NY-SF -- Route 50 UT/NV/CA worth it?
Heading 8/1 from ny to san fran, relocating with a rented SUV. Route 80 looks like my best bet, but also seeing that interstate 70, connecting to route 50 in utah, seems more direct to SF... But it's not an interstate. Anyone w/ experience on that road?
I've done both a number of times from Cheyenne or Denver to SF.
I-80 to me is SO boring thought Wyoming. I-70 from Denver to the end in Utah is SO scenic! Hwy 50 in Nevada has the honor of being the "Loneliest Highway in America!" but a nice road. Be warned that the gas prices on Hwy 50 are high especially in Austin, NV!
I ran the numbers from NYC to SF and I-80 is 2906 miles. Taking 70 and Hwy 50 is 100 miles longer and it will be a little slower going. If you want to make time, take I-80.
I'd take I-80, unless you really want to see lake tahoe.
50 through fallon, carson city, and south lake tahoe takes forever, with a frustratingly high amount of stoplights.
80 and 50 are about the same through nevada, and with 80 you get the salt flats in west UT, which is an incredible drive.
50 is also winding, 30-40 mph highway in eastern CA, with summer traffic behind you that wants to go 75.
Drove some of it two weeks ago
I drove the section from Placerville to Fallon two weeks ago and although I do enjoy I-80 over the Donner Summit, Hwy 50 will always be my favorite route over that section of the Sierras. I have driven the distance between Placerville and Lake Tahoe at least 50 times in the last 20 years. It is a beautiful road and even in the height of summer traffic, you should be able to average something closer to 55 mph.
Without question, you will make better time if you follow I-80 all the way to San Francisco -- (using I-76 to I-70 to US-50 will easily add 8 hours to your journey) but it is a beautiful drive.