Due to a multitude of reasons, culminating in the airline issues that popped up this weekend, my wife and I decided to cancel our planned trip to the Dominican Republic next week.
Instead, we want to do a road trip. We already have child care lined up as this is our 15 year anniversary trip, so we aren’t giving that up.
So, we will depart very early Tuesday morning (Tuesday the 19th) and plan on returning home Sunday night the same week. Starting location is Modesto, CA.
1. No major lefty cities as the prominent destination (not going to Portland, for instance)
2. No Grand Canyon (will do that with the kids at a later date)
3. Bonus points for a route that goes through or near Wendell, ID. Not necessary but would be nice.
4. Outside of CA
As we are traveling without kids we can push through and do a long drive in one day, so we are ok with 12+ hours travelled in a day in order to have a bit extra time at our TBD destination.
Thanks for your suggestions!
Oh, and a question: Is it early enough to not need chains or should I pick up a set just in case?
You can do the Zion, Bryce, Arches, Moab, Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Valley Canyon loop. Throw in Vegas for a night on the town too.
Alternatively, if you've got a snow capable vehicle, you can do the Jackson, Yellowstone, Teton, Glacier National Park loop.
Lastly, if you don't mind rain, you can go up the coast through Portland, Seattle, and hit Vancouver/Victoria.
Good point: the car will be a 2016 Ford Flex with AWD. Tires are nothing special All-Seasons in good condition.
I’d be ok with light snow but would not travel if snow got heavy or travel through ice. We recently drove this car from northern Washington to our home, along I5, so I think we’d rather do something else than up the coast to Seattle.
|Fighting the good fight|
Looks like you have 6 days total.
Day 1 [Tuesday]: Home > Wendell, Idaho (10 hours)
Spend the evening doing whatever it is that brought you to Wendell.
Day 2: Idaho > Salt Lake City (3 hours).
Spend the afternoon/evening exploring Salt Lake City.
Day 3: Salt Lake City to Bryce Canyon (4 hours), then later Bryce Canyon to Zion (1.5 hours)
Get up early to head to Bryce Canyon, and spend the late morning and afternoon hiking Bryce Canyon National Park. Then drive over and spend the night near Zion National Park.
Day 4: Zion to Las Vegas (2.5 hours)
Hike the morning in Zion, then off to Vegas, baby! (At least for the late afternoon/evening)
Day 5: Las Vegas
All day Vegas, baby!
Day 6 [Sunday]: Vegas > Home (8 hours)
Do something fun in Vegas in the morning/early afternoon, then home by bedtime.
You can also extend the time spent in Bryce Canyon or Zion through all of Day 4 and head to Vegas the morning of Day 5, if you'd rather do more outdoorsy stuff than Vegas stuff. That'd still give you the afternoon/evening of Day 5 and morning of Day 6 in Vegas.
Agree with Arizona and Utah National Parks ... we also really enjoyed the drive along old Route 66 from Williams AZ to Oatman CA.
Some thoughts on the following are wanted:
1) Glacier NP? Good time to go or no?
2) could one do a couple days in SLC? My wife might prefer to drive to one location, plus Wendell, and then stay a few days there instead of a traditional “road trip”.
Zion NP looks real interesting
|Muzzle flash |
The shortest route from Modesto, CA to Wendell, ID is norto to Sacramento, northeast on I-80 to Wells, NV, then north on US-93 through Twin Falls, ID to I-84 and northwest on I-84 to Wendell. However, you said you didn't want to go through any Liberal cities, so probably wouldn't want to do Sacramento.
Just how much less-than-Interstate do you want to do? There are a number of US highways that offer alternatives to I-80 and even I-84. Do you have particular places you want to see, or are you just doing a wanderlust?
There does not appear to be any reasonable way to do Zion NP without also going through Las Vegas, NV--is that a problem? Picking up the 5 National Parks in Utah is desirable, but involves a lot of 2-lane roads, and it's a bit out of the way going to Wendell.
Another possibility is to use a lot of US-50, a very interesting (and pretty good) highway. From it one can visit Carson City and Virginia City, Nevada--both historical places.
What do you think of this? (2181 miles, 4+ days of driving)
Western parks look by David Casteel, on Flickr (Click on it for an expandable version)
BTW, if you do go to Moab, UT and do Arches NP, I recommend taking a hot-air balloon ride over it. It's great, and the kids would love it.
Driving time between Wendell and Monterey (northern section) is just at 12 hours the way I have set it up in the software. You could do it in one day, especially if you used I-80 instead of the route I plotted. I don't know if that would allow time to detour from Reno, NV to Virginia City or not. To avoid Sacramento, you'd want to use US-395 from Reno to Carson City, NV anyway and follow US-50 as shown. (Note that US-50 borders a lot of Lake Tahoe.) You'd use US-395 and NV-341 to go by Virginia City and US-50 down to Carson City. Using that route subtracts 22 miles from the journey (and might be faster).
Note that the southern part of the loop uses CA-120 through Yosemite National Park, and part of that road is closed during the winter.
At my age, I'm not up to 12-hour drives any more--I'll leave that to you younger folks.
flashguyThis message has been edited. Last edited by: flashguy,
Texan by choice, not accident of birth
We loved Glacier National Park and especially the drive over the "Going to the Sun Road". Had the sunroof open on the
Explorer and so close to the cliffs that the mountain goats were looking down thinking they may jump onto the top of the car. And a few water falls fell from the cliffs onto the road, got a bit damp a few times. One of the best drives we have ever taken.
Google and take a look at the pics !
Apparently, this week is busy week - fall break. Drove to Pigeon forge, ate, no hotels and crazy traffic, drove back home. 5am to 8pm. Encountered big rigs doing rolling road blocks on 95 from TN well into KY. Both directions, stop, roll, stop, etc. Saw some of it at 630 am northbound I65 in southern Indiana but did not realize what it was.
Bathroom breaks- some McD's no dining room, one gas station no restroom, One gas station had porta potties outside way past emptying. It was a good trip until 11am lunch. After that it went all downhill. I question if we are too old to travel. Lots of out of state plates on the road. Pack your patience, keep gas in your tank, pee when you can
|Conveniently located directly|
above the center of the Earth
You choose route.
|Muzzle flash |
I did Glacier NP in 2013. Photos are in this Collection: https://www.flickr.com/photos/...s/72157635037593408/. However, I think Glacier NP is a park too far for this 6-day journey. (Well, you could drive 2 very long days to Glacier NP, waving at your friends in Wendell, spend 2 days at the park, and drive 2 days back, I guess. A lot of the park is closed during the winter.) From Modesto, if I were wanting to visit Glacier NP I'd probably fly into the Glacier Park International Airport near Kalispell, Montana, rent a car for a few days there to visit the park, and then fly home.
Texan by choice, not accident of birth
|Get busy living|
or get busy dying!
I would insist on Moab UT and Monument Valley.
Thank me later......
I would do Zion/Bryce or Moab. Not both. 2 days driving and 4 days value add.
Not sure about the weather and this violates #4 but I really enjoy Pismo Beach. Quiet hikes on sand dune beaches with nice views. Decent food. Reasonable prices. Reasonable driving distance. Last year to drive on the beach I think.
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - B.Franklin
"Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it." L.Tolstoy
What if we reversed direction and went from Modesto to Vegas on day 1… is Vegas a good jumping off point to see Zion?
|His diet consists of black|
coffee, and sarcasm.
I know this violates rule 4. Unless you've been to any or all of these places already, you could take a six-day (albeit very leisurely) road trip just in northern California, maybe southern Oregon. The north coast with the giant redwoods, Lava Beds NM, Lassen Volcanic NP, highway 96 which runs along the Klamath river, and more. (California native.)
|Muzzle flash |
I didn't make either of those places specific waypoints on my map, but it's about 500 miles from Modesto to Las Vegas and another 160-170 miles from there to Zion NP. (My Waypoints were to guide the route--I just posted flags at destinations nearby.)
The route I posted between Modesto and Las Vegas included CA-120, which goes through Yosemite NP and is partly closed during the winter (like very soon!). Using CA-99 to Bakersfield, CA-58 to Barstow, and I-15 to Las Vegas is about 490 miles (city center to city center). It would not be particularly interesting, but would be a lot faster. (Streets & Trips says would take about 7 hours the way I drive.) From the center of Las Vegas to the entrance to Zion NP is 160 miles, or about 2.5 hours (according to S&T). Unless you really wanted to do things in Las Vegas, you could probably make it all the way to Zion in one day. (Make overnight reservations early.)
You have indicated that 12-hour driving days are OK with you. When I was younger I felt the same way. This late in the year (shorter days) and at my age (83) I'm not up to that any more. I plan my auto trips with 8-hours of travel, which typically means 400 miles or fewer, given that eating and gassing up takes time. Circumstances (stopping somewhere to do something) will cut down the distance traveled. I'm retired and usually not in any hurry, so it's all good. YMMV
Texan by choice, not accident of birth
Yes. Vegas to Zion is not a bad drive.
Vegas is cool. Plenty to do there, and it's a little less of a shit show right now due to less travel, but I hear most things are open.
Glacier is currently in the middle of "locals" season. The perfect time of year when tourists have gone home and Going to the Sun road is still open...
One snowfall could change that in a heartbeat. You may want to consider the Utah parks.
If you got to Glacier you might win the lottery and get an "empty" park and beautiful weather. You could just as easily crap out.
Yes, Para does appreciate humor.
Glacier is great, check for what's going on re: forest fires, etc. When we were there late Sept 2018, it snowed and got very cold. Snow up there can be epic. Many Glaciers Hotel looked to be the pick to click. We stayed at Glacier Lodge, very nice but not in the park.
Flashguy also posted a pretty iconic trip. I've done all of it except Capitol Reef and highly recommend his itinerary.
We would take 1+ week road trips from Livermore to: Palm Springs/ Joshua tree; Flagstaff/Sedona; Death Valley; Jackson WY/ tetons & Yellowstone (same trip) could add glacier; Zion/bryce st George st George is pretty close to Vegas could go there for adult fun then hit the desert or go other way towards AZ; Lassen to lava tubes to crater lake back through shasta; Phoenix in one day is doable but it’s a haul. Then Tombstone then back north through NV.
Really depends on how much you want to do and how many driving days vs exploring days
We did most of those trips except Yellowstone During thanksgiving week and the parks were Basically empty. We caught great late fall weather each time does get cold at night but no snow and that late in the season mom and pop restaurants and hotels(where we try to patronize vs chains) were happy to have us.
|Powered by Social Strata||Page 1 2|