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  1. #1

    Default Help Planning L.A. to Minneapolis, I'm lost already!

    Hi Everyone,

    I have decided to take a road trip to Minneapolis, I have already figured out, for the most part, my return route. I will go through Sioux Falls, to Keystone (Mt. Rushmore), Denver, Moab, Canyonlands, Bryce, Zion, Home.

    However, How should I go? It will be only my Mom, my daughter (she's almost 3) and me. On the way back my husband, 7 and 10 year old will be joining us.

    At first I thought to go the more direct route, 15 to 70 to the 35. Now I'm thinking out on the 40. Anybody have any ideas? It will be August. I know it will be hot, but how about Sedona and Santa Fe?

    Any suggestions are certainly appreciated.

    By the way I have 7-8 days to get to Minneapolis and I need one day with no driving, only a day of resting. I am either leaving August 4th or 5th, depending on your suggestions.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    The fastest and most direct route is 10-15-70-76-80-35. It's about 1925 miles and this is 4 days of driving about 9 to 10 hours a day including fuel and bio stops.

    If you would rather take 40, 10-15-40-44-US71-35 is 2150 miles and about 5 hours longer.

    Either way, you have allotted plenty of time for shorter days and more frequent stops - and even some off-route sightseeing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default A Third Option

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forums!

    For a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it gives you and your Mom a chance to see something different, I prefer glc's second option for your return trip, with a variation. The variation would be to head north on I-25 from Albuquerque and then use I-80/I-35 home. Highlights of such a route would be the Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest/Painted Desert, Santa Fe and perhaps Taos, Rocky Mountain National Park, and the Oregon Trail/Lincoln Highway along the Platte River in western Nebraska. With 6 people in one car on your return trip, you should most definitely plan on making stops every few hours to maintain everyone's sanity and civility. As glc points out, you certainly have plenty of time for this and should not feel compelled to rush at all.


  4. #4

    Default L.A. to Minneapolis, need your knowledgeable opinions, Please!

    Hi Everyone,
    I am so thankful for this site and to all the knowledgeable people who take the time to kindly respond.
    I am now looking for opinions on how long I should take to drive from LA to Minneapolis. I am leaving from LA to Palm Desert, picking up my Mom and leaving from there with her and my 2 3/4 year old daughter. One of my other friends (another capable driver), is most likely coming too.
    From Palm Desert we are going to...Sedona, Albuquerque, Colorado Springs, Omaha, and ending in Minneapolis. I can leave from Palm Desert as early as a Monday and I have until the following Tuesday to get to Minneapolis, that's nine full days. This will all be in August, so my concern is the HEAT. My Mom thinks it will be too hot to do anything outdoors for an extended period of time in Sedona or Albuquerque especially.
    What do guys think? Should we blow through everywhere fast, or should we stop and really sight see? Also, as a side note, I wanted to know about Colorado Springs. If I stay downtown there do I still see the mountains? I wanted to stay at the Broadmoor or the Cheyenne, but price is definitely an issue. I can't spend more than $170 a night. The Broadmoor is over $500 and the Cheyenne is $250-$300. The Hiltons, and Residence Inns are all more reasonable, around $100-$130. Since they are downtown, I don't have a clue if I will have any view, which is what I really want.
    Your knowledge and opinions are greatly appreciated!

    Thanks for all your help!!!
    Last edited by AZBuck; 06-07-2009 at 06:05 PM. Reason: Please do not start new threads for the same trip.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Sedona and Albuquerque are at a high altitude, so the heat isn't as bad as the desert. It's also dry heat.

    I don't know about downtown, but I had a great view at a $40 Super 8 in Colorado Springs.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    SF Bay Area

    Default Rocky Mountain National Park - Estes Park

    You may want to consider heading a little further north than Colorado Springs; Estes Park at the eastern edge of Rocky Mountain National Park. The Stanley Hotel (model for "The Shining" although the movie was shot at Timberline Lodge) is an interesting old pile, and if you stay more than one night you can take in some very interesting scenery in RM Park. Rates at the Stanley should be in the $200 range.

    (I'm burning some good "Where in North America" opportunities here):

    Stanley Hotel, Estes Park: Don Casey

    Inside RMNP, short walk from a parking lot with a flat trail around it (some of it stroller/wheelchair accessible) is Bear Lake):

    Bear Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park: Don Casey

    At the other extreme, Trail Ridge road through the park rises about the timberline, and from pullouts there are grand vistas, and the odd elk.

    Panorama from Trail Ridge road: Don Casey

  7. #7

    Default Next Question, Must Sees...

    Thank you for consolidating, I couldn't find my other post. I know I keep rehashing this, it's especially driving my husband nuts, but are there any must sees along my route? What should I not miss? Part of me feels guilty because my older kids are not going to see this route, but I have to enjoy too.
    So... What should I absolutely see along the way? If I have the option to spend two days in Sedona or Albuquerque (or Santa Fe), should I? Or will I be bored? Or should I do two days in one and one day in the other?
    Thanks Again!

  8. #8

    Default Wow!

    Thank you Caloldblue! That looks absolutely beautiful! That is exactly the type of scenery I am looking for!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    SF Bay Area

    Default You're welcome

    A couple quick notes about the Stanley.

    1) It's a fun old place, emphasis on both "fun" and "old". When I stayed there a couple years ago they had no air conditioning. We were OK, but it did get warm in the room.

    2) There are, of course, other lodging options in Estes Park, probably both cheaper and more expensive.

    3) The Stanley is said to be haunted. Take that as a plus or minus, depending on your feelings about such things.

    Lobby of the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park: Don Casey

    Here's a shot from the far end of Estes lake looking toward the Rockies and RMNP. The town is on the left (hidden by trees), the Stanley is the white set of buildings on the right.

    Estes Park, Estes Lake, Stanley Hotel and Rockies: Don Casey

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