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  1. #1
    RogerRabbit02 Guest

    Default Denver to Arches National Park - Early October Route

    Hi everyone,

    On October 8th my daughter and I will leave SE Michigan en route to Glendale Arizona. We're taking the opportunity to visit Arches, Zion and Grand Canyon National Parks along the way. Stops in St. Louis (relatives), Denver then Arches, etc.

    Whenever I map out a route from Denver to Arches using Google or otherwise, lately they have not sent me fully westbound on I-70. Instead it routes me south onto "91" then to 24 and onto route 82 before rejoining I-70. This adds a couple of hours to the drive.

    Is there something I'm missing or is it seasonal closures. Previously the mapped route went straight through I-70. Now it does not.

    As usual I'm sure weather may play a part in this re-route. I plan to be monitoring the weather and conditions at the time of travel, but I'm just wondering if I-70 is STILL an option even though the current mapping software won't allow me to use it.

    Thanks everyone,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    158

    Default

    Hello, and welcome to the RTA Forum!

    There will never be seasonal closures on an Interstate Highway; when there are temporary closures for seriously bad storms, the roads are opened again as quickly as possible. If you're using Google, make sure you haven't selected the option that avoids highways. Other than that, the software should give you the most direct route, which is I-70 west to US 191, and then south to the National Park. All but the last 30 miles or so will be on I-70.

    Rick

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,219

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    This is one of the problems with mapping software. In your case, it's just being stupid. Cotrip.org shows no problems on I-70 that would affect you. There are no seasonal closures on Interstates but if the weather is bad there may be a snow tire or chains requirement.

    https://www.codot.gov/travel/winter-...leChainLaw.pdf

    Get to I-70 west from wherever you are in Denver, take that to Exit 214 in Utah, go about 8 miles, then turn left on UT-128 to US-191, you will be about 1.5 miles south of the park entrance.

    To get to Zion, I'd recommend you take the scenic route, weather permitting. Take US-191 north to I-70, take that west to UT-24, take that through Hanksville, past Capitol Reef to Torrey. Take UT-12 past Bryce Canyon to US-89. Take that south to UT-9 and enter Zion through the tunnel. If weather does not permit, then just take I-70 to I-15 to Zion. UT-12 is one of the great scenic drives in the country.

    From Zion, take UT-9 to US-89 to AZ-64 to the GC. The other option is go west out of the park to Hurricane, then UT-59/AZ-389 to Fredonia. You can take Alt-89 to US-89 either direction - through Kanab or Jacob Lake. US-89 will take you to AZ-64 to the east entrance of the GC.

  4. #4
    RogerRabbit02 Guest

    Default

    Thank you Rick. Closing a portion of an interstate didn't make sense to me either. Maybe Google, AAA, Mapquest, etc. calculates based on some real-time information like you say (storms, construction).

    When I mapped it out last week it did indeed go straight through. Now it shows the detour.

    Thanks again for the information.

  5. #5
    RogerRabbit02 Guest

    Default

    Thanks glc. Like I mentioned to Rick, something's up with the route planners that's not readily apparent.

    I did indeed check with the Colorado highway website and though the cameras show some snow on the roads, it's nothing that would stop anyone from driving. Wet pavement. I guess I'll revisit it when I'm in Denver for the actual conditions and detours.

    Thanks as well for the tips on routing to the parks. I'm looking forward to it. I've been to Zion and G-Canyon. Both are magnificent. This time my daughter wants to do quite a bit of hiking. SHE is climbing Angels Landing. Notice the emphasis on "SHE". lol.

    Thanks again, I've noted your suggestions. I'm also taking plenty of paper maps!

  6. #6
    RogerRabbit02 Guest

    Default

    I just found this...

    https://weather.com/storms/winter/ne...y-october-2017

    So like you suggested, it's heavily dependent on the weather at the time. Nothing permanent.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,697

    Default Safety concern.

    You don't say how much time you are allowing for the trip but even with good weather you can not drive from St Louis to Denver in a single day safely, it's 850 miles, which is 300 miles more than we would recommend before fatigue becomes an issue.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,509

    Default

    Having traveled down I-70 in both directions many, many times, I concur with Dave: St Louis to Denver is NOT a one-day drive. Break it up into two days with a stop around Hays, KS. That town has loads of motels to choose from.

    BTW, UT-128 is not for the faint-hearted. There are several places along there, where the only thing between your car and a drop-off is a guardrail. I'm not usually bothered by that, but it was quite a sensation when we drove it a few years back. There *are* gorgeous views, but not many places to pull over. You may recognize a lot of the scenes, especially if you are a fan of old western movies. It's not listed in imdb.com, but there's one view that my husband saw where he immediately said, " EIGER SANCTION!" (Clint Eastwood movie). If it wasn't filmed there, they found somewhere that is very close to it in scenery.


    Donna

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,697

    Default A different memory.

    Donna. Are you sure you experienced that on UT128 and perhaps not one of the loop roads off of it ? My memory is very different as I found it to be a pretty relaxed drive albeit twisty in places and that was in a 30ft RV.





    Dave.

  10. #10
    RogerRabbit02 Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    You don't say how much time you are allowing for the trip but even with good weather you can not drive from St Louis to Denver in a single day safely, it's 850 miles, which is 300 miles more than we would recommend before fatigue becomes an issue.
    Yeah, sorry about the lack of details.

    We plan to arrive in the Phoenix area Friday. So we're leaving Michigan Sunday early AM to arrive in St. Louis late Sunday morning or early afternoon. Then leaving St. Louis after some sleep (at relatives home) either around midnight or early in the am (3am or so) toward Denver.

    After arriving in Denver (hotel) Monday we're pretty much playing it by ear and conditions. Arches NP then Zion.

    I've been to Zion before and we may stay longer in that area depending on the hikes my daughter wants to take. FYI: Nope, I will not be accompanying her to the top of Angels Landing (heights, lol). Though the Grand Canyon is on our list, its only a quick drive through visit en route to Phoenix. Depending on the time spent elsewhere it might also be nixed as its close enough to Phoenix, she can visit on weekends.

    We PLAN to arrive at the park gates each day as they open for the day. So it may include some dispersed camping along the way near Arches and Zion.

    So yes, Southwest Dave, fatigue could be a real issue. I plan to take it easy and enjoy the scenery.

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