Family trip out West

Old Mar 16th, 2016, 03:43 PM
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Family trip out West

We are planning a family trip for August 2016. We are a family of 5 and are renting a motorhome locally. We are taking 2 weeks to take a vacation out west. We are leaving from Michigan and the places we would like to stop are Mt Rushmore (maybe), Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, spend a night in Las Vegas. If time permits LA. Or maybe we could go a different direction and see the Redwoods. We know there are many other stops that can be made along the way so we are looking for suggetions and just wondering what may be worth the time. Does 2 weeks sound like enough time to complete something like this?
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Old Mar 16th, 2016, 04:04 PM
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>>Does 2 weeks sound like enough time to complete something like this? Yellowstone > Grand Canyon > Vegas > LA and back to Grand Rapids is about 85 hours just RV time so more than 9 full days butts in seats..

Mt Rushmore > Yellowstone > the CA Redwoods and back to Michigan would only be a little shorter drive.

Consider JUST Mt Rushmore, Grand Teton, Yellowstone and/or Glacier.
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Old Mar 16th, 2016, 04:36 PM
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No, definitely not. Let's say you flew to Vegas and did an LA/Grand Canyon/Yosemite trip. 2 weeks would barely be enough time to do that, but it has the option of more time doing stuff and less "butt time". and that's what I think you should do; or pick something closer to home. Janisj's suggestion would work, but it still has the potential of being a lot of driving time.

Another consideration is that I think you'd be financially better off if you just drove a car and stayed in motels or tent camped. Look at how much the rental is going to cost+how much RV park fees are going to cost, and I'd be surprised if it's cheaper than a moderate hotel chain.
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Old Mar 16th, 2016, 05:45 PM
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Certainly you don't attempt that sort of trip for the specific spots and states you would cross-off in the process.

You take such a trip to spend time with family, and in a lot of cases it doesn't matter where you go in the end, as getting there is half the fun.

With all of that in mind, and with the many destinations listed by the OP, doesn't it make the most sense that to target The Grand Canyon is a simple-ish plan as a backbone for the trip?


So, using Grand Rapids as a start (for lack of us knowing the true point of beginning)... it takes 30 hours of driving time to get to the Grand Canyon... and that is on a simple route via Missouri.

Obviously, that would mean "30 hours" on the road if driving straight back as well.


What I keep telling myself would be fun to do, with kids, on such a trip... is, (FIRST, everybody agreeing that, like 'The Brady Bunch' long ago, you'll GO to "The Grand Canyon" as your main destination)...

Then, randomly determine which kid gets to pick first, and that kid selects a spot on the map to visit, that is reeeeeeeeeeasonably in between Michigan and The Grand Canyon.

You can flex somewhat, in so doing... and, for example, I think Salt Lake City would be do-able, but that Yellowstone would be perhaps too far north.

(Pause while I sit here and consider how awesome the Grand Tetons and surrounds are, and what great scenery that would all make for such a trip) (so maybe...)

... THEN, once the first kid makes a choice, the road and potential choices are narrowed BY that first choice, and the 2nd kid gets to pick a spot to target for stopping and visiting, along a sensible path encompassing the start, the end, and the first kid's choice.... and so-on...

While it may seem, especially TO the 3rd kid... that the options are too constricted after two such choices have been made, it can be allowed that the different path back to Michigan opens the possibilities once again.


Consider that many of the roads out west are such that there is little or nothing to DO but drive... and that most of your minimum 30 hours each way will pass under those conditions, you really CAN make a 2-week trip work.

(though I suggest making a deal with everyone before setting out that they will limit the grumbling

I just plugged-in the following spots, for a round-trip...

and it was 77 hours, and 4700 miles


Grand Rapids
Grand Canyon
Las Vegas
Salt Lake City
Jackson, WY
West Yellowstone, MT
Cody, WY
Rapid City, SD (Mt. Rushmore)
Grand Rapids



SO a suitable thought process there would be hurry your buns to get TO The Grand Canyon and then meander a bit as you see the sights mostly dotting around the Rocky Mountains while making your way north for the eventual path back home.

(the final stretch of that, Rapid City, SD to Grand Rapids, would be 1090 miles and 17.5 hours of driving time, but along mostly dull, sparsely-traveled roads)


The California coast would just seem to put too much strain on such a trip, but I think it can be enjoyed if you don't push-it and go that far.


Badwater, in Death Valley, California is about 140 miles from Vegas (2 1/2 hours driving)... so I'd be tempted to try it... (it will be hotter than blue blazes in August, yet something to talk about for years to follow!) (might be easier done if renting a 2nd vehicle (a sedan) for 24 hours, from Vegas)


SO once you decided that what I've sorta penciled-in above is suitable, you'd then have to work-out how far to travel each day...

If there were two drivers, it could go much quicker and easier... and again, most of the monotonous driving would happen on long, straight roads with high speed limits.


Maybe Springfield, MO would be the right distance for a first day (shrug) OK City seems too far, and St. Louis not far enough.

(maybe whichever is having the least amount of tornadoes at the time, would be the preference)


Then shoot for Albuquerque or Santa Fe (the latter has far more flavor to add to a trip like this).

If timing is ideal, go to Big Tex's Steakhouse in Amarillo, on the way through.

Maybe then you target Two nights somewhere near to Flagstaff, AZ... both so the drivers can recover a bit, and to afford a FULL day at the Grand Canyon.

The next night in Vegas... and you debate on a Death Valley visit, and then head north toward S.L.C. and Wyoming.

Map it all out in greater detail and see if it fits you at all.
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Old Mar 16th, 2016, 05:49 PM
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Going to the Grand Canyon or the West Coast is too far. Stick to the Rockies: Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Rocky Mt. National Park and then home. Even then it will be a rushed. It takes a minimum of two days to get from Michigan to the Rockies, which means 4 days out of two weeks already taken up. Mt. Rushmore is just a stop on the way to Yellowstone, but that's a day's drive.

Use Google or viamichelin.com to figure out distances and travel time.
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Old Mar 16th, 2016, 06:04 PM
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How old are the kids.
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Old Mar 16th, 2016, 06:48 PM
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Half the places northwestmale mentioned will be 100F to 120F . . . Not fun and could actually be dangerous.

And that is with two drivers tag teaming the driving without any breaks.

Yes, that sounds like fun - not. Especially for children.
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Old Mar 16th, 2016, 09:54 PM
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>>Then shoot for Albuquerque or Santa Fe (the latter has far more flavor to add to a trip like this).
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Old Mar 16th, 2016, 11:17 PM
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janisj, you don't have a clue.



Just to underscore how out-of-touch with reality you are, I took time to list the average daily high temperatures during August for ALL of the places I mentioned, according to weather.com:


Grand Rapids 82-79


The Grand Canyon 84-82

SLC 91-84

Yellowstone 74-68

Grand Tetons 84-77* (used Jackson - Mountains. will be cooler)

Vegas 104-99

Jackson, WY 84-77

West Yellowstone 79-73

Cody 85-78

Rapid City 86-80


Badwater 117-112


Springfield 90-87

OK City 95-91


St Louis 89-86

Albuquerque 88-86

Santa Fe 84-82

Amarillo 91-88

Flagstaff 80-77

(the first number being the average high for August 1, and the last number being the average high for August 31)


Everyone knows that Badwater is only entertaining because it's so hot ... and Vegas is Vegas... you just do it for a day, regardless of the heat (there is plenty to drink there and plenty of people to sell it to you - even if you're kids)


But if you take those two places out of the equation, then they could spend two weeks in Grand Rapids and know similar weather.


So how about listening to what the OP has in mind, and working with it, and not using your lack of true awareness to slap-down their ideas without affording full and realistic consideration?
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Old Mar 16th, 2016, 11:24 PM
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>>janisj, you don't have a clue.>how out-of-touch with reality you are,> your lack of true awarenessmore than a clue and am totally aware. Personal attacks don't make you right . . .

Sorry, but your plan is next to impossible in a motorhome in two weeks. And even if it was possible, it would be torturous.
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Old Mar 17th, 2016, 04:04 AM
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Coming onto someone's thread and insulting other posters is ridiculous. It absolutely could be 120 in Death Valley or Las Vegas at that time of year. If the AVERAGE is 112 then it could be much hotter than that on any given day. I have found it insufferably hot in Las Vegas in October!!

I think the OP's plan is not realistic. I would eliminate half the locations or consider flying into somewhere (like Las Vegas - knowing it is going to be hot) and renting a car or RV from there. In two weeks from Las Vegas you could see the Utah national parks and the Grand Canyon.
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Old Mar 19th, 2016, 02:37 AM
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Agree with above - fly to LV or Salt Lake. Two weeks is not a vacation across this distance, but an adventure. Southern Utah is also hot in August except for North Rim Grand Canyon.

Have you considered north to Canada?
Money exchange is currently very favorable to US tourists.
And it is not hot.

Vaga
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Old Mar 19th, 2016, 04:55 AM
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We may have driven this person away, but....
I asked how old the kids are. If they are relatively young (maybe all under 10-12) along the northern part of this proposed itinerary (in Wyoming) there are wonderful dinosaur exhibits.
I agree that 2 weeks is not enough time for the whole shebang. I would recommend doing the northern portion--Badlands, Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone and then return via Rocky Mountain Park and home.
OP, if you even said you were going to stay 2 days at each place and a day (or more) drive in between, you would reach 14 days very quickly. Just a thought for planning.
I imagine that the very realistic idea of flying and then renting is not budget friendly to this poster, but it would be the best way to accomplish the idea.
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Old Mar 20th, 2016, 04:39 PM
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As everyone has pointed out two weeks is not enough time to cover what you have planned. A month might work but no less.

We've owned two motorhomes for 23 years now so I know what I'm talking about. I would suggest sticking with Mt. Rushmore, Badlands, Yellowstone and Grand Tetons at the very most in two weeks. Even that is going to seem rushed.

Utahtea
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Old Mar 20th, 2016, 05:28 PM
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>>We may have driven this person away, but….
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Old Mar 20th, 2016, 06:35 PM
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"Half the places northwestmale mentioned will be 100F to 120F . . . Not fun and could actually be dangerous"


That, from somebody now claiming to be "totally aware"



Let me guess - you are unable to interpret weather data???



The first three sentences of the OP lay-out the beginnings of the plan. Now your effort, using that as a given, needs to incorporate what the OP wants, rather than meandering off into your own clueless world, consistently with zero regard for the thoughts of the person who started the thread.



PS - nobody said anything about my being "right".


The factual weather data just makes you "wrong".
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Old Mar 21st, 2016, 05:12 AM
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Agree Janis. Hope they find out.
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