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  1. Default Sacramento, CA to Washington DC

    My wife and I are planning to drive from Sac to DC in September 2006. Our goal is to drive to DC as fast as we can so we can spend most of our vacation driving around the east coast (we want to see DC, Philly, NYC, and Boston). We were hoping we could get to DC within 5 days, is that reasonable? We know we can get to Salt Lake City in one day, but after that we're not sure of the best route to take. If anyone could provide us with a recommended route from Utah to DC, we would appreciate it. Also, based on our driving schedule, what cities does that put us in each night? Again, we don't really care what we see or don't see along the way.

    I did a seach on this site and found a lot of good info for cross-country traveling, but nothing that fit our specific scenario, which is why I starting this new thread. You don't know how excited I am that I found this site!!!

    Thanks,

    Riley

  2. #2
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    Default Doable in three days...

    Quote Originally Posted by Riley
    Our goal is to drive to DC as fast as we can so we can spend most of our vacation driving around the east coast (we want to see DC, Philly, NYC, and Boston).
    Welcome to the Forum! You can actually make this drive in three days, but I don't recommend it. Five days is much more reasonable. If you are going for speed, just stay on I-80 all the way across the country until you reach I-76 and then cut south into DC.
    I did a seach on this site and found a lot of good info for cross-country traveling, but nothing that fit our specific scenario, which is why I starting this new thread. You don't know how excited I am that I found this site!!!
    Well, with nearly a year to get ready, you should be in great shape for this road trip adventure next year!

    Mark

  3. Default Sacramento, CA to Washington DC

    I know September is a long way off, but I'm excited about my cross-country trip.

    The first leg of my trip will be Sacramento, CA to Salt Lake. Can anyone tell me the fastest route from SLC to Denver, assuming nice weather?

    Thanks

  4. #4
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    Default You have to stop!

    Quote Originally Posted by Riley
    Can anyone tell me the fastest route from SLC to Denver, assuming nice weather?
    The fastest route is I-15 to I-70 and would be 535 miles. If you never stopped and cruised at or near the posted speed limit you could cover the distance in about eight hours. But why are you going to detour to Denver. I thought your intention was to make Washington DC by the fastest possible route? If so, you would be staying on I-80 and heading more or less due east through Wyoming and missing all of Colorado. Or has there been a change of plans?

    If you are going to follow I-70, you should plan to take your time and enjoy the views -- I really doubt you will able to cover this distance between SLC and Denver in less than 10 hours.

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor
    I thought your intention was to make Washington DC by the fastest possible route? If so, you would be staying on I-80 and heading more or less due east through Wyoming and missing all of Colorado. Or has there been a change of plans?
    Yeah, I want to stop in St. Louis, so we plan on getting on I-70.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 12-08-2005 at 09:59 AM. Reason: format

  6. #6
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    Default St. Louis and Denver

    Quote Originally Posted by Riley
    Yeah, I want to stop in St. Louis, so we plan on getting on I-70.
    OK, my personal choice for scenery will always be I-70, but again if you are seeking the fastest route across the country, I-70 across the Rockies and through the Denver metroplex is not the faster route. From SLC if you stay on I-80 you will go, more or less, due east through southern Wyoming and central Nebraska and then turn south at Omaha on I-29, transition to I-70 at Kansas City and then due east on I-70 to St. Louis. If you have the time to enjoy the views along I-70, go for it, but that diversion will easily add 4-6 hours to your trip.

    Mark

  7. Default Didn't even consider another route

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor
    I-70 across the Rockies and through the Denver metroplex is not the faster route. From SLC if you stay on I-80 you will go, more or less, due east through southern Wyoming and central Nebraska and then turn south at Omaha on I-29, transition to I-70 at Kansas City and then due east on I-70 to St. Louis. If you have the time to enjoy the views along I-70, go for it, but that diversion will easily add 4-6 hours to your trip.

    Mark
    For some reason, I didn't even think about getting onto I-70 farther east. We've been to Denver, so no need to just drive through again.

    What's a good city to stop in Nebraska? Is SLC to Lincoln reasonable. I want to be able to get into St. Louis earlier enough that next day to see some sights, so I would like to try to make the leg from SLC to somwhere in Nebraska (or maybe even northern MO) eat-up more than half of the mileage b/t SLC and SL.

    Also, you said the diversion will add 4-6 hours; is that the diversion from SLC through Denver, or the any diversion to get to I-70?

    Thanks!

  8. #8
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    Default Combination of the passes and Denver traffic

    Quote Originally Posted by Riley
    Also, you said the diversion will add 4-6 hours; is that the diversion from SLC through Denver, or the any diversion to get to I-70?
    It is a best guess about the time required to slow down over the passes and going through the Denver metroplex (traffic). The additional time would be for the route from I-15 south from Denver and then east on I-70.

    If you have time and want a scenic short-cut drive from SLC to I-70 I would head east on US-6 at Spanish Forks (just south of Provo, UT) and go through Price and then down to I-70. This is the "locals" short-cut and will save considerable time. The downside is that you will miss one of the most beautiful sections of Interstate highway to be found in any of the 48 states. I-70 between I-15 and Green River is that awesome stretch of road.

    If you wanted to see that section and still enjoy a short-cut from SLC -- I would head south at Nephi on SR-28 (again another gorgeous drive) and hook-up with I-70 at Salina.
    What's a good city to stop in Nebraska? Is SLC to Lincoln reasonable. I want to be able to get into St. Louis earlier enough that next day to see some sights, so I would like to try to make the leg from SLC to somwhere in Nebraska (or maybe even northern MO) eat-up more than half of the mileage b/t SLC and SL.
    Lincoln is a nice city and a reasonable drive if you stay on I-80 (instead of the I-70 routes mentioned above). But I think you haven't really thought about how far apart these cities are. By the shortest possible route, it is still 450 miles from Lincoln to St. Louis and the fastest reasonable time you could cover this distance is 7.5 hours, which would mean that if you wanted to reach St. Louis ("early the next day") you would have to be on the road by at least 2:00 am.

  9. Default What's the speed limit???

    By the shortest possible route, it is still 450 miles from Lincoln to St. Louis and the fastest reasonable time you could cover this distance is 7.5 hours
    So I guess we can't get away with driving 75 mph through Nebraska like we can in California and Nevada? Or are there other reasons why it would take so long to drive 450 miles? Even mapquest says it less than 7 hours.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 12-09-2005 at 06:43 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default I was assuming you were going that fast...

    Quote Originally Posted by Riley
    So I guess we can't get away with driving 75 mph through Nebraska like we can in California and Nevada? Or are there other reasons why it would take so long to drive 450 miles? Even mapquest says it less than 7 hours.
    While it is true that you for most of the route you can drive at approximately 75 mph, functionally for most people the highest average speed you can maintain is about 58 mph over a 6-7 hour period. In order to obtain an average speed of 75 mph, unless you have either a police escort or you never ever slow down for traffic, road hazards, coffee breaks, stretches, etc. you would need to attain triple digit speeds for most of the drive. I have driven hundreds of thousands of miles over the years on various road trips and using a cruising speed in excess of 70 mph, my average speed (on the road) is nearly always 58 mph...

    Mark

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