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  1. Default Los Angeles CA to Ann Arbor MI. First long-haul road trip

    Hi everyone.

    I'm so glad there is a resource like this out there. I'm planning a first long-haul road trip from Los Angeles CA to Ann Arbor MI late this summer. All map resources point me to drive through Colorado, but I would like to avoid it. Not confident about hilly driving, especially if I end up going solo. I'm personally drawn to the desert landscape and wanted to take my time through there. It will be HOT though, won't it... so advice on either route would be appreciated.

    I-40 will take me through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma it looks like. Anyone have experience on that route?

    Thank you in advance, I will be thoroughly checking all the information available here as well.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Interstate standards.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA fourms !

    There is no significant difference in the time it would take for either route you describe, adding about an hour taking I40. You don't say how long you have for your trip or if you have any interests other than getting from A to B. If you are sticking mainly to Interstate you won't need to be concerned about "hilly driving". The Interstates are built with gradual curves and gradients for the largest of rigs to cope with and I70 is rated as one of the most scenic of Interstates by many. So don't let that put you off, but if it's desert landscape you are drawn to, fair enough.

    It would be a minimum of 4 days driving and more comfortable taking 5 days. If you have longer you could start working on routes that will take you through places that interest you. Once you have had a look around and have decided on time and route we will be able to help fill in any blanks and help to 'fine tune' your trip.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California

    Default Both routes are great (I-70 and I-40)

    We just got back from a month-long trip that included both I-40 and I-70. We took I-40 eastbound, and returned by I-70. You can read about the adventure here. As was stated above, interstates are mandated at certain gradients and curve ratios. Both do have a few up and downhill spots, and both have their areas of traffic:

    I-40: You will climb gradually from Barstow, CA up to Flagstaff, then you will have a small dowgrade after Flagstaff. But you'll be at 5000-6000 ft elevation from Winslow to eastern New Mexico, where you will come down gradually. Albuquerque will have a little bit of traffic, and depending on where you turn north to Ann Arbor, you will also have some at Oklahoma City and Memphis.

    I-70: If you head north on I-15 to catch I-70 in west central Utah, you'll climb gradually out of Mesquite, NV, where you drive the beautiful Virgin River Gorge. There are some curves in there but they are pretty gradual and well-marked. Once you are on I-70 in Utah, you'll go through Escalante Canyon (I think that's what it's called) between Salina and Green River, UT. You'll want to make sure you gas up at Richfield, as there are no services between Salina and Green River. (BTW, good overnight stops are at St George UT, Cedar City UT, or Richfield, depending on how far you decide to drive each day. All 3 places have good selections.) You'll do a bit more climbing in Colorado but the scenery is so gorgeous and in a car you hardly notice the climb. The drop just before Denver is about a 6% grade ... the most an interstate will usually do. From there on after Denver is just rolling hills.


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