Cross Country Road Trip

Discussion of hiking in the Western part of the United States

Cross Country Road Trip

New postby SNEAKers » Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:45 pm

My friends and I decided to do a crazy, once in a lifetime trip across the US to drive the whole California coast and back home. The reason for the drive is one of my friends refuses to get on an airplane… I made the deal that if we could make some great stops along the way, instead of just driving straight out to California, I was in.

The trip included:
Chicago
Badlands National Park
Mount Rushmore
Yellowstone National Park
Crater Lake National Park
Jedidiah Smith Redwood Forest
San Francisco
Monterey Bay
Big Sur
Laguna Beach
San Diego
Las Vegas
Zion National Park
and back home!

I've only been through about 1/4 of the pictures I took and am only posting the trip from NY to Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. The outbound leg had us stopping in Chicago for about 6 hours, then Badlands NP in South Dakota, Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone for a camping night and full day and a quick stop at Crater Lake NP before arriving at the Redwood forest in Crescent City, CA.

This was one of our first views of the Badlands NP. We drove through the night and arrived around 6am. The morning sun was beautiful!
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We saw so much wildlife and this mini stampede was really a sight to see!
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Then we arrived at Mount Rushmore!
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That night we arrived to camp in Yellowstone. On the ride in from the Northwest Entrance, we saw a coyote, fox, buffalo, many porcupines and a male moose than ran right in front of the minivan! It is so impressive to see a moose relatively close even if it were only for a few seconds…

We got up in the morning and "hiked" Uncle Tom's trail to the Lower Falls in the Grand Canyon. Absolutely breathtakingly beautiful…
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Check out the area to the right of the edge of the falls, note the people to get some scale of the shot. This is a 305 foot waterfall that really had a good roar to it!
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We then checked out some thermal pools and bubbling mud pots. The buffalo in this pic walked across the road right past a bunch of people and must have been only 25 feet from them at one point. Im glad I was further away!
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Yellowstone Lake
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West Thumb Geyser Basin, which is right on the shore of Yellowstone Lake
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The was the Grand Prismatic Spring area, first one is a large thermal pool just below the GPS with the next three being the GPS itself. This was by far my favorite sight in Yellowstone. One day when I go back, I will hike the hill in the background to look at the spring from a higher vantage point.
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River running through Yellowstone, believe it was Firehole River. Lots of buffalo in the distance.
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We then drove through the night and arrived in the very small town of Crane, Oregon (population of 75). This was the view from the only gas station for about 50 miles.
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We then made it to a quick stop at Crater Lake National Park. This is actually a volcano that completely blew its top causing it to collapse into a giant crater at the top. This filled with rain and snow to form the lake. It is the purest body of water in the world, the deepest lake in the US (just less than 2,000 ft deep), 6th deepest in the world. Visibility is 100+ feet most of the time. The island is Wizard Island formed by a subsequent eruption.
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We hiked the Cleetwood Cove trail as it is the only access to the lake. This place was truly majestic.
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Final picture tonight is not me or any of my friends, but a kid who wanted to backflip off a 15-20 foot cliff for everyone in the boat to see… My friends did take a dip too, though. With the water a very inviting 40F and the air temperature around 65-70F, I was able to resist the swim!
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Hope you enjoyed the pictures and I will work on getting the rest of the trip up!
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Re: Cross Country Road Trip

New postby mike » Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:27 am

The pictures of Yellowstone were magnificent! I just love the colors. It really makes the photo's pop. Always love to see pictures of the waterfalls. Such a large volume of water that drops so far. I think that Niagara Falls is about 1/2 the height. The view had to be quite dramatic.

Swimming in Crater Lake seemed WAY too cold. When the water is that cold it stuns you.

Sounds like one of those road trips you will never forget. Can't wait to see the rest of the pictures.
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Re: Cross Country Road Trip

New postby mtnclimber » Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:19 pm

Wow, what a great trip. Just love those pictures. Look forward to seeing more pictures.
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