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  1. Default San Francisco to Kansas City Mo

    Hi folks,

    My name is Jan and I live in Europe.

    I will be in San Francisco second week of February and have 6 days extra to spend.
    I would like to visit some friends in Kansas City Mo. and am thinking of driving there from SF.
    At the moment I am having difficulty planning a good route there which would offer me a chance to see the most scenic trip.

    I am hoping that there are some experienced roadtrippers here who will be able to advice me of whether or not it would be a good idea to drive there
    or not. Time wise / road conditions etc

    But of course, what would be the best route to take so I am not just on a 4 lane high way all day. Because then I might as well fly there. :-)

    Any suggestions from you would be greatly appreciated! ;-)

    Thanks in advance for your replies.

    Best regards,
    Jan

  2. Default

    I found this in another thread:

    "You've almost got to stick to one of two main routes: I-80 through northern Nevada, Colorado and Nebraska to I-29 down into Kansas City OR I-5 down the Central Valley of California, CA-58 across to Barstow, then I-40 across northern Arizona and New Mexico, US-54 cutting up through the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles to I-335/I-35 into the KC area. Each of those routes has some major sites such as Lake Tahoe, Great Salt Lake and Salt Lake City, and the Platte River/Oregon Trail on the 'northern' I-80 route, and London Bridge, the Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, and Old West cattle towns such as Dodge City on the 'southern' I-5/I-40 route. "

    I guess the northern route might be more scenic, but I am wondering about the weather conditions in early February and possible road closures?

    I would like to stay in budget motels on the way as long as they have a clean room to sleep in in a safe area.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,264

    Default Those 6 days ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Your plans are not 100% clear to me as we are only seeing part of the picture. Are you planning to drive from SF to Kansas over a 6 day period, or does it include the time you wish to spend at your friends and hopefully it doesn't include driving back to SF ?? If the weather is kind you really need to plan on 3 overnight stops and 4 days of travel to include a small amount of time to stop along the way, if the weather is unsettled you may have to build in an extra day. Unfortunately there is just no knowing what the weather might do at the exact time you travel until much nearer the time of departure. If you have 6 days to travel then you could look at US50/I-70 as a scenic option, but if you are planning a round trip then the only way to spend time with your friends would be to fly.

  4. Default

    Hi there dave,

    The 6 days of driving time give me about two days with my friends. So if I can do it in 5 days, that would be great. :-)

    No it would be the one way drive and would get a flight back from Kansas City.

    I realize that the weather will always be an unpredictable factor, just trying to build in as much of a realistic picture as possible.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,264

    Default

    I would keep doing your research along with a decent map and see what appeals to you and start laying out a basic route. Then have a plan 'B' and even a plan 'C'. Once you have decided on a basic route and a couple of stops we can help to fill in the blanks and offer some 'tweaks'. As I mentioned, I-70 through Utah and Colorado is one of the most scenic Interstates out there, but it does go through the Rockies and is subject to winter storms.

  6. Default

    Have you figured out how the cost of a rental driving one way with a drop charge plus the cost of a one way air ticket equates to a round trip airfare? Miss a lot of nice scenery but if the weather is iffy, may not be the easiest drive.

  7. Default

    I understand what you are saying, but I know that flying will be cheaper by far. It is just that I feel it would be a slight wast of opportunity if I do that and miss all the beauty below so to say. :-)

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    I would keep doing your research along with a decent map and see what appeals to you and start laying out a basic route. Then have a plan 'B' and even a plan 'C'. Once you have decided on a basic route and a couple of stops we can help to fill in the blanks and offer some 'tweaks'. As I mentioned, I-70 through Utah and Colorado is one of the most scenic Interstates out there, but it does go through the Rockies and is subject to winter storms.
    Yes I agree, my plan A was indeed the I-70 So basically San Francisco - Las Vegas - St George - Denver - Colorado Springs - I-70 towards Kansas City

    Never been through Death Valley in "winter time".

    Plan B: San Francisco - I40 - Flagstaff - Wichita - Kansas City.

    Not sure which would provide the most scenic route?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,737

    Default Five to Six Days of Scenery

    I'd like to offer you an alternative to both Plans 'A' and 'B' as well as "stick[ing] to one of two main routes". There are always alternatives, especially since you have six full days to make the journey from San Francisco to Kansas City and don't want to do it "just on a 4 lane highway all day". So pull out your maps and follow along...

    From San Francisco take I-5 south through the Central Valley to CA-58 east through Bakersfield to Barstow and I-15 north through Las Vegas to St. George UT. This will be the bulk of your four-lane autoroute driving; it will let you get a good start on your drive; and since this is a flat, mostly colorless, and basically desert portion of your trip, just put down some miles at the start. I will just note that you will be passing north of Edwards Air Force Base where some of the US Air Force's most modern planes get tested.

    Next up are some of the southern Utah national parks. From just north of St. George take UT-9 east to Springdale and a stop at Zion National Park and then continue to Mount Carmel Junction and US-89 north. You can take a short side trip via UT-12 east to Bryce Canyon National Park before returning to US-89 north to I-70 east over the San Rafael Swell to Grand Junction and the Colorado National Monument.

    Next up, take US-50 through the Rockies and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and another possible side trip to Great Sand Dunes National Park on your way to Colorado Springs. From here to Kansas City, you'll be on the High Plains and again scenery will be at a premium. I-70 and/or US-40 offer the straightest shot, but if you want off the autoroutes for this portion, consider US-36 between Denver and St Joseph MO or the more direct CO-94/US-284/US-40/US-83(north)/US-24 between Colorado Springs and Kansas City. Typically, these will be two lane roads with fairly high speed limits through ranching and farming country with the occasional drive through small towns to give you a feel for the countryside that you'd miss on the Interstates.

    All of the above could be driven fairly comfortably in four days of solid driving, leaving you a couple of days to spend exploring the parks and scenic areas along the way.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 01-28-2019 at 08:46 PM.

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