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  1. Default TIPS for I-70 Cross Country Road Trip? (Indy-San Diego)

    We are driving from Indianapolis to San Diego in early June. We are taking I-70 all the way to I-15, so not taking back roads. We already have planned where we are stopping to stay. We are stopping to stay in Kansas City (1 night), Denver (2 nights), Vegas (3 nights), and then San Diego (2 nights). Will be flying back from San Diego to Indy, so no return road trip. Therefore, please don't suggest alternate routes because it is too late to change. It is I-70 all the way until I-15.

    Are there any places (restaurants, touristy stuff, etc) that we should try to see along the way?

    Are there any things that we should do/see in the cities we are stopping (Kansas City/Denver/San Diego)? We've been to Vegas before, so we know what we're doing there. Keep in mind we are 28 years old, and we will be wanting to try different bars, breweries, etc.

    Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Please don't suggest things that will take us off I-70 that far, because we will need to drive around 8 hours a day.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Despite your claims that it is "too late to change" elements of a trip that's more than a month away, I will strongly suggest you rethink your Denver to Las Vegas Leg. It's more than 750 miles, and that's not an 8 hour drive - it's almost twice that (at least 14 hours, despite what online mapping programs will tell you).

    If you do decide to change, and even add in one overnight along the way - which you really should do for safety alone - there are no shortage of things you could add into that leg, with 7 National Parks just a short detour off the freeway.

    Kansas City and Denver both have very good microbrew scenes - Boulevard in KC is one of my favorites - and of course, Coors is based out of the Denver suburb of Golden, so that's a place you might want to check out.

  3. Default

    Hi Michael, thanks for the quick reply. I do understand that it will be more than 8 hours from Denver to Vegas; it is closer to 11-12 hours. However, given that we have a limited time for this trip, we decided we would rather spend an additional night it Vegas than somewhere in between. It isn't that I don't want to go to all the great national parks; I would love to, but there just isn't enough time on this particular trip. It is something that I will do later in life. We figure we can leave around 8 AM from denver and get to Vegas by 8 PM (figuring in the additional going from mountain to pacific time).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I would encourage you to rethink that - spend the night in St. George and head on in to LV the next day. Denver to LV is NOT, I repeat NOT safely driven in one day, and certainly cannot be done in only 12 hours without grossly exceeding the speed limits and peeing in a bottle doing 80 mph.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Better late than DEAD on time.

    It will be closer to midnight than 8pm when you get to LV - if at all. For the safety of all who use the road, you'd do well to follow the advice above, and rethink this day.

    Have a safe trip.


  6. Default

    Lifey, i think indyman ought to subtract one of his days in Vegas and instead use it between Denver and Vegas. We both know that even though its one of the most scenic interstates, its not an easy drive and should not be drivin in one shot, especially that stretch between Green River and Salina.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Coming into this conversation a little later than some, but I have a couple of things to add. I have been on that entire stretch of I-70 many times, particularly the sections between Kingdom City MO and the end of I-70 in UT. I'm not sure where you're getting your travel times from, but KC to Denver is not an 8 hour trip. It's 600 miles and is most likely to take you around 10 hours. At the Oakley KS exit #70, there's a restaurant we like to eat at, called the Colonial Inn.

    My husband and I have tried many things on these stretches, but I definitely would add to the others who don't recommend trying to go from Denver to Las Vegas in one stretch. As said above, that's about 14-15 hours, not even the 12 hours that Google or Mapquest says. You may be able to DRIVE in 12 hours, but you have to add in the stops for gasoline, bathroom, traffic slow-downs, construction, food, and to stretch your body. Why not do as GLC suggested, stay overnight in Cedar City or St George, and drive into Vegas the next morning? You'll arrive in Vegas far more rested!!!!

    BTW, Traveler, that stretch between Green River and Salina isn't all that bad. There are just few rest areas with real bathrooms (with a porta-potty, if you're lucky) and no gas stations or restaurants. Our ordinary travel day that includes that stretch will usually be Richfield UT to Burlington CO, or vice versa. It's actually lovely at the beginning of a travel day (traveling east) or at the end of the travel day (traveling west), as long as you get food and gasoline on the starting end. (We usually fuel up in either Richfield or Grand Junction, and either eat in Green River or when we get to Richfield.)

    As far as things to see and do that are touristy: if you are not trying to kill yourselves trying to get from Denver to LV, stop at several of the rest areas and scenic areas in the Vail, Avon, and Glenwood Springs areas. These are not your usual interstate rest areas. They're actually beautiful! In Grand Junction, around exit 42, are some wineries so you can pick up a bottle or two and stash it for use in your motel room later. Then, in that area we mentioned earlier, between Green River and Salina, take some of the rest area exits there. This is another gorgeous area, the San Rafael Swell. The one at exit 104 is actually listed as a "view area".


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