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  1. Default SFO to HOU I10 or I40?

    At the end of February I will be driving from San Francisco to Houston. What is the best route I10 or I40? Which is more scenic? What way do you recommend?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Six of One...

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    If you use mapping software, it will choose I-10 every time because that route is (nominally) marginally shorter and faster, but that might only be true in the abstract. In the real world, using I-10 would require you to drop down into L.A. basin and deal with its traffic along I-210. Similarly you'd also have to get through Phoenix which at the wrong time of day can be every bit as bad as L.A.

    On the other hand taking I-40, presumably using CA-58 to cut over from I-5 to Barstow, would require driving a long stretch on a non-Interstate roads, US-84/TX-36/TX-6, from Santa Rosa NM the rest of the way to Houston. Both routes are relatively scenic, particularly if you like the barren beauty of the desert and high plains but not so much if you like lots of green.

    What would I do? I'd use I-10 for the most part, but I wouldn't come all the way down into L.A. and I wouldn't go through Phoenix. Instead, I'd leave I-5 north of L.A. and use CA-138 through Lancaster and Palmdale to I-15 south and then use CA-215/CA-210 and finally get on I-10 at Redlands CA. As for Phoenix, leave I-10 at Buckeye AZ and take AZ-85 south to I-8 at Gila Bend and follow that east to rejoin I-10 at Casa Grande.

    You'll need the better part of four days no matter which way you go, so plan accordingly.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 01-07-2015 at 11:44 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    I'd leave I-5 north of L.A. and use CA-138 through Lancaster and Palmdale to I-15 south and then use CA-215/CA-210 and finally get on I-10 at Redlands CA.
    I'd get off I-5 at CA-46, take that to CA-99 to CA-58 to US-395 to I-15 to I-215 to CA-210 to I-10.

  4. Default

    Thanks for the info GLC and AZBuck, one more question, I will be driving my daughters car which has a very small gas tank. Since I am not familiar with the Southwest, any stretches where it's hard to find gas?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

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    You should never be more than 50 miles from a gas station. If you have a smartphone, get the Gas Buddy app to help you find it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    The beginning of our summer 2014 trip took us through Phoenix to Houston. In western Texas, there are a number of stretches where gasoline (particularly reasonably priced gas) availability is 50-95 miles apart. This past summer, we ensured that we had a full tank around Anthony/El Paso TX because the next reasonably priced fuel is at Van Horn, 141 miles away. The next one after that, heading towards Houston, is 120 miles away at Fort Stockton. We usually fill up when our tank (bigger than your daughter's, but it's always thirstier than those cars with smaller tanks) when it's 1/2 full. With our compact, I wait until 1/4 full, unless I'm in a situation where there aren't a lot of stations. If you have a smartphone, make sure you have the GasBuddy app. It continues to be our good app friend, and it's a free app.

    At the end of our summer 2014 trip, we drove from SFO area down to our home in San Diego. We used I-5 south to CA-58 to CA-99 to US-395 to I-15. CA-58 would take you over the Tehachapi Pass, which usually doesn't have weather issues and is a very pretty drive. Look for the train tunnel's in Tehachapi, off to the south (right hand side of the road).

    GLC's suggestion of I-215 to CA-210 to I-10 would be a good routing for you. Just watch the signs on I-215, as it's easy to miss a division!


    Donna

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