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Author Topic: 3 week trip in June 2010 / Where to go starting from Michigan?  (Read 2826 times)
rkissinger
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« on: December 17, 2009, 07:26:58 AM »
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Hi all!


I am planning a trip with some friends next summer. We thought about Namibia (inspired by the LLVJ) or US/ Canada.

Since a friend of mine has a relative living in Michigan he wants to visit, the US / Canada trip would have to start out or at least pass there.

I really have no clue what the "must sees" in that area are. Is Yellowstone too far to drive from Michigan? Or does the way there present other opportunities? Another thing
I heard of briefly is Algonquin Park in Canada. But other than that I am totally clueless what else is worth visiting in that area.

Since I am the photo-geek of the travel group ;-> I thought I ask here and "steer" the planning into the right direction.

I know this is a pretty open question, so I am glad for any advice or hint you can give me!


Kind regards,
René
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Greg Campbell
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« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2009, 12:04:50 AM »
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Yellowstone is a two day drive each way, and is WELL worth the visit.    
Most of the park will be open by early June, although a few roads in the high country may still be closed due to lingering snow.
Visit http://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm for an idea of what to expect.  Assuming you've never seen the geothermal features or the region's abundant wildlife, you could easily spend a half a week there, just shooting the major "typical tourist" sights.  There will be plenty of places to camp.   If staying in a motel, I'd suggest Cody or Gardiner over West Yellowstone (a real tourist trap, IMO.)  

After that, head south to Teton National Park.  It's smaller, but offers rewarding hikes into the mountains, leading to gorgeous alpine lakes.

Along the way, you could visit northern Michigan.  There are several parks in the area that are smaller, but roughly comparable to the Algonquin area.  Sorry, I'm not very knowledgeable about the area.  Hopefully your friend can offer better advice.

On the way to Yellowstone, etc., there are a number of grassland preserves in North and South Dakota that you might enjoy stopping / camping at.  If nothing else, they will offer your eyes a break from mile after mile after mile of corn!   Eastern Wyoming has several pretty areas and a few parks, such as Devil's (Bear's) Tower.  Highway #212, running between Billings Montana and the northern Yellowstone area is a great drive.  Check to see if the road is open visiting the area.  Beyond that, you could head north to Glacier National Park, then cross into Canada to visit Banff, Jasper, etc. in the equally pretty Canadian Rockies.  Check to see when these parks open for the season.  Glacier is somewhat similar to the Canadian parks, and you might not want/need to visit them all.

The highly photogenic red-rocks of Southern Utah are only a day's drive from Yellowstone.  Depending on how much time you plan to spend on the road, you could easily visit a few of the parks in the area.  Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, the Escalante area, or even Zion (the furthest) are all within a half day's drive of one another.  That's not to say you should try to hit them all!  Be sure to slow down, get out of the car, and ENJOY the areas you're visiting!    I'm fairly familiar with the Utah region; PM me if you have specific questions or are looking for more details and destinations in the area.

http://maps.google.com is a good on-line resource for basic trip planning.  Enable 'photos' to see pictures of the areas you're considering.

-Greg
« Last Edit: December 25, 2009, 12:08:48 AM by Greg Campbell » Logged
Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2009, 09:24:57 AM »
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Quote from: rkissinger
Hi all!


I am planning a trip with some friends next summer. We thought about Namibia (inspired by the LLVJ) or US/ Canada.

Since a friend of mine has a relative living in Michigan he wants to visit, the US / Canada trip would have to start out or at least pass there.

I really have no clue what the "must sees" in that area are. Is Yellowstone too far to drive from Michigan? Or does the way there present other opportunities? Another thing
I heard of briefly is Algonquin Park in Canada. But other than that I am totally clueless what else is worth visiting in that area.

Since I am the photo-geek of the travel group ;-> I thought I ask here and "steer" the planning into the right direction.

I know this is a pretty open question, so I am glad for any advice or hint you can give me!


Kind regards,
René

Depends on what you like to see. Michigan itself has countless photographic opportunties. Many of the best nature photographers coming out of the 1970s-1980s (Larry West, John Shaw, Rod Planck, John Gerlach...) got their starts in Michigan because of the vast expanse of lakes, bogs, forests and shore making up the Upper Peninsula. It's still very lightly populated and has a seemingly endless array of small lakes and ponds as well as the dramatic Lake Superior shoreline.

Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario is also gorgeous, though to do it justice you really need to have a canoe and be willing to head into the back-country. The landscape there is quite similar to Michigan; lots of small lakes and hardwood to boreal forest mixes.

The downside is that summer is probably the least photogenic time to visit; endless monochrome green forests, and not very many flowers. Plenty of insects, too; you really don't want to visit Upper Peninsula or Algonquin forests in June/early July without a lot of mosquito protection.

Badlands National Park in South Dakota is unique, and about 12 hours west of Michigan. If you want to get into real mountains you'll need to head much further west to the Rockies/Tetons.
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