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  1. Default Milwaukee to San Francisco


    I am planning a trip this July from Milwaukee to San Francisco. It is not a pleasure trip, I am looking to minimize time on the road. The truck I am driving is older and I would like to take the route that avoids the steepest and most difficult roads (elevations changes). So the ideal route will be a combination of shortest distance with the least amount of mountain driving and elevation changes.

    Should I take 90, 80 70? Or some other road. I don't want to drive all the way south to 10.

    Any ideas?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO



    The best way is the shortest way, I-80. All Interstates are built with maximum 6% grades. There are no alternates at all that don't have any mountain passes.

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post

    The best way is the shortest way, I-80. All Interstates are built with maximum 6% grades. There are no alternates at all that don't have any mountain passes.
    Thanks for the input.
    Anyone else with any other ideas? I'm hitting the road soon.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Three nights.

    What ideas were you looking for ? You have the right answer to the original question but we are willing to answer any other concerns you may have. In an older vehicle, I would recommend a 4 day trip minimum and look at stopping around Lincoln NE, Rawlins WY and Elko NV. If you have more time then use it and make it a more relaxed affair.

    Have a safe trip !

  5. #5

    Default Confirming shortest is best, I-80 specs


    In recent years I've run every mile of I-80 from Des Moines, IA to Elko, NV. If I were doing your trip, in an older truck, I'd definitely run I-80. Here's why:

    It's the shortest

    It's flat as a pancake from Omaha, NE to Cheyenne, WY. Well, not quite--you're going uphill from Grand Island, NE to North Platte as you follow the Platte River. The uphill is so slight as to not matter. From the I-76 split on to Cheyenne, there are a few hills, and by the time you reach Cheyenne, you've picked up 5,000' to add to Omaha's 1,000' above sea level, but it's all very gradual.

    There is a single long grade west of Cheyenne, where I-80 tops out at 8,640' just east of Laramie. From Laramie into Utah, I-80 holds elevations between 6,000' and 7,500' and is a high, dry, windy plateau. There are some 2-3 mile grades, but they're not bad.

    From the western edge of Salt Lake City to Reno, NV, some 550 miles, I-80 runs across the floor of the Great Basin, holding elevations between 4,000 and 5,000'. There one range between Wendover and Wells topping out at 7,000' and a little one near Battle Mountain, but aside from that, it's pretty much flat all the way to the Sierras.

    To the best of my knowledge, you get up and over the Sierra Nevada on a single grade west of Reno, topping out at 7,000', and it's all downhill to SF from there.


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