Road Trips



  • Currently thinking of doing some road trips in the US, have always wanted to get around Nevada, Utah, Colorado and California by car. Anyone driven any of these areas before? Would appreciate some tips on car hire, best time of year, book accommodation or just wing it and obviously best roads and places to see etc etc etc.

    Would love to hear any other road trip stories also if people are keen to share



  • I did three months driving around the US back in 2014. It was amazing, and it's the best way to see the country.

    I can't offer much advice beyond telling you what I did. Hired a car (Alamo, from memory, but I think they are all about the same) and went from April-early July. Started and finished in LA, but basically cut a lap of the country in an anti-clockwise direction.

    Stayed in a combination of hostels and cheap motels, all of which I booked a week or so before I got there. These days though I would be doing a lot of Air BnB, which was really in its infancy back when I was there.

    The places you list are all great, though I didn't get to see Nevada. Utah was a favourite of mine, and if you are in that region I'd strongly suggest going north to Yellowstone and even up to Glacier National Park, both of which are spectacular.

    Can give you more detailed info on specifics if you'd like, but the only thing I'd really suggest is solid insurance, and be really aware of what the car hire company covers you for. I had a break-in and a breakdown, both of which were easily dealt with because I knew what I was covered for.



  • Utah is epic. Make sure to stay somewhere to drive the valley of the gods at sunrise then drive up yes moki dugway. The lookout at the top there is incredible. There are basically zero cops / people around this part too so you can absolutely fly along.

    Zion National Park snd pikes peak are also must do in my opinion. Yosemite valley is fantastic, although extremely busy.

    Death Valley is pretty dull, it’s hot but that’s about it.

    Pacific coast highway in the summertime in a convertible muscle car is about as good as it gets. Most companies can get you in a mustang or Camaro. Be aware the cars on the whole are pieces of crap, but with the sun out, the roof down, got some Americana on the radio and cruising along st 65mph ... welcome to MR happy place.



  • @MajorRage A convertible (at least for part of the journey) would be the dream and in no hurry so happy to go at tourist pace



  • @barbarian yes figured Insurance would be a thing, will do some research. Any requirements drivers licence wise seeing as they drive back to front there?



  • I70 from Denver
    Section from Vail to Glenwood Springs is very cool. Some amazing engineering to get a highway through the gorges with cantilevered sections that criss-cross each other.
    If you go through to Grand Junction then go south you can take in Telluride and Durango. Scenery is speccy.
    Head down into New Mexico. The road from Pagosa Springs (Co) to Taos (NM) isn't so special scenery wise but the driving is great. Big sweeping roads to have a proper drive with corners, climbs and dips without being extra windy.

    Cross the Rio Grande on the 64 (after stopping for a look). You can cross the mountains back to the 25 and highway it back to Denver or continue through to Santa Fe and south. TIP: Buy your gas at the reservations/Pueblos as you pass though - super cheap.



  • @Nevorian said in Road Trips:

    @barbarian yes figured Insurance would be a thing, will do some research. Any requirements drivers licence wise seeing as they drive back to front there?

    I was fine with my Aussie license, but things might have changed since I went there.



  • @barbarian said in Road Trips:

    @Nevorian said in Road Trips:

    @barbarian yes figured Insurance would be a thing, will do some research. Any requirements drivers licence wise seeing as they drive back to front there?

    I was fine with my Aussie license, but things might have changed since I went there.

    Aussie licence is still fine. No need to piss around with an international licence.

    Re car insurance. Make sure you understand what you are covered for when you hire the car. Rental quotes usually don't include insurance, so you will probably neeed to purchase insurance on top.



  • Probably not what you envision, but I do want to do this road:



  • @antipodean said in Road Trips:

    Probably not what you envision, but I do want to do this road:

    That looks awesome, although my stomach and balls crawled into a little tiny sickening group-hug when the camera would turn/lean over to the side... as the instinct is that the bike's going to follow shortly after.

    Anyway - was avoiding mentioning it in this thread, as I wasn't quite sure if it was really on-topic... but, you've given me the segue... 1 week before I start my London-Beijing ride.
    Fucking nervous. No wait - excited. No - definitely fucking terrified. It changes minute to minute.



  • @Kruse said in Road Trips:

    Anyway - was avoiding mentioning it in this thread, as I wasn't quite sure if it was really on-topic... but, you've given me the segue... 1 week before I start my London-Beijing ride.
    Fucking nervous. No wait - excited. No - definitely fucking terrified. It changes minute to minute.

    That'll be awesome. Very jealous. Everything going to plan, I'll be at Khardung La in August.



  • I live in Colorado, so can help you out, especially for CO.
    You have to pay attention to the time of year, we are still getting the occasional snowstorm, which is closing roads.
    There is endless things to see and do, all depends what you are looking for.
    Visit as many national parks as you can. I really enjoy the parks in Utah.
    See the Grand Canyon, stop in Vegas, CO is stunning, for different reasons to the desert SW. I wouldn't drive east of CO, it is very flat and boring. I would personally skip NM as well.
    I lived in Oregon for a while, reminds me a little of home. Very green, tons of rivers and waterfalls. The coast is windy and not great for swimming.
    CA is it's own world and a lot different to the rest of the states, but lots to see and do.
    For rental cars, shop on the main travel sites, expedia, hotwire, priceline etc. They all offer insurance, but you will want to look into that yourself and to cover medical as well.
    If you like post up an itinerary and I'll give you ideas, I have been living here for 20 years and have traveled a fair bit.



  • @antipodean said in Road Trips:

    @Kruse said in Road Trips:

    Anyway - was avoiding mentioning it in this thread, as I wasn't quite sure if it was really on-topic... but, you've given me the segue... 1 week before I start my London-Beijing ride.
    Fucking nervous. No wait - excited. No - definitely fucking terrified. It changes minute to minute.

    That'll be awesome. Very jealous. Everything going to plan, I'll be at Khardung La in August.

    Yeah - I've heard good things about that,
    I believe I'm going over at least a couple of 5,000m+ passes in Tibet... the combination of altitude sickness, motorbike, possibly snow, and sheer drops - gives me a touch of The Fear.
    I didn't get any altitude sickness in Nepal - but one of the guys did, and it certainly did a job on him.



  • BTW y'all, just saying - a little pissed up... 9 days into the London-Beijing bike ride / road trip.
    Sitting in Istanbul - the first time I've had a day off the bike (it's been constant fucking "go" - still have no idea what's happened in SuperRugby over the last two weekends)
    ... 11 countries, ~2,500 miles so far.
    Been a mixture of boring-as-shit motorways, to just get out of Europe ASAP,
    And some fucking awesome twisty roads... German Black Forest, Croatian coast, and Northern Greece - definite highlights... even on an "adventure bike" with fully loaded panniers and shit - much fun. Would highly recommend any of those roads on bike or car.



  • @Kruse Wicked man!!! That sounds like great fun!



  • @Kruse said in Road Trips:

    BTW y'all, just saying - a little pissed up... 9 days into the London-Beijing bike ride / road trip.
    Sitting in Istanbul - the first time I've had a day off the bike (it's been constant fucking "go" - still have no idea what's happened in SuperRugby over the last two weekends)
    ... 11 countries, ~2,500 miles so far.
    Been a mixture of boring-as-shit motorways, to just get out of Europe ASAP,
    And some fucking awesome twisty roads... German Black Forest, Croatian coast, and Northern Greece - definite highlights... even on an "adventure bike" with fully loaded panniers and shit - much fun. Would highly recommend any of those roads on bike or car.

    Crusaders.
    Daylight.

    All you need to know.



  • @Kruse Have been as far east as Mt Ararat in Turkey, most of the roads are pretty good in Turkey (oops that was 29 years ago) we were advised to turn around as Saddam Hussain had decided to invade Kuwait. If you are going up through the "stans" and into Mongolia I believe roads there also pretty good and no traffic!



  • @antipodean yeah....no....maybe.....shit yeah....no fucking way...……...in my younger days would've for sure



  • @Nevorian said in Road Trips:

    @Kruse Have been as far east as Mt Ararat in Turkey, most of the roads are pretty good in Turkey (oops that was 29 years ago) we were advised to turn around as Saddam Hussain had decided to invade Kuwait. If you are going up through the "stans" and into Mongolia I believe roads there also pretty good and no traffic!

    Yeah - going through the "stans", but not Mongolia (at least - not on the way).
    So far - UK, France, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia&Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Turkey
    The route from here on in - Georgia, Azerbaijan, ferry across Caspian Sea, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, then down into China via Xinjian, Tibet, then up to Beijing.
    After that - I'm seriously considering going on to Mongolia, to hire one of the little local 150cc bikes there for a few weeks. Help kill some time before heading to Japan to watch some rugby.


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