Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13
  1. Default Quick but reasonable route to get from Washington DC to central Utah

    Many thanks in advance for your tips. I have read quite a bit on the forum but can't find my exact situation.

    I have just been told that my teenage child who is in a special school in Utah is ill, and I will need to be out in Utah for what will likely be a several months recovery period. It is not a life or death situation but naturally I would like to be out there as soon as possible. I am driving my 10 year old, 77K miles, Toyota Highlander. Today, the shop is doing $3,500 of work replacing belts. fluids, new break pads, timing belt and more. I am in my early fifties, a woman, and driving alone.

    I am hoping to find a route that won't kill me getting there, but at the same time will move me along along as rapidly as possible. I'm a morning person so can get an early start, but in the evening I do get to tired and so late evenings are not something I'd like to do if possible. I will be staying in a Residence Inn quality hotel along the way but anything in that price range would do. I'm trying to figure out where I should be stopping along the way for the night. I realize that I don't need a reservation at this time of year but I'd feel more comfortable if I had all the plans set before I leave town. I have learned so much from the comments on here re: weather expectations, emergency supplies for the car, etc which has been great.

    I was thinking of going I-70 but Colorado worries me as I have driven high mountainous areas in the past and for me, it was white-knuckle the whole way. Maybe I-80 is smartest since I'm not on a sightseeing trip.

    With much appreciation,


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

    Default Where in Utah ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You would require 3 overnight stops to make the journey in a safe and sensible fashion but which route to take will depend on where in Utah and just how much I70 concerns you. Interstates are built to certain standards and they have gradual curves and gradients to cater for the largest of vehicles, so although I70 is mountianous I'm surprised it has you so worried. For example if you were headed to Green River then going on I80 to Rock Springs and cutting down 191/6 would add about 3 hours extra rather than staying on I70.

  3. Default

    Thanks so much for your reply, Dave. I am heading to the Provo area in Utah. As far as the I-70 route, AAA maps tell me that it's a longer route and from reading here, people have mentioned the altitude as being a problem going through Colorado. What would your recommendation be? How do you feel about pre-booking hotels? Perhaps it's risky as the town may not make sense depending on how my drive goes that day?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    I've driven a few of these routes myself, though not during the month of February. Keep an eye on the weather, as it can always call you to change your routing!

    Do you have an EZ-Pass? You could go up I-70 to the PA Turnpike (70-76), to I-80/90 and cross on I-80 as you have mentioned. It isn't nearly as high in elevation but its weather could be a lot different than going I-70 straight across to SLC and south on I-15 into Provo. However, the route through PA, OH, and IN is toll road (which is why I asked about EZ-Pass).

    Going I-70 to I-68 to I-79 and up to I-70 and across is comfortable until Denver. You could go north at Kansas City on I-29 up to I-80 if you'd prefer not to climb over 11,000 ft pass. However, as pointed out above, it's gorgeous, the climbs are fairly easy if you're not towing anything, curves are gentle and the downgrades good too. The ski areas will be beautiful, and Glenwood Canyon is an engineering marvel!

    Either way, allow for 4 days driving (3 overnights), and have an extra in case winter blows in again and you have to either stop or "go around".


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I-70 across Colorado would make sense if you were going to someplace in the middle of Utah, but being that you're going to Provo, and your priority is to get there as quickly as possible, it wouldn't be the best choice.

    If prebooking hotels makes you feel more comfortable, go for it. This isn't a trip where you're going to be doing siteseeing, or other things where you might need more time, so you can comfortably pick your stopover points in advance.

    The route I would take would involve I-70 to Indianapolis for your first stop. I-74 and I-80 to Omaha for your second. Stay on I-80 all the way to Utah, spending your third night in Laramie, Wyoming.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I agree with Michael's routing - and I-68/I-79 back to I-70 will cut out tolls.

    Residence Inn is pretty fancy - and do you really need that type of amenities for a quick overnight? I'm a budget type of hotel user, but if I want a nice place to stay and am not concerned about cost, I'll look for a Hampton Inn.

    Tip - heading westbound, stay in a hotel on the west side of cities, that way you won't be fighting the morning rush when you leave.

    Lincoln is a good alternative to Omaha, and Cheyenne is a good alternative to Laramie.

  7. Default

    Wow! thanks so much for all of the helpful responses. I spoke with someone who lives in the Chicago area tonight and she recommended Rte 70 to avoid possible lake effect snows on 80.

    I've spent hours tonight mapping out what I think would be a reasonable Rte 70 route, although the good suggestion to stay on the west side of the highway wasn't taken into account. It looks like I'm going to need to travel a little over 500 miles a day to get there with 3 overnights. I am going to take tomorrow to redo my plans with both the 70 and the 80 routes, using your suggestions.

    Donna- thanks for your alt route avoiding Denver.

    As far as the Residence Inn goes, I only chose that chain because I have some Marriott points. The Hampton Inn would be great too. I just want to avoid the super low end as I'm traveling alone.

    Looks like I have more research to do, but it sure is a lot easier with all of your expert advice.

    Many thanks.


  8. Default

    Oh and btw, I do have EZPass. I just need to make sure my husband puts enough money into the pass account for the whole trip as it's under his name. I got caught on the GW Bridge in NYC with zero balance once- ugly at 5pm.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Lake effect can be an issue at times, but do keep in mind, the entire distance of your trip is subject to seeing winter weather. The tolls and traffic are a much bigger reason to avoid I-80 through the Chicago area.

    Again, I'm not sure why you'd be planning to take I-70 to Colorado, when your destination is Provo. It really only adds miles and mountains, two things I'd think you'd want to avoid based on what you've told us. You'll either have to cut up to I-80 at some point, or take some non-interstate highways to go North to Provo. Donna's suggestion of taking I-70 all the way across Missouri isn't a bad route, but it adds both miles and potential traffic issues in St. Louis and Kansas City, vs cutting up via I-74 at Indy.

    BTW, if you were to take I-80 through Chicago, you can use your EZ-Pass on all the tolls through Illinois. However, if you do take I-70 past Missouri, you will have a short section of tolls in Kansas, where EZ Pass is not accepted.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Travelling alone.

    As a female (solo senior) traveller, I always make sure that my hotel / motel room has a lock on the inside which cannot be opened from the outside, such as the chain lock. I also make sure that the smoke alarm has not been disabled. It really pays to ask to see the room before committing. If they don't let you, move on.

    Motels where I can park my car outside the room always make me feel so much safer. The scariest and creepiest thing about the larger establishments is getting in a lift or walking down a hall / corridor. It freaks me out.

    Have a safe trip. Hope your teenager gets better soon.


Similar Threads

  1. Quick painless route from DC to New Orleans June 15
    By Lori Stuardi in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-28-2013, 02:05 PM
  2. Central Washington to Tuscon
    By sgb in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-27-2009, 09:29 AM
  3. Fruit Stands in Central Washington
    By RoadTripper Brad in forum RoadTrip Field Reports
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-02-2007, 11:00 PM
  4. Quick route to move a car LA- Philly
    By noobie in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-25-2007, 06:28 PM
  5. A few must-stops in Central Washington
    By RoadTripper Brad in forum Off the Beaten Path
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-27-2005, 07:14 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