Road trip

Old Dec 7th, 2019, 04:35 AM
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Road trip

Our trip starts in Southeast Iowa. Our plan a to drive to Tetons,Yellowstone,Multomoth Falls, Oregon coast and then down to Redwoods. We would like to stop at Yosemite on our way back home. Would 19 days be plenty of time to enjoy the trip?
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Old Dec 7th, 2019, 07:23 AM
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Tell us a little more - What month? How many people - ages gender etc? You will be limited on the number of posts you can make in the first 48 hours after you make your first post (spam prevention).
If you don't spend more than two days in any one place, nineteen days should be enough time.
If there is only one or two of you, you should consider taking a train (California Zephyr) west as far as SLC and renting a car from there to cover all of your destinations.
You could also take the Zephyr west to Sacramento and include Crater Lake along with your visit to Yosemite on your way to Portland and Multnomah Falls. Portland has a lot more to see than Multnomah Falls and the other waterfalls in that area.
Let us know more of your plans. Welcome to Fodors!
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Old Dec 7th, 2019, 01:48 PM
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What time of year? I would drop a destination (or two) depending on interests.It would be too rushed for me.
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Old Dec 7th, 2019, 04:02 PM
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>>Would 19 days be plenty of time to enjoy the trip?
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Old Dec 7th, 2019, 04:56 PM
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Leaving June 13th. My husband and I plus our small dog.Ages 55..in good health..

Last edited by Dosha; Dec 7th, 2019 at 05:00 PM. Reason: Need to add
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Old Dec 7th, 2019, 07:44 PM
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First of all -- a dog will severely limit where you can go and what you can do in any of the National Parks. Second, 19 days is not long enough.
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Old Dec 8th, 2019, 01:43 AM
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It would appear that unless you are more specific about how long you want to stay in some of these places and what EXACTLY you want to do there, and how far you usually drive in a day, you are going to be told "it isn't long enough."
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Old Dec 8th, 2019, 05:06 AM
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There is no doubt at all that 19 days "would be plenty of time". These places are so incredible I would advise slowing down and enjoying them. The Oregon coast might be the outlier--save it for another 19 days for the Northwest, IMO.
The dog has to stay home.
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Old Dec 8th, 2019, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Gretchen View Post
There is no doubt at all that 19 days "would be plenty of time". These places are so incredible I would advise slowing down and enjoying them. The Oregon coast might be the outlier--save it for another 19 days for the Northwest, IMO.
The dog has to stay home.
For the most part I agree with janisj, Dukey and Gretchen. The reason I suggested the train was the many hours of driving across Iowa, Nebraska and eastern Colorado without a lot to see.
Save the Pacific northwest and northern California for another trip of at least 10 days.
If you must bring the dog, arrange for some doggy daycare outside the National Park you will be visiting for the day. The California Zephyr leaves Omaha NE at 11:30 PM every night and arrives in Denver in the morning. I like sleeping on a train while getting closer to my destination instead of spending the night in a motel room in western Nebraska.
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Old Dec 8th, 2019, 10:28 AM
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Thank you!

Thank you all! Your ideas have me thinking differently. I like the suggestion of the train and maybe less destinations. We just want to see so many areas and really do not have to do it all in one trip...now to decide what to eliminate....????
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Old Dec 8th, 2019, 11:28 AM
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>>and really do not have to do it all in one trip
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Old Dec 8th, 2019, 02:01 PM
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This would be my train/rental car route (not including side trips). Ottumwa IA to SLC (about 29 hours on train) Arrives after 11PM Mountain Time. Spend night in SLC motel and rent car in the morning.
Salt Lake City to Old Faithful Inn 350 miles via West Yellowstone (5.5-6 hours). Old Faithful to Jackson WY (through Tetons) 98 miles (2.5-3 hours plus stops). Jackson WY to Ontario OR 425 miles (6-6.5 hours).
The speed limit through much of Idaho is 75mph. Ontario OR to Portland 380 miles 6 hours plus stops at Multnomah and other waterfalls.
Portland to Newport OR 132 miles 2.5 - 3 hours. The Oregon Coast Aquarium is just south of Newport and is worth a visit. Newport to Crescent City CA (near Redwood NP) 231 miles 5.0 - 5.5 hours plan on a stop at the "Trees of Mystery" for a closeup look at Coast Redwoods. Crescent City to Crater Lake NP 176 miles 3.8 - 4.5 hours. Try for a room at the Crater Lake Lodge and a ride on the boat out to Wizard Island.
Crater Lake NP to Yosemite NP 524 miles (mostly I-5) 9.2- 10 hours. Yosemite to Tonopah NV 210 miles 4.8 - 5.5 hours. The Clown Motel is the scariest motel I ever stayed at. It is next to the cemetery.
Tonopah back to Salt Lake City 410 miles 6 - 7 hours. Total of about 2930 to 3100 miles and 50-60 hours of driving. Whether you fly home from SLC or take the train is up to you.
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Old Dec 8th, 2019, 03:24 PM
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Stoooopid site. It ate my reply

But honestly that would be a back. breaking itinerary. Spending the best part of EIGHT FULL DAYS (shouting font off) in the car and two more on the train -- And that doesn't include any excursions or diversions. Spending much more time getting places than being anywhere. They don't have to cram everything in since Dosha has said they can take future trips. (Though the dog will still be a problem)
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Old Dec 8th, 2019, 04:51 PM
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Iíve done a similar camping trip itinerary like the OP but without Yosemite and only hitting the Yellowstone highlights since it was a repeat visit.

My thinking is that if you are driving all the way to the west coast then you should spend your days there. So 2 kamikaze driving days out, say all the way to Reno or Sacramento, then spend 14 days driving to Yosemite, up hwy 101/Redwoods Coast, up the Oregon Coast, then up the Columbia River past Multnomah Falls, then 2 kamikazi driving days from The Dalles Oregon back home. If you think you have time add in Crater Lake, although it doesnít connect well to the coast.

Set aside Yellowstone/Tetons for another trip, they combine better with Glacier and the Canadian Rockies or the Black Hills.

Editing to add that the speed limit for I-80 in NE, WY, UT, and NV is probably 80 mph.

Last edited by tom_mn; Dec 8th, 2019 at 05:00 PM.
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Old Dec 8th, 2019, 05:05 PM
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Decision

We have decided to drive to the Tetons and Yellowsone in 2020. We are planning the train to Emeryville,Ca and renting a car to drive the coast north and head over to the falls in 2021.We think we will purchase a one way ticket and decide later if we want to ride the train back or just drive... Our experience will determine that decision.😊
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Old Dec 8th, 2019, 07:04 PM
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If you want to fit Yosemite into your 2021 trip, I'd take the train to Sacramento instead of Emeryville. Pick up a car in downtown Sacramento and avoid the GAWD AWFUL (there goes that shouting again ) Bay Area traffic. Drive to Yosemite (seeing the gold rush foothill towns), then up the coast/through the Redwoods, then to the Portland area. From Portland you can fly home or return to Sacramento and train or fly home from there to save one way rental drop off fees.
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Old Dec 9th, 2019, 10:54 AM
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janisj is right about the traffic in the Bay area. Renting a car is easier in Sacramento (and cheaper). I've done it several times. Travel to Yosemite is easier from Sacramento as well. It is also possible to take a San Joaquin train south from Sacramento to Merced and take a YARTS bus into Yosemite.
If you decide you like train travel, you could also take the Coast Starlight north from Sacramento to Portland. The Coast Starlight leaves Sacramento about midnight every night and arrives in Portland in the late afternoon. You would have to rent a car in downtown Portland to go out to see Multnomah Falls (Oregon's highest) and several other waterfalls along the old highway that parallels I-84. You might enjoy a night in Hood River instead of a Portland hotel.
Have a great two trips (2020 and 2021). You will enjoy the trips a lot more if you don't take a dog.
For a taste of Amtrak travel on the California Zephyr you could take it from Burlington IA east as far as Galesburg IL and then take the westbound train back to Burlington the same day. On different trips I have rented cars in Burlington and in Galesburg. The Enterprise agency is about 150 yards from the Galesburg station which was very handy.
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Old Dec 9th, 2019, 12:32 PM
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Can you take a dog on Amtrak? Just curious.
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Old Dec 9th, 2019, 12:41 PM
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We did exactly what janisj suggested a few years ago: after getting off the train in Sacramento we stayed downtown for a couple nights. Then rented a car from a downtown office, they picked us up at the hotel. Two weeks later or so, after Yosemite and Gold rush towns, we returned the car at the Sacramento airport. It think that was only a $15 drop off fee. Worked perfectly. No dog.
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Old Dec 9th, 2019, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by socaltraveler View Post
Can you take a dog on Amtrak? Just curious.
On some trains a limited number of SMALL dogs (and cats) are allowed for trips of less than 8 hours. Check with the Amtrak website for more complete information.
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