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Old 12-04-2014, 08:47 PM   #1
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From Missouri to California and Back

Next fall we are planning to do our first long trip with minimal deadlines (as we are both retired now!). We are going West by way of I-70 from Missouri with an eventual crossover North to I-80....haven't decided where to cut up, yet. (Kansas City? Denver? Somewhere else?) On the way West the only carved in stones are a slight side trip to Carson City, NV and then a stop in Napa, CA.......both to visit family, so I would assume the exploration of the surrounding areas of both will be with native guides. However, the rest of the way West is virgin territory and we would love input on what we 'just can't miss' since this will probably be our one and only trip out West. The trip back is a little more planned as we have family in Phoenix and we want to visit the South rim of the Grand Canyon and we have to be in NM in time for the Balloon Festival (also meeting up with multiple family there). We are figuring on allowing at least 3 weeks to get to NM, but if you come up with enough can't-miss stops we can always leave earlier!

Thanks in advance for your tips!

The Sumpters

Rick & Marilynn - Warren County Missouri
2013 Dodge Ram 2500 Crew Cab pulling a 1996 Play-Mor TimberCreek Travel Trailer
Traveling with Hannah the Pug
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Old 12-04-2014, 09:39 PM   #2
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You mentioned the trip will be in the fall. Keep in mind the further north you go the higher the chances that some RV parks may be closed for the winter.

We have family in Phoenix and finding space at RV parks can be difficult late in the fall and winter.

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Old 12-04-2014, 09:57 PM   #3
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One thing to keep in mind is that the I-70 From KC west to Topeka'ish is a toll road... so I'd go up to the 80 before that, myself.

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Old 12-04-2014, 10:10 PM   #4
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You might consider taking I-29 north to Nebraska City then State route 2 west into Lincoln and pick up I-80.

Have a fun, safe & trouble free journey.....
Jim & SherrySeward

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Old 12-04-2014, 10:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by LVJ58 View Post
You might consider taking I-29 north to Nebraska City then State route 2 west into Lincoln and pick up I-80.

Have a fun, safe & trouble free journey.....
If you want to get to the SF Bay area fast, this would be the way. However, I70 will get you a lot more scenery and points of interest.

I70 west to US191 to SLC and then I80 west would be my choice for a good compromise between time and scenery/POI's.
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Old 12-05-2014, 08:46 AM   #6
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I-70 west of KC is toll, but only to Topeka (about 50 miles), that should not alter your route that much. I left KC and drove to Colorado Springs, CO, you could easily spend a day or two seeing Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak. We left Colorado Springs to Taos, NM and had late lunch and decided to venture on to Sante Fe NM. Sante Fe was wonderful and we ended up staying longer seeing the sites. We then stopped in Mesa, AZ to see my folks and took them onto San Diego and on up to Corona, CA (LA Area). If you are going to Balloon Festival you could reverse my route.

I-70 isn't the most scenic across KS but it becomes very scenic across CO. Another option would be to take Highway 50 West from Pueblo and see Royal Gorge, Gunnison, CO; Montrose, CO; Grand Junction, CO pick up I-70 again and see Capitol Reef National Park in Utah and Fish Lake National Forest on your way up to Provo and Salt Lake City. Your options are endless as Southern Utah offers so many options as well. Good luck and enjoy the planning!
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Old 12-05-2014, 11:06 AM   #7
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We like to travel rural roads whenever possible and have traveled the roads Iím going to recommend.

I hate to pay tolls if they can be easily avoided. When traveling west on I-70 in MO and approaching Kansas City you can take the belt I-470 to I-435 to north US-59 to west US-54 to Topeka and then get back on to I-70 west. Then you can go to Salina and catch US-81 north to I-80. The Great Plat River Road Archway monument is west at about exit 279.

Should you decide to take US-81 up to I-80 there is a free city RV Park in Concordia. All sites are very level with full hook-up service to 50 amps. Here are a couple of pictures.



On I-80 about 120 miles west of the Archway there is a little town called Sutherland. There is a power plant on a large reservoir and on it, visible from the Interstate, is a smallish RV park with a 9 hole golf course. A really nice place to spend the night and get in 9 holes if you get there with enough daylight left. We had a nice FHU site right on the banks of the reservoir.


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Old 12-10-2014, 08:08 PM   #8
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Wow, great ideas, all! Thanks so much for everyone's input...we are studying maps and taking notes!
Rick & Marilynn - Warren County Missouri
2013 Dodge Ram 2500 Crew Cab pulling a 1996 Play-Mor TimberCreek Travel Trailer
Traveling with Hannah the Pug
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Old 12-10-2014, 10:06 PM   #9
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You won't have trouble finding RV spots in Phoenix in the fall. The full activity begins January through March. You might want to consider any of the Maricopa County parks or Lost Dutchman State Park. They're all beauties - big sites with gorgeous scenery.

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