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  1. Default LA - El Paso (via route US 80) - Roswell (route?) - Albequerque - LA (Route 66)

    Hi,

    I am looking in to doing a road trip in the US next year (probably July), and was wondering if anyone could give me some advice?

    I'd probably flying in to LA and leaving from there too... I'm looking for good driving roads, great scenery, and to avoid the beaten track as much as possible. I'm looking to do roughly 2000 miles in about 18 - 21 days.

    The route i've found that looks good is LA - Yuma - Tucson - Juarez - Roswell - Albuquerque - LA

    So that would be Route 80 from LA to Jaurez, not sure what route to Albuquerque via Roswell? and then Route 66 back to LA.

    Does this sound like a good trip? Or can someone suggest something more exciting?

    I might do a quick stop at the Grand Canyon & Vegas on the way back too if I have time.

    I'm basically wanting to get a feel of the old wild west and experience almost old skool America but I dont know anything about where to go tbh, so any help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default danger danger

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    One thing I will tell you more than anything else: Do not go to Juarez.

    That is not a statement I'm making lightly, as I really can't think of any other city in North America I would make that about. (although I would strongly advise against Tijuana and several other border towns.) Simply put, Juarez is one of the most dangerous cities in the world, and you could actually be safer in Baghdad or Kabul. The city averages about 100 murders per day.

    Visiting El Paso is fine, as very little of the violence has spilled over the border, and in fact El Paso has ranked as one of the safest cities in the US.

    Otherwise, there are a lot of underappreciated national parks in this area. Organ Pipe and Chiricahua National Monument in Southern Arizona, as well as about a dozen different parks in Northern NM/AZ between Albuq and the Grand Canyon so your options for scenery are plentiful. There's also tons of wide open, beautiful parkland you could look at in Utah.

  3. Default

    Hi, thank you for the reply :)

    Wow 100 murders a day?!! Ok i'll make sure Juarez is avoided like the plague!!! Thanks for the warning.

    What are the roads like over on US80? Are they picturesque, or is that just more if you visit the national parks?

    I like the look of Utah, but its a bit far north for this trip I think?

  4. Default LA - Las Vegas - Utah - Salt Lake City - Reno - San Francisco - LA - good route?

    I've already posted a potential route today that involved traveling on US80 from LA to El Paso, up to Roswell, then Route 66 from Albequerque back to LA... but after reading a bit about Utah I really want to visit there. So I was wondering if the following route would be better than my US80/Route 66 idea?

    LA - Las Vegas - Utah - Salt Lake City - Reno - San Francisco - LA

    I really want to see some great scenery and it seems Utah has some of the best?

    But are these roads good driving roads, or just big freeways? I'm looking for great driving roads as much as places to stop and do things.

    I also notice there's a lot of national parks in Utah... can you drive through these, or is it a case of leaving the car at the start and hiking?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated :)

    Mod note] We like to keep all details of the same trip in one thread to save confusion and to make the planning process easy to follow, thanks.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 06-01-2011 at 08:02 AM. Reason: Merged.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default 'Beaten' for good reason.

    You might be better off browsing the forums and looking in the planning pages above and find places that appeal to you and create a route around the favourites rather than trying to find spots along a preselected route. There is nothing wrong in what you have but if you are still in the early planning/dreaming stage you will find a little research will dig up thousands of options depending on your interests.[?] I notice you mention a lot of towns and "maybe a quick stop at the Grand canyon" which sounds as though you may not have much interest in natural beauty, after all GC is one of the natural wonders of the world. If that's not so, I would look further into the Utah area. With National parks like Zion, Bryce, Capitol reef, Arches, Canyonlands, great driving roads and 'gems' in between it takes some beating. Mesa Verde in Colorado, Monument valley and Grand canyon in AZ and much more could be incorporated in your trip. What about the Californian parks of Sequoia, Yosemite and Death valley ? It's OK to get off the 'beaten track', but the beaten track is beaten for a reason, it leads to some of the worlds most spectacular places and once there, it doesn't take much to find peace and solitude away from the crowds.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
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    10,749

    Default

    My response above was in reply to your initial questions, before I realised you had started another thread, which is the reason we keep all questions together in one thread to avoid confusion. But in answer to your questions regarding roads, yes there are great 'driving roads' just about everywhere, it's just a case of route finding and researching to get away from Interstate.


    I also notice there's a lot of national parks in Utah... can you drive through these, or is it a case of leaving the car at the start and hiking?
    You do not have to do long hikes to visit the National parks. Some areas and parks you can drive through, where others have a free and frequent 'hop on-hop off' shuttle bus service that take you to main areas where you can hike or take short walks.

    If it were I, I would head up towards Sequoia and Yosemite NP in CA, Cross the Sierra Nevada on CA120 [Tioga pass that is spectacular] and across Death valley to Zion NP in Utah via Vegas. From there you could explore more of the area mentioned above and perhaps head back to LA via Sedona and Joshua tree/Palm Springs. Of course there are many other options, but once you have figured some stuff out for yourself and decided on the basics, let us know [in this thread and we can help to piece it together.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
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    Default

    There's actually one significant issue with both of your plans: You're trying to use routes that don't exist anymore.

    US-80's current western most point is Dallas Texas. Decades ago the highway continued all the way to California, but it was replaced by interstates and was decommissioned in the 70s and 80s. There are actual sections of the original roads out there, but you won't find any signs telling you where they are.

    Similarly, US-66 was also eliminated in the 80s. Because of the pop-culture/historic nature of that route, there are sections that are still labeled "Historic Route 66" so it is a bit easier to follow, but again, parts of the road have completely been replaced by the interstate and it is not an official highway route anymore.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 06-02-2011 at 01:42 AM.

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ajax_andy View Post
    Hi,

    I am looking in to doing a road trip in the US next year (probably July), and was wondering if anyone could give me some advice?

    I'd probably flying in to LA and leaving from there too... I'm looking for good driving roads, great scenery, and to avoid the beaten track as much as possible. I'm looking to do roughly 2000 miles in about 18 - 21 days.

    The route i've found that looks good is LA - Yuma - Tucson - Juarez - Roswell - Albuquerque - LA

    So that would be Route 80 from LA to Jaurez, not sure what route to Albuquerque via Roswell? and then Route 66 back to LA.

    Does this sound like a good trip? Or can someone suggest something more exciting?

    I might do a quick stop at the Grand Canyon & Vegas on the way back too if I have time.

    I'm basically wanting to get a feel of the old wild west and experience almost old skool America but I dont know anything about where to go tbh, so any help would be greatly appreciated!
    I did some of that trip two years ago. My feeling then as now is to stay out of Mexico, and if you are going near the border, beware. If you apear to be a stranger/tourist, double beware.

    That said, I left LA on I-10 (great roadway), somewhere near Yuma, I cut down to I-8 can't remember the connecting highway, but it was good, as was I-8. No problems at all. At Tuscon, there was a humdinger of a traffic jam, and we lost about a hour's drivetime just waiting, waiting, waiting.

    I didn't get to Roswell that time, even though that was the plan. Going there in a few weeks.

    Now Albuquerque to LA was lots of fun. I did the old Route 66 as much as was there. Took longer than going the interstates, but Rte. 66 was the purpose for the trip. The roads are great. I-40, super, I-15, I-10 all great, no problems. Route 66 from Ashfork and Seligman, Arizona, to Kingman and Oatman, AZ, was wonderful all the way through to Needles, California. Around there, I had to catch I-40, later from Barstow, I took I-15 to I-10, getting off for certain parts of Route 66. There are portions of Route 66 throughout, so if you're interested, get a good book that will guide you. This one was the one I followed:

    http://www.amazon.com/Route-66-EZ66-...ref=pd_sim_b_3

    You can use this book going east-to-west or west-to-east.

    Going west from Needles on I-40 about 5 miles into California, there's an agriculture checkpoint where they inquire if you're carrying fruit, vegetables, plants, or animals (I'm told domestic pets are OK). I wasn't carrying any of that so didn't get told to toss it, or whatever they do.

    I think you'd enjoy this trip. Great scenery, great roads, great people. I met a wonderful, caring Navajo couple west of Albuquerque on Route 66 who were concerned that I was traveling alone (at that point) and they were intrigued when I told them where I'm from where there a no mountains and what a treat it was to be surrounded by them.

    I hopped on Route 66 in Oklahoma and headed west to LA. After enjoying the LA coast, I headed east on I-10, I-8, and again on I-10 through California, S. Arizona, S. New Mexico, Texas (border patrol is about 100 miles past El Paso even though one doesn't cross the border). Pale white woman was flagged through with no problems.

    Las Vegas, Nevada, is great not just for gambling. Southern Utah is MUST see.
    Last edited by Alexa; 06-01-2011 at 03:48 PM.

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    I notice you mention a lot of towns and "maybe a quick stop at the Grand canyon" which sounds as though you may not have much interest in natural beauty, after all GC is one of the natural wonders of the world. If that's not so, I would look further into the Utah area. With National parks like Zion, Bryce, Capitol reef, Arches, Canyonlands, great driving roads and 'gems' in between it takes some beating. Mesa Verde in Colorado, Monument valley and Grand canyon in AZ and much more could be incorporated in your trip. What about the Californian parks of Sequoia, Yosemite and Death valley ?
    Wow some great replies here and lots of food for thought, many thanks to everyone! :)

    Natural beauty is definitely important to me, I maybe under estimated how much there was to see at the Grand Canyon... I kind of assumed you turned up, looked at it, and then left lol! I'll do a bit more research in to it though so I can grasp just what there is there. We will definitely be stopping here though.

    Its not just natural beauty though that I want to see... its the culture... I was thinking New Mexico would have a very different culture to somewhere like LA? I'm really keen to see the difference between the people and the landscapes of this part of America.

    Judging by some of the info on here though is it not safe to visit places like Yuma and El Paso?

    The main point of the trip though is just me and my wife on the open road, it'll probably be our last holiday for a few years and we really want to have a really big adventure. So long stretches of dusty roads empty, blue sky beating down, convertible car with the top down, and lots of desert, cacti, and little road side diners are what we are looking for.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 06-02-2011 at 01:48 AM. Reason: Trimmed quote

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    There's actually one significant issue with both of your plans: You're trying to use routes that don't exist anymore.
    Ahh ok that puts a spanner in the works... so would we just be traveling on big busy interstates all the way from LA to El Paso?
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 06-02-2011 at 01:47 AM. Reason: Trimmed quote of entire previous post

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