Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. Default chicago to santa fe nm route advice pls

    Planning to do this trip in mid Sep. Google maps shows 2 options:

    1. i-55 to Springfield, US36 to KC, 1-355 to Wichita, and then most of the rest of the way on US 400/56 - 1250mi 19h:07m
    2. Mostly interstate - I-55, I-44, I-40 - 1305mi; 19h:26m

    Which of these is really the fastest route? I worry about how many stops/towns there are for the 200mi stretch on US 400/56.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Many more than just two.

    Hi and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    You do of course have many more options.... in fact, probably thousands. Don't limit yourself to what a computer program might say. Get out some good maps of the States through which you will be driving and see where all the little towns, intersections, turns and twists are. Among the best and most detailed are AAA (free to members) and Rand McNally. Or get a good road atlas.

    When on the road, don't be fooled into relying on your electronics. They can be, and often are, helpful, but paper maps should always be your primary source for navigation.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Niether are as fast as Google suggests.

    And don't take those Google map times too seriously, there is simply no way to measure these drives in hours, you are talking days here and this journey will mean at least 2 overnight stops and at least 2.5 days without sight seeing. You should look no further than 500-600 miles per day for stops. It doesn't look like much in either route for time and just a bit of congestion or construction on either route could change things, I would look at a map and see which one would appealk to me more.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Pretty Much a Wash

    Lifey is absolutely right that you have many more than two options, and it's also true that the two you list are essentially the same in terms of miles and time. I've drive that US-400/US-56 route that has you so worried and most of the 'towns' are about a mile of reduced speed limit before you're out on the open plains again. The break from the monotony of the road should be a welcome relief, not an imposition. Besides, those towns offer food and fuel at prices that are often better than the Interstate exit establishments that feed off a captive audience. I would suggest that if you go this way, you use US-54 instead of US-56 so as to avoid the relatively large town of Dodge City and to hook up with I-40 at Tucumcari, using US-285 to complete the drive into Santa Fe.

    And remember, there's no reason not to use two completely different routes out and back.


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


    If it were me, and I was looking to get there the fastest, I would stick with the I-55/I-44/I-40 route. You don't save enough miles on the shorter 2 lane routes to make up for the speed you'll lose compared to the freeways. Again, that's only if I'm looking for the fastest route. There would be some other advantages to using those routes, but they will likely take you a bit more time.

    But as others have said, you've got far more than 2 options and it is simply impossible to cover this kind of ground in 19 hours on the road. You will be behind the wheel for more than 24 hours, and you really need to plan for 2 overnight stops.

  6. Default

    thanks - really looking for the fastest route on this. After a week in Santa Fe, we are off to San Antonio, then Austin, then New Orleans and then to Naples FL. So although there is always lots to see on almost any trip, my q was more about which route was faster. Often when you get off the Interstate, the highways are a lot slower due to the towns you have to go thru. Doesn't take too many to kill you on time - thanks

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    The fastest route will be I-55/I-44/I-40/US-285. You need to be looking at 2.5 days with overnights in Joplin and Amarillo, or if you leave Chicago in the middle of the day, St. Louis and OKC. It's just a bit too far to do safely in only 2 days, but if you have multiple drivers and follow a rotation the halfway point is Tulsa.

    Tip: If you spend a night in Joplin, stay away from the Motel 6, the Legacy, and the Sunrise. They are dumps. The cheapest liveable motel in town is the Microtel but it's off by itself on the south side of I-44. There's a Fazoli's in the parking lot and a Cracker Barrel a short walk up the street, but everything else is on the north side of I-44. The best hotels for the money on the north side with a lot of things within walking distance are the Quality Inn, the Days Inn, and the Baymont. If you don't mind spending over $100, you can't beat the Drury.

Similar Threads

  1. Route advice for Moving from Las Vegas, NV to Chicago, IL
    By djcrewe1 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 05-21-2014, 07:14 PM
  2. Chicago-Los Angeles-Portland: Route Advice Appreciated!
    By pretzel in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 04-20-2014, 01:22 AM
  3. Aug trip LA to Chicago in 4 days- Best route advice?
    By LynneIA in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-20-2011, 02:45 AM
  4. Phoenix to Chicago route advice needed
    By mikeh002 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 08-01-2010, 03:33 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