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Hoping there's someone who could give me a recommendation for the best route for driving from Toledo, OH, to Los Angeles at the beginning of July. I-80 west to Salt Lake City, then south through Las Vegas? Or what about I-70 through Denver? AAA suggests I-40 but I hear it's nothing but desert...? Maybe a combination of routes?
Also, what's a reasonable expectation of hours driving per day before it makes you crazy? (There will be two of us.) Am leaving on the morning of July 5 and need to arrive no later than the end of the day on July 9.
Any "as-long-as-you're-heading-that-way, do-not-miss-this" recommendations?
Thanks very much!
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You are definitely better off (imo) to take the southern desert route. The mountain passes are much easier to handle. However, when you go through Texas, make sure you do not stop at any of the middle-of-no-where gas stations in order to answer calls from nature. I made that trip over 10 years ago, so maybe things have improved (I don't think they could get worse!), but I swear to God the stench of some of those toilet rooms is STILL trapped in my sinuses. (gagging at the thought)

As to the do-not-miss recommendations, check out http://www.roadsideamerica.com

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Hi jlovt,

I'm more familar with the west than I am with the eastern U.S.

IMHO, one of the most boring roads is I-80 in Wyoming. Actually, I like Hwy 40 and it's not all desert but July will be HOT!

According to Micrsoft Steets and Trips software the fastest route would be I-80, then I-76 into Denver and I-70 to I-15. This will probably be the most scenic too.

I-70 from Denver to I -15 will take you thought the Eisenhower Tunnel and mountain scenery. In Grand Junction if you feel like a little scenic side trip you can go to Colorado National Monument. The road through the park that starts in Grand Junction is slow going so if you want to just see the best part enter and exit at the Fruita Exit.

Another detour that is really spectacular is in Utah. Exit I-70 at the Cisco exit and take scenic Hwy 128 into Moab, Utah. This doesn't look like much at first but once you cross the Colorado River you enter a canyon where the steep red sandstone rocks get closer and closer until you are in Moab. Moab is a wonderful place to end up for the night. If you had any time at all I would recommend at least driving into Arches National Park.

From Moab go back to I-70 and you have two options for siteseeing.

Option 1 (the fastest option) Keep on I-70 and you will travel through the San Rafael Swell after leaving Green River. They are working on making this a new National Monument. On I-15 once you pass Cedar City, Utah look for the Kolob section of Zion National Park. This will a nice place to stretch your legs.

Option 2 (if you find you have a lot of time) Just after Green River, UT take Hwy 24 down to Hanksville and on past Captiol Reef National Park (take the scenic drive into the park) and on to Torrey, Utah. In Torrey take scenic Hwy 12 through some of the most scenic vistas I've ever seen. You will pass right by Bryce Canyon National Park. There is one scenic view from Hwy 12 but you will have to enter the park if you want to see more. From there take Hwy 89 down to Hwy 9 and travel throught Zion National Park (the main section) and back to I-15. http://www.so-utah.com/

Ok, lets say you still have some extra time...LOL. Off of I-15 in Nevada is the Valley of Fire State Park loop you could take. Also just outside of Las Vegas is Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Of course July is going to be HOT in these areas!

About the only interesting things in California along I-15 are the worlds's tallest thermometer in Baker, CA that you can see from the interstate http://www.weatherpages.com/features/112498.html and about 6 or 7 miles farther down I-15 is the exit to a road spelled Zzyzx http://www.schweich.com/imagehtml/1440-11.html .

The number of hours on the road will depend on you. DH and I love to drive so we can go all day.

Have a good road trip!

Utahtea

(cross anserwered on RVing Fools board)

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jlovt,

Utahtea's rec is the best.

Dave
NE Ohio, born and raised.
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Thank you, Utahtea! I appreciate your thoughtful and thorough response!
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Thanks for your reply and especially the Texas restroom-stop info! So what would be the best stopping off points along that route, if I didn't want to get caught in one of those questionable places?
I know in July it's going to be HOT taking I-40, vs. I-70 or I-80. But that's still your recommendation? Any comments on traveling through New Mexico and Arizona?
Thanks again.
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Thanks for your reply and especially the Texas restroom-stop info! So what would be the best stopping off points along that route, if I didn't want to get caught in one of those questionable places?
I know in July it's going to be HOT taking I-40, vs. I-70 or I-80. But that's still your recommendation? Any comments on traveling through New Mexico and Arizona?
Thanks again.


Hi, me again:)

OK, I would pick up I-70 in Oklahoma City and avoid Arkansas. They are working on I-70 in Arkansas and I can't imagine they are done from last summer. We've found the Interstate rest areas to be nice places to stop. Most are kept up. You will find many exits on the interstate with fast food places that have nice restrooms. You will find a lot of new big gas stations on the interstate these days and I would think they would keep the restrooms clean.

Just on the west side of Amarilo, Texas is a place called Cadilac Ranch. http://www.roadsideamerica.com/attract/TXAMAcadillac.html It will be on your left if you are traveling west on I-40. Get off at the next exit and take the side road back to the gate to walk around the cadilac's. It's just a fun little place to take a break.

Just west of Albuquerque, NM is Petroglyphs National Monument. http://www.nps.gov/petr/index.htm Which is a fun place to get the kinks out of your legs. I don't know how far off the Interstate you want to go, but in New Mexico off of I-40 you have Acoma Pueblo (I've never been but would love to go), El Morro National Monument, & Chaco Culture National Historical Site.

I like the Petrified Forest and think the detour thought the park with one or two little hikes is worth it.

In Winslow, Arizona you can go "STAND ON THE CORNER"! http://www.standinonthecorner.com/

Just east of Flagstaff on I-40 is Walnut Canyon National Monument. http://www.nps.gov/waca/index.htm and of course just north of Flagstaff would be a great detour to the Grand Canyon!

If you are interested in the Old Route 66 http://www.route66usa.com/arizona.html you can pick it up in many places along I-40 from Okalahoma City, but my all time favorite section is between Kingman and Oatman, AZ. where the burros roam the town and they stop traffic on Route 66 to stage gunfights! http://www.desertusa.com/oatman/du_oatman.html

If you want to get off of I-40 you can swing down to Lake Havasu to see the London Bridge. http://www.lakehavasu.com/cgi-bin/evoque?visit_conversations.id+980465870 and if you have time take a drive thought Joshua Trees National Park.

Utahtea....road trip Queen!







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