Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18
  1. Default Denver to San Diego

    Hey Guys!

    I need your help. I have no idea what I am doing, how much time I need and what CAN or CAN'T be done in my time-frame.

    I am driving from Denver to San Diego. Here is my "wish list" route (see link below):

    -Drive through the Rockies
    -Utah Salt Flats
    -Grand Canyon
    -Death Valley

    Leaving Denver April 16th. Need to be in San Diego by April early day of April 19th. It's 37hrs if I drove straight with no rests or detours. Of course, I do not plan to do that but it kills a day and a half. It will be two people. We can take turns driving. We will be in a mini-van car rental. Also, will take turns driving if doing night driving.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Not even remotely possible

    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!

    The route specified on your link is 2,000 miles long and if you drove 10 hours per day, it would still require four days on the road. You've only got 2-3 days of travel identified and the most direct route (I-70 to I-15) is 1080 miles and in the real world, this will require 19 hours of travel when you add in fuel stops, food, lodging, traffic slow downs. Traveling at or slightly above the speed limit, will require two days of 10 hours of travel.

    You might be able to squeeze in Death Valley, on the way to San Diego -- but you need to expect to be on the road much of 12 hours each day if you're going to squeeze in anything off the Interstate Highways.

    One of my favorite routes in the west is I-70 through Utah -- here is a field report.

    And here are some tips for conducting a Speed Run!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Not just time stopping you.

    It is not only time which will prevent you from driving your planned route. Snow and weather will as well. The Trail Ridge Road over the Rockies will not be open in April, and is not guaranteed open at any time of the year. It was in August one year, when it was closed by a blizzard, and again when I wanted to drive it, in September a few years later.

    And when you do drive it, the speed is strictly limited. You can't possibly drive at full speed across that road. And why would you want to, even if you could. That magnificent and spectacular landscape and scenery at the top of the Rockes is to be savoured.

    Best you follow Mark's advice, and leave your sightseeing till you have the time to really enjoy this beautiful corner on the globe.


  4. Default

    First off, thank you! This is the info I knew deep down inside but was kind of in denial about haha

    I am flying in from NYC so since I had a few days I wanted to have some kind of road trip but the above is definitely biting off more than I can chew. I don't mind sleeping in the car and since there is two of us who run on 6hrs of sleep normally, I figured MAYBE I could swing it but I see it's impossible.

    What other fly-in & drive recommendations can you make that makes sense with the time frame?

    Maybe start from Salt Lake City? DO the salt flats and Death Valley?
    Start from Vegas and do the Grand Canyon and Death Valley?
    Start from Denver, do the whole drive and MAYBE squeeze in Death Valley?
    Start from anywhere in the area and see ANYTHING that will make sense given the time.

    I don't want to fly through it. Definitely want to take it all in. Very torn over this. :(

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Denver to SD.

    If you don't mind the driving and only short breaks from the car you could consider starting in Denver, head along I70 to Moab [Arches NP] and then drive through Monument valley to Grand canyon [stop in Tusayan or Williams] and then on to San Diego.

    It'll make for a wonderful drive !

  6. Default

    That is also a great suggestion (route below) but what I am confused about is how to break up a trip and is there anywhere between Denver and Williams where I can stop for an hour or so and take in some scenery so it's not all driving scenery? Also, what is the best tool to use to find local flavors as far as food. I want to avoid chains for the most part.

    Thanks again guys, I came to the right place I JUST might make it to my destination in one piece haha


    I am also willing to add a day.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default That was the idea.


    The idea suggested was to stop in Moab on the 16th and spend a little time exploring, perhaps in Arches NP. On this part of the route, if you look at your map, take 128 from I70 through Castle Valley.

    Stop in Williams on the 17th and spend a little time at the Grand canyon on the way. Again, if you alter the map and take 163 through Mexican Hat you will drive through Monument Valley, another idea spot for a break. At Cameron there is the Cameron Trading post which is touristy but pretty cool. A nice stop for a quick look around the store[s] and good food !

    On the 18th head to SD, or depending on how early- 'early is on the 19th' stop on route with perhaps a drive through Joshua Tree NP.

    If you can add a day then you will obviously have more time to enjoy it and possibly add a little.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default With Three Days...

    ...the trip you've mapped out just becomes possible. Your first day would take you through the Rockies, let you have a reasonable visit in Arches national Park (there's no point in going there if you're not going to get out of the car and spend an hour or two hiking to and under the arches!), and get to southern Utah where you'd spend the first night in say Monticello or Blanding. Getting up early the next morning would let you drive through Monument Valley at sunrise (spectacular!) and take the entire Rim Drive from Cameron to Grand Canyon Village, again taking time to hike parts of the Rim Trail. You'd spend your second night in either Seligman or, more likely, Kingman. For your final day's drive, I'd alter you route a bit and try to avoid the Los Angeles area altogether by heading south from Franconia AZ through Lake Havasu City (the London Bridge) to Parker and crossing the Colorado River there. Head for I-10 and maybe make a quick visit to Joshua Tree National Park via the Cottonwood Visitor Center, then heading through Palm Desert to pick up the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway (CA-74) to CA-371 to Aguanga, and CA-79 to I-15 into San Diego.


  9. Default

    That sounds awesome and do-able. Any one-way car rental suggestions? The only company that seems affordable is Alamo.

    AZ: Thanks. I am going to do research since I have time but now it's clear what options I have.

    Thanks again Dave, Mark & LM!


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A case of searching for deals.

    For Joshua tree you want to cut through the park from Twenty Nine Palms and then pick up the route through Palm Desert as described by Buck.

    As for car rentals you need to search around and see what deals are about. They all offer much the same, but with different offers around all the time, even form office to office. You can check the RTA reservations service towards the top right hand side of the page.

Similar Threads

  1. Need some advice on our trip from Denver to San Diego
    By jvdp in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 05-18-2011, 12:17 PM
  2. San Diego to Denver during December
    By asunder in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 11-30-2009, 04:27 PM
  3. Adventure wanted: Denver to San Diego?
    By jaydamayne in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-30-2009, 05:21 AM
  4. Denver to Vancouver to San Diego
    By LadyMcB in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-30-2009, 02:04 AM
  5. Denver to San Diego...
    By shaleer in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-02-2006, 03:06 PM

Tags for this Thread


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name