 2: 6am-8:30pm, 860 miles. Arrive Badlands NP (Note: if you're just sleeping here, and are leaving the next morning, you will have absolutely no time at all to actually explore the Badlands)

    Day 3: 6am-8:15am, arrive at Mt. Rushmore and spend 1 hour taking in the view. 9:15am-7pm, arrive at Grand Teton NP. 587 miles for the day. (Note: again, if this is just a sleep stop, you will have no time to explore the Grand Tetons. No time for backpacking unless you add an extra night here so are make some other adjustments)

    Day 4: 6am-9pm, I estimated 4 hours for Yellowstone. Considering the slow speeds you will be traveling through there, that is probably about the minimum reasonable time to figure to get through the park. This does not include much, if any, time to stop and enjoy the sights...just a drive-thru. Of course, this also decreases your mileage for the day. You will arrive in Spokane around 9pm after driving 611 miles.

    Day 5: 6am-Noon: Arrive Mt. Rainier at the Sunrise entrance. This gives you the rest of the day to explore this side of Rainier. If you're planning on doing the Paradise side, you will need to cut visiting this side short to get to that side, too. I don't know what you're planning here so you will have to adjust accordingly. Today is a short day of driving so you only covered 305 miles.

    Day 6: 6am-12:15pm: Arrive at the Hoh Rainforest area of Olympic National Park. I picked this because if I was to only hike one area of Olympic NP, this would be the place to go. The Hall of Mosses is the most amazing, primordial-like place I've ever seen. If you are going to limit your visit to the east side of Olympic NP, your driving time to here will be less but you will be missing the best parts of the park, imho. The days drive is 272 miles.

    Day 7: 6am-7:45pm: Arrive at Banff. 662 miles. (Note: unless you plan for extra time here tomorrow, you will have no time to really explore Banff).

    Day 8: 6am-9pm: Arrive at Brandon, Manitoba, after driving 785 miles.

    Day 9: 6am-9pm: Arrive just east of Madison, Wisconsin, after driving 872 miles.

    Day 10: 6am-11pm: Arrive back in Connecticut after driving for 17 hours and 1036 miles.

    Total trip miles: 6893
    Total driving hours: 119 hours, 21 minutes I guess this shows you need a minimum of 10 days to make this trip. Would I suggest it? No, not at all. Unless your only goal is a speed run and drive-bys. Unless you're a lot more energetic than most people, I don't believe you can keep up this pace and have energy to backpack or any other fun along the road. You will have NO time to stop to explore something you come across that looks intriguing. You will be zonked and you probably won't be a very safe driver. It's just too intense.

    I think you either need to add at least another week to make it a trip that would be enjoyable, so figure 17 days minimum. Or, adjust what you're seeing. Maybe take 2 weeks off and just see what you can in 2 weeks. If you only make it to Mt. Rainier and need to turn around and go back, so what? Visit the other parks on another road trip.

    I certainly don't want to discourage you from following your dreams and seeing what you want to see. I just want you to see what a monumental undertaking this is for a speed run. I wish you the best and I'd love to hear how your trip goes when you get back.

    Oh, if you go to the west side of Olympic NP, you'll be driving just a couple of blocks past my house. If you want to try to meet-up for a quick hello, PM me.

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