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  1. Default Driving from Detroit to Sedona to San Diego Route Advice Needed

    I am new to this forum, and drove from Detroit to SD back in 2006 and am now moving back to San Diego will be driving from Detroit Nov. 16th in the AM. I am a woman driving alone with my little dog =D and driving a 2009 Toyota in good shape with about 63K miles on it and new tires. I am not a fan of driving up/down steep grades and the mountains, but realize it appears there is only one way to drive to San Diego and that is across the mountains at least as I recall taking I-8 West. I have pretty much decided to take similar route, but also would like to stop for a night in Sedona, AZ and spend an afternoon there to do some sightseeing en route to my final destination in San Diego. (I am very interested in the spiritual/energy vortex aspects of Sedona that some of you may be familiar with. =D)
    Can anyone please advise on the best route to take? I would like to be in San Diego by Thanksgiving Nov 22nd. I would like to take my time and not rush but can do about 400-500 miles+ a day of driving-ideally would like to drive for about 7-8 hours a day. I do not want to do any driving in the dark/evenings. I also would prefer not to do extensive driving in Texas simply because it is soo big and kinda boring to me lol. Most important things are: safety, driving in least amount of steep grades/mountains, good weather (don't wanna drive in snow/ice etc), no night driving, and be able to see Sedona Arizona for a couple of hours and spend the night there.
    Also, is it better (since I will be driving during the week of Thanksgiving) for me to pre-book motel reservations or just stop as I go along? Also important requirement, is that I must be able to stay at motels that allow a small dog (I have a 6 year old Dachshund!) I really would rather not reserve motels if don't need to, as last cross country trip, I wound up having to cancel a couple of them as I was able to drive farther than anticipated for that given day. Thanks very much~

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Standard Route Should Work

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The most straightforward route from Detroit to Sedona is just I-94 to northern Indiana, I-80 to near Joliet IL, I-55 south to St. Louis, I-44 to Oklahoma City, and I-40 to Flagstaff AZ. From there, you should take the scenic route, AZ-89A down through Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona which, while it only two lanes and has some switchbacks as it descends into the canyon, is fairly level. This route is just under 2000 miles and can be made in 3Ĺ days of solid but not exhausting driving. Such a pace would also have the advantage of having your overnights in metropolitan areas - St. Louis, Oklahoma City, and Albuquerque - with plenty of lodging options. Just be sure to stay on the west side of town so that you don't have to deal with morning rush hour traffic.

    Now from Sedona to San Diego, you have some options. Yes, the shortest route has you taking I-17 to the Phoenix area, then I-10, AZ-85, and finally I-8 over the Laguna Mountains. Now, I agree that section over the mountains can be a bit daunting, but if you'd rather just put up with urban traffic you can do one of two things. Go back up to I-40 and take that to Barstow CA and then I-15 through L.A.'s eastern fringe to San Diego. Or you can stay on I-10 after Phoenix all the way to Beaumont CA and use CA-79 to cut down to I-15. The first option is about 550 miles, the second, just around 500, so both can be driven in a day and both are relatively flat.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 10-27-2012 at 07:16 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    AZBuck has given some good suggestions from Sedona to San Diego. If it were me (and I will be taking a trip to Flagstaff in February), I would definitely use I-17, I-10, AZ-85 and I-8. Since the mountainous routes are all on interstates, the grades are fairly reasonable. You'll be going mostly downhill on I-17. I-8 has some mountainous stretches both up and down but nothing is a "bad grade" and the guard rails are all in great condition. The reason I'd suggest that is that I *dislike* the Cajon-Pass area between Barstow and Riverside County, on I-15. It's so congested! I still have memories of getting stuck in major traffic jams there, twice, and try to avoid it unless I can't help it.


  4. Default

    Thanks so much for your advice! I wound up going thru AAA and getting a Trip Tiq printed out and I am going to do very similar route to what you recommended. Driving to St. Louis then Oklahoma City then Albuquerque, then to Sedona then to SD coming from the LA eastern fringe =D

  5. Default

    Thanks Donna! I believe I will be taking the "Cajon Pass" route and come down to SD taking the I-15-I don't mind a little traffic vs those daunting mountains coming from I-8 LOL! Have a wonderful and safe trip to Flagstaff =D

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Albuquerque, New Mexico

    Default Albuquerque is pretty dog-friendly

    CQ, you can find a list of dog friendly hotels in Albuquerque and lots of other information at ABQ Dog.

    Albuquerque has quite a few dog parks
    , including three that are right next to I-40. Los Altos Park would be the easiest for you to get to as you drive into town from the east (at the Eubank Blvd. exit). There are separate areas for large and small dogs, and there are some good restaurants and several hotels right across the street.

    Tom Bolack Park
    is also good (itís the one I go to more than any other), but itís a little harder to find, and is not well-lit after dark. If you would like directions, feel free to ask.

    Have a good trip!

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