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  1. Default Trip IN to Phoenix + Return

    Hello everyone,
    I've been lurking around here for awhile and thought it was about time to register.

    We're planning to go on a roadtrip in the very near future, leaving from Bloomington IN for Scottsdale AZ. We'll be leaving on Wednesday evening and hope to arrive in Scottsdale sometime during the day Saturday. We're visiting some family out there so we'll have accommodations once we arrive.
    At the moment, we have two routes to get out there, so please give your thoughts on them, or a better alternative one.

    IN to AZ #1: i70 to i57 (south around st.louis) down to memphis, i40 memphis -> little rock -> Oklahoma city -> amarillo -> tucumcari -> Albuquerque -> Winslow (AZ) -> Flagstalf, i17 Flagstalf -> Phoenix

    IN to AZ #2: i70 to i44 Bloomington -> St.Louis -> Springfield (MO) -> Tulsa -> Oklahoma City, i40 -> Amarillo -> Tucumcari -> Albuquerque -> Flagstalf, i17 -> Phoenix

    Basically, after Oklahoma city it's the same route. Through the OK, TX, NM, Upper AZ part we'd like to take some small detours on old route 66 and see some of the sights along there.

    On the way back, we'll likely be leaving from San Diego as we'll be there with some family for the last couple days of the trip. We'd be leaving there on Sunday afternoon and hopefully aiming for a late Wednesday/early Thursday arrival at home.

    Our current plan is to head NE from San Diego to Death Valley then up throw West Wendover NV and over to Salt Lake City, then N through Idaho Falls and a drive through Yellowstone, E from there to Rapid City (Rushmore), E to Sioux Falls, SE to Des Moines -> Peoria -> Indianapolis.

    In summary, on the way out we'd visit either St.Louis or Memphis/Little Rock, then head through TX and NM jumping from the interstate to route 66 in places until we hit Flagstalf, then heading for Phoenix.
    On the way back we'd leave San Diego and make a northern loop through Death Valley, Salt Lake, Yellowstone, Rushmore, and then home.

    We're looking at making a day trip of the Las Vegas/GC run from Phoenix one day we're out there, so that's excluded from the trip home because of that.

    Is this too ambitious? What are your thoughts?

    Thanks in advance and I look forward to your responses.

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

    Default a few problems

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    You've got some things that will work, and somethings that are problematic.

    Going out shouldn't be too bad. You're looking at pretty long 3 days on the road, if you go through St. Louis, but its certainly feasable on your timeline. Going down to Memphis adds 150 miles, and will really start to limit your ability to do much more than just drive with the time you have.

    The other aspects of your trip are what concern me.

    First, The Grand Canyon is a pretty long distance to do as a daytrip from Phoenix. Adding in Las Vegas to that simply isn't possible in a day, and very difficult to do even in 2 days. One way, the Grand Canyon is a good 4 hour drive from Phoenix, Vegas is another 5-6 hours beyond that, and then you'd be looking at about 6 more hours to return to Phx from LV.

    But your biggest problem by far is your trip back home. There is zero chance that you could do the trip from San Diego back to Indiana via Death Valley and Yellowstone in 4 days. You're looking at 3000 miles of driving (much of which is on 2 lanes roads), and even with almost no stopping for site seeing, you'd need 6 days. Even driving directly back home (retracing your steps from your westbound leg) you'd need a solid 4 days. If you want to look at doing something different, you might take I-70 across Utah and Colorado, but there's just no point of trying to detour up to Yellowstone unless you've got at least a week for the trip back home.

  3. Default

    Thanks for the reply, Michael.

    I think on our way out there we've settled on the St.Louis route (approx 1800 mi)

    I agree with your thoughts on the route back, and we've changed it a bit.
    I think we're going to still head through Death Valley over to Vegas, and then hit I70 all the way back as you mentioned. (approx 2200 mi). We're now also aiming for an 'anytime' Thursday arrival back home.

    As for the GC, since we're going through Vegas on the way home, I think we'll try to make a day of it.

    Is that a bit more realistic, and do you forsee any other problems with that?

    Thanks in advance.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default better but

    That is an improvement, but you're still really going to be pushing things, and the Grand Canyon is a fairly significant detour for your trip home. As mentioned, its 5-6 hours from Vegas, so its not easy to do both in a day.

    For the Grand Canyon, it would probably make more sense to detour north at Flagstaff before going south to Phoenix. Its going to be tough on your timeline, but that would be the easiest place to fit it into your current plan.

    On your trip back, I'd try to leave early on Sunday, see Death Valley and then spend the night in Las Vegas. That's a long but doable day. That would leave you 4 days to drive about 1900 miles back home, which is a nice pace that will require you to drive most of the day each day, but still leaves you a few hours each day to stop and see some of the parks and other sites along the way.

  5. Default

    We wouldn't be going the GC on the way home, but we'd make a day trip (if we thought we could do it) of it instead. So, we'd leave SD for Death Valley->Vegas->I70 -- Home. Sorry I was a bit unclear in the previous post.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-15-2009 at 08:27 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default if its a priority

    Another option would be to visit the Grand Canyon after Vegas, and then loop around to the north and rejoin I-15 in Utah, or even go through Monument Valley and up to Moab and hit I-70 there. That's going to take away almost all of your extra time even for a quick visit, and you'd be looking at pretty much a speed run back home after that point, but it is something you could consider doing.

    Doing it as a daytrip from Vegas would involve a half day worth of backtracking, so that's certainly not going to work with your schedule.

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