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kckc007

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Good day to all. Apologies if there is a dedicated thread which I have missed. We are gathering data to plan a Sep -Oct, 35 day tour for a retired english couple in a rented Class C.
Routing  LA - Monterey- Yosemite - Yellowstone - Colorado National Parks- Death Valley - LA. Google thinks it is 4500 miles. Is it likely this plan will survive contact with reality? At present I am inundated with information. Any more specific recommendations, suggestions , pointers or constructive comments/criticism would be more than welcome.

Thank you for your attention.

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Welcome to the Escapee forums and also an early welcome to the USA!  It would help if we knew a few things about you, such as if you have traveled in the USA before and are familiar with our highways and also if you have RV travel experience? 

The 4500 miles in 35 days is quite workable as most of the highways that you will travel are quite good. When I plug the places that you list into Google Maps, I come up with about 3300 miles, so I am thinking that you plan some stops in between, which is a good plan. You need to be aware that at that time of year you may experience snow in the mountains along your route, especially around Yellowstone and in Colorado. You could have issues with weather-related road conditions but that early it would be unusual for it to last more than a day or two but you need to build a few extra days into the plan to allow for that. 

Guessing just a little bit, I suspect that you plan to visit both Rocky Mountain NP, and also Mesa Verde NP while in Colorado, so I suggest that a visit to Grand Canyon NP between Mesa Verde NP and Death Valley NP might be a good plan if you have never visited it. Thus far your plan does seem to be acceptable at an average of 130 miles travel per day since I would expect that you plan to travel farther on travel days and to have some days that you do not travel. I have visited pretty much all of the trip you have projected so I may be able to offer additional advice if you choose to share more. I can tell you that a day or two would be enough for me in Monterey and at least 2 days in Yosemite. The trip from Yosemite to Yellowstone is nearly 1000 miles and there are many possible things you could visit in route, but travel by most direct route is much of it through desert or semidesert. Yellowstone park is very large and will require quite a bit of driving to see the major points. You will need reservations to stay inside the park but since school will be back in session here it should be possible. I'd try to get a site at Fishing Bridge campground as a good location. Travel from Yellowstone to Rocky Mtn. NP is possible in a day if the weather is good but it will be a long day and I would plan to stop part way. If time allows, I could offer some less direct routes across Wyoming with some places worth your time to visit(we lived in Cheyenne for 18 years). From Rocky Mtn. NP to Mesa Verde NP is about 400 miles but that will take a long day also since it is mountain travel. Not sure if you plan to travel directly. Mesa Verde to Grand Canyon is about 300 miles and can be done in a day and still stop for a few pictures along the way. That would then leave a full day drive to Death Valley and another day back to Los Angelas. 

I hope that at least some of this is helpful to you. Let us know more specifics about your plan and what questions you have and there will be many who join in with ideas and suggestions. 

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2 hours ago, kckc007 said:

 We are gathering data to plan a Sep -Oct, 35 day tour for a retired english couple in a rented Class C. Routing  LA - Monterey- Yosemite - Yellowstone - Colorado National Parks- Death Valley - LA.  Is it likely this plan will survive contact with reality? 

Yes, it is realistic. Add up your driving days (allow for stops) to reveal the time available for the places you'd like to visit. If nearing the end of your trip and getting pinched for time, perhaps drop off what destination(s) remain. In the end you may have precisely the amount of time that you need to enjoy the destinations that you have chosen. Or you may do what we have done near the end of road trips as we came to the end, haul ass back home :)

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Hello there, thank you for the reply. I planned on no more than 200 miles per day, with static days in the national parks, but, not having done it before, don't know what is comfortable.

Rgds, kckc

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i can not say for the other nat parks, but Yosemite, there can be up to a 10 hr wait to get in. as too many want to see it, so on the busy days they restrict how many can get in at one time. (aka: one car out.. one car in deal).

but welcome, bring, or buy plenty of chips, for the photos. you will get many of them. lots to see, and not just in the parks.

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If you find time in your schedule,  consider visiting Utah National parks too. In reality however, for the way we travel and sight-see,  you've already overloaded your scheduled time allotment.  With the exception of avoiding California, we plan to see everything on your schedule + Utah National, and some state parks. Our time schedule is 4 months,(we also drive about 200-250 miles/day) but everything is flexible because at our ages ( mid-70's), daily health may take priority over daily schedule. We will not make reservations because school is in session beginning early Aug for most states.

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Be aware that most Escapees tow a car so advice to park the rig then see the sights may not work as well for you. It is possible to do your trip in a small Class C without towing a car--we did it for almost two years--but the bigger the Class C the harder it is to do that. Ours was only 24' long so we could park it in any parking space if the back end could hang over a curb but, if not, we needed two parking spaces front to back.

Linda

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6 hours ago, kckc007 said:

I planned on no more than 200 miles per day, with static days in the national parks, but, not having done it before, don't know what is comfortable.

A plan for 200 miles per travel day is a very reasonable one. We usually plan our travels based on an average speed of 50 miles per hour, to include stops for food and breaks. That would mean 4 hours of travel per day in most cases. In the long stretches of desert, I would increase that travel day to more like 300 miles since there won't be much scenery to stop and look at. When in the mountains you may occasionally take a bit longer as there is much to see along your route there and you may also at times travel more slowly, depending on the route that you choose. You should be able to adjust your travel days as you go and it is much better to allow extra time than too little. I am sure that if you discover you are ahead of the planed schedule you can find places to spend that extra time at places you wish to stay a bit longer. 

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Hello again, and thank you to all who took the time to reply. It appears that because of  logistics, economics and the look of relief on my wife's face when I mentioned it, we will now be hiring an SUV and staying in hotels/lodges/cabins. We hope to be in and out of the high country before any serious snow arrives, and visiting Arches, Bryce Canyon, and Zion NPs as you correctly surmised.

Again thanks to all, kckc

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snow is a catch all.  the  major passes in ca have been shut down as early as aug. and as late as febuary. keep note on the “local” weather forecasts. national forcasts are far to much of a blanket to worth much.

like this week here in ca we are getting hit with a “pineapple express”   warm wet air, mixed with cold air. makes for a lot of rain ( above 7000 feet) and very high snow levels.

south gets lots of mud slides. north gets flooding.

last week was low snow. down to only 1000 feet.

but be safe and have fun.

Edited by packnrat

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