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Western North Carolina The Mountain Region including Asheville
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Old 12-16-2006, 05:33 PM
 
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What is the best (quickest, least amt of hazards, etc) route to drive from CLT to Asheville? Better to go due east, or down to Spartanburg and back up on 26? Thanks!
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Old 12-16-2006, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
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I experienced the Charlotte-Asheville-and-back drive about a year ago. To get to Asheville from Charlotte, I went by way of Spartanburg. The drive to Spartanburg on I-85 was OK, but I-26 to Asheville was slow going, mainly because of heavy semitrailer-truck traffic. Going back to Charlotte, I decided to try I-40 east to Hickory, then U.S. 321 south to Gastonia (four-lane all the way) and I-85 east into Charlotte. Traffic was light to moderate for the entire trip, and it was about a half-hour faster. Mind you, those were the only two instances I've made the trip, and others' experiences may vary.
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Old 12-16-2006, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
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Shortcut.

From Charlotte take I-85 south to US-74 west to I-26 west.

US 74 goes through Shelby. It is four lane with lights and traffic in the Shelby area. Otherwise, it's expressway all the way. Going uphill on I-26 is a bear though.
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Old 12-17-2006, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
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Originally Posted by Sunny XVI View Post
What is the best (quickest, least amt of hazards, etc) route to drive from CLT to Asheville? Better to go due east, or down to Spartanburg and back up on 26? Thanks!
I personally prefer I85 south to exit 17 - hwy 321 north. Then take I40 west to Asheville. This gets you there with the least amount of traffic headaches, redlights ect... in about 2 hours 40 minutes.
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Old 12-17-2006, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
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Originally Posted by chisoxfan View Post
I experienced the Charlotte-Asheville-and-back drive about a year ago. To get to Asheville from Charlotte, I went by way of Spartanburg. The drive to Spartanburg on I-85 was OK, but I-26 to Asheville was slow going, mainly because of heavy semitrailer-truck traffic. Going back to Charlotte, I decided to try I-40 east to Hickory, then U.S. 321 south to Gastonia (four-lane all the way) and I-85 east into Charlotte. Traffic was light to moderate for the entire trip, and it was about a half-hour faster. Mind you, those were the only two instances I've made the trip, and others' experiences may vary.
This is EXACTLY why I would never go up I 26 And I drive to Asheville and beyond almost monthly.
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Old 12-19-2006, 10:09 AM
 
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Thanks everyone!

Just to make sure I understand, which part of 26 is not recommended? Is it the part between Tryon and Asheville? If that's the case, I wouldn't be avoiding anything bad by going due east on 74 and then up ("west") on 26 to Asheville? Sounds like the northern route along 40 might be best.
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Old 12-19-2006, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Concord, NC
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I'd take I-85 south, in Gastonia Hwy. 321 N (a freeway), in Hickory, I-40 west.
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Old 12-19-2006, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
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Originally Posted by friendnc View Post
I'd take I-85 south, in Gastonia Hwy. 321 N (a freeway), in Hickory, I-40 west.
Again, great minds think alike
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Old 12-20-2006, 11:21 AM
 
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Either route is good, CLT to Asheville: 85S to 321, to I40 or 85S to 74, then I26. Running with traffic, 2 hours to 2 hours 15 minutes. Summer time traffic on I26 just S of I40 tends to be bad in late afternoon. You encounter a mountain climb either way (the Saluda Grade on I26, not sure what the I40 Mountain is called). Winter weather I40 probably is a little better.
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Old 03-03-2007, 02:02 AM
 
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Last week I had a meeting to attend in Asheville. Left Charlotte @ 7:48, was on I85 @ 7:56, via 321, I40, arrived at the motel on Tunnel Road in Asheville at 9:17. Door to door was 123 miles. Most of the time I was just running with traffic.
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