What is there to see between KC and Eugene, OR?
July 29, 2008 12:31 AM   Subscribe

I'm driving from KC to Eugene, OR (round trip) and I'm in no hurry. Any suggestions?

On August 11th I will leave Kansas City bound for Eugene, OR. I'm driving there and I'm camping in the bed of my truck. I'd like to see what there is to see. My deadline: September 2nd. On that day I have to be back in Kansas City to report for work. In the mean time I'd like to go... anywhere. My initial thought was to drive more northerly than Google Maps suggests, then, once I get to Oregon, I'd head down the coast and drive back through the southwest. Any ideas?
posted by samurphy to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would take I-29 from KC up to Sioux Falls, then take I-90 all the way across South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Washington. You can take I-5 or coastal roads down to Eugene.

If you have never done South Dakota/Wyoming/Montana, there's tons to see and do along this route. I've done it several times and love it, but I'm a bit of a solitude freak.
posted by daveleck at 6:19 AM on July 29, 2008

I guess I should add that sights/attractions include the Badlands, Black Hills, Mt Rushmore, Devil's Tower, Little Bighorn Battlefield, Wall Drug, Corn Palace, and so on...
posted by daveleck at 6:38 AM on July 29, 2008

Do not skip Montana. Well, western Montana anyway. I'd get there through Wyoming so you can see the Grand Tetons, and then head north through Yellowstone. The Beartooth highway will take you east again but it's worth it. Then head west.

If you're going to hit the southwest on your return trip, Arches National Park and Canyonlands in Utah is not to be missed. Further north is Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado, also not to be missed.
posted by desjardins at 6:44 AM on July 29, 2008

I got tons of great suggestions in this thread, many of which will be on your route. The Center for Land Use Interpretation was especially helpful for weird and unusual sites.

And in general, if you're driving along and you see one of those little brown park service "landmark" signs -- follow it. Even if it sounds boring.
posted by ook at 8:29 AM on July 29, 2008

Yellowstone/Tetons are a must.
Zion National Park in Utah is surreal, as is the nearby Bryce.
posted by neuron at 10:41 AM on July 29, 2008

I'd cut down across eastern Washington go across the Bridge of the Gods and go west along the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge.

Keep in mind that many of these places will be approximately one hajillion degrees this time of year. I suppose it probably is in KC too, but be sure to plan accordingly.
posted by sevenless at 4:34 PM on July 29, 2008

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