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  1. Default South West Loop. AR>Flagstaff, AZ>Denver, CO>St. Louis

    Hey guys! This is my first post here, however, I've been here numerous times before. This time though I had some questions that I just couldn't seem to find with a search.

    So here is the deal. In May, me and a couple of friends are planning a trip from Jonesboro, AR(about and hour and a half from Memphis, TN) out to the Flagstaff area(Kanab, UT to be exact.....which really isn't even in the area haha). However after looking some more I've decided that instead of coming back the way we came(Down I-40), to go up as far as Salina, UT, and cut back on I-70(across CO, KA, and MO). Round trip I am guessing around 3,200 miles, which would make the longest I've been on. We are planning on staying in Kanab, UT a few days to see the sights(Grand Canyon, Grand Staircase, Cut out on Highway 12 off of 89 far enough to loop with I-70) But the rest will be straight driving with stops on the way.

    Now here is where my questions come into place. I always do the driving and we never switch off drivers. I hate to be a "passenger" and prefer to be in the pilots seat. How harsh of a drive will this be for me?

    Second question is, if anyone has been on any of these routes, what would your driving hours per day be like? Right now we are planning on going from Little Rock, AR to Amarillo, TX the first day. Then form there to Kanab,UT the second. Then a similar path back home. Trying for around 10 days round trip. Is that possible? My grandparents usually make it to TX when they leave from here, so I'm guessing a few college guys can handle it. lol

    Third question is the "loop" a bad idea to start with? Should we just back it a "out and back" so to speak? I've been hearing horror stories about Kansas, and the fact that it would be on the last leg of the trip, would make it even more harsh of a drive. Now I'm meaning no harm by that, just saying what relatives that use to live there, were always talking about.

    And last. there is a slight possibility that I would end up making this trip alone. Do to certain factors this might just be the case. Now I've taken solo trips before(Memphis> Florida, Arkansas>South Carolina) but this one just seems huge(I know not by most of you guys standards from reading about your great adventures!) but by myself......yeah.

    So there it is. Hopefully some of these can be answered. Plus any tips, places to see, or just general help would be great! Thanks guys!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Ubiquitous Info

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    First of all, thanks for using the search function to find much of the information you've been looking for. With that said, I'm surprised that you're asking whether a loop trip is a good alternative to a simple out-and-back. I am and always have been a major proponent of doing just that. It gives you a chance to see more new country on the same trip, and keeps the sense of discovery alive for nearly the entire trip making the last few days as potentially exciting as the first few. Similarly, I'm amazed that you could have read more than just a few posts and think that you'd find support for the idea of driving straight through from Arkansas to Amarillo. That's over 700 miles and far more than is reasonable in a day, especially since you are going to be doing all the driving. On an extended trip like this, 550 miles should be the maximum you plan on for any given day. If you actually did make it to Amarillo, it would be at the expense of being in any shape to cover any significant mileage the next day or to enjoy the miles that you did manage to cover. You will need a minimum of a week to do the driving you envision. Then you'll have to add to that any time you plan at the sites you're driving all that way to visit.

    Other than that my comments are pretty straightforward. Yes, you can do this trip entirely solo if that's what it comes down to. You might enjoy it more in fact since all the decisions are yours and you can do exactly what you want every step of the way. Just remember, as before, that you are going to need time to make this a relaxing enjoyable endeavor rather than just a mad dash. My own experiences in Kansas have been wonderful, and thereby hangs the most crucial intangible to making a RoadTrip successful: your attitude. If you expect anywhere to be boring and so just try to speed through on the Interstate and see as little as possible, I can guarantee that you'll find what you were looking for, a boring trip. But if you take the time to look a little deeper and search out the lesser known attractions and the different pace of life that a new area has to offer, you'll find what I found in Kansas, adventures including climbing down the world's biggest hand dug well, old west cattle towns, cavalry forts where you swear you can still hear the bugles and horses, some of the best airplane museums in the world. patches of the few remaining tall grass prairie in the country, buffalo herds, whooping cranes and other exotic wildlife - the list is practically endless.


  3. Default

    Thank you for the quick response! Yea i figured that would be the general response, I just figured that the about of times I've went from Arkansas to Orlando(around 14 hours) i could handle it. But I have taken your advice and decided other wise. As of now the trip is like this...

    First Day-Paragould, AR > Oklahoma City, OK

    Second Day- Oklahoma City, OK > Albuquerque, NM

    Third Day- Albuquerque, NM > Kanab, UT

    Fourth through the Sixth-Visit the sights

    Seventh Day-Camp in Capital Reef National Park

    Eighth Day-Make it to Denver, CO

    Ninth Day-Denver, CO > Kansas City, KA

    Tenth-Arrive Home!

    This way we are only driving around seven hours max a day. I think this will much more enjoyable.

    I do have some more questions, would we be better off seeing the North or the South Rim of the Canyon? I have never spoken to anyone about the Northern side and the research I've done says there are no to many differences but that tourist would enjoy the south rim more.

    Secondly, we are all just 20 years old. I have had no problems renting room myself before, but was wondering if the different states had different laws. And if so could I use a parents credit card to rent them?

    Plus what are some don't miss things to see on this route?

    Again thank yoy for your advice. It was greatly appreciated.

    Edit: Here is a Google Maps plan.....Click Here.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default See both!

    Here's a map showing how you can see the GC south rim, north rim, Zion, and Bryce on your way to Capital Reef. It's do-able in three days.

    The north and south rims are quite different. Unless you just can't find the time, I definitely think it's worth it to go to the north rim.

    Your longest driving day will not be only 7 hours. Even the time estimates on your Google map are mostly longer than that, and Google maps, in fact most mapping programs, are notorious for giving shorter driving times than you'll probably be able to achieve. They don't allow for gas/food/bio breaks, traffic congestion, etc.

    Over thousands of miles, most of here tend to agree that 57mph is a good average to shoot for. This includes very short stops for the food/fuel, etc. breaks, and for a few short stops at scenic viewpoints. Short stops.

    Your longest day is Denver to Kansas City at 601 miles. 601/57= about 11 hours on the road.

    I think your trip is do-able but you need to be realistic on the travel times.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If the credit card does not have your name on the front and does not have your signature on the back, don't plan on it being accepted. I'm not aware of any states that have a 21 law for renting hotel rooms, but I am aware of quite a few individual hotels that have that policy.

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