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  1. Default From Alabama to Las Vegas

    My boyfriend and I are planning a road trip from Tuscaloosa, AL to Las Vegas for my 21st birthday in June. We plan to take I-40 most of the way out there, stopping at Oklahoma City to see the memorial, Cadillac Ranch, Petrified Forest, the Grand Canyon, and a couple of other small stops. On the way back we're going to take a different route and see White Sands, Carlsbad Caverns, and then make our way through Dallas, TX to stay a night with family.

    This is our first big road trip like this, and my first time west of Mississippi, so does anyone have any advice for us? Or must-stop sites like restaurants?

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

    Default Time ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    How long have you got for the trip in total ? You have about 7 days journey time plus any time you want to spend at the Grand canyon and Vegas etc so I would say that if you have 10/12 days it would be fairly comfortable, but there is quite a lot more to see depending on time. There are route 66 towns like Winslow and Seligman and you could sleep in a Wig Wam at the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook. Hoover dam and Red rock country around Sedona would be another couple of options. Here are some possible day trips from Vegas.

  3. Default

    Thank you for replying!
    We were going to take about 3 days there, staying just outside of the Grand Canyon the second night, watching the sunrise at the park and spending the morning and then head into Vegas that night. Then 3 nights in Vegas and 4 days to get home.

    Unfortunately, the Wigwam motel is all sold out for the night we would be in that area! We are hesitant to make reservations at motels in advance, because we want to be able to have the freedom to keep driving on into the night if we're feeling up to it or stopping early if we're just too tired.

    Is there anything that you wish you would have been told before embarking on your first trip? We're beginners and a little nervous. We've had the car looked at 3 different times and had all the repairs done so I think our car will be just fine, just want to make sure we have all of our bases covered!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I think the first thing you need to do is rethink how far you can get in a day.

    Its more than 1600 miles from Tuscaloosa to the Grand Canyon. There's simply no way you can safely drive to anywhere near the Canyon in 2 days, and you certainly can not see the sunrise there on day 3 of your trip.

    You just can't safely do back to back 800 mile days, and it doesn't matter how many drivers you have. That works out to more than 15 hours per day on the road, and that's not even including any time to stop at the OKC Memorial, Petrified Forest, or any of the other places you mentioned you want to see. You need a minimum of one more night on the road here, and even that would be 3 pretty hard days of driving just to get to the Canyon to see the sunrise on the morning of your fourth day.

    So, I'd say the first thing you should know as a beginner is that 500-600 miles makes for a very full day on the road, and that only allows time for brief roadside stops. Pushing any harder than that and it will quickly become difficult to be a safe driver. It will be even harder to have any fun.

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