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  1. Default What's the best route - I70 or I80 - traveling from OHIO to UTAH?

    Hello All -

    I am finally packing up and getting out of Cincinnati, Ohio after living here all my life; and I'm moving to Park City, Utah. Talk about a dream come true! I'm making the road trip across country and have been researching the best route to take and I just can't find what I'm looking for; so I'm reaching out to y'all for some help/advice.

    Here's what's going on... So the mother hen and I are making this road trip together. How precious, I know :) Luckily, she's a pretty cool cat. Anywho, we are departing on a Wednesday morning and are hoping to arrive early/mid afternoon Friday. According to MapQuest, the estimated drive time from Cincinnati to Park City is 24 hours, and that's taking I80. However, the mother and I would like to make the most of this experience - ie, scenic routes, cool/historic places to stop and see, etc. Therefore, I'm thinking I70 might be the best way to go, even though the drive will be longer?...

    So here's where I could use some help...

    - Any recommendations on which route is better for a "cooler," more unique road trip experience?
    - Does anyone know what the time difference is driving 80 vs. 70 from Cincinnati to Park City, UT?
    - Any recommendations on places to stop and see along the way? (I entered my route in map wizard, but it always takes me I80)
    - Any other recommendations/thoughts/tips/suggestions/etc.?

    Thanks so much for looking. I greatly appreciate any help/advice you can provide!


    Mod note] Please keep all questions in one thread.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 06-08-2011 at 10:46 AM. Reason: Merged threads.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default So many choices!

    Quote Originally Posted by anelehlind View Post
    I am finally packing up and getting out of Cincinnati, Ohio
    The lead programmer for the mapping program, Michael Dickman's home town is Cincinnati. Park City will be quite a change for you!
    - Any recommendations on places to stop and see along the way? (I entered my route in map wizard, but it always takes me I80)
    The Map Wizard was created for quick looks. But with the Map Center, you can map a route between any two places (with lots of intervening points) anywhere in North America. So a route between Cincinnati and Park City could be structured to run through Fairbanks, Alaska as easily as one through Manhattan, Kansas (on I-70). Here's a tutorial you can use to learn how to use the program.
    Therefore, I'm thinking I70 might be the best way to go, even though the drive will be longer?...
    I-70 is probably more scenic, but your travel time is EXTREMELY UNREALISTIC. If you're leaving on Wednesday and wish to be in your new home on Friday, you'd need to drive at least 550 miles per day and stopping only for fuel, food and place to stay at night that means that you'll be on the road for most of 8-9 hours each day. You won't have any time for sightseeing off the highway. Can you take more time?


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO



    My mapping program shows that it's 1634 miles, and that's a FULL 3 days drive via I-74/I-80. In order to do that in 24 hours, you would have to AVERAGE 68 mph. This is totally unrealistic - computers never have to stop for anything and are never delayed by any kind of traffic or construction.

    If you want to do anything more than just drive on Interstates and sightsee only through the windshield, you need to add more time.

    Between Cincy and either Denver or Cheyenne, there is absolutely nothing that would make I-70 any more interesting than I-80. However, from Denver west along a few different routes, the drive is a lot more enjoyable, and I wouldn't do it without at least a 4th day to play with.

    It's quite reasonable to spend the first night near either Des Moines or Kansas City, and the second night near either Denver or Cheyenne.

    What I'd personally do is take a 4th day and do some serious sightseeing in Colorado. Take either I-74 to Indy to I-70, or I-71 to Louisville, then I-64 to I-70 - to US-24 to Colorado Springs. Attractions there are the Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak. Then head up I-24 to Loveland and take US-34 through Rocky Mountain National Park to Granby, then US-40 to Steamboat Springs - a very nice place to spend the night.

  4. Default

    Hi, Mark! Thanks for checking out my post. And yes, technically we don't have a specific time frame of when we need to arrive, which is why I was curious as to how much longer it would take if we went 70.

    So I'll take a look at the link to the tutorial you posted and see what I can come up with.

    Have any other suggestions?

    Thanks again... greatly appreciated :)

  5. Default

    Hello, glc - road trip guru and enthusiast. :)

    OK, so what you just posted is extremely helpful and I appreciate you taking the time to respond. I'm definitely going to take a look at your recommended route to see what I can come up with.

    If you think of anything else, do share!

    Thanks again.

  6. #6

    Default Wow, are you gonna love Park City

    I have the great good fortune to spend a week to 10 days in PC each winter, and it's a regular daydream of mine for that part of Utah to be my primary home. Winters are a bit tough, but nothing a Cincy kid can't handle.

    I second glc's suggestion about Colorado Springs via I-70, but I think he meant I-25 to Loveland before picking up the Trail Ridge Rd (US 34) through RMNP to Granby. Be aware that US 40 from Granby to Park City goes through Hot Sulphur Springs and Steamboat Springs, and that each location offers public natural hot springs soaks for a modest fee. One very popular stop is Strawberry Park HS about 10 miles out US 40 from the town of Steamboat. A coldwater creek runs alongside the HS pools providing you with an opportunity for a quick (COLD!) dip in between hot pools. Taking that route also brings you directly through Dinosaur NM (NP?) near the CO-UT line.

    Have a fun and safe trip, and yes, around 550-600 miles/day is all that's recommended. I drive pretty hard sometimes, and it's darn tough, and not particularly safe, to try to go farther, as either speeds must be increased or hours behind the wheel stretched, or both.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Central Missouri


    We absolutely love I-70 west of Denver through Aspen, Vail, and Glenwood Springs. You won't do 65 through there, though - the traffic gets too heavy and you'll definitely want to stop.

    If it were me, I'd head south in Ohio to catch I-70, and go there to Denver. At Denver, I'd go north for a trip into Rocky Mountain NP. Then one could either come back down through Denver, or head south on 34 and 40 back down to I-70, which brings you onto 70 at Empire. Then you can head west through Dillon, Vail, and into Glenwood Canyon. There are more mineral hot springs there, too, as well as a lovely hiking trail.

    From there you can go into Utah and stop at Arches, which is just south of I-70 near Moab. But a few miles west, you can pick up US 6/191 through Price and Helper, and catch I-15 at Provo, OR stay on US 191 up to US 40 and go into Park City from there. (A friend of mine loves that route. She lives in Park City as well.)

    Staying on the Interstates will be fast, and some parts (Colorado and Utah) are even scenic. You CAN make the trip in 3 very long days if you try. (We regularly go from our home near San Diego to central Missouri, 1800 miles, in 3 very long days.) But if you want to really SEE something, take more time.


  8. Default

    Hi Donna and Foy -

    I can't thank you enough for the recommendations - and for making my road trip planning a lot easier. You guys have been a great help and I can't wait to be on the open road, heading to the next adventure in my life.

    If anything else pops up, keep the threads a-comin'

    And I'll be sure to post our final decided route and the cool adventures we had along the way.

    God Bless.


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