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  1. Default Best routes to drive from Nebraska to Los Angeles, CA and trying to avoid mountains

    Hello, I知 planning on moving from Nebraska to Los Angeles in June. I have never driven on mountains before, so will that be apart of my trip? I知 a little afraid of heights and driving on mountains seems so scary. Also, could there possibly be snow anywhere during the trip in that month? I値l also have time, so time won稚 be an issue. In fact, I知 probably going to stretch the trip over three days with no driving at night. So I値l probably spend the night somewhere after the first 11 hours on the first day. And break up the rest of the trip over the next two days. Or I may just stick to the trip being over two full days. I致e driven 11 hours straight about four times in my life so that won稚 be an issue. All in all, my main concerns are driving through mountains, no matter how high they are.
    Thanks!
    Last edited by Aw2536; 01-01-2020 at 01:13 PM. Reason: Forgot to add something

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
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    11,452

    Default

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You don't say from where in Nebraska you are setting out from but wherever it is you will need the minimum of 2 overnight stops. If your goal is getting from A to B as quickly as possible then staying on Interstates will mean you should have nothing to worry about with regards to having a fear of heights. They are designed with gradual grades and curves for the biggest of rigs and will generally have crash barriers and shoulders where necessary. 1-70 (a very scenic Interstate) to I-15 or heading to I-40/15 will likely be your 2 quickest and easiest routes depending on where exactly that start point is.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
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    9,879

    Default 'Heights'

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    I understand having a fear of heights, but consider this: Are you afraid of heights as you drive around Nebraska? Well, most of it is about 2,000 feet above sea level. That's pretty high, almost half a mile. But what most people mean by 'fear of heights' is looking down into an abyss. But Interstates through the mountains are generally built in the bottom of valleys because they are required to be as flat as possible (less than a 6% grade) and as straight as possible (no tight curves that would require a big rig to slow down). They are the safest roads in America on an accident per mile-driven basis.

    I would, then, suggest the shortest all-Interstate route that connects wherever-you-are in Nebraska to Los Angeles. That would, for almost all of Nebraska, I-80 to west of Ogallala, then I-76 to Denver, I-70 through the Rocky Mountains to I-15 in Utah and just follow that the rest of the way to Los Angeles. That can be driven in three relatively easy, but workmanlike, days. Overnight stops would depend on where, exactly, in Nebraska you're starting from. I chose Grand Island for purposes of seeing what your trip might look like.

    On the other hand, if you really want to avoid mountains at all costs, then should head as directly as you can for Trinidad CO using US highways such as US-287/US-50/US-350. From Trinidad, I-25 south to Albuquerque NM, I-40 west to Barstow CA, and finally I-15 again down into the Los Angeles Basin would be in order. This will mean a longer trip on slower roads, so you might need a third overnight stop, again depending on where you're starting from. But even with this route, you will see mountains and you will gain significant elevation; Flagstaff AZ is higher than Denver.

    BUT... there is simply no way you can make this trip, from anywhere in Nebraska to Los Angeles in two days. Even driving 11 hours over each of those two days would only net you about 1,200 miles, and you've got farther than that to travel. I would also note that driving for 11 hours in a day would be against the law if you were a professional long-haul driver, because it is so dangerous, due to fatigue decreasing your alertness and increasing your reaction time. You'd be taking on a known unsafe practice and we cannot recommend that.

    AZBuck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
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    9,842

    Default

    Could you please be a bit more specific where in Nebraska?

  5. Default

    Thanks! So I値l be traveling from Omaha.

  6. Default

    I値l be coming from Omaha. So should I drive about 8 hours a day then? Which will make a three day trip? The total drive time says it should be 24 hours including travel. I値l give an extra 2 hours in case if heavy traffic or something. When I say heights, I mean driving on actual mountain interstate. I just thought for some reason that the interstate would be around the physical mountains in Colorado or Utah. I have never been to Colorado or Utah but I致e heard there are a lot of mountains there. Here痴 a link of what I知 referring to
    as far as interstates around a mountain or even higher.
    https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=...SMjj9gMvAS6oPM

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Tucson, AZ
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    Default Everything Holds

    Everything that Dave and I told you previously still holds. I-70 through the mountains is still your best route. I-40 is an only slightly longer route. Neither of them can be driven in two days. At 1550 to 1670 this is a three day drive absolute minimum.

    AZBuck


  8. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Default If...

    ...those are the kind of scenes that cause you concern then I would strongly suggest that you make yourself comfortable and take the 'southern' route I mentioned earlier: I-70 to Elm Creek (west of Kearney) NE, then take US-183 south to NE-383 southwest. This will occasionally duplex with (be co-signed as) other highways, but just stay with NE-383 until it joins US-83 south. Next take US-40 west to US-287 south to US-50 west to US-350 southwest to Trinidad CO and follow the routing given in my initial response.

    Now I know that the above directions sound complicated, but they're really not. If you get a detailed paper map or atlas of the US, you should be able to mark it out relatively easily. If you use GPS while driving, look at the route on an on-line mapping program and pick out about 7-10 cities along the way and enter those into your GPS as way points and just drive from one to the next. If you're pretty good at mapping and navigating, there are a few obvious shortcuts - I did try to keep it as simple as possible!

    But such a routing can be driven in three relatively solid days. Your two overnight stops would be roughly La Junta CO and Holbrook AZ. Most importantly, it would keep you away from anything resembling the images that are causing you concern.

    AZBuck

  9. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
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    5,355

    Default

    I am going to concur with the suggestion to take I-80 west to I-76 to I-70 to I-15. That first photo you linked is actually one of our favorite places to drive along I-70, I recognized it right away as being the drive through Glenwood Canyon. You are on a very safe piece of interstate there and when you go along further, you will realize how gorgeous and safe it really is. Interstates were built for high speeds.

    I think you're fearing something like in the Lucille Ball/Desi Arnaz movie, "The Long Long Trailer." On 80/76/70/15, there is NOTHING like that. Your second photo, I believe, comes from I-84. You aren't going to need to go anywhere near that one, but it's still built to interstate standards which are really, really fussy and finicky -- for good reason.

    I also agree....three days for this 1550 mile route. Don't believe any electronic mapping program for their driving time, because they assume you'll be driving the speed limit the whole way and that you aren't ever going to stop for bathroom, gasoline, a stretch break, food, to walk the dog, and that there isn't any construction or any accidents to hold you up.

    My husband and I always plan to average 50-55 mph, and if we do better than that, great! So dividing that 1550 miles into 3, that means 515+ miles per day which will be around 9-10 hours. That's like a work day, so don't plan much more than that.

    Donna

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