I-80 vs. I-70. Which is better?
I'm planning a 6 day road trip from Salt Lake City to Washington DC. I want to take some time to see interesting things (maybe venture off on some two-lane highways), but for the most part, I'll need to stick to the interstate because I need to be to DC by the end of the 6th day. I can't decide if I should take I-80 or I-70. Both take about the same amount of time, give or take a few hours. Any suggestions?
Last year I took I-80 from California through Reno, across Nevada, stayed in Salt Lake City, then continued through Utah and Wyoming. At Cheyenne, I headed south to Denver, then Columbia Missouri and ended in Kentucky.
The scenery is awesome. Next time, I would try I-70 just to see something different.
I-80 in Utah and Wyoming is really pretty--looks like a western movie.
When I was considering the trip and posted here about it, someone suggested that I-70 would be more scenic, but would take a few hours longer.
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The nice thing about driving such a long distance is that you can make fairly large 'detours' for very little extra mileage. I-80 is the shortest route at around 2085 miles by the most direct choices. But for about 2205 miles (or only 120 more) you can have better scenery and choices of side roads in the east. In eastern Nebraska use KS-43 to cut over to I-29 and take that south to I-70 in Kansas City. At St. Louis, pick up I-64 through southern Illinois and Indiana into Kentucky and West Virginia. Finish up with I-81 up through the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and I-66 into Washington. This routing avoids Denver, Chicago and Cleveland (but adds Kansas City and St. Louis) and takes you through a far more interesting patch of the midwest and east in my opinion.
If you are willing to head south of SLC to I-70 and cross Colorado, I'd highly recommend that route. If you plan to head east through Wyoming, then pick I-70 or I-80 I don't know that I have a preference. They are similar, but different. More corn in Iowa and Illinois, but more varied in Missouri, and Kentucky (if you take I-64 east from St. Louis).
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