40th Anniversary Trip

Old Feb 7th, 2021, 06:03 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
40th Anniversary Trip

My wife and I are planning a 14 day trip out west from north Alabama. We are planning on driving. Our proposed itinerary takes us to Nashville, St. Louis, Kansas City, and Denver via I-24 and 70. From there we’d love to go to Mt Rushmore, Devil’s Tower, Little Bighorn, up to Glacier N.P.(2-3 days),back to Yellowstone (2-3 days), Grand Tetons, I-15 down to Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, Winslow, AZ and then home via I-40 & 65 South. What do we need to cut out, or how should we travel? We enjoy driving and seeing the sites on our way. But that’s a lot packed into two weeks. We like the journey aspect and not merely the destination. BYW, it’s our 40th anniversary. Looking forward to your input.
DEVeal is offline  
Old Feb 7th, 2021, 06:33 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 72,012
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Welcome to Fodors. You say you want to do this in two weeks?! Near on impossible Just the most direct drive of the loop you list N. Alabama > N. Alabama would take 80 to 85 hours car time. That's without a single stop for gas or food or whatever. So basically with just fast food and gas stops you'd have 10 straight days of 9+ hours driving.

If you want to explore out west -- it would be MUCH better to Fly out to city 1 (PHX, or LAS or SLC or wherever) do a one way car rental to cover the sites/sights, drop the car at city 2 and fly home from there. That is dropping the Tn/Mo/S Dak bits. And even that would be very rushed in 2 weeks.
janisj is online now  
Old Feb 8th, 2021, 04:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 1,060
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If it is a road trip you want, I would pare down a lot and consider driving to Denver, then heading to Yellowstone and the Tetons, then down to Grand Canyon and back to Nashville. This still means that, even driving 8-10 hours per day you will be spending about half of the trip just driving without stops, but you will see lots of beautiful scenery as well as the two most iconic National parks IMHO.

Your original plan would leave you very little time to see the other sites and there are lots of places where you might want to spend a day visiting other sites both on the way out and on the way back.

Decide what is most important for YOU to see, get an old fashioned paper map and stick pins in then go to one of the mapping sites and plan the route. Then look for lodging in or near the National Parks and decide which direction to do the loop. You might want two or three different places in Yellowstone as it is so large and driving in the park in summer is slow, some mapping programs will not let you drive through right now because most of the roads in the park are closed.

Have a great trip.
oldemalloy is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2021, 07:54 AM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 11,667
Likes: 0
Received 17 Likes on 4 Posts
Been to all of those in the past 20 years (even Tuscaloosa for a night). This was done on many trips of a week to 10 days. I agree with janisj you need a lot less sites to visit. I would choose between the northern section ((Mt. Rushmore, Devils Tower, Glacier and Yellowstone) OR Las Vegas, Hoover Dam, South Rim of the Grand Canyon and Winslow returning to Las Vegas and flying home. For the northern trip fly to MSP or SLC.
You live close enough to TN, MO and Kansas to make those on a road trip from home at some later date. Since you mentioned Winslow, yes there is a flat bed Ford on "the corner" along with 2 statues of Glen Frey. It is worth maybe an hour. There is a good little restaurant in an old bank building across the street.
tomfuller is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2021, 11:48 AM
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 206
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Boulder is nicer

Boulder is nicer than Denver!
ldatt22 is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2021, 12:23 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,850
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
the Malloy has it. Get the map. stick pins in it and connect the dots. And his/her itinerary is a good one.
You canNOT see MT Rushmore and the Grand Canyon!! Or Grand Canyon and Glacier. The American West is a BIG place!! And you do want to SEE it not just drive by.

Gretchen is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2021, 05:36 AM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 100
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you do choose the route with Keystone I would certainly find time to go to Custer State Park and the Badlands. Those have been two of my favorite places to visit and are not near as busy as many other tourist places. In fact the Blue Bell Lodge Chuckwagon Ride/Dinner ( in Custer State Park) has been the highlight of our travel for the last many years. It was an absolutely wonderful experience. You could add in the Crazy Horse Monument and have a very nice trip.
rachellynn99 is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2021, 09:16 PM
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 34
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Lots of good advice. Agree you can't do all of that in a month much less 2 weeks. Good luck with planning a fabulous anniversary trip
suzanneaz is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
United States
Sep 4th, 2017 03:15 PM
May 18th, 2007 10:22 AM
Sep 18th, 2006 08:06 AM
Mar 5th, 2004 09:40 AM
United States
May 3rd, 2002 07:39 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -