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  1. Default From DC to San Francisco in a 7-day trip, the best route?

    I am leaving for a solo road trip from Washington DC to San Francisco that will span 7 to 8 days next week.
    While I have done a road trip from Minneapolis to Denver and back to Minneapolis last year, I have never gone on a trip of such a scale.

    Can anyone suggest about the routes to take from Washington DC to San Francisco that can lead to some beautiful scenic routes/places while still can be completed in 7-8 days?

    Currently I am thinking about driving through or pass a few miles around the Great Smoky Mountain NP or the Blue Ridge. But after that, I don't have too much idea as to which routes or cities to take from then on to San Francisco.

    Any suggestions will be appreciated!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default There is No One Best Route

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    OK - I can't argue with starting out by driving down the Appalachians to the Smoky Mountains, so I'm going to assume that you can get yourself to Knoxville. From there you actually have some time for something other than a straight through Interstate shot, since you could make this drive fairly comfortably in 6 days, but have 7. There are, of course, a number of possibilities, but here's one that I think will give you a little variety, and let you see some of the best of the Rockies and Southwest.

    Continue west on I-40 into Oklahoma, but then take the Muskogee Turnpike up to Tulsa where you'll pick up US-412 to I-35 north. At Wichita, KS head west on US-54. You will pass through Greensburg, KS, the town that was destroyed be a tornado last spring. About 10 miles west of there, take US-400 to Dodge City, continuing westward on US-50 to Pueblo, CO. After Pueblo, US-50 will take you through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. At Montrose, CO turn south on US-550, the Million Dollar Highway to Durango. Head west on US-160 past Mesa Verde. Now if you want, you can continue down US-160 and stop at the Four Corners Monument, but I think a better drive is to instead take CO-41 and UT-262/UT-163 northwest to Bluff, UT and then take US-163 down through Monument Valley, rejoining US-160 at Kayenta, AZ. From there US-160, US-89, and AZ-64 will take you through Grand Canyon National Park and put you back on I-40 at Williams. You can then either just continue on I-40 to Barstow, CA or take a detour on US-93 up to Las Vegas, taking I-15 back down to Barstow. From Barstow, CA-58 west will connect you to I-5 which will take you the rest of the way to the Bay area.

    If you take all the detours, you'll have to cover just under 3,400 miles. So 500 mile days will have to be your norm. That's not bad, Your drives to Denver and back are actually not all that much different in scale. If you've done a multi-day RoadTrip before, you've already handled everything that should come up on this trip. This will just be a bit more of an adventure.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 08-24-2007 at 12:48 PM. Reason: Critical Typos

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