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  1. Default NYC- Las Vegas avoiding high altitudes

    Hi everyone! I was hoping to get some of your mapping expertise. I am trying to plan a drive from NYC to Vegas in Feb 2015 but the unfortunate part is I need to avoid altitude changes as much as possible. I recently got diagnosed with a condition and was told I can't fly and to avoid altitude changes as much as possible...unfortunately there is no way I can cancel this trip though! It is for my vow renewal and we have 20+ people coming from all over the world so I need to get there one way or another

    I have been trying to work it out but not having much luck. I am not really sure if there is any way to find out altitudes along the way via google maps?

    Thanks so much in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default There are some options

    What is the maximum elevation that you are limited by? Somehow you have to get across the Continental Divide. There are some options -- this kind of request comes up a couple times a year.

    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    Actually, Google Maps does have an elevation feature on their maps. We used to use on the RTA Custom Maps application -- but it is a total bandwidth hog and it has some really difficult-to-resolve technical problems.

    ...So, what are your absolute parameters for elevation gain?

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Most important -- don't go the southern route - Stay to north as long as you can!

    The general & fastest route that you would be following to avoid elevation gains and losses is I-80 through Chicago, Nebraska, Wyoming and I-15 to Las Vegas. Depending upon the weather conditions -- you need to allow a minimum of five days of travel for this trip.

    There is some advantage (in terms of elevation changes) in staying on I-80 all the way to US-95 in Nevada and then going south of US-95. While US-95 crosses dozens of mountain ranges on the way (Nevada is the land of basin and ranges) the highway does a very good job zig-zagging around the passes and you'll find it the route has relatively few changes in elevation gain.

    Mark

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    I-80 will take you over 8000 feet. I have to disagree with Mark and I recommend a far southern route. Unfortunately, this will not only take a lot longer, it will involve a lot of eastern seaboard traffic.

    Take I-95 to Florence SC, then I-20 to I-10 to Phoenix, then US-93 to LV. This will take you at least 6 days and I believe it will keep you under 5000 feet and have a minimum of "ups and downs".

  5. Default

    Sorry about the huge delay but thank you both so much for your help!

    Medically I was told to stay under 5000 feet so going by that the last response seems the best choice. We are hoping to make a bit of a fun road trip of it too so we adjusted it slightly.

    So far the plan is NYC- DC- Nashville- Dallas- Tuscon- Las Vegas

    From what I can tell we wont be hitting any significant elevations until the Dallas- Tuscon- Las Vegas portion and they all look like they are around 4200ft or less so fingers crossed I have done my research right or I will feel it!

    Thanks again so much for your help I so appreciate it and had no idea where to start..

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Dallas to Tuscon in a day ????

    I would cut your days down to under 600 miles and add an extra day's travel between DC and Vegas. There is no way you can drive safely from Dallas to Tuscon in a day, especially as part of a multi day trip. It's either that or forgetting about stopping in DC and break up your journey into equal segments. Even then, that would be pushing the boundaries.

  7. Default

    Ahh we have two drivers but still don't want to rush it so I think we will add an extra day and stop in El Paso for a night. Thanks for your help!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default

    Two drivers don't really help in this case as both need to stay awake when you are at your most tired so that the driver is not left alone with no one to keep an eye on them and engage in conversation. Its hard to get proper rest in a moving vehicle in the day when you are used to being awake and then be alert in the small hours when your body is used to sleep. The extra overnight stop will certainly help but El Paso to Vegas is over 700 miles and not what we would recommend at the end of a multi day trip.

  9. Default

    fgc, you may want to consider a few extra overnights as the distances are very long. Here are the mileages between stops:

    1- DC to Nashville/ 666 miles or about 10 hours
    2- Nashville to Dallas/ 664 miles or about 10 hours
    3- Dallas to Tuscon/ 950 miles or about 13.5 hours
    4- Tuscon to Las Vegas/ 412 miles or 6.5 hours

  10. Default

    Thanks so much this is very good info to know. Obviously I want to do this as safely as possible.

    Looking into revising the plan for more stopovers!

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