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  1. Default Help with Road Trip from Chicago to San Fransisco in four days

    Hi Roadtrip Experts!!

    We are planning to drive from Chicago to San Fran. The plan is to leave on Friday 2-3am and get to San Fran airport by 10am on Tuesday the following week. I know it's going to be a very demanding and rushing trip, but I still hope that we can get to drive through some scenic routes.

    My current plan is to take the quickest and most direct route, I-80, from Chicago to Denver. Google map shows 16 hours of drive. I'm planning to get to Denver around noon on Saturday. From Denver, I am "hoping" to drive up north to see Grand Teton NP. Then, drive down to Salt Lake City. Then, just take 80 the rest of the way until we hit San Fran.

    Do you guys think it's not possible or way too demanding to make the extra effort to see Teton NP? Can anyone recommend a nice scenic route in the area between denver and SLC? I'm assuming that's the area most worth to check out during my trip.

    Thanks for your help!

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

    Default fantasy land

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    I'm sorry, but your plan right now simply can't be taken seriously.

    First of all, Google and all online mapping programs go based on the simulated world where you never has to stop for fuel or food, and you can drive above the speed limit non-stop for an unlimited amount of time.

    Realistically, Chicago to Denver is a 20 hour trip, but its also 1000 miles which means is the kind of distance that is way too far to be doing without a full night of sleep along the way if you want any hope of continuing. I assure you, most everyone here has done a 1000 mile drive at some point, and no one here recommends it, and anyone who has done it will tell you they're in no shape to continue driving another 2000 miles over the course of the next 3 days.

    That doesn't even include the fact that you want to hit the road at 2am, so you're going to be shortchanging yourself rest from the very beginning, and trying to drive when your body thinks it should be sleeping.

    I'm sorry, but with the plan you've laid out, the only scenic detour you need to be thinking is one to an ER or quite possibly a funeral home. I'm sorry to sound so harsh, but I'd rather you be offended now, than hurt someone else by trying to ignore the limits of the human body.

    The thing is you can make this trip in the time you've got available. You can make the trip, if you go direct, in 4 days, meaning you can leave on Friday and get there Monday night. That will give you time to make some stops and enjoy a few things you pass along the way. But you need to stick to I-80, and forget about adding hundreds of miles to your trip by detouring to Denver or the Tetons.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you want to go through Denver, you *could* take I-70 to Salina UT, then pick up US-50 to I-80 east of Reno. This would only add a couple hours to I-80 all the way. If you do this, suggested overnights would be:

    Kearney NE
    Grand Junction CO
    Ely NV

  4. Default No time

    Lets see.

    Google Chicago to Sanfrancisco. 33 Hours. Add 20% reality time. 40 hours. Add delays due to construction, etc. 45 hours. And, consider the fact that days are shorter now; much of the scenery will be in the dark.

    Add Grand Teton. 7 more hours per Google. And that's assuming everything is perfect. Even so, I'm sure you don't intend to drive and leave. You'll need time to step out and admire the scenery. But you won't have the time.

    And let's see. It's winter. Ummmm.

    I've made 1000 mile drives before, and yes I was tired. But, it was with two drivers and the understanding that we had extra days in our plans so that we did not HAVE to drive this far if circumstances changed. In your case, you are driving toward a deadline. Too many things can go wrong.

    If you have to do it, take the shortest route straight through.

  5. Default

    Hey Michael and others

    Thank you for the super candid opinion. I didn't realize it was such a bad idea. Totally underestimate what it takes to get there. I will now take the most direct route for the trip. I-80 all the way.

    thanks again. Will definitely come back and ask for suggestion for my next roadtrip.


  6. Default

    HEy glc

    How's US-50 comparing to I-80 in term of easiness of road condition. Is there a greater possibility for traffic delay due to road/weather condition if I take your suggested route?


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