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View Poll Results: What is the most boring drive in the US?
Interstate 5 between Santa Clarita and Stockton, CA 38 15.14%
Interstate 8 between Casa Grande, AZ and Alpine, CA 5 1.99%
Interstate 10 between El Paso and San Antonio, TX 49 19.52%
Interstate 29 between Sioux Falls, SD and Fargo, ND 8 3.19%
Interstate 40 between Flagstaff, AZ and Barstow, CA 8 3.19%
Interstate 57 between Interstate 55 and Urbana, IL 49 19.52%
Interstate 70 between Topeka, KS and Aurora, CO 61 24.30%
Interstate 80 between Sparks, NV and Salt Lake City, UT 11 4.38%
Interstate 90 between Rapid City and Sioux Falls, SD 8 3.19%
Interstate 94 between Billings, MT and Fargo, ND 14 5.58%
Voters: 251. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-21-2021, 12:07 AM
 
Location: WA Desert, Seattle native
9,398 posts, read 8,873,269 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregory77 View Post
Agreed. While I most often disagree with the sentiments, I always watch out for that sign.

PNWGuy, I am curious; to bypass I-5 in southern Wa. have you taken the detour on the mountainous 100ish mile partial dirt road NFD 23 or NF25 between Randle and White Salmon before? The drive south goes to the east of Mount St. Helens (NFD-25) or to the west of Mt Adams (NF-23). Not that the drive along I-5 in Southern Wa is necessarily boring, but it would be cool to drive south from Renton (in the Puget Sound area for the other readers) to the Oregon border through the Cascade mountains on backroads and hook up to US-197 and US-97 south through the entire state of Oregon (which I have been through several times). I have a Ram 4x4 and these two mountainous dirt roads are on my radar.

NF-23 https://www.google.com/maps/place/NF...4d-121.7189178

NFD 25 https://www.google.com/maps/place/NF...4d-121.9763227
I won’t drive on dirt roads (I just bought a new car), but I do love taking alternate routes and getting off the freeway whenever possible. For example, from say Olympia to Yakima I will choose Us hwy 12 White pass instead of I-90. Likewise, from Tri cities to Seattle will take 240 from TC to Vantage and avoid much of I-82 through Yakima. My dad was a map technician in WW2 and I guess some of that has rubbed off on me.
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Old 01-21-2021, 02:53 AM
 
Location: Seattle
60 posts, read 35,153 times
Reputation: 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwguy2 View Post
I won’t drive on dirt roads (I just bought a new car), but I do love taking alternate routes and getting off the freeway whenever possible. For example, from say Olympia to Yakima I will choose Us hwy 12 White pass instead of I-90. Likewise, from Tri cities to Seattle will take 240 from TC to Vantage and avoid much of I-82 through Yakima. My dad was a map technician in WW2 and I guess some of that has rubbed off on me.
Thanks for the response! I also use 240 on occasion from Vantage to Tri-Cities and popped through Othello last time I had the same route (Seattle to Biose). If my wife lets me, I'll do a road trip several times a year. I need to drive somewhere!

I never thought of using Hwy 12. I'll try to use 12 next time I go that route myself, hopefully, this spring if I can convince my wife to hit Zion NP over spring break if possible. I will probably use Idaho route 78 and some of the backroads to bypass the boring part of I-84 between Boise and Glenn's Ferry next time. There are quite a few interesting spots, like Birds of Prey, along the Snake River that I also want to see there.

I also love maps and used to draw them for tourists in the San Juans as a kid (I grew up on Lopez). I still look at maps nearly every day. I am probably completely weird in this.

I will let you know if I ever use NF-23 to Hood River. White water rafting on the Salmon River is amazing and I hope to do it with a friend again this year.

Take care!

Last edited by gregory77; 01-21-2021 at 03:13 AM..
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Old 01-21-2021, 03:40 AM
 
Location: Seattle
60 posts, read 35,153 times
Reputation: 129
OK, so, the most boring drives according to the poll are I-70 from Topeka to Aurora, Interstate 57 between Interstate 55 and Urbana, Illinois, Interstate 10 between El Paso and San Antonio, Texas, and Interstate 5 between Santa Clarita and Stockton, California. What are the alternate routes that folks suggest?

Here are my educated suggestions for avoiding I-5 in California.

If you're not in an absolute hurry, I suggest avoiding I-5 in the Central Valley of California and take US-101 if you are not going all the way to Oregon. It will add two hours from LA to San Francisco, and an additional two hours from San Francisco to southern Oregon, but at least you get to hit the southern California coast and the Redwoods in Northern California. If you want to go from LA to Oregon (and you're in a hurry and your trip is not in the winter), take US-395. It will take an additional hour or two at most (1.4 hours added according to google maps), but you can stop along and see the backside of Yosemite by taking a short detour along CA-120 to Olmsted Point. You can also take a shorter detour to see Mammoth Mountain and another short detour to Lake Tahoe. If time is paramount, Mono Lake and Burney Falls are outstanding stops right along the highway. You also will get to stay in a very nice hotel in Reno with nice entertainment in the evening there if you choose to do so. It's a stunning drive without traffic as well.

To avoid I-80 through Wyoming and Utah, take I-70 and route 191 in Utah to Salt Lake City. This is probably the most amazing interstate in the US from Denver to Green River Utah. Make sure to see Glenwood Canyon and other sites along the Rocky Mountains. It will add around 15 minutes to your time between Denver and San Francisco but will be two hours shorter if going between Denver and Los Angeles. If you want to avoid the interstate between Salt Lake City and San Francisco, use I-70 to US-50 instead. It is far more remote, but also far more interesting. This adds about 30 minutes from Denver to San Francisco and is along a truly spectacular route.

What are your suggestions for avoiding I-70 in Kansas or I-80 in Nebraska? I have never been on either of these routes but am thinking about a road trip through there and would love some suggestions! And what are your thoughts about avoiding the other boring interstate routes?
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Old 01-21-2021, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Oregon Coast
15,419 posts, read 9,069,314 times
Reputation: 20391
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregory77 View Post
OK, so, the most boring drives according to the poll are I-70 from Topeka to Aurora, Interstate 57 between Interstate 55 and Urbana, Illinois, Interstate 10 between El Paso and San Antonio, Texas, and Interstate 5 between Santa Clarita and Stockton, California. What are the alternate routes that folks suggest?

Here are my educated suggestions for avoiding I-5 in California.

If you're not in an absolute hurry, I suggest avoiding I-5 in the Central Valley of California and take US-101 if you are not going all the way to Oregon. It will add two hours from LA to San Francisco, and an additional two hours from San Francisco to southern Oregon, but at least you get to hit the southern California coast and the Redwoods in Northern California. If you want to go from LA to Oregon (and you're in a hurry and your trip is not in the winter), take US-395. It will take an additional hour or two at most (1.4 hours added according to google maps), but you can stop along and see the backside of Yosemite by taking a short detour along CA-120 to Olmsted Point. You can also take a shorter detour to see Mammoth Mountain and another short detour to Lake Tahoe. If time is paramount, Mono Lake and Burney Falls are outstanding stops right along the highway. You also will get to stay in a very nice hotel in Reno with nice entertainment in the evening there if you choose to do so. It's a stunning drive without traffic as well.

To avoid I-80 through Wyoming and Utah, take I-70 and route 191 in Utah to Salt Lake City. This is probably the most amazing interstate in the US from Denver to Green River Utah. Make sure to see Glenwood Canyon and other sites along the Rocky Mountains. It will add around 15 minutes to your time between Denver and San Francisco but will be two hours shorter if going between Denver and Los Angeles. If you want to avoid the interstate between Salt Lake City and San Francisco, use I-70 to US-50 instead. It is far more remote, but also far more interesting. This adds about 30 minutes from Denver to San Francisco and is along a truly spectacular route.

What are your suggestions for avoiding I-70 in Kansas or I-80 in Nebraska? I have never been on either of these routes but am thinking about a road trip through there and would love some suggestions! And what are your thoughts about avoiding the other boring interstate routes?
US-34 is about the only alternative. Downside it will make your trip through the wasteland even longer. But at least the monotony will be broken up while driving through all the long forgotten small towns along the route. If it's summer time, you can continue west through Rocky Mountain National Park and connect up with US-40 at Granby Colorado, to continue west into Utah.

I have never done US-34, and probably never will. But I have traveled US-40 from Colorado to Utah. It's a very worthwhile trip to see.
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Old 01-21-2021, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Unplugged from the matrix
4,754 posts, read 2,974,985 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwguy2 View Post
I won’t drive on dirt roads (I just bought a new car), but I do love taking alternate routes and getting off the freeway whenever possible. For example, from say Olympia to Yakima I will choose Us hwy 12 White pass instead of I-90. Likewise, from Tri cities to Seattle will take 240 from TC to Vantage and avoid much of I-82 through Yakima. My dad was a map technician in WW2 and I guess some of that has rubbed off on me.
I'm the same way. A lot of these US highways have much less traffic, more things to look at, and still high speed limits (outside the speed trap small towns) so you still feel like you're getting somewhere. More peaceful than dealing with left lane hogs and speed traps on the interstate.
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Old 01-22-2021, 02:55 AM
 
Location: Seattle
60 posts, read 35,153 times
Reputation: 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloudy Dayz View Post
US-34 is about the only alternative. Downside it will make your trip through the wasteland even longer. But at least the monotony will be broken up while driving through all the long forgotten small towns along the route. If it's summer time, you can continue west through Rocky Mountain National Park and connect up with US-40 at Granby Colorado, to continue west into Utah.

I have never done US-34, and probably never will. But I have traveled US-40 from Colorado to Utah. It's a very worthwhile trip to see.
Thanks for the input Cloudy! For a potential cross country trip, I researched using both US-34 and US-36 through Kansas. US-34 would take about an hour and 15 minutes more, and it goes through some small towns that break up the monotony. I read that there are some decent motel accommodations as long as you plan ahead and don't drive through and beyond one of the larger towns- there may not be another town for a long time coming! I think that your right on though that this would prolong the drive for a marginally more interesting drive.

I also researched going south along the Rockies from Denver to Colorado Springs and then using US-50. US-50 follows the Arkansas River, so there would be some change in the scenery, and there are nicer hotels and Casinos along the route (I don't gamble, but casinos are nice to grab a good beer a night). Additionally, there are several fun western-themed towns, like Dodge City. However, this route (Denver, Colorado Springs, Dodge City, Kansas City) adds at least 2.5 to 3 hours on the route between Denver and KS, which makes me think that I should just drive like hell for one day along I-70 to cross the prairies and hope for some interesting weather to look at along the way! I just hope that I don't fall asleep during that drive!

Last edited by gregory77; 01-22-2021 at 03:24 AM..
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Old 01-22-2021, 03:32 AM
 
Location: Seattle
60 posts, read 35,153 times
Reputation: 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloudy Dayz View Post
US-34 is about the only alternative. Downside it will make your trip through the wasteland even longer. But at least the monotony will be broken up while driving through all the long forgotten small towns along the route. If it's summer time, you can continue west through Rocky Mountain National Park and connect up with US-40 at Granby Colorado, to continue west into Utah.

I have never done US-34, and probably never will. But I have traveled US-40 from Colorado to Utah. It's a very worthwhile trip to see.
Both US-40 and I-70 in Colorado sounds interesting! Before hitting Kansas, I am potentially planning to go from Moab (to hike in Arches National Park) and take Utah 128 along the Colorado River to hit I-70, and take a day or two to get to Denver. If you have not been along Utah 128, I highly recommend it! The HBO Westworld series films quite a bit on-site there. It is an amazing canyon to drive through and I took a whole day last time I went there.

https://www.discovermoab.com/scenic-byways/
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Old 01-23-2021, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Oregon Coast
15,419 posts, read 9,069,314 times
Reputation: 20391
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregory77 View Post
Thanks for the input Cloudy! For a potential cross country trip, I researched using both US-34 and US-36 through Kansas. US-34 would take about an hour and 15 minutes more, and it goes through some small towns that break up the monotony. I read that there are some decent motel accommodations as long as you plan ahead and don't drive through and beyond one of the larger towns- there may not be another town for a long time coming! I think that your right on though that this would prolong the drive for a marginally more interesting drive.

I also researched going south along the Rockies from Denver to Colorado Springs and then using US-50. US-50 follows the Arkansas River, so there would be some change in the scenery, and there are nicer hotels and Casinos along the route (I don't gamble, but casinos are nice to grab a good beer a night). Additionally, there are several fun western-themed towns, like Dodge City. However, this route (Denver, Colorado Springs, Dodge City, Kansas City) adds at least 2.5 to 3 hours on the route between Denver and KS, which makes me think that I should just drive like hell for one day along I-70 to cross the prairies and hope for some interesting weather to look at along the way! I just hope that I don't fall asleep during that drive!
Don't go south from Denver to Colorado Springs. The traffic is a nightmare. If you are going to take US-50 through the mountains, then join up with US-50 someplace east of I-25.
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Old 01-23-2021, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Oregon Coast
15,419 posts, read 9,069,314 times
Reputation: 20391
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregory77 View Post
Both US-40 and I-70 in Colorado sounds interesting! Before hitting Kansas, I am potentially planning to go from Moab (to hike in Arches National Park) and take Utah 128 along the Colorado River to hit I-70, and take a day or two to get to Denver. If you have not been along Utah 128, I highly recommend it! The HBO Westworld series films quite a bit on-site there. It is an amazing canyon to drive through and I took a whole day last time I went there.

https://www.discovermoab.com/scenic-byways/
I have driven all the routes through the Colorado Rockies. My preference to get over the mountains would be I-70, US-50, US-40 in that order. But they are all very scenic routes. Just avoid the Denver Metro as much as possible. If I was traveling on on US-34 or US-36, I would just continue west into Rocky Mountain national Park and then pickup US-40. If I was doing route 50 I would pick it up probably at I-35/I-335 in Kansas.
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Old 01-25-2021, 02:47 AM
 
Location: Seattle
60 posts, read 35,153 times
Reputation: 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloudy Dayz View Post
I have driven all the routes through the Colorado Rockies. My preference to get over the mountains would be I-70, US-50, US-40 in that order. But they are all very scenic routes. Just avoid the Denver Metro as much as possible. If I was traveling on on US-34 or US-36, I would just continue west into Rocky Mountain national Park and then pickup US-40. If I was doing route 50 I would pick it up probably at I-35/I-335 in Kansas.
Thank-you for this information Cloudy. Based on your advice I'll skip heading south to Colorado Springs and try to grin and bear it and drive as fast as possible through I-70 to Kansas on my way east. Although I want to go into Denver for the evening at least and check it out. I have never been there other than flying though. I suspect that driving through Denver is not much worse than Seattle, San Francisco or LA, which I have driven through countless times. I hope to hit Rocky Mountain National Park too.
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