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2.5 Week Road Trip June 2013 - North West United States


Feb 24th, 2013, 07:29 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 6
2.5 Week Road Trip June 2013 - North West United States


My friend and I, both fit and in our upper 20's, are planning a road trip across the north west United States from May 31st to June 19th. I was wondering if any of you would be able to comment on our itinerary or provide any other ideas on where we should spend our time. The start and end dates are non-negotiable, but the inner workings are flexible. We plan to camp the entire time.

Day 1 - Drive from home to the South Dakota Badlands (a full day's drive). Camp.

Day 2 - Travel from South Dakota Badlands to Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. Explore the South Unit. Possibly camp in either the South or North Unit. (I realize this park is a bit out of the way, but one of my bucket list goals is to hit all 50 states and I can't think of another reason to go to North Dakota any time soon).

Day 3 - Explore the North Unit. Drive to Billings, MT to spend the night.

Day 4 - Billings to Coeur d'Alene, ID. Camp.

Day 5 - Check out some of the Coeur d'Alene area in the morning. Drive Coeur d'Alene to Seattle. Set-up camp.

Day 6 - Seattle. Ideas are Pike's Market, Space Needle, Fremont Troll, Bainbridge Ferry. Open to other suggestions.

Day 7 - Seattle to Mt. Rainier. Explore Nisqually to Paradise area. Snowshoe in Paradise. Possible drive to Sunrise if roads are open.

Day 8 - Mt. Rainier to Lake Quinault in Olympic National Park. Camp.

Day 9 - Olympic National Park - Lake Quinault to Kalaloch to Hoh Rain Forest.

Day 10 - Olympic National Park - Hoh Rain Forest to Sol Duc.

Day 11 - Olympic National Park - Sol Duc to Hurricane Ridge

Day 12 - Hurricane Ridge to North Cascades

Day 13 - North Cascades - A possible hike is Cascade Pass Trail.

Day 14 - North Cascades to Coeur d'Alene. Camp

Day 15 - Coeur d'Alene to Fish Creek Glacier National Park. Explore area. Camp.

Day 16 - Explore as much of Going to the Sun Road as is open. Hopefully, it will at least be open to Logan Pass, I'm not super optimistic that the whole road will be open by this date (June 15). We could always rearrange this part of the trip a bit if it looks like the whole road will open around this time, but like I said, I'm not banking on it. If the full road isn't open, we will swing south of Glacier on route 2 and pass through Two Medicine and up to Many Glacier.

Day 17 - Explore Many Glacier area - possibly do a day hike i.e. Grinell Glacier or Iceberg Lake - not sure if these trails will be accessible. Drive to Waterton National Park. Camp in Townsite. Does anyone know if this fills up in the middle of June. I know we will be there during their Wildflower Festival, but I'm not sure if we will need to book ahead or if we will be okay.

Day 18 - Take bus to Cameron Lake - Hike Carthew Alderson Trail - Hoping this trail will be accessible. If not, we will spend more time exploring other areas of the park.

Day 19 - Depart for home.

SimpleGifts is offline  
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Feb 24th, 2013, 02:06 PM
Join Date: Apr 2011
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I was in the Dakotas last summer. The road in the north unit of T. Roosevelt National Park was closed for major repair. Not sure if it's ready -- looked like some extensive repairs were needed. You could only go six miles into the park. I got in a hike, but that was about it. South Unit is well worth the trip.

I think a worthy detour on your way to North Dakota would be Mt. Rushmore, which is not that far from Badlands... and then a nice drive through the parks toward Spearfish. The Black Hills are certainly worth a look at least on your way north.

I would also suggest a quick detour to Devils Tower in Wyoming on your way to T. Roosevelt park. Beautiful country.
edjim is offline  
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Feb 24th, 2013, 03:16 PM
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Thank you for the ideas. I just did a Google search on the North Unit road closure and it looks like they finally opened things back up in October. Hopefully, it won't need to be closed again once the snow melts.

The rest of your suggestions outlines the trip that we took to South Dakota and Devils Tower last year. We had a wonderful time and I would also recommend those areas to someone else who is planning a trip out that way.
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Feb 24th, 2013, 04:16 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
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If you make it to the southern edge of Mt. Rainier (US 12), you should be able to camp at the La Wis Wis campground which is less than 2 miles outside the NP. I loved camping there in early May last year while doing a PIT project on the old guard station which you will see on the way into the campground.
One morning I drove into Packwood and saw elk cross the highway in town.
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