Road Trip Out West


Jan 8th, 2012, 07:24 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2012
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Road Trip Out West

Taking 2 weeks this summer to drive out West with my wife and 3 sons (ages 5, 9, and 11).
Leaving from Ohio, and planning on heading through Mt Rushmore/Badlands and Yellowstone before ending up with family in Seattle and Portland. Just looking for some tips on the way out and back, some other places to stop that would be nice/fun for kids, and still be able to spend 3-5 days in Pacific NW. Also any thoughts on a different return route.

RoadTripper5 is offline  
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Jan 9th, 2012, 06:39 AM
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Wow nice trip man . by the way can you estimate the cost for your travel?
randy2011 is offline  
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Jan 9th, 2012, 07:18 AM
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Maybe come back thru Colorado and see Rocky MNT NP.

That said, there is more than enough at the Black Hills and Yellowstone to keep you busy for two weeks. Spend as much time as you can in Yellowstone and the Tetons.

You could head up to Glacier NP for a couple of days. Olympic, Mt. Rainier, North Cascades, San Juan Islands are all within 2 hours of Seattle.

At Portland, the Columbia River Gorge has some awesome hikes. Maybe head down to Crater Lake on your return.

Even coming back thru Utah would be awesome. Stop at Goblin Valley State Park and Arches National Park. They operate in both Oregon and Utah--AWESOME experience in Oregon it is called cascade canyoning. I've been with them at both places. your kids would LOVE it.
spirobulldog is offline  
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Jan 9th, 2012, 07:21 AM
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Buy a National Park Pass to save some money.
spirobulldog is offline  
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Jan 9th, 2012, 08:21 AM
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Between Portland and Seattle you have the choice of either visiting Mt. St. Helens and Mt Rainier and visiting the Columbia River Gorge and Mt. Hood on the way or going around the Olympic Peninsula to see the rain forest and visit Olympic National Park. To the latter I would add Neah Bay for its museum containing an Indian village that was buried several hundred years ago and a walk to the western most point of the continental US.

Either itinerary will take up your 3 to 5 days.
Michael is offline  
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Jan 9th, 2012, 11:46 AM
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Just to clarify: you have 2 weeks for the entire trip? Or 2 weeks to make the drive plus 3-5 days out there?

Because it looks like the drive from somewhere in Ohio to Seattle is about 35+ hours (depending on where you are in Ohio). That's 3-4 days each way without stopping much. If you count on the round-trip taking a full week plus 3-5 days in the PNW, you are left with 2-4 days along the way to stop and sightsee.

One day for the Rapid City area, another 1-3 days for Yellowstone and that's about all you have time for I think. If you take a different route home it will take longer and you'll have to cut time from Yellowstone.

Only way I see you getting more time for stops is if you and your wife can hammer out more miles per day by starting even earlier and driving late. As it is, you'd need 3 - 12 hour days or 3.5 days of about 10 hour per day without tourist stops just to give yourself the 2-4 days in Yellowstone and Mt. Rushmore.
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Jan 21st, 2012, 06:31 PM
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Given that you have a lot of driving to do and 3 young children, I would focus on Yellowstone and Seattle area/Oregon Coast for your stops that are longer than an overnight. Yellowstone, especially the geyser basin and all the wildlife, is great for kids that age. If you can swing a whale watching trip from Anacortes, WA (90 minutes north of Seattle), they would remember that for a very long time. Otherwise, just take them on a ferry ride to Bainbridge Island and back from downtown Seattle, and do the Seattle Aquarium on the same day. Cannon Beach is an hour from Portland and perfect for kids; they get to see the Pacific Ocean and you can rent these pedal-driven cars to race along the beach. They would love it; my son did. In Seattle, most kids like the rides at the Seattle Center and the Space Needle, too. Those would be my top priorities for boys that age.
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