My husband, 11-year-old and I are planning a trip from OH to Vegas next month. In trying to decide which route to take (either I70 through Colorado or the southern I40 route)we are wondering if I40 is scenic (since we know Rockies are) and in reading some about traveling especially through some of the I70 tunnels around Glenwood, I'm hesitant to go that route. We want to have fun, but trying to settle nerves before the trip about altitude, etc (ie: one place on I70 we would be 11,000 ft! This apparently ascends pretty quickly...and IM wondering about mountain sickness symptoms. Or is that only if you are hiking on mountains such as these?) As you can tell, we haven't gotten out much. Any advise/info would sure help us in planning! Thanks!
Whoa boy, you don't need to worry about mountain sickness!!! I am from ohio, have been all around this country and you will be FINE! =) The southern route is also pretty. Missouri is green and hilly and you can stop at the Ozarks. Scenery doesn't begin to change much from what you are used to until you head towards Texas. Once there, it is likely you will come into thunderstorms, but they will be amazing. Stop in Shamrock, TX kiss the "Blarney" see an abandoned Rt. 66 town and then head on into New Mexico to endure your first experience of desert heat. No humidity here my friend!!! Pure dry hot high pressure air plummeting down. Stop off to see Meteor Crator and the Petrified Forest in AZ. Even the Grand Canyon is en route, just after Flagstaff. Onwards to Vegas on this small highway that has stop signs... very fun! Your son will love the adventure. Then on the way back, take the northern route through Utah and Colorado....so so so beautiful, be sure to bring a mountain bike..!!!
You have to remember that Denver is at 5,000 feet so you aren't climbing 11,000 feet and then dropping back down 11,000 feet! It's a beautiful drive and maybe you should go one way and comeback the other.
Side note: I-70 at Vail has had some serious road damage and you will probably experience delays. You can keep up with the information at the Colorado Department of Transportation web site:
Thanks so much for your replies! I guess we are going the southern route for sure, especially with road probs in Vail. I can't seem to get myself over the fear of flying in one month, so we're taking this roadtrip. I don't know whether to post a new message to get other questions answered, or post it here (I'm new here). So I'll start here. So there are things to see going west on I40 from MO to Kingman? I guess we've picked the hottest time of the year to do this. Anyone ever travel it in late July? We're renting a nice, big car to do it in....with A/C of course. Are there little towns or is it pretty desolate through the desert?
Get a good map
or even buy a book called the Exit Authority. AAA road maps are my favorite and they show cities and rest areas. The Exit Authority tells you everything that is with in one mile of an exit. Maybe you won't think you are out in the middle of now where if you know a town is coming up and what it has in it.
YES, it is going to be HOT! I won't sugar coat it! Take a little cooler with you and keep it stocked with water and drinks.
We've done I-40 a few times. I think it's a beautiful drive. There are some lonely stretchs but then again I like those.
Once you hit Oaklahoma City you will find parts of Old Route 66 which can be interesting. My favorite parts are in Arizona and New Mexico.
Just east of Amarillo is a place called Cadillac Ranch. You can't miss it from the highway!
Just outside of Albuqureque on the west edge of town is Petroglphys National Monument. This is a good place to get out and stretch.
If you have the time in Arizona I would take the scenic Painted Desert & Petrified Forest Road down to Hwy 180 and then take Hwy 180 into Holbrook.
Just east of Flagstaff is Walnut Canyon National Monument. A trail takes you to cliff dwellings that are 900 years old.
And of course there is always the big side trip to the Grand Canyon!
Have a good trip.
stop in Shamrock, TX. i love that place. Old Rt. 66 town that looks abandoned altholugh still quite inhabitated. streets so wide and dusty but you are sure to be the only car on the road. talk to some locals at the huge gas station next to McDonalds.... oh so fun....