U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Arizona > Phoenix area
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 08-25-2012, 05:55 PM
 
Location: Chicago
102 posts, read 216,487 times
Reputation: 87

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goober13 View Post
I make that drive all the time from Albuquerque coming from the Upper Midwest. Really the way virtually EVERYONE who regularly makes the trip (and that includes tons of retirees from the Upper Midwest, look at all the lines of cars with Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota and Wisconsin plates) is I-40 to Holbrook, south on Hwy 77 which is the downtown Holbrook exit, 1 mile to Hwy 377, south on 377 to 260, west on 260 to Payson, turn left at Hwy 87 in Payson (Walgreens on corner) south to Shea Blvd in Fountain Hills, if you are going in the Phoenix direction, continue south on Hwy 87 if going to Mesa and the East Valley.

It is 420 miles, going to Flagstaff is waaaaay out of the way. No one goes that way. The trip shouldn't be more than 8 or 8.5 hours if you stop to eat.

The only caution I have is: Drive during the day. Leave Albuquerque at 7-8 in the morning, and the drive is no problem. It isn't scary. Just watch for deer in the stretch between Holbrook and Payson. Just drive the speed limit in that stretch which is 55 or 65. Even if you take the long way, you have to be alert for deer around Flagstaff. The altitude is high on parts of the whole drive, either way you take, and personally the roads are windier on I-17 from Flagstaff with higher speed limits. The Payson to Holbrook route is not narrow with cliff drop offs on the side. The route you DO NOT want to take is Hwy 191. I drove that once and will NEVER drive it again.
I drove out from Chicago twice this year, the first was the Holbrook-Payson route, and the second the Flagstaff route. Both are scenic and mountainous, but the Holbrook route was more enjoyable. Speed limits were lower, but the Mongolan Rim was cool to see. The Flagstaff route is actually a bit rougher on your car. The mountain climbs are steeper in my opinion. My wife's little Hyundai struggled more on I17 around the Camp Verde area than anywhere along the Payson route. Both are mountainous though. The scenery along the Payson route is much better.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 08-25-2012, 09:30 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
891 posts, read 2,166,036 times
Reputation: 1299
Quote:
Originally Posted by motormaker View Post
Hasn't AZ666 been renumbered to AZ191?
Yes but IMO they should have just left it as 666. I love driving steep roads with dropoffs and curves and such. I believe may people call it the 'Devil's Highway' as it used to be Route 666.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-25-2013, 03:31 PM
 
4 posts, read 82,619 times
Reputation: 12
Post Minimal mountains please

Hoping someone can help. I moved to the East Valley (Mesa) a few months ago and will be making a drive to Bernalillo, NM soon. When I drove here from there (I stayed overnight with family in NM), I thought I might die. I am from Chicago. It is VERY flat. I believe I came in the Payson way but I am looking to avoid as many mountains as possible. People going 60 mph around those curves and not knowing what was ahead of me, was not pleasant. At all. Major panic attacks. Any suggestions even if it adds an extra hour or so?? Thanks!!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-25-2013, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
1,112 posts, read 3,818,962 times
Reputation: 1232
Just about any direct route will involve some mountain driving from Phoenix. I-17 to I-40 can be less scary, but is still quite twisty and mountainous.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-25-2013, 03:38 PM
 
4 posts, read 82,619 times
Reputation: 12
OK so even with adding some time, there is no avoidance? Well, what would be the shortest amount of curvy, heart gripping, anxiety ridden curves and mountains? I am hoping this will eventually go away but again, I am from Chicago. We have a lake. That's it. I am still new here so I am not a mountain gal yet unless hiking it :-)
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-25-2013, 03:42 PM
 
9,092 posts, read 18,358,341 times
Reputation: 6959
yeah .... best bet is probably going from Bernalillo down to the 40 ... that will run pretty flat until you get to flagstaff ... then you'll go down the mountain ... speeds are usually pretty high on there and I had a buddy get unnerved the first time he did it at night, but during the day it's a pretty easy road, you can see pretty much everything, but you are still dealing with the mountain ... takes about 90 minutes to get through the worst of it ... it's a bit more major than roads like 260

pretty much no way to avoid mountains ... just the topography of the state .... the least would be to go south on 25, cut route 26 over to I-10 ... you'll still skirt a little bit of mountain terrain, but nothing like northern AZ ... you'll add near 2 hours to the route you took that went through payson and not much under that from taking 40/17

personally - I'd take 40/17 .... on your entire drive you'll have maybe an hour and a half of anxiety from the terrain (there are breaks within that time frame as the route smooths out and it's more up/down as opposed to blind turns) - your on major roads and can exit for a breather if you want to
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-25-2013, 03:46 PM
 
4 posts, read 82,619 times
Reputation: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finger Laker View Post
yeah .... best bet is probably going from Bernalillo down to the 40 ... that will run pretty flat until you get to flagstaff ... then you'll go down the mountain ... speeds are usually pretty high on there and I had a buddy get unnerved the first time he did it at night, but during the day it's a pretty easy road, you can see pretty much everything, but you are still dealing with the mountain ... takes about an hour to get through the worst of it ... it's a bit more major than roads like 260
Apparently God hates me. LOL. I know I did not come in that way and whatever way I took in was very curvy, mountainous and at times, I could not even see what was coming next as far as even which way the road would be curving. Who thinks thats safe?? And it was a pretty lengthy stretch. OK so Flagstaff way will only be about an hour of mountains? I can handle that I think. Thanks everyone!!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-25-2013, 03:47 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
1,112 posts, read 3,818,962 times
Reputation: 1232
The only way to absolutely avoid mountain driving would be going via I-10, through Tucson, to I-25 in Las Cruces, Up to Bernalillo. It would be roughly a nine hour trip, compared to the 7 hours it would normally take you.

As far as other routes, the major interstates won't be nearly as terrifying as the backroad through Payson.. There are only a couple really twisty sections of I-17, one leaving Black Canyon City, one descending into the Verde Valley, and one last one climbing up onto the Colorado Plateau. The interstate makes this better.. the road is wider, and in better condition.

I-40 is a flat, boring drive. No problems there.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-25-2013, 03:55 PM
 
4 posts, read 82,619 times
Reputation: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by CodyW View Post
The only way to absolutely avoid mountain driving would be going via I-10, through Tucson, to I-25 in Las Cruces, Up to Bernalillo. It would be roughly a nine hour trip, compared to the 7 hours it would normally take you.

As far as other routes, the major interstates won't be nearly as terrifying as the backroad through Payson.. There are only a couple really twisty sections of I-17, one leaving Black Canyon City, one descending into the Verde Valley, and one last one climbing up onto the Colorado Plateau. The interstate makes this better.. the road is wider, and in better condition.

I-40 is a flat, boring drive. No problems there.
OK so it sounds like the way I came in- somehow via Payson- was probably the worst way? I was on some serious backroads, then mountainous ones, then more backroads with hairpin curves..... Though the 9 hour option doesn't sound so bad. I know. Y'all can laugh at me. I am enjoying everything about AZ so far (well, except I'm missing my Chi food) but these mountains freak me out so thanks for all the great advice! The drive from NM was fine for the majority of it.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-25-2013, 04:04 PM
 
9,092 posts, read 18,358,341 times
Reputation: 6959
Quote:
Originally Posted by avaly13 View Post
Apparently God hates me. LOL. I know I did not come in that way and whatever way I took in was very curvy, mountainous and at times, I could not even see what was coming next as far as even which way the road would be curving. Who thinks thats safe?? And it was a pretty lengthy stretch. OK so Flagstaff way will only be about an hour of mountains? I can handle that I think. Thanks everyone!!
I updated to about 90 minutes to be safe .... was trying to estimate in my head the time between black canyon city and flagstaff ...... first bit out of flagstaff isn't too bad ... but you do get some dropoffs after that as well as some areas where it levels off

You'll get comfortable with it after a couple passes ... may never enjoy it, but comfortable with it

Personally I love driving the area around the rim ... I find dropping from the 40 down through Payson to be fairly boring until you get into the mountains ..... Once coming back from NM we hooked up to the 60 outside of Socorro NM, road that to the 260, into payson and down .... Took the route to avoid a big snow storm in flagstaff - had rain pretty much the entire way from Payson to the SW Valley

60 is pretty flat and easy .... the 260 would be fine for you until you got into the white mountains ... you probably wouldn't like it once you got over past the heber/overgaard area (but I loved it ... insanely pretty area)

If it's that big of a concern and time isn't an issue, go south ..... maybe get a cheap hotel room in benson or tucson or someplace .... check out some of the stuff in Wilcox, tour Kaerchner Caverns outside of Benson, visit a winery in sonoita/pantagonia, kick around tucson for a bit ... or just drive straight through

Otherwise I'd recommend the major roads
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Arizona > Phoenix area
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2023, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top