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  1. Default San Francisco to Chicago road trip

    We are planning a road trip from San Francisco to Chicago this June. I would like to get some feedback on our tentative itinerary:

    Day 1: San Francisco to Reno (4 hrs) - 80 E
    Day 2: Reno to Salt Lake City (8 hrs) - 80 E
    Day 3: Salt Lake City to Yellowstone National Park (5-6 hrs)
    Day 4: Yellowstone National Park
    Day 5: Yellowstone National Park
    Day 6: Yellowstone National Park to Rapid City, South Dakota (8 hrs) - 90 E
    Day 7: Rapid City to Rochester, Minnesota (8 hrs) - 90 E
    Day 8: Rochester to Chicago (6-7 hrs)

    We have never undertaken such a long road trip before. So I would like to get opinions on whether the trip plan is practical. Also if anyone has any information they could share on the cities on the way and places to stay, I would really appreciate it.

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

    Default trimming

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I'd say your plan is basically fine, but there are some changes I would recommend.

    First, unless you've got a real compelling reason to stop in Reno, I'd try to make it to Yellowstone in 2 days. Stoping for the night in Elko, NV would be about halfway, and would require about 8 hours on the road for each day. You can also save about 100 miles by cutting up US-93 to Twin Falls ID, instead of going all the way out to Salt Lake City.

    There is also a ton of things to see in the Rapid City area, between the badlands and the black hills, I'd try to spend a full day here so you can see at least a little bit of it. Trying to make it to Rochester is also a bit aggressive, although certainly not impossible. You might find Albert Lea to be a little better choice, which actually will have more motel choices right near the interstate (Rochester requires a 5-10 mile detour from I90).

  3. Default Thanks !

    Thank you for your suggestions. That was helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Travel Times

    It looks like you're getting them from a mapping program? These are always overly optimistic and don't account for congestion, stops for fuel, food, etc., and stops for sightseeing. You will rarely, if ever, make those time-frames. When you do, it will usually just be on shorter legs where you haven't had to stop for refills, bathrooms breaks, etc. and when you haven't done any sightseeing. But don't push yourself like that. Enjoy the drive.

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