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Old 06-11-2007, 06:40 PM
 
54 posts, read 219,883 times
Reputation: 37
Default Best route to take from San Diego to Denver

I am aware that the fastest way to go from San Diego is take 15 N through Vegas and 70 East. I've also heard that this route is very boring and non-scenic until UT/CO. My roommate had heard of a way to go through Southern UT/AZ that is much more scenic but adds on a few hours. Does anyone know this way? It will just be me 30/f and my puppy, so I want to make sure I stay safe too.

Thanks!
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Old 06-11-2007, 09:43 PM
 
214 posts, read 807,362 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skimoore55 View Post
I am aware that the fastest way to go from San Diego is take 15 N through Vegas and 70 East. I've also heard that this route is very boring and non-scenic until UT/CO. My roommate had heard of a way to go through Southern UT/AZ that is much more scenic but adds on a few hours. Does anyone know this way? It will just be me 30/f and my puppy, so I want to make sure I stay safe too.

Thanks!
If you can get to PHX, read my route in the main forum below asking about PHX to Denver. You know the back road from Gila Bend to Maricopa? Shaves an hour.
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Old 06-12-2007, 02:06 PM
 
54 posts, read 219,883 times
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Thanks, Todd, sounds like you're very familiar with the route once I hit PHX. I am not familiar at all with the back road from Gila Bend to Maricopa...where would I hit this? After PHX? Is it paved?
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Old 06-12-2007, 09:01 PM
 
Location: Long Beach, CA
2,074 posts, read 7,951,227 times
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I've done the 15 to 70 route many times, and it's not as bad as you seem to think. Granted, it's pretty boring to Vegas and a bit past Vegas, but there's alot of small towns, then you have a gorgeous drive (27 miles) through Arizona before you get to Utah, which is breathtaking. Enjoy the ride - you won't regret it.
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Old 06-12-2007, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Long Beach, CA
2,074 posts, read 7,951,227 times
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Also, there is a 125<?> mile stretch in Utah where there are NO stops - no gas, no bathrooms, no food ........ and no cell phone reception. So, make sure you gas up, use a restroom and enjoy the ride
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Old 06-12-2007, 10:53 PM
 
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I'd suggest the I-15 route to UT. Yes, it's boring after the Cajon Pass above San Bernardino, but it's shorter and less boring than the last 270 miles from San Diego to Phoenix. I've lived in both PHX and SD and have driven I-8 to AZ85 to I-10 many times. After Cajon Pass, it is boring through Baker on the way to Las Vegas. If you're not into Vegas, you've got another 82 miles of flat desert to get to Mesquite NV, which would be the next actual place to stay for the night or to gamble. The next 40 miles are quite scenic as I-15 winds its way through the Virgin River Canyon in the far NW corner of AZ. As you approach it, you just don't know where the road is going to go and you might be concerned: I'm driving through that? It was truly an engineering feat to plan and build the interstate along the river. At the end, you enter Utah and quickly come across the growing retirement area of St. George UT. I'd bunk here for the night if you didn't already stop in Las Vegas or Mesquite.

From there you'd go up I-15 to I-70. I-70 is a scenic drive right from the first few miles, but like Paula Lynn posted above, there's a 100 mile stretch where there's no gas and no phone service. You are forewarned. It IS beautiful territory with plenty of places to pull off and take pictures. Quite a varied and rugged terrain.

Are you looking for a speedy trip or are you interested in National Parks? What follows may be the 'southern Utah' route that somebody suggested to you.

A more scenic route would be to take I-15 to UT9 through Hurricane and Springdale to Zion NP. I think Zion is the one of the best of the National Parks. Continue through the park (and the long tunnel!) on UT9 to US89. You can continue north on US89 to I-70 or take an even more scenic route on UT12--one of the most spectacular roads in the country. I don't know your time schedule, but follow UT12 to Bryce Canyon NP (side trip into and out of park) and through a myriad of geological phenomena until you get to UT24. Here you can go east on UT24 to Capitol Reef NP. If you've timed this right, Capitol Reef is best viewed in the late afternoon as the sun is setting (unlike Bryce which is best viewed in the early morning). The town of Torrey (back west on UT24 for 10 miles) is probably a good spot to stop for the night because at this point you've gone about 700 miles in two days. There's not much past Capitol Reef for another 80 miles on the way to I-70 and then another 20 miles to the next town of Green River, which sits in a treeless valley.

From Green Valley, though, the drive east on I-70 is rather uninspiring until right before you get to Grand Junction. You can do a side trip through the Colorado National Monument that overlooks Grand Junction without much hassle. GJ is the biggest town between Salt Lake City and Denver. From there, you're on your own. I-70 leads through the mountains to Denver.

Hope this helps and have fun on your trip!
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Old 06-22-2007, 09:01 AM
 
37 posts, read 146,037 times
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Hey - I thought I would add my two sense here -

I'm a Colorado Native, but my parents moved to SD in 2001. I have 7 trips now from SD to Denver, and by FAR I would say that the I-70 / I-15 route is your best and most scenic option. Granted, it's kind of boring in parts of Nevada, but it's the same scenery that you'll get in New Mexico, and personally, the mountain scenery that you get to take in on the I-70 route blows the southerly I-25 foothills route out of the water. The highest point you'll go through on the south route is Raton Pass, which is more of a steep hill than anything, whereas when you go the I-70 route, you go under the continental divide which is an awesome place to see. When you come through I-70 - you get to see some beautiful rock formations all the way from Utah almost to Denver, whereas the south route from Pheonix is mind numbingly boring and flat. The only time I would ever advise the south route is in the winter - you can avoid a lot of headaches from I-70 closures if you go that route, but during this time of year, hand over foot I would recommend the I-70. The last and best reason for your own safety/peace of mind- you already know directions on how to get here - you take I-15 to I-70 and it's a straight shot, no turning off, no missed exits just smooth sailing. The last time I went the south route and got to where I should've been able to exit onto I-25, the stupid New Mexicans thought it would be funny to randomly close the highway down and force a 45 minute detour just to get back on the highway (and this was ALL with GPS navigation - without it I would have been up the creek without a paddle). Also - last thing - in my opinion I-70 and I-15 are two of the BEST maintained highways in the nation, the south route just plain sucks. Hope this helps and happy driving!
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Old 12-27-2007, 05:11 PM
 
8 posts, read 33,129 times
Reputation: 11
Default Driving from San Diego

We'll be moving from San Diego to Denver on January 11th, plan on going to Tucson to stay with family, then up through New Mexico to Denver. Have any of you gone this route (or close to it) this time of year? We're wondering if there is a possibility of really bad driving conditions that we'll need to have chains for. BTW, I'll be driving a Corolla and my husband will be driving his Tacoma (both '05 and with tires in good condition). Thanks for your help.
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Old 12-27-2007, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,365 posts, read 51,646,460 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodbyeSoCal View Post
We'll be moving from San Diego to Denver on January 11th, plan on going to Tucson to stay with family, then up through New Mexico to Denver. Have any of you gone this route (or close to it) this time of year? We're wondering if there is a possibility of really bad driving conditions that we'll need to have chains for. BTW, I'll be driving a Corolla and my husband will be driving his Tacoma (both '05 and with tires in good condition). Thanks for your help.
Your route seems like the one that would have the least likelihood of problems. Just check the weather. Another thing is to reserve hotels along the route and cancel as necessary (in time so you are not charged). If you are driving and suddenly there is a need to stop you'd have place to stay.
If you have to use chains, it would probably be worth it just to get a room and relax.
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