Monday, June 27, 2011

Seeking Awesome Wilderness -- Grand Canyon to the Big Apple!

Hi Jamie,

me and a friend of mine are planning a trip through the USA and we were wondering if you can help us. The trip itself will start from Flagstaff, and we want to end up in New York City.

We have around about 17 days, and we want to see as much as we can! We like hiking and awesome views of nature, more than city sightseeing.

thanks in advance

yours sincerely



Hi Max -- 

Thanks for your message.

17 Days is a good amount of time for a cross-country adventure, but hiking is at least as time-intensive as road-tripping, so you'll have to make some choices if you want to have some time at the end to "do" New York City.

I assume you'll want do some Grand Canyon hiking, and be able to appreciate its many prospect points and wonderful scenery.  I also recommend Zion National Park, especially the view from "Angel's Landing", and just about in the whole wide "Four Corners" area is a feast for the eyes.  

Mesa Verde National Park is another breathtaking place, with ancient cliff palaces and unforgettable vistas.  You could spend your whole trip in the Four Corners and still not be able to "see it all", but however long you get here will be time well spent, for sure.

Further north, Yellowstone and Glacier are two more amazing national parks, with miles of wonderful hiking -- and for a change of pace I think you might like Craters of the Moon National Park in Idaho; this is a volcanic lava-flow with many underground caves.  
There is also a lot of river rafting in Idaho, especially along the Snake River -- I describe the region in two of my "Road Trip USA" routes, the "Oregon Trail" along US-20, and along US93 - which I call "Border to Border," in the books and online.  

To get across the country, the drive across the Great Plains shows off wide open spaces, and there are some lovely vistas, for example in the Black Hills of South Dakota (around Mt Rushmore), and in the spectacularly scenic "Upper Peninsula" of northern Michigan. I cover this is my US-2 "Great Northern" route.

In the eastern part of the country, I suspect you'll like the drives in what I cover as the "Appalachian Trail", along the Blue Ridge Parkway (nearby is the place where they filmed "Last of the Mohicans").  

Another awesome natural area is in upstate New York, where the Adirondack Mountains form one of the largest wild areas in the US. 

Then of course, at the end you have the wilderness of Manhattan, which requires a very different set of survival skills, not to mention considerably more cash...


Hope this helps you have a great trip,

Happy Trails, 

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA

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Blogger Katie said...

Max look into doing a Grand Canyon day hike for a great Grand Canyon hiking experience in the least amount of time. I recommend going with a group option like Just Roughin' It, that way you show up and they take you on a day hike and make sure you see all you can within your time frame. Or try another Northern Arizona hiking destination Paria Canyon, I'm pretty sure Just Roughin' It does hikes there too. I used them on my first Grand Canyon hike and just think having a knowledgeable guide is helpful even if you are an experienced hiker. Hope you make it to the Big Apple in time. Oh and go to Diablo Burger while you're in Flag!

11:18 AM  

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