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  1. Default Arizona to Colorado-mountainous roads

    Hi there! I am wondering if anyone has any advice for me for this drive. I am driving from Phoenix, Arizona to Avon, Colorado and I know about two different routes. The first one from Phoenix to Albuquerque, north on I-25 to Denver, then east on I-70 to Avon. The second route north on the I-17 to US-160 through Moab, UT then west on I-70. I am pulling a trailer, and I was just wondering what the best route would be to take. I am looking for the route with the least amount of mountain grade driving. Any advice on this would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Grades, Either Way

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Avon is over 7,300 feet in elevation, so there are going to be some serious grades either way you go. The worst grades on the route up through Utah are actually just north of Phoenix on I-17. There are two: One just north of Phoenix as you climb out of the 'Valley of the Sun' and then another as you climb out of Camp Verde onto the Colorado Plateau. There are also probably a few extended grades on I-70 in Colorado as well, but note that grades on Interstates are limited to 6% and usually when they get even that steep there will be an extra right hand lane to let you make the climb at your own pace. The non-Interstate portions of this route, from Flagstaff to Moab, are actually pretty flat and very scenic.

    I'm not as familiar with the I-40/I-25 'left hook' route, but I do now that there is a serious climb on I-70 heading west out of Denver. That route also adds 150 miles and you'd still have to do the two climbs on I-17 north of Phoenix unless you took the 'shortcut' of AZ-87/AZ-260/AZ-377 through Payson to Holbrook, which I would not recommend if you're pulling a trailer.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I would take I-17/US-89/US-160/US-191/I-70. For some scenery, you could take US-163 out of Kayenta through Monument Valley to US-191.

    You have your west and east backwards, by the way.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Strongly advise overnight stop.

    I would take the above route for sure, using 163 through Monument Valley, but you do realise that with a distance of over 700 miles to cover you will require an overnight stop ? Do not take any notice of the times estimated by a computer program, computers do not need sleep, food, rest, bathroom or re-fuelling stops. Neither do they allow for construction or congestion delays or the fact you are towing. With the appropriate stops this could be a 13 to 14 hour journey depending on conditions and size of trailer compared to tow vehicle. Moab would be a good 'target' for day 1 and would give you time for a quick stop in Monument valley if took your fancy.

  5. Default

    Oops, how did I manage that mixup, thank you for the info!

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