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  1. Default Most Scenic Route From East Texas to Northern California

    My husband and I are going to Escalon(near Modesto) California the first of August to attend my class reunion. We live in Deep East Texas, Newton to be exact. We would like to make it a mini vacation and make a drive across the states and see the sights along the way. Does anyone have a suggested route to get the most out of our trip? We don't even know what there is to see between the two besides the Grand Canyon.

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

    Default grab a map

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    There are no shortage of options or choices for this trip, and certainly not one single best route.

    Being that you mentioned the grand canyon, one option would be to head up to I40 and take that to GC, then head onto Vegas, through death valley, and to yosemite before arriving at your destination. But that's just one of many possibilities. There are lots of other things you could do throughout the four corner states and the southwest. If you really don't know what things are on the way then you really need to get out a map and spend a little time looking at what is there so you can start deciding for yourself what might make the best trip for you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Two Good Ones

    As Michael says, there is never just one "suggested route to get the most out of [a] trip" (better known as a 'best' route), but usually several that will let you get a lot out of the trip depending on your interests, time constraints, budget, etc. Since you've asked for scenic and haven't put any time or monetary limits on your drive, I'll suggest two basic routes. You can choose either one, use one route westbound and the other eastbound, or decide on something else entirely.

    The more northerly of the two routes would have you using US-287 through Dallas and Amarillo, then US-87/us-64 past Capulin Mountain to Raton and I-25 north to Pueblo CO. From there, US-50 west will take you through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison to Grand Junction. Next up, I-70 past Arches National Park and across the San Rafael Swell to I-15 south by Zion National Park to Las Vegas. Finally, you'd head through Death Valley National Park to US-395 north, then use CA-120 over Tioga Pass, through Yosemite National Park to the Central Valley and Escalon.

    The more southerly of the two routes would head west from Lufkin through Waco using TX-7/US-84/TX-36 to Abilene then take I-10/US-87/US-180 to Carlsbad. From there head north on US-285 through Roswell to Albuquerque and Petroglyph National Monument. Next follow I-40 west through the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park to Flagstaff where a run north on US-89 will bring you to the east entrance to Grand Canyon National Park. Follow the Rim Road and exit through the south entrance taking AZ=64 down to Williams to rejoin I-40. Continue west passing the Mojave National Preserve and finish up by taking CA-99 up through the Central Valley to Escalon.

    Either route will take about four days of solid driving plus any time spent taking in the sights along the way. And, of course, either route could be driven in reverse order as the homeward bound leg of a loop trip.


  4. Default

    I am east of Dallas and going to the San Francisco area in July. I plan to drive quickly and directly there and on the return, I will have my wife and we go through Tahoe, Vegas, Grand Canyon, etc. I will share with you my experience when I return, if you like. I plan 2-3 days drive there and 3 days back. For me it is 27 hours, so I may do 13hrs/10hrs/4hrs over 3 days.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Jamie, as I said in your thread, Google drive times are pure fantasy.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Quote Originally Posted by CajunJamie View Post
    For me it is 27 hours, so I may do 13hrs/10hrs/4hrs over 3 days
    I'm sorry, but this is just not advice that we can endorse. There is no way that anyone can reasonably get from Dallas to San Francisco in 27 hours, no matter what a computer (that doesn't have to stop for fuel, food, traffic, or anything else) may tell you.

    In a pure best case, speed run, you're looking at about 31 hours of driving. That's 3 full days on the road, and pushing harder or faster than that is asking for an accident.

  7. Default

    Very good suggestions. Thank you so much, both routes sound terrific and now I have something to really choose from

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