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Anyone ever road trip through the American Desert?

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Apr 10, 2007
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Now would be the best time to visit. Not too hot during the day, and not too cold at night. Check out Joshua Tree National Park while you are here. I hear Death Valley is stunning as well and of course, there is Coachella Valley.
 
Sep 16, 2006
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So, southern California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, those places? I've always wanted to visit. What's the best time of year to go and the best places to hit up?
Me and my wife did a road trip through N. Arizona, S. Utah at the end of December a couple years ago, with everything in the higher elevations covered in snow, and it was fucking glorious.
 

3phemeral

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Jun 8, 2004
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Try checking out Death Valley during the Poppy explosion. Also, Death Valley is really super diverse if you take the time to check it out. From the painted rocks, to dunes, stretched pebble canyon, devil's golf course.

Best time to visit would be fall time, though, considering the temperature. Don't think I've ever camped out in the open in Death Valley during the Spring.

There's also Mojave Desert, where there are a few, small reserves you can visit with some dunes.

Poppy Fields

Stretched Pebble Canyon

(great for rock climbing)

Devil's Golf Course
 

King Cobra

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Apr 22, 2011
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Took a road trip from Florida to Las vegas, it was pretty amazing. I've got to say the desert sunrise rivals a sunrise at the beach.
 

aku:jiki

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Jun 7, 2004
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I did but it was with family and my parents hadn't planned a single cool stop, so all I saw was sand along the highway with maybe a truck stop here and there. Now I'm kinda mad we didn't go to any of the beautiful places posted so far.
 

3phemeral

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I highly recommend it!

Zion National Park


Canyonlands National Park, great for hiking and camping.


White Sands National Monument (when not testing missiles nearby)


And of course the Grand Canyon, which cannot be reasonably captured in a photograph.
Beautiful choices.
 

MilkyJoe

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Jan 29, 2014
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Yeah

Flew to Los Angeles, rented a fast car with no top...Drove to Vegas via Barstow and over the following days went to

Death Valley
Up through Arizona to Utah
Zion National Park
Brycee Canyon
Lake Powell
Grand Canyon
Hoover Dam
Back to Vegas

Stayed in Vegas a couple of days then drove from Vegas to San Diego

Stayed there a couple of days then back to LA and and flew home

We went in February

That way not too hot
 

Arjen

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Jun 29, 2009
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I did

Vegas, San Fransisco, LA, Vegas with all the national parks inbetween.

and

San Diego, Vegas, Salt Lake city, Yellowstone, Denver.

Both in May.
Both were amazing experiences, hope to come back again to see some stuff I missed.
 

p2535748

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Oct 12, 2006
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A couple of years ago, my wife and I flew to Denver, drove from Denver to Las Vegas, and hit:

Vail
Aspen
Black Canyon of the GUnnison
Mesa Verde
Moab
Arches
Canyonlands
Monument Valley
Grand Canyon (both rims)
Bryce Canyon
Zion

on the way. It's one of the best road trips I've ever done. The Rockies are spectacular, and then you end up in the Southwest Desert, and it's such a staggering transition.

We went in the late October, actually cut it pretty close on some of the passes through the Rockies, but it was great weather the whole time. It was actually during the government shut down a few years ago, and we got lucky because the made a deal to open national parks up literally right before we got to Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Because of the uncertainty, places were pretty empty.
 

bengraven

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Nov 28, 2005
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Yeah

Flew to Los Angeles, rented a fast car with no top...Drove to Vegas via Barstow and over the following days went to

Death Valley
Up through Arizona to Utah
Zion National Park
Brycee Canyon
Lake Powell
Grand Canyon
Hoover Dam
Back to Vegas

Stayed in Vegas a couple of days then drove from Vegas to San Diego

Stayed there a couple of days then back to LA and and flew home

We went in February

That way not too hot
Sounds like fun.
 

adamsappel

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My brother and I did a cross-country trip from Maryland to California. I thought New Mexico was a the most beautiful. Parts of Arizona could have been Pennsylvania, there was so much forest. Nevada is the most inhospitable, hellish landscape I've ever seen.
 

djplaeskool

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May 5, 2011
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Done it on a few occasions.
Used to live in the CA desert (Ft. Irwin/Barstow).
Several trips through Vegas, Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest National Park, and Meteor Crater.
I love these arid climates and landscapes so much.

In fact, Heading back to Vegas next month.
 

colafizz

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Jan 13, 2015
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Did Death Valley and Nevada in 2013, in July, when it was 56 celcius. Amazing experience, highly recommend it. Getting into the pool at 11pm when it was still 40c with the beautiful clear night above was unreal.

Don't skimp on the air conditioning :p
 

Tapiozona

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Mar 12, 2007
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You can't go through Arizona and not see Sedona and the red rock cliffs. Nothing like it on earth.

 

Disgraced

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Nov 3, 2011
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Yeah, go to the Grand Canyon through Zion.

Photos and descriptions really can't do the Grand Canyon justice, it's something you have to see to understand.
 

RoKKeR

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I live out there, honestly can't think of a more beautiful place in the world. Hit up Zion, Bryce, Monument Valley, and the Grand Canyon. If you really want your mind to be blown go to Lake Powell and see if you can't get a ride on the tour boat or camp out with a friend on the water. It's my favorite place to go.
 

kamineko

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Oct 7, 2014
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I highly recommend it!

Zion National Park


Canyonlands National Park, great for hiking and camping.


White Sands National Monument (when not testing missiles nearby)


And of course the Grand Canyon, which cannot be reasonably captured in a photograph.

Great picks.

TC, yeah, lots of lovely stuff out there. More amazing places than one can easily visit.

It's a long damn time in a car, though. Be prepared.
 

FelixOrion

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Sep 16, 2011
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Ntgyk, with your fondness for motorcycles and nature and stuff, you should totally come to S. Dakota in early August and come to see the Sturgis rally while also checking out the Badlands and the Black Hills.
 
Apr 6, 2009
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Vancouver...ish.
Okay, so slight update/trying to schedule things.

I'll likely go in October versus now, assuming the weather will remain nice and not be quite as hot, plus work slows down so I can get away for a couple weeks.

Thinking about going to San Francisco, Grand Pacific Highway, and Death Valley. If I'm going along this route, what's there to see and experience?
 
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