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  1. #1

    Default Dallas to San Francisco via Flagstaff and Portland

    My husband and I are flying into Dallas from Sydney in early April for a 3 week road trip, in a Mustang (just in case this matters in regard to road surface). We need to stay in Flagstaff for 4 days, Portland 3 days and San Francisco 2 days. We arrive April 8 and fly out San Fran 29. Would like to have a full day in Dallas so this would require a 2 night stay as we arrive in the afternoon. I would love my husband to see the Airplane graveyard in Tuscan and I would like to see the Morman Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. Any suggestions for a scenic route would be most welcome and advice if all this is manageable.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    First thing I would do is to get a good map of the USA (either from your auto club or a map store), lay it out, and see what appeals to you along the way. Three weeks is a good amount of time, though you may spend more time on the road than you'd like.

    The airplane graveyard I think you're speaking of is at Marana Air Park, outside of Tucson, Arizona. It's quite a bit out of your way if you are also going to Flagstaff, Portland and San Francisco. Either that or one at Davis-Monthan AFB, also in Tucson. Either way, it's pretty far south. But you may be able to swing it.

    To throw out route/s suggestion --

    From Dallas, I-20 West to I-10 West, to Tucson.
    From Tucson, I-10 and I-17 West/North to Flagstaff.
    From Flagstaff, US 89 north through the prettiest Utah county. That takes you near Zion and Bryce Canyon NP's, if you have time to stop they're worthwhile.
    Get yourself over to I-15 north to Salt Lake City.
    North of SLC, catch I-84 west to Portland.
    At Portland, head south on I-5 to San Francisco.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    3 weeks should give you enough time for this trip, although between the days you've already got dedicated to certain spots, the miles and the out of the way route to get to SF (did you consider flying out of portland?), you will certainly have to keep an eye on the time.

    Based on what you want to see, I'd plan to head out from Dallas on I-20/I-10 to Tucson, potentially stopping at Carsbad Caverns or Tombstone to name a few ideas. You'll need at least 2 days for this trip.

    I-10 to I-17 will take you up to Flagstaff, where hopefully you'll spend time checking out the Grand Canyon and the other national parks in the area.

    Between Flagstaff and SLC, you've got a lot of choices, you could head up through Zion and Bryce Canyon, or you could got a bit more east through Monument Valley, Arches, and Canyonlands.

    SLC to Portland are basically connected by I-84, but its a drive that's a little too long to do in a day. However, it is a very scenic drive, especially at the end as you follow the Columbia River.

    Portland to SF gives you a few options, you can drive it straight on I-5 in a day, or you can spend about 3 days driving down the coast. There are also some inland options like Crater Lake, but I think it will be too early in the year for that, especially in a Mustang.

    Speaking of which, a Mustang is really a pretty horrible car to drive in winter weather, because it is rear wheel drive and has a lot of power. It is possible that you will could see a late season storm, especially in some of the higher elevation areas.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    Either that or one at Davis-Monthan AFB, also in Tucson. Either way, it's pretty far south. But you may be able to swing it.
    The interest here could be because of a documentary shown on local TV recently. It did make it sound as if it is in Tuscon.... no mention of how far away it really is.


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