» A road trip on the US West coast in a camper van : a cliché but definitely worth it !
It is really hard to know where to start, I have so many things to tell you about this trip… I think that beginning with transportation would be the best choice. So, we traveled the first 3 weeks in a camper van. I will surely come back on that in another post, but for us, it was definitely the solution that best fitted our wishes and our budget ! For the curious ones among you who cannot wait for the article, we rented it at Escape Campervans (they have a few “agencies” in different West coast cities). For the last week of the road trip in Yellowstone, we had a car. Otherwise, we came from and went back to Canada by plane. I took this trip with (international !) friends that I met during my exchange semester at the University of Victoria in BC, Canada. During the first 2 weeks, we were 3 girls : Karolin, Marijke and myself. Then, for the 2 following weeks, we remodeled the team a bit because some of us had to go already (Europe calling back sooner than for us) and came up with a new 4-people squad : Marijke, Antwan, Eirik and myself (yes, still there). We covered the bases, should we move on to the itinerary ?
» Optimizing the journey, a real poser ?
There is so much to see that, to be honest, defining the journey we would follow was not an easy task ! One month, it probably seems enough on paper, but if we had the chance to go back right now, we could still discover numerous new places ! Fortunately, we could count on Karolin, who already did a US West coast trip and who helped us choose the essentials (for us, little rookies) and complete that list with our different wishes. For the first 2 weeks, our journey across California, Nevada and Arizona was pretty much established – and the rhythm was quite intense between the moments spent visiting those spent on the road. Then, we improvised more during our week with the guys (still in the same area) : we had already seen the most important stuff and just wanted to make our schedule day by day, depending on what we already did the previous weeks (when we met up with them, they were also coming back from a road trip like ours – we actually met with them a few times during the first part of the trip, you will see…) but also according to the weather. Our last week in the US was around Salt Lake City and Yellowstone. Because we had to book the accommodation prior to our arrival, we just decided on the number of days we would spend in both places, and then organized our visit directly while being in the city and the national park.
» Itinerary of a US West coast road trip :
29 days, a foot in 7 different states, almost 8000 kilometers altogether… (I am rounding the number up for the
few times we went on a small detour haha) We enjoyed numerous steps that allowed us to have a good overview on the West coast and we got to see the main “attractions”, between cities and national parks. If we had had more time, we could just have stopped every 5 minutes, because there is always something to see ! I was actually quite impressed by how quickly the landscapes are changing as we went along and it would take one or several other road trips for me to really improve my knowledge of the area. But anyway, here are our main stages (you can also check the map just above) :
- PART #1 (approx. 2 weeks) : Yosemite, Alcatraz, San Francisco, Napa Valley, Pacific Coast Highway, Death Valley, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley…
- PART #2 (approx. 1 week) : Los Angeles, Sacramento, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite…
- PART #3 (approx. 1 week) : Salt Lake City, Yellowstone National Park
- BONUS : I also wanted to tell you about my one-week trip to Hawaii, what do think about that ? It is actually on the US West Coast-ish, just a bit further away from the actual coast !
Every stage is going to be detailed in an article in the next months ! I cannot wait to tell you more about everything and to give you my opinion on the places we got to visit. I will gradually add up the links on the different steps so you can read the corresponding article(s) and what you are interested in, but do not hesitate to go through the menu and the blog to find what you are looking for. In the tab Tips you will be able to find every trick and tip to organize your own road trip. I am probably not an expert at it, but maybe you will find something useful reading about my
small experience… ! By the way, if you want to know anything in particular about me or the trip, feel free to ask me any question by either commenting on the posts or sending me a message through the contact page – and I will do my best to answer you.
Have fun reading !