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  1. Default Sacramento to Chicago

    I recently read some advice here to another traveler heading from San Fran to Chicago. I, too was debating the I-80 route versus the us-50/ I-70 route. I am moving back to Indianapolis (3 friends with two sedans), and decided to make it a 7-8 day excursion. I was wondering if taking the US-50/I-70 route would take a lot longer than the I-80, one or a few hours? I will most likely be leaving on Tuesday September 11 and ending in Indianapolis September 18.

    I believe that we would be going through a more rugged trip through the mountains, but the scenary looks/sounds beautiful.

    I heard wonderful things about the NP arches and thought the US-50/I-70
    would also be better route to take since Denver, CO would be our next stop.
    After Denver we'd have to head to the I-80 to get to Lincoln, NE where a
    good friend lives, then to Chicago (just to visit) and then home to
    Indianapolis!!! Let me know what you think about the I-80 vs. US-50/I-70,
    as far as the time and scenic opportunities are worth it!! Thank you so
    much for your time and patience!!! Hope to hear from you soon.

    Rookie Road tripper
    Last edited by niders11; 07-30-2007 at 05:20 PM.

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

    Default You've got the time

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    I think taking the US-50/I-70 option will add several hours, up to maybe a day of extra travel time. But since you are working with 7-8 days to make the trip from SF to Indy, you should have plenty of time for this nice detour.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default Just for fun...

    ...I did a comparison on Google Maps (I've been curious about this myself).

    The "scenic route" Hwy 50 to I-70 to I-76 to I-80 to I-74 route is 2,312 miles and 36 hours.

    The more direct route of I-80 to I-74 is 2,188 miles and 31 hours.

    As you can see, that is only a 5 hour difference, and the difference in the drive is worth it, in my humble opinion.

    By taking Hwy 50 out of Sacto (we central Californians know this abreviation) to South Lake Tahoe and out across Nevada you avoid the Interstate until you get to Utah. As you'll see on the map, there aren't a lot of overnight places along that stretch, but Ely, Nevada is good sized town and is about 9 hours, plus stops. The next closer town is the quaint little village of Eureka, NV, which is 80 miles west of Ely. claims there is a Best Western there so that might be a possibility.

    Your overall driving time may not be exactly the 36 hours that Google predicts, but still by driving aan average of just 8 hours per day you'll have time for scenic stops, lolly-gaging, and whatever else you want to throw in, almost.

    Enjoy the ride,

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    The Great Midwest, Illinois to be precise

    Default Take the Lincoln if You Have the Time

    Nearby Lincoln, is Omaha. You can pick up the old Lincoln Highway, the nation's first coast-to-coast highway, dating back to 1913,

    If you have the time, you can take it most of the way to Chicago and see some old Americana.

    Also, I-70 from Utah to Denver is one of the most beautiful roads I've ever driven.

    Keep on Down that Two Lane Highway. --RoadDog
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-04-2007 at 10:40 AM. Reason: Links to Lincoln Hwy Guidebook & RTA's article about I-70

  5. Default thanks

    thanks for your ideas everyone. i actually was looking for a good stop between sacto and the arches, i'm gonna look up Ely and the other town that was suggested...thanks for the advice everyone. I'll continue to look for more advice. I'm not leaving till Sept. 10!! Time to search for a damn good road trip!!


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Old Hotel Nevada in Ely!

    Quote Originally Posted by niders11 View Post
    i actually was looking for a good stop between sacto and the arches,
    Yeah, if you decide to travel US-50 across Nevada -- then Ely is the logical stopping spot. The Hotel Nevada is really worth a look -- and I still think the Jail House Cafe has one of the best filets in the west... Alternatively, Richfield, Utah has some OK places -- I have stayed there a couple of times, but that would be a very long day -- Sacramento to Richfield is 700 miles and that might be a little too much for your first day!

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-05-2007 at 02:58 PM. Reason: typo

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