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  1. Default St. Louis to Phoenix

    Hi All!

    I am planning my first cross country road trip...very exciting but also intimidating. My overall goal is to move from Boston to LA by way of Washington DC and Phoenix. Those are necessities. I think it makes sense from DC to use St. Louis as my next destination, since it is the gateway to the west and also seems efficient.

    This is the point where I get stuck however, since I don't really know the Plains States. I would love to see monument valley, but also want to be smart about heat. Any suggestions on a route?

    Also, would it be possible to do this trip in 5-7 days with two 20-something drivers? We are willing to take time in some spots and hustle in others.

    Thanks! This is a great site!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Acoss the Plains to Monument Valley

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum.

    Your judgment is pretty good on using St. Louis. Going that way is all of about 10 miles shorter (!) than going down the Appalachians to Tennessee before turning west. But it also leaves you in pretty good shape to really experience the plains as you head through on your way to Monument Valley. This will require some navigation, but if it is really high on your priority list, what I would suggest (There are other options) is: Take I-70 west out of St. Louis through Missouri and into Kansas. West of Salina, use KS-156 to cut down to US-56 to Dodge City where you would pick up US-50 to La Junta, CO. There take CO-10 west to Walsenburg and US-160 through the southern Colorado Rockies. As a bonus, this route takes you through Wolf Creek Pass and by Mesa Verde National Park. If you want, see the Four Corners Monument, but then back track a bit to take CO-162, to Bluff, UT and then US-163 down through Monument Valley. You'd then rejoin US-160 in Kayenta, head down US-89 and I-17 to Phoenix (with, of course, a detour on AZ-64 to the Grand Canyon).

    Five days would really be pushing this trip to the limit, but with seven, you should be fine, especially with two young drivers. You will have to keep up a pretty steady pace and have a good idea of where you need to be when. If you find yourself falling behind the pace you know you need to keep, start to hustle, but otherwise - enjoy. As far as the heat goes, just use common sense. Make sure your car's AC is working properly and drink lost of water - not beer or caffeinated drinks. If you start getting headaches, you're getting dehydrated and force yourself to drink more.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Sightly Confused

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    This is the point where I get stuck however, since I don't really know the Plains States. I would love to see monument valley, but also want to be smart about heat. Any suggestions on a route?
    You've kind of got 3 things here, none of which really relate to each other. Monument Valley isn't in the plains, it's in Northern Arizona. And While it is in Arizona, it's at an elevation of around 7,000 feet, so heat isn't typically a big problem.

    As far as a route between St. Louis and Monument Valley, the easiest option would be to take I-70 into Colorado, Take US-24 as a shortcut to Colorado Springs, Head South on I-25 a ways, and pick up US-160 for the trip west again. US-160 will take you by Sand Dunes NP, Mesa Verde NP, 4 Corners, and onto Monument Valley. Eventually, you can hook up with I-17 for the trip south into Phoenix.

    Also, would it be possible to do this trip in 5-7 days with two 20-something drivers? We are willing to take time in some spots and hustle in others.
    Doing this trip in 5 days doesn't seem feasable with stops in DC and Phoenix. Even if your stops in those city's are basically overnights, where you don't spend any other time there, you'll be looking at 3 days to make a nearly 2400 mile trip between DC and AZ. With no other stops, you'd be looking at 3 consecutive 14-15 hour driving days.

    Even 7 days will only give you a limited amount of time to see your must see cities... and it will make it very difficult for you to squeeze in any other stops along the way.

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