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OR, CA, WA, MT People!!


NAXJA Forum User

I am starting to plan a trip across the good ol' USA for my post-graduation vacation. I will be leaving from Maryland and heading Northwest towards SD and MT first. Planning a trip like this is a lot harder than I had thought! If any of you are familiar with any of the following areas....recommendations would really be appreciated. My time is limited to about a month and I have a lot of expectations!! Thanks!!

Yellowstone from the North Entrance
Glacier NP (best places to see?)
Olympic NP (can you only drive perimiter?)
Mount Rainier
Best places to see old growth Redwoods without tourists

I appreciate your help.......if you are anywhere around these areas and want a visit, we would be more than happy to sleep in your yard:angel:

Em XJGrl Davis
When in CA, try to hit Death Valley (you can sight see important stuff in couple hours) and make sure to check out Scotty's Castle while there. After that, I'd recommend driving through Sequoia: even though the trees are not as tall as Red Woods it's nicer I think... Oh.. and you can substitue Sequoia and Yosemite dependant on timing

On your way between Yellowstone and Glacier definitely take Hwy 83 which heads up the valley between the Swan range... and rats! I can't remember the other mountains' name, but it's a fantastice drive. Take a hike up into the mountains there if you get a chance. Been to Glacier, but it was early and the snow had most of it closed to vehicles. What I did see was fantastic though, so check it out. Haven't been to Jellystone.
Yes, there are no roads (very far) into Olympic, but don't let that disapoint you. You can see unbelievable rainforest from the road and short hikes off of it. Check out Ozette on the coastal part of the park. There's a great loop route to hike from the main campground and you can camp on the beach. I went there one fourth of July and still got a spot in the coastal campground without reservations (so it's not too crowed). But you can camp on the beach itself anywhere you please.
The thing about Rainier is: there are tons of great mountains (and 4x4 trails) all around it. You just don't see them when you look that direction because he's twice their size. Any where you go there, you'll always have great views of "The" mountain. Yosemite you've gotta see, even though you'll be elbow to elbow in the valley during the summer. If it is at all possible wait on it though and make a trip in the spring of fall. Less people, cooler weather. If you really want a treat do it in the winter on skis. You'll have one of the most beautiful places on earth practically all to yourself. Same same Kings Canyon/Sequoia. The trees are absolutely nuts! Most massive living things on earth.
Head out to the coast and check out the tallest living things on earth after that. Anywhere north of the bay area is great redwood country. The Lost Coast is probably tops for that though. It's the only stretch Hwy 1 isn't right on the coast. Near Eureka, it's raw, gorgeous country. If you do hit the coast head to the Anderson Valley for some of the best beer brewed. AV Brewing Company doesn't offer a mediocre brew, and their best (Boont Amber) is pure nectar!
I've ranted enough, hit me with email if you want more rambling. Or need a place to stay when you kick off the journey back home (Reno). Speaking of the way home... did I mention Utah? ;)
Kind of out of your way maybe, but the best redwood area I've seen is along the Smith River between Grant's Pass, Oregon and Crescent City, CA. Beautiful area and not that many people.

As far as Yellowstone goes, it's all incredible but the north entrance is probably my least favorite. If you go in that way, head to the east and south over Dunraven Pass (think that's how it's spelled. That road will take you past some spectacular country and eventually get you down to Old Faithful which is at the south end. Then you can make a decision to go out the south entrance (short backtrack) to Grand Teton NP and Jackson, WY; or up to the west entrance and into MT/ID. If you go to the west entrance, head up to the Norris geyser basin before you leave the park. It's not very far and pretty awesome. Between Norris and the north entrance is more of what you've already seen at that point.

You don't say exactly when this will all take place, but if it is May/June plan on SNOW! You might get lucky and have great weather, but be ready for anything.

Have a great trip! With all the places you're going, there is so much to see that you'll never get to it all. You'll just have to come back again.
Nothing to see in Utah.....move along.....:D

Yellowstone is cool, but I've only experienced it from the West Yellowstone entrance. You should at least drive through Jackson and take a look at the Tetons......Pretty D@mn cool in my opinion. I liked the drive down the Columbia river through Oregon, but I'm not sure you're headed that way.

Can't help on the rest, but it sounds like a way fun trip.
I'd say go for Sequoia as well (the forest..:)) It's quite beautiful there. And if you're going to be in California don't forget our beautiful deserts. When you have the dates firmed up let us all know, we might be able to line up a run at around the same time!