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  1. Default Chicago to Phoenix Next Week

    I plan on driving from Chicago to Phoenix but I am too nervous to go over the mountains around Payson and Flagstaff (fear of heights). Does anyone know a more southern route I can take to avoid them and not increase the drive time too much more? I plan on making it to Phoenix in about 2 3/4 days. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Thanks,
    C

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

    Default Not With Those Parameters

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Even if you were to take the shortest possible route, including taking two-lane roads across the Colorado Plateau and down off the Mogollon Rim between Holbrook and Phoenix, this would take a full three days to drive. Sticking to the Interstates and coming through Flagstaff (I-40 to I-17) would not significantly add to that, but it wouldn't make it any shorter either. Adding detours to avoid grades, especially avoiding the drop off the Rim, would push your drive time up to around three and a half days.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default

    Really the only way to avoid the mountains in Arizona is to take I-10 over to New Mexico. Even that doesn't really avoid mountains, as I-10 still goes up to nearly 5,000 feet. Once in NM, you'd cut up to I-40.

    The problem, that route also adds more than 100 miles to the drive, and means instead of 3 full days, you really would need to look at a 3rd overnight stop for a safe trip.

  4. Default Another way

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Really the only way to avoid the mountains in Arizona is to take I-10 over to New Mexico. Even that doesn't really avoid mountains, as I-10 still goes up to nearly 5,000 feet. Once in NM, you'd cut up to I-40.

    The problem, that route also adds more than 100 miles to the drive, and means instead of 3 full days, you really would need to look at a 3rd overnight stop for a safe trip.
    What if I took 40 west to 77 then south to 60 and follow that into Apache Junction and Mesa? Are those roads well kept and well-traveled with gas stations and small restaurants to stop at? And less mountains to travel over?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default

    AZ-77/US-60 is the route that AZ Buck described. That would involve far more difficult driving conditions in terms of mountains compared to using I-17 between Flagstaff and Phoenix.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    If you have a fear of mountains, it's best to stay on the Interstates. They are wide, with wide shoulders, and multiple lanes. Take I-40 to I-17.

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    If you have a fear of mountains, it's best to stay on the Interstates. They are wide, with wide shoulders, and multiple lanes. Take I-40 to I-17.
    Thank you all so very much and I appreciate the experienced advice!
    Best,
    C

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    I concur -- stick with the interstates and you'll be fine. Generally you don't know that you're in the mountains until you get to a long grade going up and there are truck lanes with trucks going slow in them. AZ-77 can be rather "interesting" if there has been snow. US-60 isn't too bad, though it goes through the Salt River Canyon which can also be "interesting"--- but beautiful.


    Donna

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