Planning the Trip of a Lifetime to USA

Filed Under (Hiking Q&A) by GreatEasternTrail on 23-10-2010

Hiking Trails

Hiking in Grizzly Bear Country - Yellowstone

My father and I are planning the trip of a lifetime to the USA from England - where should we go?

As you might have guessed from my previous question, my father and I are planning a giant trip to the USA, he's growing older and wants to travel abroad before he is unable to do so.

We both consider ourselves as capable outdoorsmen and would like to reflect this on our trip; hiking, fishing, and camping. We'd both prefer no big cities or hotels.  Our plan is for a stay of around 2 weeks.

Quite a few people have recommended Montana, but it seems quite pricey to get to from the UK.

Where else could we experience the 'Great Outdoors' of America, that is a little closer to the Eastern areas where we will likely land (NYC/ Washington DC etc)?

What about the 'Appalachian Trail', is this close by?

One other thing... Are the American people friendly towards us Brits or will we encounter some hostility?  I just want to be sure of what to expect, I definitely don't mean to offend anyone.

Oops...there is one last thing I wanted to know. I've heard America has a lot of dangerous wildlife...exactly how dangerous is the wildlife to two British men, traveling alone?

We'll be visiting  sometime between February and June.

A great big thanks from your friends over the pond.


5 Responses to “Planning the Trip of a Lifetime to USA”

  1. The most dangerous wildlife is by far the Brown Bear AKA Grizzly. I’d suggest you swing by a BassPro Shops and pick up some Bear Spray and a walking stick that has a speared end.

    The bear spray shoots 35 feet out and the walking stick just makes you feel better to have something to whack the bear with. :)

    That being said, your chances of actually running into a Grizzly are insanely rare.

    There are no Grizzly’s on the East Coast, only black bears. Black bears are not as aggressive or as large. Bear spray would be more than sufficient for them.

  2. America is really big and for our first visit we did the mid west, mainly as my sister was based in Kansas. We hired a car and drove around. We were arriving in National Parks, the car or mobile home in front would say we are here for two weeks, we would say we are here for two hours. We saw a lot of America in those two weeks and although it was a lot of driving, we did 4500 miles, it was not that hard.

    The one place we have been back to several times and offers everything that you like, is the Grand Canyon. It is truly spectacular, you can walk, camp, live the outdoor life, but it is hard. There are probably organized trips that you can do. Any of the national parks will have a range of activities, guides, talks and facilities for people to use.

    There are a number of other spectacular places, it depends on what you like. Florida would be cheap to get to, there are the Everglades which are interesting but flat, warm, and very wet.

    The Americans are generally very warm and welcoming, you will need a car to get about. If you are in one of the parks there generally is a lot of advice regarding the wild life and you need to be sensible but fire arms are not essential.

    Where ever you decide you will have a great trip.

  3. How exciting! Upstate New York has many beautiful areas for doing all that you mentioned. New Hampshire has Mt. Monadnock, (one of) the most hiked mountains in the East. Vermont is beautiful and very well preserved. Pennsylvania is known for its rugged individualism. Virginia is beautiful and historic.

    Feb- April it will still be cool. May-June will begin to be nicer, but may be wet. We take our chances with camping then.

    Would you like to do any rafting? canoeing? Try the Delaware River from top to bottom- New York to Philadelphia. Or the Youghigheny River! By Ohiopyle, there is a huge white (limestone?) cross on a mountain where you can see three states- West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. It is a lovely area, but then there is so much to see here!

    Good luck and I hope you have the trip of a lifetime! Oh, and yes, we love your accents. So just start talking and people will not be able to stop listening.

  4. Oh Please..we love our British friends. I have never seen you treated with hostility. We don’t treat people that are different badly. Most are treated with utmost respect. People come here from all over the world to live here! We do have our problems….but you all really get media coverage that is WAY over exaggerated. In big cities like New York etc…where they never sleep….you will have bigger problems…but mostly you are safe. I never feel uncomfortable anywhere I go here.

    I can understand it though…I feel uncomfortable and apprehensive when I go overseas too. The only place I refuse to go anymore is Canada…..they are RUDE! Been there three times..twice we got ripped off and lied to and they just want your money and when they have it….forget it. You are on your own.

    Go to the Smoky Mountains. You can rent a cabin in the mountains and hike etc … is absolutely beautiful. You can also go to the Grand Canyon…a VERY BEAUTIFUL place and mind blowing in color!

    Dangerous wildlife? Just bear and some mountain lions etc…but you aren’t going to be in uncivilized areas! I would do this in April May or June as the weather is a bit warmer and better. If you go to the Grand Canyon you can get a lot of information online about it.

    You can also google for tourisim places for hiking, camping etc in America.


    Many foreign visitors are interested in seeing the natural scenic attractions like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks. A hybrid “man-made” natural attraction outdrew it in attendance last year: the Nevada hot spot Lake Mead (where the Hoover Dam blocks the Colorado River), received three million more visitors than the Grand Canyon, probably as a result of the lake’s popularity for recreational sports and its proximity to urban centers. The famous American National Parks Yosemite and Yellowstone, and The Great Smoky Mountains took top honors in the national park category.

    Come and enjoy and have fun and don’t worry.

    I do recommend the Smoky’s. They are AMAZING and you never get tired of them…NEVER! So much to do and it is so well covered online too. The cabins etc in the Smokys are amazing and the hiking and information is fantastic. Also you can avoid the tourist trap in the valleys…and only take your food with you up to the mountains ! We go down and do the tourist thing one day when we are there…just to see what changed..and they are forever changing things….but mostly we go hiking and driving into the mountains to see the beauty. You will be in TOTAL AWE!

  5. If you were to come to the United States in the cooler months of the year I would suggest you visit my home state of Texas.

    Its impossible to fully describe in just a few words a state that is twice the size of British Isles and the variety of habitat ranges from the dry prairies of West Texas to the lush greenery of the “Piney Woods” of East Texas where I make my home. Two old friends of mine from Liverpool, who are ardent birders, stayed at my ranch and described the area as “Eden.”

    We have deer and wild hogs as the principle type of big game, abundant waterways and lakes which teem with bass and catfish.

    Its hotter than Hades in the summer but the extraordinarily mild winters make up for it.

    We’re easier to reach than Montana with lots of direct flights from the UK to both Dallas and Houston. Here in East Texas we have two regional airports that connect to both those cities with regularly scheduled commercial flights.

    You’ll find that Texans are very friendly people and here in a rural area like East Texas are just fascinated by foreign visitors of all kinds. (The area attracts a lot of American vacationers but few from outside the USA). The British are regarded with particular fondness.

    We do have dangerous wildlife. Wild hogs are probably the only serious threat but there is also the occassional poisonous snake. Coyotes, which are also common, are really rather timid and will flee human contact.

    As for carrying guns, there’s no reason why you can’t. Folks no longer wear six guns when going into town but everyone I know owns at least a hunting rifle.

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