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  1. Default SFO to Chicago via I-90

    My family and I (2 adults 2 kids 13 and 9) are planning to drive from SFO to Chicago via I 90. We are planning to leave by early June. We would like to be on the road for about 4 - 5 nights (maximum 6). (We are not considering going via 70 or 80).

    Some specific questions would be:
    1. What are things we can see on the way besides Mount Rushmore, Minneapolis and Salt Lake City.. (we are considering going further north to yellowstone.. but dont know how much of a detour that is going to be).

    2. Reasonably how many days is this trip going to last.. Has anyone done it and have any interesting ideas and suggestions enroute.

    3. Hotels.. Should we book in advance or just drive as far as we can everyday and find a hotel in the evening.

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

    Default Looking at a map

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I'm sorry but I'm a little puzzled by your proposed route. You're talking about taking I-90, but out of the places you've listed (San Francisco, SLC, Rushmore, Minneapolis), only Mount Rushmore is on I-90. You also say you are not going to take I-80, yet that's certainly to most straightforward route between SF and SLC.

    You could certainly hit all of those place, and potentially add-in Yellowstone, but right now, I'm just not sure where you're planning to go at this point.

  3. Default SFO to Chicago

    thanks for the quick reply. Yes it does sound confusing. We are actually leaving from SFO. We live there and need to go to chicago (one way trip only). We have been to grand canyon, denver, kansas, st. louis and did not want to go that route.

    Some one mentioned to me that I 80 is very boring to drive with not much to see on the way.. long lonely stretches.. Hence we thought we could go up to 90. But depending on time, i guess i should not rule it out completely

    From SFO we thought we would go up via salt lake city (which we have not seen) on I 80 to, then go further north to yellowstone and then head east on i 90 adn see MT R and maybe even Minneapolis.

    So I am actually looking for some suggestions on what would be the better route. We dont want to stay more than 4 -5 nights on the road.. maximum.. so that gives us about 5-6 full driving days..

    Both of us would drive..

    Thanks for welcoming me to the forum..

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default A Slightly Roundabout Option

    The most direst route is pretty much I-80 and it would be a bit over 2,100 miles to Chicago. But with 6 days (5 nights) I think you could add just a few hundred miles and get a quite intriguing drive. Start out on I-80, taking a short time out to see Lake Tahoe be3fore heading out across northern Nevada which will have long stretches where the scenery doesn't change much. From Wells head north on US-93 into Idaho and then use I-84/I-15/US-20 to Yellowstone. Leave Yellowstone on US-212 to connect with I-90 for a stop at the Little Bighorn. Make a short detour before leaving Wyoming (again) on US-14/WY-24 to see Devils Tower. Then continue east to Mt. Rushmore and the Badlands. Some other possible stops between there and Chicago include the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD and the Circus World Museum in Baraboo, WI.

    Go ahead and map that out and see if you don't think it would appeal to your family. If you take 6 days for the journey, you'd 'only' have to cover 400 miles a day which would leave at least some time for getting out of the car and taking short hikes around the various places you'll be visiting. And yeah, I think I'd try to work out a workable schedule and book ahead so that you're not wasting precious vacation time on trying to find a bed each night.


  5. Default sfo to chicago via I 90

    sorry for the delay in replying. Well I have a final plan. let me know your thoughts..
    June 8th Leave SFO early morning.. halt at Sacramento for a couple of hours and then go till Wells, NV Halt for the night (590 miles)(we have been to Reno and Tahoe).

    June 9th Wells to Yellowstone west gate (427 miles)
    June 10th - all day at yellowstone.. drive over to the west gate for the night or evn go on to Cody maybe

    June 11th Yellowstone / Cody to Rapid City / Mt Rushmore (500 miles)
    Mt. Rushmore to Minneapolis (632 miles) (Longest stretch.. but we are reaching a friend's house at night)
    June 12th Minneapolis to Chicago (400 miles)

    So basically this is the plan. I need to make hotel reservations in each of these places. Our big must see's are Yellowstone and Mt Rushmore. The other places you mentioned Sitting Bull, Devils Tower.. we'll try to spend a little time..

    What do you think.. Can you tweak the plan a bit to make it more efficient.

    thanks for all your help.

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