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Cross US trip planning


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Hi all. I'm working on getting plans together for a nearly cross country trip. I'll be leaving from Connecticut early September and returning a month later. It'll be mostly a solo trip, but will be meeting up with friends and family along the way.


Below is a link to a very-rough outline of the trip. I have no intentions of planning out my route other than a things to see and a places to stop here and there. Other than that, I like to take each day as it comes and go where the road takes me. This trip will be about being on the road (no interstates!) and seeing the small towns and local people.


I have an idea of some things I would like to see along the way based on my past travels and reading other peoples travel adventures. I have "obvious" places like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Mesa Verde, etc. What I'm looking for are ideas for less popular, less obvious places that I shouldn't miss; the little amazing towns, one of a kind museums, natural sites, etc.


What's on your favorite "must see" list?



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From Phoenix to New Orleans will be rough.


Go through Payson and Show Low AZ. Look up my prior posts on New Mexico a couple of fun roads there. (just remembered, i haven't written up my return trip...)


LOTS of great roads in Arkansas. Unless you've never been to New Orleans and really want to go, I'd ride through there instead of LA.


Save the big easy for a fly in trip or something, that's what I did anyhow.


Have fun!



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Colorado won out over Utah in my plans. Partially because I've been to Utah before (in an RV) and partially because I've never been to CO and have always wanted to go. If I'm ahead of schedule, I'll loop through Utah, but it doesn't quite fit into the flow of the trip. I didn't want to plan to do too much and try and pack on the miles. I don't want to rush.


New Orleans is one of the stops for visiting friends. I've been saying I'd drop in and visit for years now and haven't made it, if I blew them off this time, I'd never hear the end of it!

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After Labor day it will get pretty cold at night in Yellowstone and high elevations in colorado.


Something to think about if you're camping. If not, nevermind. Take a heated jacket either way.


Beartooth pass north of Cody is a nice ride.


Also you're missing some great roads in NW Arkansas. Could ride from there over to the smokies, but that would cut out New Orleans.


Have fun!

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After New Mexico - drop down to Big Bend in Texas, then across to San Antonio where you pick up I-10 to New Orleans. All of October is good for Big Bend - there will be lots of bikes there any week end. I usually stay in Alpine and ride the park the next day


Have a good trip!

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Rather than entering Wyoming through Nebraska bump up into S.D. about half way accross NE and catch the Black Hills then over through Gillette and the Big Horns on your way to Yellowstone. That strip in the middle of WY on the eastern half is a portion I avoid whenever I can and I'm just south of that part.

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+1, turn north at Gordon NE on Hwy 27, go into SD and turn west on Hwy 18. At Big Foot Trail turn north. This will take you through Wounded Knee SD. Continue north through Badlands NP then through Rapid City to Mt Rushmore. If you have been to Mt Rushmore, go through Custer NP, it is better than Rushmore. From there you can go out the back way to Wyoming to Yellowstone.


Elsewhere in this thread was a recommendation for Bear Tooth Pass. From the north central part of WY go north on hwy 310 into MT. At hwy 212 turn south and enjoy. This will take you back into WY and Yellowstone.

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der Wanderer

I am admittedly biased (I live in CO) but I think the ratio of fun to miles is much higher in the B to F portion of your plan than in the East-West and West-East sections.

That's why - as long as you're going to be coming all this way - I would suggest doing a bit more around here.

Essentially I would recommend replacing your Yellowstone to Phoenix section with a:

Yellowstone to Salt Lake (I would prefer doing it through Grand Teton NP) to Provo to Moab to Telluride (through the Manti La Sal forest) to Cortez and Mesa Verde NP to the Four Corners to Mexican Hat and Monument Valley to Grand Canyon Village to Flagstaff (I'd leave Sin City alone, you can always fly there) to Phoenix.

It's more miles, but also way more fun than what you had mapped out in my opinion.

Whatever your choice, have fun and keep those two wheels down.

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@bmw_rider: I have 30 days before I need to show up at work again.


@der Wanderer: Thanks for the suggestions. Since posting that initial map, I've decided to cut Yellowstone out of my trip for 2 reasons. 1) I've spent 4 days in Yellowstone in the past, 2) I was only planning on driving through and not devoting nearly as much time there as Yellowstone deserves. I'll return there at a future date when I have more time to dedicate to seeing Yellowstone and the Black Hills.


I am planning on spending more time in Colorado and Utah then the map shows. The map was just a rough outline of the trip. I have also added a stop in North Carolina to visit a friend.

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Unless you have someone to visit in Nebraska you might consider hopping north a little and ride through South Dakota . More scenic.

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