Friday, September 16, 2011

See Live Bears! NYC to LA trip

Hey Jamie --

My boyfriend and i were wondering if four weeks is enough for us to get from NYC to L.A., probably in June/July.

We are from Sydney and would really like to see some sights and national parks - with bears if possible ;) . What do you think?

Thanks so much

Anna & Dave


Hi Anna & Dave --

Thanks for writing in to Road Trip USA, and don't worry: Four weeks is plenty of time to get from NYC to LA -- you could even make it back again, if you want to do a whole lotta driving.

It's about 3000 miles each way, and I figure 300 miles a day is a good rate -- 10 days each way, plus however long you want to linger in cities, or run around with bears, along the way.

If you want to be sure of seeing bears, there is one neat old tourist stop in New England, called Clark's Trading Post, where a family has been training and caring for bears for generations. It's a day's drive north of NYC, and really fun, if a little bit politically incorrect.

If you want to see "wild" bears, I'd definitely suggest you head to Yellowstone and/or Yosemite national parks, in Wyoming and California respectively. Both are gorgeous and unforgettable, and well-populated with bears. Many bears can be seen along the drive from the town of Cody -- I cover this stretch in my Oregon Trail route in Road Trip USA. (Book and online!)

If you really want to see them in the wild, Yellowstone is the place: take care, because they do bite! Here is a an interesting blog to whet your appetite:

Yosemite, which to my eye is even more spectacular than Yellowstone, also has tons of bears -- so many they are a big problem, breaking into tourist's cars to eat peanuts and chocolate bars. Signs say, "A Fed Bear is a Dead Bear..", because bears that get used to being fed have to be destroyed.

Hope this helps you have a great trip, Happy Trails,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA

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