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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Yorba Linda, California

    Default Orange County, CA to Parsippany, NJ : Which do you recommend: I-80 vs I-40?

    Hi All,

    This summer my father and I will be traveling across the country from OC to Parsippany, NJ in order to haul our two dogs who can't fly on planes for health reasons. Our family is moving to NJ but we won't be hauling anything with us, as that'll be taken care of by the movers. I was wondering which of the two routes (I-80 or I-40) you all would recommend. According to google maps either way will take about 40 hours. I doubt we'll have too much time for sightseeing but a scenic car ride would be great. Also would one route be less taxing on the dogs? I ask this as one of our dogs, a french bulldog, like many bulldogs has difficulty breathing in situations in which he becomes nervous/tense, this is why he can't fly as airlines see it as too great a liability.

    Your recommendations are greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    If you just want a scenic drive, then I would actually take a 3rd option: I-70. The drive through Utah and through the Rockies in Colorado make it widely considered one of the most scenic freeways in the world. It also goes pretty close to a lot of national parks, like Zion, Arches, Rocky Mountain, and the St. Louis arch, and while National Parks are extremely pet friendly, you could still make quick stops at any of those places. Sticking to I-70 also avoids the tolls you'll find on I-80 between Illinois and Ohio. Once you get to Columbus, head up I-71 and I-76, to take I-80 across Pennsylvania.

    I can't imagine that any route would be more or less taxing on the dogs.

    No matter which of the the options you take, you're looking at needing 5-6 days. The 40 hours from an online map is basically an irrelevant number, as it just doesn't take into account the time you'll need for gas, food, fuel, and sleep, and trips of this length need to be measured in days, not hours.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Any of the roads mentioned: I-80, I-40, or I-70, are fine. The one problem with I-80 is that you will eventually run into toll roads unless you avoid that part.

    One year we went I-40 to I-81 to I-80, which was beautiful. (People in the East don't always understand that tree lined roads are not common in southern California.) Along I-40 there is the Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest NP, some fun things to do in Albuquerque, Cadillac Ranch outside of Amarillo, Elvis' and music stuff in Memphis, music stuff in Nashville, and take a detour up Skyline Drive (Shenandoah NP) in VA instead of I-81 (they run parallel). You could also jump down to Great Smoky Mt NP. We took virtually NO sightseeing side-trips except the Skyline Drive and did this in 6 days, but could have done it in 5 (our first stop was in Phoenix to see family).

    Michael makes good suggestions for using I-70. We regularly use I-15 to I-70 when driving between SDiego and central Missouri to see family. It's excellent road, as are most interstates, but you just can't beat the beautiful scenery on I-70 through Utah and the western side of Colorado. If you must make that a direct run, it's about 600 miles from San Diego to Richfield, UT, where there are oodles of motels (and a few take pets). The next stop could be in Burlington, CO (about 600 miles) where there are 3 motels, and I think one takes pets. Columbia MO or Kingdom City would be another 600 miles down the road, for the 3rd night. From there, Dayton OH would be your next stop. At Columbus OH, catch I-76 to I-71 to I-80, and your next stop will be Parsippany. Mid-MO to Dayton is about 550 miles, and 570 to Parsippany.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If the dogs have problems breathing in thin air at high altitudes, avoid I-70 as it climbs up to around 11000 feet in Colorado. I-40 to I-81 to I-80 would be somewhat easier on them because I-40 stays under 8000 feet.

    I would plan on 5 days on the road with overnights in Gallup NM, Elk City OK, Memphis TN, and Wytheville VA.

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