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  1. Default Chicago to L.A. (suggested route and stops)

    Hello Guys, I never new this forum existed. I tell you the internet is awesome.

    My wife and I are planning a west coast trip from Chicago in June. We are taking 80, 90 or 94 west. And would love suggestions on which is the more scenic route. And some suggested stops along the way?

    I am currently thinking about 80 west to San Fran then I-5 or US1 south to L.A. and then I-15 through Vegas. I-70 to Denver then back to I-80 East to Chicago.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default 90/94?

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I'm a little confused about why you'd mention I-90 or 94. They really go a long way from where you want to be heading.

    I-80 all the way out to San Francisco is actually a pretty significant detour too, although if you wanted to see SF and take the Pacific Coast Highway (CA-1 not US-1, US-1 runs along the East Coast) down for the scenic beauty it would be a good trip. Taking I-80 to I-5 just wouldn't make a lot of sense because it only adds a lot of miles without be a particularly noteworthy road. If you wanted to take I-80 across northern Nevada to Lake Tahoe, from there you could take US-395 down through California and save a lot of miles and have a more scenic trip through the desert.

    The most popular two routes for this trip would be I-70 (via I-80/I-76) through Colorado, connecting to I-15 in Utah. This takes you right through the heart of the rockies and near the many wonderful national parks in Utah. This is my personal favorite stretch of Interstate in the US.

    The other common route for this trip that you didn't mention involves taking I-55 to St. Louis, I-44 to OK, and I-40 to California. This route has the popular historical significance of following the path of Route 66 and has lots of fun towns along the way.

  3. Default

    Wow... I knew someone here could help. Fist thanks for the clarification on US-1 vs CA-1.

    I mentioned 90/94 just to see if it was a more scenic route than just taking 80 straight out. Never been through the Dakotas or Montana. But it seems from your response that it would just add more miles and no additional benefit to a more scenic route.

    We would like to see San Fran and CA-1.

    So I think I'll go 80 to San Fran/CA-1 to L.A. and then come home 15 to vegas and eventually 70 to 76 to 80 to chicago. Coming home via the southern route 40 to 44 to 55 just seems more boring, but I could be wrong.

    Thanks for your help.

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

    Default A few more resources for you

    Quote Originally Posted by theboywonder View Post
    Wow... I knew someone here could help. Fist thanks for the clarification on US-1 vs CA-1.
    Here are a couple more resources for you.

    First this thread has links to several threads about the coastal route and these two field reports discuss I-70 both on-the-highway and off-road in the San Rafael Swell.

    Mark

  5. Default Enough Time

    Thanks ... we can't wait to hit the road. With the route we chosen and spending a day in san fran; 3 days in l.a.; a day in vegas and a day in denver...do you think 2 weeks (well 17 days including the weekends) is enough time?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Packed Full

    I think you should be able to get everything in, although it will be a packed trip.

    You'll need 4-5 days to drive from Chicago to/from California, and 2 days to really enjoy the coastal route from SF to LA. That does leave just enough time to spend the amount of time you want to spend in each city, so you should be alright.

  7. Default

    Wow... 4 to 5 days to get to Cali?

    I was only counting on 2 to 3.

    3 max, I can knock out 700 to 800 miles a day. But I guess 4 to 5 is more realistic.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Overextension

    Driving 700-800 miles in one day isn't a huge deal, but it is stressful and can drain you. Driving 700-800 miles for multiple days in a row is very hard work, and not something I'd recommend, especially not if you are trying to enjoy yourself on the trip. Really, its the kind of effort that is self-defeating, because you'd need at least a full day to relax and recover once you arrived in California.

    Also, you're looking at a trip that's about 2100 miles each way. Even at a killer pace of 700 miles a day, you'd still need 3 full days on the road. A 4th day would make your trip a whole lot more enjoyable.

  9. Default

    Yeah ... See your point.

    Based on your advice we have revamped our trip as follows.

    Day 1 - 477 Miles on the road Chicago to Lincoln Nebraska. (I-80)
    Day 2 - 821 Miles on the road Lincoln to Salt Lake City (I-80)
    Day 3 - 672 miles Salt Lake to San Francisco(I-80)
    Day 4 - All Day in San Francisco
    Day 5 - 347 Miles on the road San Francisco to La (I-5 or CA-1)
    Day 6 - All Day in L.A.
    Day 7 - All Day in L.A.
    Day 8 - All Day in L.A.
    Day 9 - 1/2 Day in L.a. 237 Miles on the road L.A. to Las Vegas
    Day 10 - All Day in Vegas
    Day 11 - 655 Miles on the road Las Vegas to Denver
    Day 12 - All Day in Denver
    Day 13 - All Day in Denver
    Day 14 - A killer 919 Miles on the road Denver to Chicago

    Any Comments? I don't think this is pushing it too much.

  10. Default

    O.K there were to ways we figured we could do it. Any Comments on which option is better would appreciated. Not quite sure of the differences between San Francisco and San Diego or which one we would enjoy more. I feel either option the ride home will be KILLER!!!

    Option 1.............................
    Day 1 - 477 Miles on the road Chicago to Lincoln Nebraska. (I-80)
    Day 2 - 821 Miles on the road Lincoln to Salt Lake City (I-80)
    Day 3 - 672 miles Salt Lake to San Francisco(I-80)
    Day 4 - All Day in San Francisco
    Day 5 - 347 Miles on the road San Francisco to La (I-5 or CA-1)
    Day 6 - All Day in L.A.
    Day 7 - All Day in L.A.
    Day 8 - All Day in L.A.
    Day 9 - 1/2 Day in L.a. 237 Miles on the road L.A. to Las Vegas
    Day 10 - All Day in Vegas
    Day 11 - 655 Miles on the road Las Vegas to Denver (I-15)
    Day 12 - All Day in Denver
    Day 13 - All Day in Denver
    Day 12 - A killer 919 Miles on the road Denver to Chicago (I-76/I-80)

    ===============================================

    Option 2..............................
    Day 1 - A killer 919 Miles on the road Chicago to Denver (I-80/I-76)
    Day 2 - All day in Denver
    Day 3 - All day in Denver
    Day 4 - 655 Miles on the road Denver to Las Vegas (I-70/I-15)
    Day 5 - All Day in Vegas
    Day 6 - 1/2 Day in L.V. 237 Miles on the road L.V. to L.A.
    Day 7 - All Day in L.A.
    Day 8 - All Day in L.A.
    Day 9 - All Day in L.A.
    Day 10 - 1/2 Day in 1/2 Day in San Diego
    Day 11 - All Day in San Diego
    Day 12 - 765 Miles on the Road San Diego to Albequerque (I-40)
    Day 13 - 618 Miles on the Road Alberqueque to Tulsa (I-40)
    Day 14 - 595 Miles on the Road Tulsa to Chicago (I-40/I-44/I-55)

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