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  1. Default Atlanta to The Grand Canyon

    Me and my fiance have decided to spend about 10 days travelling from Atlanta to The Grand Canyon this Spring Break.

    Has anyone out there ever made a comparable trek (basically I-40W from Memphis)? I'm looking for some good stops along I-40, especially through Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico. I've never seen NM, and I hear it's spectacular.

    Any insight/tips/suggestions would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default How long is Spring Break?

    Quote Originally Posted by jivesoul
    Me and my fiance have decided to spend about 10 days travelling from Atlanta to The Grand Canyon this Spring Break.
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! How long is your spring break?

    As you probably know, it is about 3550 miles round trip by the shortest possible distance between the south rim of the Grand Canyon and Atlanta. Driving at close to the speed limit, but allowing sufficient time to re-fuel your car and your bodies, rest, etc. you will need to be on the road a minimim of 62 hours. That is five days of 12+ hours -- you won't have a lot of time for sight-seeing. I have driven that route about twenty times in recent years. How long will you have?

    Once we have an idea about the time constraints, we can offer some ideas.

    Mark

  3. Default Not long enough...

    My break is right at about 12 days (10 official days of break + 2 that I can squeeze out of my schedule).

    Mark, do you feel that it's worth it to try such a drive, since you've made it so many times before? I'm OK with not sight-seeing along the way, but I would like to know if it's possible to squeeze a trip like this into the "official" 10-days of break that I have.

    The calculations all look feasible on paper, but I'm unsure if I'll ever be out from behind the wheel the whole week. I hate the idea of flying out to the west coast, but I might find that it just makes more sense in this situation.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Go for it!

    Quote Originally Posted by jivesoul
    My break is right at about 12 days (10 official days of break + 2 that I can squeeze out of my schedule).
    I was afraid you were going to try and do this in five or six days -- if you have 10-11, I would say go for it. RoadTripping is an experience beyond traveling from point A to B, there are some awesome places you can stop along the way. I will be back with more ideas later -- I need to fix a software oddity..

    Mark

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Go for it!

    With 10 days, you should have a great trip. It's still a lot of driving and, if I were you, I'd block out a few days for things you want to see and then driving longer days, alternating with days that you don't drive at all or only a little bit. To me, this is easier and more fun than driving each day. In other words, I'd rather do 700 miles one day and then not drive the next and spend it exploring than drive 350 miles each day. But we're all different. Your mileage may vary.

    You might check out "The Art of the Speed Run" for driving/safety tips, and "The Art of the Cheap Roadtrip" for hints on saving money on the road while still having a great time.

  6. Default Alternatives to I-40 to the Grand

    If you do the interstate, I suppose you could make a speedy run out to the Grand Canyon and back. But then, what's the real purpose of your trip? Only to see the Grand Canyon, to see the land between Georgia and the Grand Canyon, or are you more excited about driving through the west - highlighted by the Grand Canyon?

    New Mexico does indeed have some spectacular places, though I'm hard pressed to come up with any right off I-40. I'm really a fan of getting off the big roads and seeing the "old" America - the little towns that the Interstate bypasses. If it were me doing this trip, I'd take US 84 or US 82 and take about four or five days just to get to the Grand Canyon. But then, you have only ten days and don't have such a luxury unless perhaps you take the Interstate one way and the smaller roads the other way.

    But if you really want to spend time driving around New Mexico and Arizona - and believe me, you could easily spend a week or more happily doing just that - might you consider flying into Phoenix or Las Vegas and renting a car? Las Vegas has some of the cheapest car rental deals in the nation! I fly into Vegas all the time for just this purpose - to rent a nice full size car and road trip out through Arizona, Colorado and Utah. It is fantastically beautiful country and as I mentioned, you could easily spend a week or more just driving around it. Flying there from Atlanta would allow you more time for this.

    Either way you choose, here's wishing you a great trip!
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-21-2006 at 05:41 PM. Reason: Some comments removed due to violation of Good Neighbor Rules

  7. Default Thanks everyone!

    I really appreciate everyone's feedback. I looked today to see what flights would run us to get to Las Vegas and then drive from there, but for the money, I'd rather rent a car in Atlanta and just do the drive from there.

    I've seen some of the 'old town' Arizona before, but I've never really had the chance to check out TX and NM. Hopefully, if this trip goes well, I'll make a trip this summer to the area when I have a good 2 weeks to really just get lost and explore.

    The way it stands now, we'll leave at sun-up on Saturday and just see if we can do it. If the sites along the way prevent us from seeing the Canyon, so be it. I don't think it's going any where any time soon.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Default Route 66 and Land of Enchantment

    Quote Originally Posted by jivesoul
    I've seen some of the 'old town' Arizona before, but I've never really had the chance to check out TX and NM.
    Both states are chock-full of cool places to check out. If you do a search for "New Mexico" [in the green navigation bar above] you will find scores of ideas. The other thing to remember is that old Route 66 parallels much of I-40 in the Texas and NM, Arizona portions of your trip. This site hosted by our friend Guy Randall, is one of the best for finding cool things to do.

    But I have another suggestion, it is much closer than driving all the way to Grand Canyon and it would allow you more time to explore Texas. The Starlight Theatre in the reviving ghost town of Terlingua is pretty darn cool and you could explore Big Bend NP one of my favorite places. Here is a recent report about some of the hot springs in the area -- there is nothing as romantic as soaking with your honey under the Texan stars.

    Some other friends run the Texas Escapes site -- and it is my favorite site for finding those little known places hidden around Texas.

    Happy Planning!

    Mark

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