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  1. Default Los Angeles to Champaign-Urbana

    Am thinking of driving from So. California to Champaign-Urbana. Objective is to deliver car to daughter. Will have my husband to share driving. Would like to go through Las Vegas if possible. I am totally lost and would appreciate anybody's opinions. Route 70 up through Denver or route 40? If we do route 70 are there mountains to contend with? Have two weeks but would like to do in 7-10 days. Thanks for all responses.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Plenty of options, plenty of time

    Welcome to ther RTA Forum!

    If you are planning to go to Las Vegas, then going up to I-70 would be my choice. Yes, it does go through the heart of spectacular Rockies in Colorado, but to me thats another reason to enjoy this route.

    I-40 is also perfectly acceptable, but it would require a bit of a detour from Las Vegas.

    Moving quickly, you could comfortably get to IL in 3-4 days, so having up to two weeks will give you plenty of time to make this trip.

  3. Default Routes

    Thanks for the response. I'm trying to convince my husband to make the trip (that's why I thought I'd throw in LV) since he's not crazy about road trips.

    Do you think it's considerably easier and faster to go route 40? Any suggestions for stops? We could skip LV for sure. I'm just trying to make this trip appealing to my husband.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    The Great Midwest, Illinois to be precise

    Default If You Have Some Time, Why Not Route 66

    You can get off the interstate at pretty much any point between LA and Illinois and drive some on the "Mother Road", Route 66. You'll get a taste of America the way it was back in the 40s and 50s. Just be careful. Once you get off, you may not want to get back on.

    However, I-70 from Utah to Denver is one of the most beautiful drives I've ever been on.

    Keep on Down that Two Lane Highway. --RoadDog

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Similar, but different

    I really don't think you'll see much of a difference in terms of travel time with one route or the other.They are both similar in distance, and each has its own unique features.

    I-70 would take you through Vegas, and the spectacular landscapes of Utah and Colorado. I-40, as Roaddog pointed out, follows the path of old Route 66, and has its unique geographical features in its own right.

    The great thing is that there is no right or wrong answer here, just a couple of great choices to pick from!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default Joplin, Missouri - Oklahoma City looks oh so pretty...


    This trip does almost scream "follow the old route 66!" You could make a kind of pilgrimage out of it.

    However, unless you are a real nostalgia fan and want to see as much of the old road as possible, my vote is up to I-70 and through Colorado.

    Or, do a hybrid and take I-40 (with route 66 side trips) to Flagstaff or Gallup, NM then head north to Durango, CO. Then on north to Grand Junction to pick up I-70 east.

    You've got the time, enjoy the ride.

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years

  7. Default Roads

    How about going to from Flagstaff to Durango? Are the roads easily navigated? I don't like two way highways through steep mountains.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default What's wrong with mountain driving?

    Seriously, these are some of the best drives! Any major road through these areas will be perfectly safe. Since most are carved through mountain passes, they usually don't have too many drop-offs but, if they do, the guard-rails are sturdy. Most often, there will also be ample shoulders. I encourage you to give these types of roads a chance. You miss some of the best scenery by avoiding them.

    It's been awhile since I drove Flagstaff to Durango but I don't recall any real steep portions of road. I think it's more of a gradual incline. But you will find some steeper, windy roads when you head east out of Durango. Immediately upon leaving town, before you need to choose whether or not you continue east on I-160 or go south on I-550. I took I-550 South and I don't recall any steep portions after the initial portion immediately upon leaving Durango. I can't speak for the I-160 East road.

    And going north out of Durango you'll be on I-550 North or the San Juan Skyway that includes a portion called the Million Dollar Highway. Those who have driven that road remark on its exceptional beauty. But they also have talked about the steepness. (I haven't had the pleasure so someone will probably jump in and correct me if I'm wrong.) If this is a problem for you, you will definitely want to avoid that route. However, I hope you'll consider giving it a chance. It's supposed to be amazingly beautiful and worth doing.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Not a beginner's road

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy View Post
    Those who have driven that road remark on its exceptional beauty. But they also have talked about the steepness.
    In the summertime this is a great road, even if one is not experienced with mountain driving, but it should not really be attempted if the weather is stormy or even snowy. The road surface is excellent and it is relatively easy to drive, but there are several sections with 500 to 1000 foot drops just off the roadway. Here is a field report I wrote in October, 2002. If the roads are dry, you will have a blast!


  10. Default Mtn Roads


    I think my fear of really steep mountain roads comes from when I was a child and riding in Yosemite. I also don't like two-lane highways with blind corners, esp when we could be very tired from driving.

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