Monday, September 13, 2010

Western USA in October 2010

Hi Jamie

We come from Finland, and plan to make a road trip 30.9.2010-23.10.2010.

Just wondering if it is too short a time to travel south from Seattle following coast line and go back to north on the east side of Rocky Mountains? In some web site they say it is 1050 miles from Seattle to San Diego and on the other web site they say it is 1500 miles?

It seems so that there is going to be about 4000 miles to drive and it means average 200 miles per day and it does not sound like holiday.

Waiting for your suggestions.

Best Regards

Hannu from Finland


Hello Hannu --

Many thanks for writing in to Road Trip USA, and I hope I can help with your trip planning.

To be honest, 200 miles a days does not seem to be a huge amount of driving -- 3 hours a day -- but if you want to shorten the total and spend more time enjoying places, I might suggest doing the coastal drive followed by a "road trip" back north along a closer mountain range -- instead of the Rockies, follow the gorgeous Sierra Navada Mountains of California, and the Cascades of Oregon and Washington.

You could take the coastal route south, then return north on some wonderful roads -- US-395 from Los Angeles to Carson City is a beautiful drive, and/or you could also cross the mountains to see Yosemite National Park and Lake Tahoe, which are two of the prettiest places on the planet.

And Death Valley is not far away, either.

Further north, in the state of Oregon, you could visit Crater Lake National Park, see the Columbia Gorge, then return to Seattle via Mount Rainier and Mt St Helens, two more very spectacular sights.

This route would save you about 1/3rd of the driving, compared to the Rockies tour.

And if anything, the scenery is even more memorable.

Hope this helps, and that you have a great trip.

Happy Trails,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA


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