Exploring the West in a Week

Only have a week for a trip but want it to be epic? Here is a suggested travel itinerary based on a trip we took. It is one of the most scenic jam-packed trips you could take in the U.S. This was before we officially lived on the road, but were just in the process of discussing doing so. We slept in the car in one of our early versions of car camping arrangements. We werent as comfortable as we are now, since we’ve learned alot since then. But it was a blast. Here’s the trip for anyone looking for a quick adventure:

During summer, we took a road trip around the western U.S.  We started in Colorado, headed west through Utah and Nevada to California, up to Washington and back east to Montana, before heading south through Wyoming to finish the loop.

Here’s a quick itinerary of this trip:

  • Day 1: Colorado Springs to Arches National Park for sunset (9 hrs) & then drive into Nevada for a late night rest in car (stopped ~3am)
  • Day 2: up at 5am; drive to California state line through Reno, up to Lassen (visited Lava tubes) to Shasta volcano (stopped & stared); spent time at lake; camped
  • Day 3: Crater Lake National Park, Oregon – camped at campground in park
  • Day 4: Mt. Rainier – drive to Sunrise and sleep at top in car to catch Rainier through rain and fog
  • Day 5: Mt. Rainier to Seattle to visit a friend and have a pit stop; went to Pacific coast; slept north of Seattle
  • Day 6: North Cascades National Park (drive across Hwy 20 to Diablo Lake, then hike Heather Maple Pass Loop Trail, 7 hr hike)
  • Day 7: to Idaho: camped in National Forest north of Clark Fork
  • Day 8: drive into Montana on I 90, through Missoula, south towards Yellowstone:
  • Day 9: Yellowstone; camped past Cooke City at campground off Beartooth
  • Day 10: through Wyoming to home base in Colorado