Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. Default Route advise: Phoenix to Minneapolis via Omaha

    Looking for advise on the best route from Phoenix, AZ to Minneapolis, MN. Catch is, I need to route through Omaha, NE and the on-line tools are giving conflicting advise on which route to take.

    Traveling in an mini-van so gas milage is a consideration (e.g. route through Raton Pass in Colorado has a lot of "up" to it); but happy to drive it if the best route is through Denver.

    Also, let me know if any parts of the recommended routes have long stretches of 2-lane or non-divided highway.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default No single 'best'.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    The reason you are getting 'conflicting' results is because there is rarely one 'best' route, whether that be the quickest or the most scenic, or a combination of both. Interstates are built with gradual curves and gradients so you shouldn't have a whole lot of problem driving at elevation. If it were I and I wanted to get there quickly with the best 'bang for the bucks' [scenery] I would head up to Flagstaff, Moab to I70 to Denver and then I76 to 180. You could take I40 to I25 to Denver which is similar time and a lot of other route combinations are available. How much time have you got ? Either way it would be a minimun 3 day drive to Minneapolis, but Omaha would be beyond what we would recommend travelling in 2 days, so if you plan to overnight in Omaha, you should allow at least one extra day.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Choices You Have to Make

    As Dave states, there is no single 'best' route, only choices to be made from among a number of different routes each of which has both its good and bad points. The route that Dave suggests, basically up I-17 to Flagstaff then a combination of US highways, US-89/US-160/US-163/US-191, through Monument Valley and past Arches National Park to I-70 across the Rockies to Denver, then using I-76 to cut up to I-80 along the Platte River through Omaha to Des Moines, and finishing up with I-35 up to Minneapolis is almost certainly the most scenic, and maybe even the most historically interesting as it follows the old Oregon Trail for large sections. However, it is about 100 miles longer than other routes, there are significant (but not impossible) grades in both Arizona and Colorado. Also, the entire section from north of Flagstaff until you get on I-70 north of Arches, a distance of 350 miles, is all two lane roads. Fortunately, they are relatively flat and carry relatively high speed limits. But you did ask to avoid such roads.

    Another possibility, the shortest practical route, would have you using state highways out of Phoenix: AZ-87/AZ-260/AZ-377 to Holbrook, then I-40 to Tucumcari NM and US-54 northeastward through Kansas to Dodge City, after which you'd take US-50/US-56/KS-156 up to join I-70 west of Salina and, after a short stretch, take US=81 north to I-80 at York NE, finishing up as on the previous route. AS I said, this route has the advantage of being the shortest practical route being about a hundred miles shorter than the first one described. However, as you can tell, it spends a lot of time on two-lane US highways through the Midwest. They're flat and straight for the most part, but do go through a number of small farming towns.

    A third possibility, the longest of the three, places a premium on staying on Interstates. This would be I-17 north to I-40, follow that all the way to Oklahoma City, then take I-35 north to Kansas City, I-29 north to Omaha, I-80 east to Des Moines, and rejoin I-35 up to Minneapolis. This is about 250 miles longer than the shortest route, and about 150 miles longer than the 'scenic' route, but - as noted - it's advantage is that it is all four-lane (or more), controlled access, super highway.

    So you see 'best' is a relative term, but armed with the knowledge of what different routes entail, you can make a more informed decision about which is best for you, the only definition of 'best' that matters.


Similar Threads

  1. Minneapolis-Rushmore-Colorado Rockies-Omaha-Minneapolis Loop
    By pugetsounder in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-26-2012, 05:32 PM
  2. Trip Advise from Phoenix to LV to Grand Canyon to Flagstaff to Phoenix
    By vikas.iet in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-06-2011, 12:05 PM
  3. Phoenix-Minneapolis for an Internship
    By ASUgirls in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-07-2010, 02:26 AM
  4. Los Angeles>Albuquerque>Omaha>Minneapolis-Wisconsin & Back
    By sagtravelgal in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 06-23-2009, 02:48 PM
  5. Central CA to Omaha - Safest Route?
    By G-Money in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-03-2006, 06:43 PM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name