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Old 02-17-2020, 03:29 PM   #1
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Question Death Valley, CA -> Chicago: looking for sights, boondocking. April.

Death Valley, CA -> Chicago: looking for sights, boondocking. April.

Hi all

I have a solo, camping road trip coming up (April) and would like to ask about any MUST SEE things along the way.

I’d also prefer to do minor roads, and less interstate, as they are prettier, and more interesting to drive along.

I will be in a 4X4 pop up truck camper, and camping the whole way.
I prefer very quiet boondocking, and if a campsite - then scenic and mellow and quiet. (nowhere near traffic at all…. / roads )

Looking for scenic things to see along the way, that are mostly along my route, and also great, quiet campsites and boon docking sites.

I may check out various HipCamp, Harvest Hosts, Boondockers Welcome, and similar campsites, to meet interesting people along the way.

I for sure want to go thru Pie Town NM and Magdalena NM (love it there) but East of that I am flexible.
But don’t want to go 500 miles out of my way……. small detours. :-)

Leave Los Angeles (April)

Death Valley, CA

Yosemite National Park (weather permitting)

back down thru Death Valley on the way…. probably

Magdalena NM

(When driving from Yosemite to Magdalena NM.
Any scenic way to avoid Vegas and Kingman and Flagstaff and have it be more scenic? Maybe go thru Sedona somehow?)

Albuquerque NM

then…. any sensible way to Chicago….. the most direct way is below, but I can go any way and make any small detours to see great scenery or unusual places between Magdalena NM and Chicago, the final destination.

The most direct way is below: (small detours are OK, not 500 mile detours)

Santa Rosa TX

Amarillo TX

Oklahoma City

Tulsa

Springfield, Missouri

St Louis

Springfield, IL

Bloomington

Chicago IL.

Thanks!
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Old 02-17-2020, 06:25 PM   #2
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Looks like you will be following the original route 66 to Chicago
Attached Images
File Type: png route-66-map.png (171.3 KB, 12 views)
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Old 02-17-2020, 06:32 PM   #3
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I could spend 2 weeks just poking around Utah
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Old 02-18-2020, 10:50 AM   #4
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John,
Pie Town is definitely an experience. We discovered it on a wandering trip thru NM with the kiddos, and then on to Roswell to spot Aliens.
Take the wandering route on 260 through AZ to Pie Town, and see Show Low, Lakeside, Pinetop, the White Mountain Apache Reservation and then head in to NM to wonderful Pie Town. Beautiful scenery and so much to do and explore along that route. Campsites abound along 260 and the Mogollon Rim, you’ll have no issues finding camping spots along that route.
Hope ur allowing lot of time.
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Old 02-18-2020, 11:45 AM   #5
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John,
Pie Town is definitely an experience. We discovered it on a wandering trip thru NM with the kiddos, and then on to Roswell to spot Aliens.
Take the wandering route on 260 through AZ to Pie Town, and see Show Low, Lakeside, Pinetop, the White Mountain Apache Reservation and then head in to NM to wonderful Pie Town. Beautiful scenery and so much to do and explore along that route. Campsites abound along 260 and the Mogollon Rim, you’ll have no issues finding camping spots along that route.
Hope ur allowing lot of time.
Thanks so much Greg!

yeah we love Pie Town, and the nearby VLA, etc.

john
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Old 02-18-2020, 02:14 PM   #6
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I just left Death Valley. Although I stayed in the hubbub around Furnace Creek, I saw a nice, quiet campground to the north that I'd like to stay at on a return visit. It is Mesquite Spring Campground, off of Scotty's Castle Road.


Also, near Amarillo is Palo Verde Canyon State Park, worth checking out.
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Old 02-18-2020, 07:08 PM   #7
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I just left Death Valley. Although I stayed in the hubbub around Furnace Creek, I saw a nice, quiet campground to the north that I'd like to stay at on a return visit. It is Mesquite Spring Campground, off of Scotty's Castle Road.


Also, near Amarillo is Palo Verde Canyon State Park, worth checking out.
for RV's, I like to stay at Panamint Springs Resort on Route 190. Can watch Navy fighters out of China Lake doing the Top Gun thing all day long
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Old 02-18-2020, 08:39 PM   #8
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Oops
It’s Palo Duro State Park. Wonderful and beautiful. I grew up in Lubbock, know it well.
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Old 02-19-2020, 06:46 AM   #9
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Oops
It’s Palo Duro State Park. Wonderful and beautiful. I grew up in Lubbock, know it well.
Sure is, I love it when a thunderstorm comes thru. Tho super loud love hearing the thunder n trying to capture some of the lighting show on camera.
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Old 02-19-2020, 09:12 AM   #10
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Thanks for the great suggestions.

The 2 areas I have not yet found good camping sites yet are after I leave Rocky Point Campground Rd, Santa Rosa, NM and am heading east/northeast on 40/44/55 up to Chicago - I would like to stay about 3 nights along those 1,200 miles…

1st night near Elk City OK (320 miles that day to there) - needing suggestions for camping or boondocking near here. Not on a busy road, but not 40 miles off the freeway either. :-)

2nd night near Joplin, MO (360 miles that day, to around there) (same parameters as the previous night)

3rd night I’ll likely stay at Sangchris Lake State Park - looks very good.

4th nite: arrive in Chicago area.

So any campground suggestions along that route for nights 1 +2?

I’d like to go this way as I have never been to that part of the world at all, plus it is the most direct route to Chicago.

Thanks!

J.
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