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TypoKnig
US Space Force Fan
Member since Aug 2011
8927 posts

Need help planning a 7 day road trip from Louisiana
I am looking to plan a 7 day road trip with the family (2 young kids) sometime in late Winter or early Spring. Trying to focus on National Parks or other areas to avoid big crowds and just get the kids out of the house.

My hope is to be able to drive to and from the destinations in the 7 days but wouldn't be opposed to flying to begin or end the trip to make the 7 day itinerary work.

Preliminarily I was looking at Smokies and Blue ridge Mountains but also wouldn't mind trying for the Southwest and hitting up the Grand Canyon and Southern Utah. Any advice?
This post was edited on 1/10 at 7:46 am


Gaston
LSU Fan
Dirty Coast
Member since Aug 2008
32735 posts

re: Need help planning a 7 day road trip from Louisiana
The eastern Sierras are unbelievably beautiful. Enter through Death Valley and make your way up to Mammoth Lakes...or even Lake Tahoe on 395. If you’re in something sporty there are countless dirt roads where you can explore old mining enclaves. Could fly to Vegas and start it there,

When we did the mapquest directions back from Lake Tahoe it said 32 hour drive...that’s a bit far.
This post was edited on 1/10 at 9:11 am


TulaneLSU
TBD Fan
Member since Aug 2003
Member since Dec 2007
12497 posts

re: Need help planning a 7 day road trip from Louisiana
Friend,

For a week trip, if you are set on driving, you should do the Smokey Mountains. If you are going out West, I would recommend flying. Otherwise nearly half your trip will be driving through Texas.

If you choose the West, there are two really good options. The first is a circuit starting in either Las Vegas or Salt Lake City. This tour can include Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, and of course, the Grand Canyon. A week does not give you much time at any of these parks, though. If you have time and the ability, a hike down to and overnight in Phantom Ranch is one of the pinnacles of the National Park Service.

The other Western option is Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Glacier. I've heard of some trying a circuit route to include Yellowstone and Arches, but that seems like an awful lot of driving in one week.

Having seen that this is a late Winter and early Spring trip, I would not attempt Yellowstone and Glacier. The Grand Canyon and Arches can be good in the winter. But keep in mind many national parks out West are in the mountains, and many of their roads will be blocked by snow well into the Spring, and some into the early Summer.

Yours,
TulaneLSU
This post was edited on 1/10 at 8:57 am


TypoKnig
US Space Force Fan
Member since Aug 2011
8927 posts

re: Need help planning a 7 day road trip from Louisiana
Thanks. I think the trip out west is too ambitious for 7 days. I was definitely looking at the first circuit you spoke of and plan for that when we have more time and can fly to start.

I'll focus my efforts on TN/NC. Thanks again.
This post was edited on 1/10 at 9:33 am


iwantacooler
Member since Aug 2017
736 posts

re: Need help planning a 7 day road trip from Louisiana
Mammoth in Kentucky can be driven during that time frame. You could hit gateway arch national park on the way, but that doesn’t really get you away from people.

You could also drive to big bend and maybe hit Carlsbad caverns and white sands during that time, but would be cutting it close.

3 of the 4 Colorado parks can be seen during a week driving from Louisiana, but will be some long days driving there and back. A bonus here would be driving the million dollar highway between black canyon and Mesa verde.
This post was edited on 1/10 at 10:08 am


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OldHickory
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Apr 2012
7652 posts

re: Need help planning a 7 day road trip from Louisiana
quote:

395


One of the most scenic roads in the country.


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jamiegla1
Member since Aug 2016
1987 posts

re: Need help planning a 7 day road trip from Louisiana
I did a 9 day road trip that went through TX, NM, AZ, and small bit of UT. Let me tell you it was awesome but not something I would do with kids. That big haul across TX really gets in the way.

I would look at what Tulane suggested. In fact, ill probably do that exact trip in the future.

Otherwise, you could:
Day 1 - San Antonio
Day 2,3 - Big Bend
Day 4 - Marfa
Day 5 - Guadalupe Mountain NP or White Sands
Day 6 - Carlsbad Caverns
Day 7 - long drive home

That might be too much driving with kids. Also Big Bend is might be booked up until April and it may be too hot after that


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ccard257
Texas A&M Fan
Fort Worth, TX
Member since Oct 2012
838 posts

re: Need help planning a 7 day road trip from Louisiana
How are your kids in the car? Are they used to long days in the car seat?

We just did a two week trip from DFW with most of our time spent in Moab and the big bend area. No way would I try to do Utah from LA with kids in 7 days. You'd basically get there and turn around. Our kids are 3 and 5, we tried to keep most travel days around 6 hours of driving. Ended up with an 8 or two and one 6 that turned into 10 with some winter weather.

Big bend area may be more do-able. A day to san antonioish (palmetto state park would be good if you camp), then another day to the big Bend area. Spend a few days there and then head back. Park itself is likely booked, but check out Marathon, Alpine, Terlingua, and Lajitas for lodging. FYI, Park was very crowded (relatively) over new years, but better than arches.

The negative to Big Bend right now is that the Boquillas crossing is closed. If you only go once, I think this is a must do. If you'll be back again then not as big of a deal.


TypoKnig
US Space Force Fan
Member since Aug 2011
8927 posts

re: Need help planning a 7 day road trip from Louisiana
quote:

How are your kids in the car? Are they used to long days in the car seat?


They are great. We taken up to 12 hour road trips without any issues.


jamiegla1
Member since Aug 2016
1987 posts

re: Need help planning a 7 day road trip from Louisiana
just be sure to play this song on your drive through texas

El Paso


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