A Travel and vacations forum. TravelBanter

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Go Back   Home » TravelBanter forum » Travel Regions » USA & Canada
Site Map Home Authors List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Web Partners

Road trip USA Nat'l parks



 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old October 10th, 2011, 02:33 PM posted to rec.travel.usa-canada
Panawe
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 13
Default Road trip USA Nat'l parks

Hi,

Advice please. I am planning a road trip (fly-drive from UK and stay in
hotels/motels) to the western US next year and I have a number of
questions.

I would like to go whale-watching and see Yosemite and Yellowstone Nat'l
parks (and others if feasible).

I don't like cities.

I am planning on 14 days, is this long enough?

Should I buy a package holiday or just book fly-drive and stay wherever I
end up?

If I book a package could someone recommend a good tour operator?

What's the best time to do this? I was thinking of October 2012.

Are there any hotels that I should not miss?

Are there any events I shouldn't miss?

Can someone recommend a book?

Any possibility of an astronomy event, star-watching party?

Thanks in advance, I realise I've asked a lot of questions.

--
Panawe
  #2  
Old October 10th, 2011, 03:25 PM posted to rec.travel.usa-canada
Graham Harrison[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 288
Default Road trip USA Nat'l parks


"Panawe" wrote in message
m...
Hi,

Advice please. I am planning a road trip (fly-drive from UK and stay in
hotels/motels) to the western US next year and I have a number of
questions.

I would like to go whale-watching and see Yosemite and Yellowstone Nat'l
parks (and others if feasible).

I don't like cities.

I am planning on 14 days, is this long enough?

Should I buy a package holiday or just book fly-drive and stay wherever I
end up?

If I book a package could someone recommend a good tour operator?

What's the best time to do this? I was thinking of October 2012.

Are there any hotels that I should not miss?

Are there any events I shouldn't miss?

Can someone recommend a book?

Any possibility of an astronomy event, star-watching party?

Thanks in advance, I realise I've asked a lot of questions.

--
Panawe


Yellowstone and Yosemite are probably 2 days drive apart and if the road
over Touolmne in Yosemite has closed by then possibly 3 days so 14 days is
doable but you're going to need to keep moving if you're going to do
anything more than spend a night in each of them (which would be silly).

I went to Yellowstone in September this year and previously in October a few
years ago. Weather on both occasions was lovely but the week before we
arrived in October we were told it had snowed and it has been known to snow
in July (but unusual).

Accommodation in and around ANY National Park is at a premium; book early
and BOOK. You're also going to be in some of the least populated parts of
the US where towns with motels I'd stay in can be 80/90 miles apart.
Staying in the parks is an experience - expensive and sometimes surprisingly
basic but I do it because it saves the hassle of driving in and out every
day. In Yosemite THE hotel is the Awanhee. In Yellowstone there are 3
Old Faithful, Mammoth and Lake and I wouldn't like to pick one over the
other. That's not to say I recommend any of those 4 - never stayed in any
of them but visiting each is worthwhile.

I like the Moon series of guidebooks but Lonely Planet or Rough Guide also
work. A Rand McNally road atlas can be useful - Amazon sell them in the
UK. Make sure you understand the scales - each page/state is different.

I would investigate flying to San Francisco and back from Denver - both
routes are operated non-stop. The fare will simply be half of each round
trip. However, that means paying a one way fee for your car. I'd book a
couple of nights in San Francisco to get over jet lag. I'm not a fan of
cities but San Francisco is one that I like. Parking in San Francisco is
like any city - bad and expensive. Book the car for the day you want to
start driving not the day you arrive - even though you'll be a pedestrian it
will also give you time to acclimatise to traffic on the wrong side.
Public transport is pretty good. Make sure you visit Alactraz - book in
advance. Have a read of their highway code
http://dmv.ca.gov/pubs/hdbk/driver_handbook_toc.htm - there are some things
we don't have.

Go south to Monterrey (use highway 1 through Half Moon Bay) and see the
aquarium and whales. Now head for Yosemite; you could go via Pinnacles.
Next north to pick I-80 east as far as Well, Nevada. Go north to Twin
Falls and on towards Sun Valley to turn right and make a stop at
http://www.nps.gov/crmo/index.htm then on to Yellowstone. From Yellowstone
I think I'd head south through Grand Teton and Jackson to I80 at Rock
Springs, Rawlins then south to come over the Rocky Mountain NP for a last
night in Boulder CO before flying home from Denver. You need a minimum of
2 nights in Yosemite and 3 in Yellowstone and that's an absolute minimum.
In Yellowstone you need to get up early (like before dawn) to get into the
prime wildlife spots when the animals are actually about and then go on to
have breakfast.

(That said THE way in/out of Yellowstone for me is the North East entrance
through Cooke City and up to Billings).

(Boulder is a small university city with a pedestrianised downtown. The
path along Boulder Creek leads directly to the edge of the Flatirons. We
stayed in the Quality Inn on Arapahoe which is within easy reach of both on
foot. Visit the Chautauqua there if you have time).


  #3  
Old October 10th, 2011, 03:29 PM posted to rec.travel.usa-canada
Panawe
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 13
Default Road trip USA Nat'l parks

On Mon, 10 Oct 2011 15:25:06 +0100, Graham Harrison wrote:

"Panawe" wrote in message
m...
Hi,

Advice please. I am planning a road trip (fly-drive from UK and stay in
hotels/motels) to the western US next year and I have a number of
questions.

I would like to go whale-watching and see Yosemite and Yellowstone
Nat'l parks (and others if feasible).

I don't like cities.

I am planning on 14 days, is this long enough?

Should I buy a package holiday or just book fly-drive and stay wherever
I end up?

If I book a package could someone recommend a good tour operator?

What's the best time to do this? I was thinking of October 2012.

Are there any hotels that I should not miss?

Are there any events I shouldn't miss?

Can someone recommend a book?

Any possibility of an astronomy event, star-watching party?

Thanks in advance, I realise I've asked a lot of questions.

--
Panawe


Yellowstone and Yosemite are probably 2 days drive apart and if the road
over Touolmne in Yosemite has closed by then possibly 3 days so 14 days
is doable but you're going to need to keep moving if you're going to do
anything more than spend a night in each of them (which would be silly).

I went to Yellowstone in September this year and previously in October a
few years ago. Weather on both occasions was lovely but the week
before we arrived in October we were told it had snowed and it has been
known to snow in July (but unusual).

Accommodation in and around ANY National Park is at a premium; book
early and BOOK. You're also going to be in some of the least populated
parts of the US where towns with motels I'd stay in can be 80/90 miles
apart. Staying in the parks is an experience - expensive and sometimes
surprisingly basic but I do it because it saves the hassle of driving in
and out every day. In Yosemite THE hotel is the Awanhee. In
Yellowstone there are 3 Old Faithful, Mammoth and Lake and I wouldn't
like to pick one over the other. That's not to say I recommend any of
those 4 - never stayed in any of them but visiting each is worthwhile.

I like the Moon series of guidebooks but Lonely Planet or Rough Guide
also work. A Rand McNally road atlas can be useful - Amazon sell them
in the UK. Make sure you understand the scales - each page/state is
different.

I would investigate flying to San Francisco and back from Denver - both
routes are operated non-stop. The fare will simply be half of each
round trip. However, that means paying a one way fee for your car.
I'd book a couple of nights in San Francisco to get over jet lag. I'm
not a fan of cities but San Francisco is one that I like. Parking in
San Francisco is like any city - bad and expensive. Book the car for
the day you want to start driving not the day you arrive - even though
you'll be a pedestrian it will also give you time to acclimatise to
traffic on the wrong side. Public transport is pretty good. Make sure
you visit Alactraz - book in advance. Have a read of their highway
code http://dmv.ca.gov/pubs/hdbk/driver_handbook_toc.htm - there are
some things we don't have.

Go south to Monterrey (use highway 1 through Half Moon Bay) and see the
aquarium and whales. Now head for Yosemite; you could go via
Pinnacles. Next north to pick I-80 east as far as Well, Nevada. Go
north to Twin Falls and on towards Sun Valley to turn right and make a
stop at http://www.nps.gov/crmo/index.htm then on to Yellowstone. From
Yellowstone I think I'd head south through Grand Teton and Jackson to
I80 at Rock Springs, Rawlins then south to come over the Rocky Mountain
NP for a last night in Boulder CO before flying home from Denver. You
need a minimum of 2 nights in Yosemite and 3 in Yellowstone and that's
an absolute minimum. In Yellowstone you need to get up early (like
before dawn) to get into the prime wildlife spots when the animals are
actually about and then go on to have breakfast.

(That said THE way in/out of Yellowstone for me is the North East
entrance through Cooke City and up to Billings).

(Boulder is a small university city with a pedestrianised downtown.
The path along Boulder Creek leads directly to the edge of the
Flatirons. We stayed in the Quality Inn on Arapahoe which is within
easy reach of both on foot. Visit the Chautauqua there if you have
time).


Many, many thanks. I've printed it off. Give me a day or two to digest it
and I might come back with a supplementary question or three.

--
Panawe
  #4  
Old October 10th, 2011, 10:42 PM posted to rec.travel.usa-canada
Kay Lancaster
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 22
Default Road trip USA Nat'l parks

On Mon, 10 Oct 2011 08:33:06 -0500, Panawe wrote:
Hi,

Advice please. I am planning a road trip (fly-drive from UK and stay in
hotels/motels) to the western US next year and I have a number of
questions.

I would like to go whale-watching and see Yosemite and Yellowstone Nat'l
parks (and others if feasible).

I don't like cities.

I am planning on 14 days, is this long enough?


Two or three years instead of two weeks would be a better start on this
project. g Pretty good intro to US National Parks:
http://www.pbs.org/nationalparks/

You've got some good advice, but I'd add a couple of spots to the agenda.
And I'd consider moving the trip back to September... most of the crowds are
gone and the weather is gentle.

Consider flying in to Seattle the do the loop out into the Olympic National
Park -- extraordinary views, and you'll be in a temperate rain forest.
Be sure to stop at places like Hall of Moss: http://www.lovethesepics.com/2011/07...e-usa-36-pics/
http://susan-lynne-hamilton.suite101...a-usa-a122343/
http://www.sunset.com/travel/northwe...0400000050531/ http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/index.htm

From there, drive or fly to Yellowstone, which will take at least three days
to begin to see some of wonders there. There is a new documentary that
was recently aired on PBS here that you might want to see before visiting.
Here's the website with a clip of the program: http://www.aboveyellowstone.com/
And a slightly older program focusing on the geology:
http://www.pbs.org/programs/yellowstone/

If you drive, consider swinging by Mt. St. Helens national monument http://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fs...ment-%2520Home and Ape Cave
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ape_Cave then drop down to near Portland and take
the Columbia River Gorge scenic highway:
http://thecolumbiaexperience.wordpre...ge-waterfalls/ Multnomah Falls has been heavily "improved" because of the heavy
visitor load there, and it's certainly worth a stop, but my favorite easy to
get to falls is Latourell, just a couple of miles W of Multnomah, and an easy
stroll from a parking lot, but virtually unvisited.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latourell_Falls

Drive or fly back to the Yosemite area from Yellowstone:
http://www.nps.gov/yose/index.htm
and don't miss Calaveras Big Trees (California state park) nearby
http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=551
http://www.google.com/search?q=calaveras+big+trees

Fly out of San Francisco after a visit to the Monterey aquarium (world
class!), S of the city, and to Muir Woods N of San Francisco (a different
species than the Big Trees of Calaveras)

If you've got some time stuck in the city of SF, then I recommend the
Exploratorium, a hands-on science museum, if you're so inclined. Another
world class site. http://www.exploratorium.edu/

Whatever you do, please, please be careful. The western states, especially
the national parks and monuments, can be deadly to people who don't think.
Wild animals are wild -- DO NOT APPROACH. There are cougars, bears, bison,
elk, deer, and they can all be deadly. Seeing tourists think about putting
their kids next to a bear or bison in Yellowstone was one of the scariest
moments of my first year in grad school, and the first time I seriously
thought there ought to be an open season on stupidity.

The terrain, in general, is rugged -- the areas you're thinking about are
all about the geology -- if you're going to get out of a direct line of site
of pavement, carry food, water, space blanket, rain gear and a fleece
jacket, even if it's 90 degrees out and clear as a bell when you leave.
Wear hiking boots, not sneakers or sandals. Rescue can be hours or days
away if a trail crumbles and you drop, or if you get lost or trip and
hurt yourself -- sample story he
http://www.kgw.com/news/trappedhunter-131374633.html and he
http://www.kgw.com/news/local/Portla...126540013.html . Note that these are today's stories.

It's a rare week from April to October that there aren't at least two search
and rescue missions going on in the county I live in, just SE of Portland,
Oregon. When you do something stupid or just plain unlucky in unforgiving
country, you're not just endangering yourself, you're also potentially
endangering volunteer rescuers.

Rivers, lakes and streams in the Northwest tend to be very cold because
they are snowmelt. Cold water drownings are very common... the top few
inches of the water seems warm enough to swim, but you can very quickly get
chilled, lose muscle function, sink and drown in just a few minutes.
Note that during October you can expect water temps of 6-10oC.

At the seashore, be wary of sneaker waves that can knock you off your feet
and carry you out instantly, and logs in the surf or on the beach that
can crush you in an instant. http://www.oregon.gov/OPRD/PARKS/beach_tips.shtml

Hand held GPS devices can help prevent getting lost. Make sure someone
knows where you are when you head away from parking areas -- a traveling
companion or leave a dated and timed note on the dashboard of your car...
something like "two on north trail; expect to be back by 6 pm 10/1"
or register with a ranger station if that's available. Do not expect cell
service to be available in many, many areas.

DO NOT TRUST CAR GPS SYSTEMS FULLY to get you to your destination safely
in the backwoods... they don't distinguish between forest roads that are
barely traveled and often poorly maintained and a main highway. We've had
several tragedies and near tragedies in my part of the world from that,
notably the Kim family (google James Kim) or
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2...ch-rescue.html
Carry good maps (if you're a member of the RAC, I believe you have
automatic services from AAA, which has excellent maps and tour books) and
stay off the unpaved roads without local advice that they're passable.

Please know that I'm telling you about these sorts of hazards so you can
have a safe, fun, memorable trip, not to push you into joining an organized
tour group. Use your head, be safe, and please have a wonderful time.
Then come back next year and hit some of the sites in the SW states... also
wonderful.

Kay
  #5  
Old October 11th, 2011, 10:31 AM posted to rec.travel.usa-canada
Panawe
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 13
Default Road trip USA Nat'l parks

On Mon, 10 Oct 2011 21:42:03 +0000, Kay Lancaster wrote:

On Mon, 10 Oct 2011 08:33:06 -0500, Panawe wrote:
Hi,

Advice please. I am planning a road trip (fly-drive from UK and stay in
hotels/motels) to the western US next year and I have a number of
questions.

I would like to go whale-watching and see Yosemite and Yellowstone
Nat'l parks (and others if feasible).

I don't like cities.

I am planning on 14 days, is this long enough?


Two or three years instead of two weeks would be a better start on this
project. g Pretty good intro to US National Parks:
http://www.pbs.org/nationalparks/

You've got some good advice, but I'd add a couple of spots to the
agenda. And I'd consider moving the trip back to September... most of
the crowds are gone and the weather is gentle.

Consider flying in to Seattle the do the loop out into the Olympic
National Park -- extraordinary views, and you'll be in a temperate rain
forest. Be sure to stop at places like Hall of Moss:
http://www.lovethesepics.com/2011/07...rk-one-of-the-

wildest-places-left-in-the-usa-36-pics/
http://susan-lynne-hamilton.suite101...el-in-olympic-

national-park-wa-usa-a122343/
http://www.sunset.com/travel/northwe...al-park-hikes-

rainforest-00400000050531/
http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/index.htm

From there, drive or fly to Yellowstone, which will take at least three
days to begin to see some of wonders there. There is a new documentary
that was recently aired on PBS here that you might want to see before
visiting. Here's the website with a clip of the program:
http://www.aboveyellowstone.com/ And a slightly older program focusing
on the geology: http://www.pbs.org/programs/yellowstone/

If you drive, consider swinging by Mt. St. Helens national monument
http://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsinternet/!ut/p/

c4/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gjAwhwtDDw9_AI8zPyhQ oY6BdkOyoCAGixyPg!/?
ss=110623&navtype=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&cid=STELPRDB5150 439&navid=091000000000000&position=Feature*&ttype= detail&pname=Mount
%2520St.%2520Helens%2520National%2520Volcanic%2520 Monument-%2520Home
and Ape Cave http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ape_Cave then drop down to
near Portland and take the Columbia River Gorge scenic highway:
http://thecolumbiaexperience.wordpre...olumbia-river-

gorge-waterfalls/
Multnomah Falls has been heavily "improved" because of the heavy
visitor load there, and it's certainly worth a stop, but my favorite
easy to get to falls is Latourell, just a couple of miles W of
Multnomah, and an easy stroll from a parking lot, but virtually
unvisited. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latourell_Falls

Drive or fly back to the Yosemite area from Yellowstone:
http://www.nps.gov/yose/index.htm
and don't miss Calaveras Big Trees (California state park) nearby
http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=551
http://www.google.com/search?q=calaveras+big+trees

Fly out of San Francisco after a visit to the Monterey aquarium (world
class!), S of the city, and to Muir Woods N of San Francisco (a
different species than the Big Trees of Calaveras)

If you've got some time stuck in the city of SF, then I recommend the
Exploratorium, a hands-on science museum, if you're so inclined.
Another world class site. http://www.exploratorium.edu/

Whatever you do, please, please be careful. The western states,
especially the national parks and monuments, can be deadly to people who
don't think. Wild animals are wild -- DO NOT APPROACH. There are
cougars, bears, bison, elk, deer, and they can all be deadly. Seeing
tourists think about putting their kids next to a bear or bison in
Yellowstone was one of the scariest moments of my first year in grad
school, and the first time I seriously thought there ought to be an open
season on stupidity.

The terrain, in general, is rugged -- the areas you're thinking about
are all about the geology -- if you're going to get out of a direct line
of site of pavement, carry food, water, space blanket, rain gear and a
fleece jacket, even if it's 90 degrees out and clear as a bell when you
leave. Wear hiking boots, not sneakers or sandals. Rescue can be hours
or days away if a trail crumbles and you drop, or if you get lost or
trip and hurt yourself -- sample story he
http://www.kgw.com/news/trappedhunter-131374633.html and he
http://www.kgw.com/news/local/Portla...ng-in-Mt-Hood-

wilderness-126540013.html
. Note that these are today's stories.

It's a rare week from April to October that there aren't at least two
search and rescue missions going on in the county I live in, just SE of
Portland, Oregon. When you do something stupid or just plain unlucky in
unforgiving country, you're not just endangering yourself, you're also
potentially endangering volunteer rescuers.

Rivers, lakes and streams in the Northwest tend to be very cold because
they are snowmelt. Cold water drownings are very common... the top few
inches of the water seems warm enough to swim, but you can very quickly
get chilled, lose muscle function, sink and drown in just a few minutes.
Note that during October you can expect water temps of 6-10oC.

At the seashore, be wary of sneaker waves that can knock you off your
feet and carry you out instantly, and logs in the surf or on the beach
that can crush you in an instant.
http://www.oregon.gov/OPRD/PARKS/beach_tips.shtml

Hand held GPS devices can help prevent getting lost. Make sure someone
knows where you are when you head away from parking areas -- a traveling
companion or leave a dated and timed note on the dashboard of your
car... something like "two on north trail; expect to be back by 6 pm
10/1" or register with a ranger station if that's available. Do not
expect cell service to be available in many, many areas.

DO NOT TRUST CAR GPS SYSTEMS FULLY to get you to your destination safely
in the backwoods... they don't distinguish between forest roads that are
barely traveled and often poorly maintained and a main highway. We've
had several tragedies and near tragedies in my part of the world from
that, notably the Kim family (google James Kim) or
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2...retien-search-

rescue.html
Carry good maps (if you're a member of the RAC, I believe you have
automatic services from AAA, which has excellent maps and tour books)
and stay off the unpaved roads without local advice that they're
passable.

Please know that I'm telling you about these sorts of hazards so you can
have a safe, fun, memorable trip, not to push you into joining an
organized tour group. Use your head, be safe, and please have a
wonderful time. Then come back next year and hit some of the sites in
the SW states... also wonderful.

Kay


Many thanks, Kay. I've sent off for maps and books and I need to work out
an itinerary using the advice I've got here. Thanks again.




--
Panawe
  #6  
Old October 11th, 2011, 08:58 PM posted to rec.travel.usa-canada
Panawe
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 13
Default Road trip USA Nat'l parks

On Mon, 10 Oct 2011 15:25:06 +0100, Graham Harrison wrote:

"Panawe" wrote in message
m...
Hi,

Advice please. I am planning a road trip (fly-drive from UK and stay in
hotels/motels) to the western US next year and I have a number of
questions.

I would like to go whale-watching and see Yosemite and Yellowstone
Nat'l parks (and others if feasible).

I don't like cities.

I am planning on 14 days, is this long enough?

Should I buy a package holiday or just book fly-drive and stay wherever
I end up?

If I book a package could someone recommend a good tour operator?

What's the best time to do this? I was thinking of October 2012.

Are there any hotels that I should not miss?

Are there any events I shouldn't miss?

Can someone recommend a book?

Any possibility of an astronomy event, star-watching party?

Thanks in advance, I realise I've asked a lot of questions.

--
Panawe


Yellowstone and Yosemite are probably 2 days drive apart and if the road
over Touolmne in Yosemite has closed by then possibly 3 days so 14 days
is doable but you're going to need to keep moving if you're going to do
anything more than spend a night in each of them (which would be silly).

I went to Yellowstone in September this year and previously in October a
few years ago. Weather on both occasions was lovely but the week
before we arrived in October we were told it had snowed and it has been
known to snow in July (but unusual).

Accommodation in and around ANY National Park is at a premium; book
early and BOOK. You're also going to be in some of the least populated
parts of the US where towns with motels I'd stay in can be 80/90 miles
apart. Staying in the parks is an experience - expensive and sometimes
surprisingly basic but I do it because it saves the hassle of driving in
and out every day. In Yosemite THE hotel is the Awanhee. In
Yellowstone there are 3 Old Faithful, Mammoth and Lake and I wouldn't
like to pick one over the other. That's not to say I recommend any of
those 4 - never stayed in any of them but visiting each is worthwhile.

I like the Moon series of guidebooks but Lonely Planet or Rough Guide
also work. A Rand McNally road atlas can be useful - Amazon sell them
in the UK. Make sure you understand the scales - each page/state is
different.

I would investigate flying to San Francisco and back from Denver - both
routes are operated non-stop. The fare will simply be half of each
round trip. However, that means paying a one way fee for your car.
I'd book a couple of nights in San Francisco to get over jet lag. I'm
not a fan of cities but San Francisco is one that I like. Parking in
San Francisco is like any city - bad and expensive. Book the car for
the day you want to start driving not the day you arrive - even though
you'll be a pedestrian it will also give you time to acclimatise to
traffic on the wrong side. Public transport is pretty good. Make sure
you visit Alactraz - book in advance. Have a read of their highway
code http://dmv.ca.gov/pubs/hdbk/driver_handbook_toc.htm - there are
some things we don't have.

Go south to Monterrey (use highway 1 through Half Moon Bay) and see the
aquarium and whales. Now head for Yosemite; you could go via
Pinnacles. Next north to pick I-80 east as far as Well, Nevada. Go
north to Twin Falls and on towards Sun Valley to turn right and make a
stop at http://www.nps.gov/crmo/index.htm then on to Yellowstone. From
Yellowstone I think I'd head south through Grand Teton and Jackson to
I80 at Rock Springs, Rawlins then south to come over the Rocky Mountain
NP for a last night in Boulder CO before flying home from Denver. You
need a minimum of 2 nights in Yosemite and 3 in Yellowstone and that's
an absolute minimum. In Yellowstone you need to get up early (like
before dawn) to get into the prime wildlife spots when the animals are
actually about and then go on to have breakfast.

(That said THE way in/out of Yellowstone for me is the North East
entrance through Cooke City and up to Billings).

(Boulder is a small university city with a pedestrianised downtown.
The path along Boulder Creek leads directly to the edge of the
Flatirons. We stayed in the Quality Inn on Arapahoe which is within
easy reach of both on foot. Visit the Chautauqua there if you have
time).


Hi,

I'm blocking in the holiday. Here goes....

Hotel San Francisco 04/09/12
Hotel San Francisco 05/09/12
Hotel Monterey 06/09/12
Hotel Monterey 07/09/12
Hotel Yosemite 08/09/12
Hotel Yosemite 09/09/12
Hotel Yosemite 10/09/12
Hotel Twin Falls 11/09/12
Hotel Grand Teton 12/09/12
Hotel Grand Teton 13/09/12
Hotel Yellowstone 14/09/12
Hotel Yellowstone 15/09/12
Hotel Yellowstone 16/09/12
and back to San Fran over 3 days.

What do you think?

I need a route back from Yellowstone to west coast, around Crescent City,
so I can use the coast road back to San Francisco.

Thanks in advance.




--
Panawe
  #7  
Old October 11th, 2011, 10:15 PM posted to rec.travel.usa-canada
WJ[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 18
Default Road trip USA Nat'l parks

On 10/11/2011 3:58 PM, Panawe wrote:
On Mon, 10 Oct 2011 15:25:06 +0100, Graham Harrison wrote:

wrote in message
m...
Hi,

Advice please. I am planning a road trip (fly-drive from UK and stay in
hotels/motels) to the western US next year and I have a number of
questions.

I would like to go whale-watching and see Yosemite and Yellowstone
Nat'l parks (and others if feasible).

I don't like cities.

I am planning on 14 days, is this long enough?

Should I buy a package holiday or just book fly-drive and stay wherever
I end up?

If I book a package could someone recommend a good tour operator?

What's the best time to do this? I was thinking of October 2012.

Are there any hotels that I should not miss?

Are there any events I shouldn't miss?

Can someone recommend a book?

Any possibility of an astronomy event, star-watching party?

Thanks in advance, I realise I've asked a lot of questions.

--
Panawe


Yellowstone and Yosemite are probably 2 days drive apart and if the road
over Touolmne in Yosemite has closed by then possibly 3 days so 14 days
is doable but you're going to need to keep moving if you're going to do
anything more than spend a night in each of them (which would be silly).

I went to Yellowstone in September this year and previously in October a
few years ago. Weather on both occasions was lovely but the week
before we arrived in October we were told it had snowed and it has been
known to snow in July (but unusual).

Accommodation in and around ANY National Park is at a premium; book
early and BOOK. You're also going to be in some of the least populated
parts of the US where towns with motels I'd stay in can be 80/90 miles
apart. Staying in the parks is an experience - expensive and sometimes
surprisingly basic but I do it because it saves the hassle of driving in
and out every day. In Yosemite THE hotel is the Awanhee. In
Yellowstone there are 3 Old Faithful, Mammoth and Lake and I wouldn't
like to pick one over the other. That's not to say I recommend any of
those 4 - never stayed in any of them but visiting each is worthwhile.

I like the Moon series of guidebooks but Lonely Planet or Rough Guide
also work. A Rand McNally road atlas can be useful - Amazon sell them
in the UK. Make sure you understand the scales - each page/state is
different.

I would investigate flying to San Francisco and back from Denver - both
routes are operated non-stop. The fare will simply be half of each
round trip. However, that means paying a one way fee for your car.
I'd book a couple of nights in San Francisco to get over jet lag. I'm
not a fan of cities but San Francisco is one that I like. Parking in
San Francisco is like any city - bad and expensive. Book the car for
the day you want to start driving not the day you arrive - even though
you'll be a pedestrian it will also give you time to acclimatise to
traffic on the wrong side. Public transport is pretty good. Make sure
you visit Alactraz - book in advance. Have a read of their highway
code http://dmv.ca.gov/pubs/hdbk/driver_handbook_toc.htm - there are
some things we don't have.

Go south to Monterrey (use highway 1 through Half Moon Bay) and see the
aquarium and whales. Now head for Yosemite; you could go via
Pinnacles. Next north to pick I-80 east as far as Well, Nevada. Go
north to Twin Falls and on towards Sun Valley to turn right and make a
stop at http://www.nps.gov/crmo/index.htm then on to Yellowstone. From
Yellowstone I think I'd head south through Grand Teton and Jackson to
I80 at Rock Springs, Rawlins then south to come over the Rocky Mountain
NP for a last night in Boulder CO before flying home from Denver. You
need a minimum of 2 nights in Yosemite and 3 in Yellowstone and that's
an absolute minimum. In Yellowstone you need to get up early (like
before dawn) to get into the prime wildlife spots when the animals are
actually about and then go on to have breakfast.

(That said THE way in/out of Yellowstone for me is the North East
entrance through Cooke City and up to Billings).

(Boulder is a small university city with a pedestrianised downtown.
The path along Boulder Creek leads directly to the edge of the
Flatirons. We stayed in the Quality Inn on Arapahoe which is within
easy reach of both on foot. Visit the Chautauqua there if you have
time).


Hi,

I'm blocking in the holiday. Here goes....

Hotel San Francisco 04/09/12
Hotel San Francisco 05/09/12
Hotel Monterey 06/09/12
Hotel Monterey 07/09/12
Hotel Yosemite 08/09/12
Hotel Yosemite 09/09/12
Hotel Yosemite 10/09/12
Hotel Twin Falls 11/09/12
Hotel Grand Teton 12/09/12
Hotel Grand Teton 13/09/12
Hotel Yellowstone 14/09/12
Hotel Yellowstone 15/09/12
Hotel Yellowstone 16/09/12
and back to San Fran over 3 days.

What do you think?

I need a route back from Yellowstone to west coast, around Crescent City,
so I can use the coast road back to San Francisco.

Thanks in advance.




Take US 20 from Yellowstone west to Arco, Idaho; then US 20/26/93
to/past Craters of the Moon National Monument (stop and climb a cinder
cone); then US 26 west at Shoshone, Idaho to I-84; then I-84 west to
Ontario, Oregon; then US 20 west to Burns, Oregon (overnight first night
in Burns, Oregon); then west on US 20 to Bend, Oregon; then south on US
97 to Oregon route 138; then south on the North Entrance Road to Crater
Lake, around the west side of Crater Lake (you won't believe how
absolutely *blue* it is!) to Oregon route 62; south on 62 to the
intersection with Oregon route 234; west on 234 to I-5; north on I-5 to
exit 55 (only about 10 miles); then US 199 south to Crescent City
(overnight second night in Crescent City).


  #8  
Old October 11th, 2011, 10:19 PM posted to rec.travel.usa-canada
WJ[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 18
Default Road trip USA Nat'l parks

On 10/11/2011 3:58 PM, Panawe wrote:
On Mon, 10 Oct 2011 15:25:06 +0100, Graham Harrison wrote:

wrote in message
m...
Hi,

Advice please. I am planning a road trip (fly-drive from UK and stay in
hotels/motels) to the western US next year and I have a number of
questions.

I would like to go whale-watching and see Yosemite and Yellowstone
Nat'l parks (and others if feasible).

I don't like cities.

I am planning on 14 days, is this long enough?

Should I buy a package holiday or just book fly-drive and stay wherever
I end up?

If I book a package could someone recommend a good tour operator?

What's the best time to do this? I was thinking of October 2012.

Are there any hotels that I should not miss?

Are there any events I shouldn't miss?

Can someone recommend a book?

Any possibility of an astronomy event, star-watching party?

Thanks in advance, I realise I've asked a lot of questions.

--
Panawe


Yellowstone and Yosemite are probably 2 days drive apart and if the road
over Touolmne in Yosemite has closed by then possibly 3 days so 14 days
is doable but you're going to need to keep moving if you're going to do
anything more than spend a night in each of them (which would be silly).

I went to Yellowstone in September this year and previously in October a
few years ago. Weather on both occasions was lovely but the week
before we arrived in October we were told it had snowed and it has been
known to snow in July (but unusual).

Accommodation in and around ANY National Park is at a premium; book
early and BOOK. You're also going to be in some of the least populated
parts of the US where towns with motels I'd stay in can be 80/90 miles
apart. Staying in the parks is an experience - expensive and sometimes
surprisingly basic but I do it because it saves the hassle of driving in
and out every day. In Yosemite THE hotel is the Awanhee. In
Yellowstone there are 3 Old Faithful, Mammoth and Lake and I wouldn't
like to pick one over the other. That's not to say I recommend any of
those 4 - never stayed in any of them but visiting each is worthwhile.

I like the Moon series of guidebooks but Lonely Planet or Rough Guide
also work. A Rand McNally road atlas can be useful - Amazon sell them
in the UK. Make sure you understand the scales - each page/state is
different.

I would investigate flying to San Francisco and back from Denver - both
routes are operated non-stop. The fare will simply be half of each
round trip. However, that means paying a one way fee for your car.
I'd book a couple of nights in San Francisco to get over jet lag. I'm
not a fan of cities but San Francisco is one that I like. Parking in
San Francisco is like any city - bad and expensive. Book the car for
the day you want to start driving not the day you arrive - even though
you'll be a pedestrian it will also give you time to acclimatise to
traffic on the wrong side. Public transport is pretty good. Make sure
you visit Alactraz - book in advance. Have a read of their highway
code http://dmv.ca.gov/pubs/hdbk/driver_handbook_toc.htm - there are
some things we don't have.

Go south to Monterrey (use highway 1 through Half Moon Bay) and see the
aquarium and whales. Now head for Yosemite; you could go via
Pinnacles. Next north to pick I-80 east as far as Well, Nevada. Go
north to Twin Falls and on towards Sun Valley to turn right and make a
stop at http://www.nps.gov/crmo/index.htm then on to Yellowstone. From
Yellowstone I think I'd head south through Grand Teton and Jackson to
I80 at Rock Springs, Rawlins then south to come over the Rocky Mountain
NP for a last night in Boulder CO before flying home from Denver. You
need a minimum of 2 nights in Yosemite and 3 in Yellowstone and that's
an absolute minimum. In Yellowstone you need to get up early (like
before dawn) to get into the prime wildlife spots when the animals are
actually about and then go on to have breakfast.

(That said THE way in/out of Yellowstone for me is the North East
entrance through Cooke City and up to Billings).

(Boulder is a small university city with a pedestrianised downtown.
The path along Boulder Creek leads directly to the edge of the
Flatirons. We stayed in the Quality Inn on Arapahoe which is within
easy reach of both on foot. Visit the Chautauqua there if you have
time).


Hi,

I'm blocking in the holiday. Here goes....

Hotel San Francisco 04/09/12
Hotel San Francisco 05/09/12
Hotel Monterey 06/09/12
Hotel Monterey 07/09/12
Hotel Yosemite 08/09/12
Hotel Yosemite 09/09/12
Hotel Yosemite 10/09/12
Hotel Twin Falls 11/09/12
Hotel Grand Teton 12/09/12
Hotel Grand Teton 13/09/12
Hotel Yellowstone 14/09/12
Hotel Yellowstone 15/09/12
Hotel Yellowstone 16/09/12
and back to San Fran over 3 days.

What do you think?

I need a route back from Yellowstone to west coast, around Crescent City,
so I can use the coast road back to San Francisco.

Thanks in advance.




See my previous post.
Tripadvisor.com seems to think that America's Best Inn is the best place
to stay in Burns, OR.

  #9  
Old October 11th, 2011, 10:59 PM posted to rec.travel.usa-canada
Graham Harrison[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 288
Default Road trip USA Nat'l parks


"Panawe" wrote in message
m...
On Mon, 10 Oct 2011 15:25:06 +0100, Graham Harrison wrote:

"Panawe" wrote in message
m...
Hi,

Advice please. I am planning a road trip (fly-drive from UK and stay in
hotels/motels) to the western US next year and I have a number of
questions.

I would like to go whale-watching and see Yosemite and Yellowstone
Nat'l parks (and others if feasible).

I don't like cities.

I am planning on 14 days, is this long enough?

Should I buy a package holiday or just book fly-drive and stay wherever
I end up?

If I book a package could someone recommend a good tour operator?

What's the best time to do this? I was thinking of October 2012.

Are there any hotels that I should not miss?

Are there any events I shouldn't miss?

Can someone recommend a book?

Any possibility of an astronomy event, star-watching party?

Thanks in advance, I realise I've asked a lot of questions.

--
Panawe


Yellowstone and Yosemite are probably 2 days drive apart and if the road
over Touolmne in Yosemite has closed by then possibly 3 days so 14 days
is doable but you're going to need to keep moving if you're going to do
anything more than spend a night in each of them (which would be silly).

I went to Yellowstone in September this year and previously in October a
few years ago. Weather on both occasions was lovely but the week
before we arrived in October we were told it had snowed and it has been
known to snow in July (but unusual).

Accommodation in and around ANY National Park is at a premium; book
early and BOOK. You're also going to be in some of the least populated
parts of the US where towns with motels I'd stay in can be 80/90 miles
apart. Staying in the parks is an experience - expensive and sometimes
surprisingly basic but I do it because it saves the hassle of driving in
and out every day. In Yosemite THE hotel is the Awanhee. In
Yellowstone there are 3 Old Faithful, Mammoth and Lake and I wouldn't
like to pick one over the other. That's not to say I recommend any of
those 4 - never stayed in any of them but visiting each is worthwhile.

I like the Moon series of guidebooks but Lonely Planet or Rough Guide
also work. A Rand McNally road atlas can be useful - Amazon sell them
in the UK. Make sure you understand the scales - each page/state is
different.

I would investigate flying to San Francisco and back from Denver - both
routes are operated non-stop. The fare will simply be half of each
round trip. However, that means paying a one way fee for your car.
I'd book a couple of nights in San Francisco to get over jet lag. I'm
not a fan of cities but San Francisco is one that I like. Parking in
San Francisco is like any city - bad and expensive. Book the car for
the day you want to start driving not the day you arrive - even though
you'll be a pedestrian it will also give you time to acclimatise to
traffic on the wrong side. Public transport is pretty good. Make sure
you visit Alactraz - book in advance. Have a read of their highway
code http://dmv.ca.gov/pubs/hdbk/driver_handbook_toc.htm - there are
some things we don't have.

Go south to Monterrey (use highway 1 through Half Moon Bay) and see the
aquarium and whales. Now head for Yosemite; you could go via
Pinnacles. Next north to pick I-80 east as far as Well, Nevada. Go
north to Twin Falls and on towards Sun Valley to turn right and make a
stop at http://www.nps.gov/crmo/index.htm then on to Yellowstone. From
Yellowstone I think I'd head south through Grand Teton and Jackson to
I80 at Rock Springs, Rawlins then south to come over the Rocky Mountain
NP for a last night in Boulder CO before flying home from Denver. You
need a minimum of 2 nights in Yosemite and 3 in Yellowstone and that's
an absolute minimum. In Yellowstone you need to get up early (like
before dawn) to get into the prime wildlife spots when the animals are
actually about and then go on to have breakfast.

(That said THE way in/out of Yellowstone for me is the North East
entrance through Cooke City and up to Billings).

(Boulder is a small university city with a pedestrianised downtown.
The path along Boulder Creek leads directly to the edge of the
Flatirons. We stayed in the Quality Inn on Arapahoe which is within
easy reach of both on foot. Visit the Chautauqua there if you have
time).


Hi,

I'm blocking in the holiday. Here goes....

Hotel San Francisco 04/09/12
Hotel San Francisco 05/09/12
Hotel Monterey 06/09/12
Hotel Monterey 07/09/12
Hotel Yosemite 08/09/12
Hotel Yosemite 09/09/12
Hotel Yosemite 10/09/12
Hotel Twin Falls 11/09/12
Hotel Grand Teton 12/09/12
Hotel Grand Teton 13/09/12
Hotel Yellowstone 14/09/12
Hotel Yellowstone 15/09/12
Hotel Yellowstone 16/09/12
and back to San Fran over 3 days.

What do you think?

I need a route back from Yellowstone to west coast, around Crescent City,
so I can use the coast road back to San Francisco.

Thanks in advance.




--
Panawe


I'd say you're being far too optimistic if you think you're going to get
from Yosemite to Twin Falls in a day. My feeling is that Winnemucca (or
maybe Elko)Nevada is as far as you'll get (the road over Tuolumne is scenic,
not quick) and you might then make Jackson the following night. There's no
accommodation in Teton that I'm aware of so you need to stay in Jackson.
Maybe simply pass through Teton en route from Jackson to Yellowstone.

As for getting back to San Francisco I'd say Crescent City via CA1 (the
coast road) to San Francisco needs 2 days - you can probably plan to catch
the last flight from San Francisco if you stay no more than 100 miles north
of San Francisco for your last night. However, that means you might
glimpse (but not see) the blue of Crater Lake, miss Lava Tubes near Klamath
Falls, will almost certainly miss Point Reyes and you'll have no chance to
ride the Skunk Train from Fort Bragg (to name but a few sights).

It all depends on how much time you want to spend in the car and how much
out of it. My view is you're being much too optimistic for a 2 week trip.

  #10  
Old October 11th, 2011, 11:07 PM posted to rec.travel.usa-canada
Panawe
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 13
Default Road trip USA Nat'l parks

On Tue, 11 Oct 2011 17:15:30 -0400, WJ wrote:

On 10/11/2011 3:58 PM, Panawe wrote:
On Mon, 10 Oct 2011 15:25:06 +0100, Graham Harrison wrote:

wrote in message
m...
Hi,

Advice please. I am planning a road trip (fly-drive from UK and stay
in hotels/motels) to the western US next year and I have a number of
questions.

I would like to go whale-watching and see Yosemite and Yellowstone
Nat'l parks (and others if feasible).

I don't like cities.

I am planning on 14 days, is this long enough?

Should I buy a package holiday or just book fly-drive and stay
wherever I end up?

If I book a package could someone recommend a good tour operator?

What's the best time to do this? I was thinking of October 2012.

Are there any hotels that I should not miss?

Are there any events I shouldn't miss?

Can someone recommend a book?

Any possibility of an astronomy event, star-watching party?

Thanks in advance, I realise I've asked a lot of questions.

--
Panawe

Yellowstone and Yosemite are probably 2 days drive apart and if the
road over Touolmne in Yosemite has closed by then possibly 3 days so
14 days is doable but you're going to need to keep moving if you're
going to do anything more than spend a night in each of them (which
would be silly).

I went to Yellowstone in September this year and previously in October
a few years ago. Weather on both occasions was lovely but the week
before we arrived in October we were told it had snowed and it has
been known to snow in July (but unusual).

Accommodation in and around ANY National Park is at a premium; book
early and BOOK. You're also going to be in some of the least
populated parts of the US where towns with motels I'd stay in can be
80/90 miles apart. Staying in the parks is an experience - expensive
and sometimes surprisingly basic but I do it because it saves the
hassle of driving in and out every day. In Yosemite THE hotel is the
Awanhee. In Yellowstone there are 3 Old Faithful, Mammoth and Lake
and I wouldn't like to pick one over the other. That's not to say I
recommend any of those 4 - never stayed in any of them but visiting
each is worthwhile.

I like the Moon series of guidebooks but Lonely Planet or Rough Guide
also work. A Rand McNally road atlas can be useful - Amazon sell
them in the UK. Make sure you understand the scales - each
page/state is different.

I would investigate flying to San Francisco and back from Denver -
both routes are operated non-stop. The fare will simply be half of
each round trip. However, that means paying a one way fee for your
car. I'd book a couple of nights in San Francisco to get over jet lag.
I'm not a fan of cities but San Francisco is one that I like.
Parking in San Francisco is like any city - bad and expensive. Book
the car for the day you want to start driving not the day you arrive -
even though you'll be a pedestrian it will also give you time to
acclimatise to traffic on the wrong side. Public transport is pretty
good. Make sure you visit Alactraz - book in advance. Have a read
of their highway code
http://dmv.ca.gov/pubs/hdbk/driver_handbook_toc.htm - there are some
things we don't have.

Go south to Monterrey (use highway 1 through Half Moon Bay) and see
the aquarium and whales. Now head for Yosemite; you could go via
Pinnacles. Next north to pick I-80 east as far as Well, Nevada. Go
north to Twin Falls and on towards Sun Valley to turn right and make a
stop at http://www.nps.gov/crmo/index.htm then on to Yellowstone.
From Yellowstone I think I'd head south through Grand Teton and
Jackson to I80 at Rock Springs, Rawlins then south to come over the
Rocky Mountain NP for a last night in Boulder CO before flying home
from Denver. You need a minimum of 2 nights in Yosemite and 3 in
Yellowstone and that's an absolute minimum. In Yellowstone you need to
get up early (like before dawn) to get into the prime wildlife spots
when the animals are actually about and then go on to have breakfast.

(That said THE way in/out of Yellowstone for me is the North East
entrance through Cooke City and up to Billings).

(Boulder is a small university city with a pedestrianised downtown.
The path along Boulder Creek leads directly to the edge of the
Flatirons. We stayed in the Quality Inn on Arapahoe which is within
easy reach of both on foot. Visit the Chautauqua there if you have
time).


Hi,

I'm blocking in the holiday. Here goes....

Hotel San Francisco 04/09/12
Hotel San Francisco 05/09/12
Hotel Monterey 06/09/12
Hotel Monterey 07/09/12
Hotel Yosemite 08/09/12
Hotel Yosemite 09/09/12
Hotel Yosemite 10/09/12
Hotel Twin Falls 11/09/12
Hotel Grand Teton 12/09/12
Hotel Grand Teton 13/09/12
Hotel Yellowstone 14/09/12
Hotel Yellowstone 15/09/12
Hotel Yellowstone 16/09/12
and back to San Fran over 3 days.

What do you think?

I need a route back from Yellowstone to west coast, around Crescent
City, so I can use the coast road back to San Francisco.

Thanks in advance.




Take US 20 from Yellowstone west to Arco, Idaho; then US 20/26/93
to/past Craters of the Moon National Monument (stop and climb a cinder
cone); then US 26 west at Shoshone, Idaho to I-84; then I-84 west to
Ontario, Oregon; then US 20 west to Burns, Oregon (overnight first night
in Burns, Oregon); then west on US 20 to Bend, Oregon; then south on US
97 to Oregon route 138; then south on the North Entrance Road to Crater
Lake, around the west side of Crater Lake (you won't believe how
absolutely *blue* it is!) to Oregon route 62; south on 62 to the
intersection with Oregon route 234; west on 234 to I-5; north on I-5 to
exit 55 (only about 10 miles); then US 199 south to Crescent City
(overnight second night in Crescent City).


Many thanks for this.



--
Panawe
 




Thread Tools
Display Modes

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

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Trip Report : Yellowstone National Parks. dicktay USA & Canada 8 November 6th, 2006 02:34 AM
Road conditions to Natural Bridges Nat'l Monument? Owlman USA & Canada 20 April 4th, 2005 05:56 PM
Road conditions to Natural Bridges Nat'l Monument? Owlman USA & Canada 0 April 2nd, 2005 07:29 AM
Questions about possible trip to Banff area / national parks/ driving in Alberta/BC [email protected] USA & Canada 3 February 14th, 2004 08:46 PM
Help with planning a trip to Parks Bobbiegib USA & Canada 2 October 28th, 2003 09:58 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 08:50 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2018 TravelBanter.
The comments are property of their posters.