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  1. #1

    Default I-40: OKC to Los Angeles

    Hi, I'm new to the site and need your help! My husband and I are taking a road trip from OKC to Los Angeles in a few weeks, and we're planning on using I-40.

    I suffer from motion sickness, and what gives me the most trouble is driving on twisty, windy roads. I also know that when I went to Colorado about 10 years ago, I got altitude sickness for the first few days of the trip.

    Can anyone who has traveled this route before tell me about the conditions of I-40 going through the mountains of NM and AZ? Are there plenty of places to stop along the way, if I do get sick? If it gets rough in places, would I-10 be a good alternate route?

    What is this route like, in general? Are there any 'must see' places along the way?

    Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Pretty Flat and Straight

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    As are all Interstate Highways, I-40 is built to specifications that limit both the grade (steepness) and radius of curvature (twistiness). Even though it does get to a fairly significant elevation, above 7,000 feet in the Flagstaff area, it gets there so gradually that you should barely notice. There simply is no need to go out of your way, and in fact trying to use either US-70 or US-60 to cut down to I-10 would both entail rather significant 'twisty sections'.

    If even I-40 bothers you, there are a couple of things that you can do. The first is to keep your eyes outside the car. Motion sickness is generally the result of the two major orientation sensors, your eyes and your (inner) ears sending conflicting messages to your brain. You tend to get motion sick if you're eyes are watching or reading something inside the car which isn't moving (relative to the inside of the car) and yet your inner ears are telling you that you are moving. If even keeping your attention outside the car doesn't work, then there's an over-the-counter medication that you can pick up at any pharmacy at home or along the way, without a prescription, called Meclizine Hydrochloride. I recently suffered a head trauma and was having some fairly severe vertigo problems which this stuff knocked down quite well.

    As for stuff to get out of the car and visit on your own two feet along I-40, I'd recommend perhaps a quick visit to Cadillac Ranch outside Amarillo, and definite stops at Petroglyph National Monument outside Albuquerque, Petrified Forest National Park, Walnut Canyon National Monument east of Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon (of course!), and the Mojave National Preserve.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 04-20-2013 at 06:32 PM. Reason: Completed thought

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you feel that you do need to go south, take I-44 out of OKC to Wichita Falls, then take US-277 to Abilene to pick up I-20. I did this last December to avoid snow, this adds over 200 miles to the trip and will put you through the congested Tucson and Phoenix metros. Figure an extra 5 hours, and in my opinion the scenery is considerably less enjoyable.

  4. #4


    Thanks so much, AZBuck! Your information is invaluable to me. I appreciate your help!

  5. #5


    Thank you, glc! Knowing this, I'll probably stick with I-40, then. I appreciate it!

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