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  1. Default Santa Fe to San Diego i-40

    Aloha!! I just found this website/forum and think that it is awesome. My guy and I are going to be taking a roadtrip this Friday.....leaving Santa Fe and our destination in San Diego! I am soooo excited for this road trip. We've been checking out our Atlas and plan on taking i-40 and possibly 10 into San Diego. Not sure how accurate my information is! Lol......
    We want to stay away from the that is why we are taking i-10 to San Diego.

    On our way HOME.....San Diego to Santa Fe, we want to see the Grand Canyon. If anyone has any suggestions or advice.....I'd greatly and humbly accept any suggestions.

    When we begin our travels on Friday after work, I think that we will drive 6-8 hours.....stay somewhere in Arizona and then continue towards San Diego Saturday morning!!!

    Thanks again for being here....what a great tool for driving support and trip planning!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default A Rethink?

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There are a couple of things about your proposed RoadTrip plans that I'd ask you to reconsider. The first is your desire to "stay away from the border". As someone who lives near and travels along the border frequently, I can tell you that there is absolutely no physical reason to stay away from it. You are in no more danger while traveling I-8 from Yuma to San Diego than you are while traveling any other stretch of Interstate anywhere else in the U.S. Second, if you forego I-8 and instead use I-40/I-15, you will be adding about 90 unnecessary miles to your drive from Santa Fe to San Diego. Third, by using the same basic route to San Diego and back you are missing out on the opportunity to see more of the great state of Arizona and southern California, and instead just covering the same ground twice.

    For all those reasons, I would strongly encourage you to consider the following route for at least one leg (outbound or inbound - doesn't matter - but I'll describe it westbound) of your RoadTrip. At Holbrook AZ leave I-40 and head south using the '77s', AZ-77, AZ-377, AZ-277 to Heber and then AZ-260 to Payson and finally AZ-87 down to Phoenix. Although those sound like little back roads, and they are for the most part two-lane highways, the speed limit is typically 65 and traffic and towns are minimal. And the scenery ranges from good to spectacular. After using AZ-202 (Phoenix' east-west freeway) to I-10 west, leave that just west of Goodyear and take AZ-85 (another wide-open two-lane highway) down to Gila Bend and I-8 into San Diego. I-8 offers a couple of plusses. The scenery, especially over the Jacumba Mountains, is great; you get to travel below sea-level through the Imperial Valley; there is a unique section of road where, to twist through a low but narrow pass, the westbound lanes and eastbound lanes actually switch sides; and Yuma Territorial Prison and Desert Tower in Jacumba are a couple of stops like no other.

    You can always, and I would, take the longer, alternate route using I-40/I-15 so as to include the Grand Canyon (and the Petrified Forest and other national parks and monuments) in your trip, but besides being significantly longer, this route will also have you driving through large portions of the Inland Empire (Los Angeles' eastern suburbs and exurbs) where you can anticipate heavy traffic if not time-consuming jams.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 02-05-2014 at 12:15 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Welcome to RTA!

    To get to SD without going near the border, take I-40 to I-15. I-10 doesn't go anywhere near SD. You will need to get at least as far as Flagstaff in order to have a reasonable 2nd day's drive - Williams or Kingman would be even better, weather and road conditions permitting. If the weather is not good, expect some difficulties getting through Flagstaff.

    On your way back, the GC is close to I-40, you would take AZ-64 north out of Williams to the south entrance. You would leave the east entrance on AZ-64 to US-89. Then you could either take 89 to Flagstaff back to I-40, or you could take US-160 to Kayenta and US-163 through Monument Valley. To get back to Santa Fe from there, take US-191 back to US-160, then US-64 through Farmington to US-550 to I-25.

    You will need more than 2 days to include the GC on the return trip.

    Now, if the weather on I-40 is bad, there is a decent alternate to check out but it involves driving close to the border. You can take I-25 to Hatch, then NM-26 to I-10, take that to I-8. This only adds an hour or so to the trip, you can spend the night in Lordsburg, Benson, or Tucson. You would have to check on the weather along this route too, I-8 can get a bit rough through the mountains between El Centro and SD.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    I regularly drive from San Diego to Phoenix along I-8, AZ-84, up through Maricopa and onto I-10. Believe me, there's absolutely NO reason to be worried about driving on I-8!

    I'd be more concerned about your desire to drive 6-8 hours after a full day of work on Friday. Three or four hours, maybe -- get as far as Gallup or Grants and call it a night. Otherwise you'll be exhausted and getting up the next day to do it again....???

    Last edited by DonnaR57; 02-05-2014 at 06:49 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    I'd be more concerned about your desire to drive 6-8 hours after a full day of work on Friday. Three or four hours, maybe -- get as far as Gallup or Grants and call it a night. Otherwise you'll be exhausted and getting up the next day to do it again....???
    As one who likes to stay well north of the border, I could relate. But what really jumped out at me, is the same as Donna mentioned. Driving after a full day's work the almost equivalent of what many folk do in a full day's driving, does not sound like a sensible or safe plan. And no! having two drivers does not make a difference. You'd be very wise to bed down earlier.


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