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  1. Default Direct Road Trip from San Diego to Colorado Springs w/ 1 overnight

    66yo female driving alone, leaving SD EARLY 1/27/2021. In light of weather and road conditions, would you suggest I-40 or I-10/40 to overnight in Gallup, NM (9-10 hrs)? Hope to be settled in hotel by dusk. Then the next day the ~7 hrs to Co Spgs.

    Google Maps and Mapquest are pushing the northern route through LV, Utah, to Denver and south, OR I-8 to Phoenix north to Flagstaff. Is I-40 not advisable?
    Last edited by dtspoway; 01-18-2021 at 11:35 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Tucson, AZ
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    10,044

    Default Tbd

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The two possible routes you noted are roughly equal in both length and driving time. The decision on which one to use should be made so as to address your other concerns: weather and road conditions. With a little over a week before your departure, you simply can't know the conditions you'd encounter along either route, and you won't know until just a couple of days before you hit the road. So at this point just wait. You're not going to have time for any serious sight seeing and you're only going to need one overnight, so no big deals there either. If you go I-15/I-40/I-25 then a reasonable overnight target might be Salina UT. For the I-8/I-10/***/I-40/I-25 route, Holbrook AZ would be a good goal. In general, you'd like to do a bit more than half of the drive on the first day when you're fresh and keeping in mind that you'll lose an hour to the time zone change at some point on your drive. So aim for a moderately sized city close to, or a little over, half way on each route as suggested; have a look at your lodging options; and then wait to see the weather forecast on or about the 25th. One more thing worth noting: the route through Arizona and New Mexico includes sections of two-lane US and state highways (the *** in the route listing) through steep twisting canyons in northeast Arizona. If there is any snow forecast for that route on your days of travel, take the Utah option.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 01-18-2021 at 02:23 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    Green County, Wisconsin
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    In addition to Buck's advice, I think there's a couple things you should also keep in mind.

    One is about the travel time estimates of online mapping programs. You mentioned aiming for Gallup and that would be 9-10 hours, and while that is what such programs might say, that's just not accurate in the real world. That trip is 630 miles, a pretty significant section of which is on 2 lane roads through mountains and canyons. In the real world, that's far more likely to be closer to 12 hours and a bit more than we generally recommend in a single day - which is why Buck suggested Holbrook as an overnight option.

    The other thing I would suggest is that if you do take the I-10/I-40 option, you may want to use I-17 from Phoenix north instead of AZ-87 and the other local roads. Sticking to the interstates does add 40 miles or so, but it would be easier driving with less chance of weather issues, and might even end up being a bit faster.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Southern California
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    With a daughter and her family near Aurora, and living in San Diego County (probably not too far from you) myself, I've been up and down all three routes. All 3 are fine.

    Here was one of our first trips: San Diego to Denver Feb 2018 We used I-8/10 to I-25 on that one.

    Here's another trip, November 2019, when we ran I-8/I-10/I-17/I-40/I-25 one direction, and went back via I-25/I-10/I-8. Thanksgiving Trip

    This summer's trip, we stayed in Richfield on the way up and Cedar City on the way home, going up I-15 to I-70. I can tell you that Richfield from Poway is just about 600 miles. Richfield to the Springs would probably be around 500.


    Donna

  5. Default Thanks, AZBuck!

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The two possible routes you noted are roughly equal in both length and driving time. The decision on which one to use should be made so as to address your other concerns: weather and road conditions. With a little over a week before your departure, you simply can't know the conditions you'd encounter along either route, and you won't know until just a couple of days before you hit the road. So at this point just wait. You're not going to have time for any serious sight seeing and you're only going to need one overnight, so no big deals there either. If you go I-15/I-40/I-25 then a reasonable overnight target might be Salina UT. For the I-8/I-10/***/I-40/I-25 route, Holbrook AZ would be a good goal. In general, you'd like to do a bit more than half of the drive on the first day when you're fresh and keeping in mind that you'll lose an hour to the time zone change at some point on your drive. So aim for a moderately sized city close to, or a little over, half way on each route as suggested; have a look at your lodging options; and then wait to see the weather forecast on or about the 25th. One more thing worth noting: the route through Arizona and New Mexico includes sections of two-lane US and state highways (the *** in the route listing) through steep twisting canyons in northeast Arizona. If there is any snow forecast for that route on your days of travel, take the Utah option.

    AZBuck
    Really appreciate the advice on routes, weather, and better place to stop. I was aiming to get a little further by stopping in Gallup, but just heard that it’s not very safe. My daughter has friends who transport horses and had a horse stolen right out of the trailer while they were sleeping. I will check weather for both the Utah and AZ routes before making a final decision.

  6. Default

    Good suggestion, Midwest Michael. I would rather stick to bigger highways so will take your advice on I-17 and look into staying in Holbrook for the night. And thank you!

  7. Default

    Donna, thanks for all the info and tips! I read through your past trip summaries, which were helpful, especially the windshield wiper fluid and long-armed snow scraper! Do you live in Poway as well?? I will be visiting my sister who will be having her 79th birthday the day after I’m due to arrive. Surprising her with this trip. Haven’t seen her since May 2019.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Las Vegas, Nevada
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    10,555

    Default Time-Tested Tips for Solo RoadTrippers

    Quote Originally Posted by dtspoway View Post
    66yo female driving alone,
    It turns out that the vast majority of solo roadtrippers are women! Here are some tips that we have found to be helpful over time.

    Mark

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Joplin MO
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    10,063

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    If you want specific recommendations on the I-8/I-10/I-17/I-40/I-25 route:

    Take I-8 to Gila Bend. Take AZ-85 (4 lane divided) to I-10. Go east to Loop-303, go north to I-17. Overnight in Holbrook.

    If you want to avoid Flagstaff:

    Stay on I-8 to the end, then I-10 to Deming NM. Take US-180 north to NM-26 (rural 2 lane) to Hatch, then I-25 north. Overnight in Deming.

    These routes avoid downtown Phoenix. There's less than 1 hour difference between those 2 routes and the I-15/I-70 route, where you would overnight in Richfield.

    You can get near-real time road conditions at safetravelusa.com.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
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    DTSPoway, I sent you a private mail.

    Poway to Gallup is right about 660 miles, MWMichael, going via I-8/AZ-85/I-10/Loop-303/I-70/I-40. That's how our odometer clocked it! I couldn't tell you Exactly how far Poway to Holbrook is by that route, though I think Holbrook is about 100 miles short of Gallup. I know when we were planning our Nov 2019 trip, Holbrook was less than halfway and Gallup was more than halfway. There's almost nothing between the two towns that's within 5 miles of the highway, and with COVID still rearing its ugly head along the native lands, I'd stick with Holbrook or Gallup.

    But since DTSPoway is "only" going as far as Colorado Springs, Holbrook is probably a more comfortable halfway point. The Springs is about 70 miles from my daughter's home in Aurora.


    Donna

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