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Road Trip to California Day 7: It’s all Downhill from Here

Tonya Prater, Owner

Once we hit California and turned our vehicle east, heading back across the country to our home in Ohio, my kids became quite impatient with any other stops we made. They mistakenly assumed since we had seen the main attraction, the target destination for our trip, all further sight-seeing should end. I tried to convince them otherwise, but our stops became less and less frequent. Each time I asked my husband to stop so I could take a photo of an amazing view I was met with heavy sighs and eye rolls from the backseat. I’m sure one day, as my children look through the photos from our trip and are reminded of the beautiful sights we saw, they’ll appreciate my efforts.

By day six of our epic road trip, we were beginning to get tired. The morning hustle and bustle was easing as we wearily climbed out of bed and prepared for the day ahead and what promised to be a lot of driving.

San Rafael Swell Country from the road

At the insistence of some of my fellow bloggers, Joe from Tips on Roadtripping and Jenilee from The Goodwin Journey, I had planned to make a slight detour to visit Arches National Park. The drive from our hotel to the park was incredible and offered some of my favorite views and apparently my family enjoyed it as well because the kids decided they didn’t need to stop at Arches because they’d already seen the good stuff.

Scenic View of San Rafael Swell along I-15

Let me say, as beautiful as this view was at a scenic rest stop, it had nothing on the national park. The San Rafael Swell which encompasses the area is incredible.

It was clear when we arrived at Arches that I could have used that winter coat I left at home. It was pretty chilly.

Window at Arches National Park

Though there were several places that my boys wanted to hike, we opted to view the windows as a family. Mistake. My daughter was not happy and upon entering the vehicle and walking the short distance to the first window, it was evident that I wasn’t ready for a long hike at this elevation. It didn’t seem to bother my boys who ran around, expelling their pent up energy. We had clearly spent too much time in the car.

The boys playing at Arches National Park

The temperature  was certainly dropping the further east we drove and as we were leaving Arches National Park we began to hear murmurings of snow, and a lot of it, along I-80 and I-70 in Colorado- our route home. We briefly considered detouring and heading south but in the end stayed our course.

Need to catch up? 

Road Trip to California Day 1: Viewing the St. Louis Arch
Road Trip to California Day 2: To Texas and Beyond
Road Trip to California Day 3: A Day Full of Surprises
Road Trip to California Day 4 & 5: We Made It!
Road Trip to California Day 6: The Never-Ending Day

Day Six Expenses:

Gas/Toll Charges/Parking Fees: $105.00

Food: $49.37

Lodging: $89.58

Entertainment/Souvenirs: $0 (with America’s Park Pass that we purchased at Painted Canyon and the Petrified Forest) 

Total: $243.95

Miles traveled for the day: 423 

Total miles traveled for our trip so far: 3833

Jennifer @ My Sweet Sanity

Monday 13th of January 2014

Reading about your trip has almost convinced me i should try one this year with my kids although I have no idea how it would go.


Monday 13th of January 2014

GO! Really, it was really wonderful (most of it) and definitely memorable. I'm so glad we went and created those memories.

Robin Gagnon {Mom Foodie}

Monday 13th of January 2014

Wow, this trip has certainly brought you gorgeous scenery!


Monday 13th of January 2014

I was amazed by the scenery. It just got better and better.

Karen Coutu

Monday 13th of January 2014

What beautiful scenes you've captured. I've never been out to the West coast, but hope to someday soon. :)


Monday 13th of January 2014

When you go, make sure you leave plenty of time to explore and don't forget your camera. It was amazing.


Monday 13th of January 2014

Beautiful pictures! Looks like a great trip!


Sunday 12th of January 2014

gorgeous scenery! Arches is one of the most beautiful places I've been. Protection Status
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