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Old 04-03-2015, 09:06 AM   #1
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Seattle to Prescott AZ in Early May

After Mother's Day we are leaving to visit my brother and his wife in Prescott. We have never made this trip before. We are traveling in our Class C Aspect and this will be the first long trip we have made in it. We are seasoned RVers however.

As I see it there are basically 3 ways to get there. One is south through Oregon and California and then east to Prescott(mostly interstate). Second is south through eastern Oregon, Idaho and then along the eastern side of Nevada (mostly secondary roads). Finally it is the same through eastern Oregon and Idaho but then continuing to Utah and then into AZ (mix of secondary and interstates).

We only have about 17 days total for the trip due to prior commitments. We plan to spend 3 days visiting so that leaves 14 days for the trip there and back. My brother will be showing us some of the AZ sights (Grand Canyon, etc.) so which route is the best to maximize sightseeing? I am only comfortable driving 5 hours a day maximum after allowing for gas and lunch stops. We are open to making the trip there on one route and returning home on a different one. We have made the trip to SoCal in a car many times and that would be our least preferred route unless there were good reasons why we should consider it. I am leaning towards the Utah route as it is a lot of territory we haven't seen before.

I'd be interested in hearing any input on driving obstacles like lots of mountain passes or roads not suitable for our RV. I think we will be OK weatherwise but I'd like to hear from someone who might know better. Typically we enjoy State or National campgrounds but we have been known to hit a private camp for convenience. Any and all suggestions/information/input would be welcomed!

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Old 04-03-2015, 09:30 AM   #2
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JMHO. Will you be towing a vehicle ( toad ) ? If so then the CA. portion of the route; going or returning; could be an issue with the lower speed allowed when towing.
The Utah interstates have upped the speed limit to 80 and with traffic passing constantly at speed , personally I'd find it un-nerving. But I tend to drive 65 as a max speed.
Next would be a question. Do you intend to use the same route both ways?
Personally, I prefer the eastern Nevada route, Jackpot to Vegas, although lack of cell phone coverage bothers some.
I'd tend to say , go on the eastern Nevada route, to get there fairly quickly, then return through Utah, allowing time for side trips to Zion and Brice NPs.

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Old 04-04-2015, 02:06 PM   #3
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I would take Hwy 101 starting in Shelton Wa, I think (West of Olympia), thru Oregon staying at the great Stae parks. 101 into Ca considering a detour ust East of Petaluma on Hwy 37 over to I 80 (unless you would be comfortable driving tru San Francisco on surface streets). I80/880 to San Jose where I would again take Hwy 101 down the Ca Coast (NOT HWY 1) to Ventura. Hwy 126 from Ventura to Santa Clarita and I 5 to 210. 210 thr the LA basin to I 10. I 10 into AZ to an exit (don't know the number) forPrescott. Returning to Seattle I would go from Prescott up to I 40 to Barstow. In Barstow I would take Hwy 58 to Hwy 395 up the East side of the Sierras. From Reno I would make my way to Susanville/ Klamath Falls. After Klamath Falls continue to Columbia River Gorge then I 84, I think, to Portland and I5 back to Seattle.
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Old 04-04-2015, 06:24 PM   #4
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Another option is I-5 into northern California then HWY 89 towars Susanville, Reno/Sparks and then 93 thru Las Vegas down to Kingman. We use that route unless there are weather advisories.
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Old 04-04-2015, 10:45 PM   #5
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According to my DeLorme mapping program, the shortest route of 1524 miles is:

I-90 out of Seattle to I-82 toward Yakima, WA
Pick up I-84 toward Boise, ID
I-15 through Salt Lake City into Las Vegas, NV
Hwy 93 out of Las Vegas to Kingman, AZ
I-40 east to Ash Fork, AZ
South on Hwy 89 to Prescott

At an average of 300 miles per day that's 5-6 hours of driving daily (rest stops, meals, fuel) that would be about 5 days each way of travel. Three nights in Prescott gives you 2 days of play!

All the above roads are RV-friendly. You'll have some hills but you're traveling interstates so there shouldn't be any problems and weatherwise, you're fine. Have a good trip! (We love Prescott)
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Old 04-05-2015, 07:46 AM   #6
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If you choose I 15 turn off at I 70 to US 89 south. You will pass and possibly stop at Bryce NP, Zion NP and cross Lake Powell. Enjoy our small city of Prescott and the many side trips you can take. Going back home I'd suggest going north on US 395. You have a great trip planned. Drive safe.
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Old 04-05-2015, 08:07 AM   #7
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Unless there is something specific you want to see in CA, I would do my best to avoid CA roads because of their terrible condition. The exception would be using Highway 395 down the eastern side of the mountains.
Coulter & Friends
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Old 04-05-2015, 10:19 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by charles tuit View Post
If you choose I 15 turn off at I 70 to US 89 south. You will pass and possibly stop at Bryce NP, Zion NP and cross Lake Powell. Enjoy our small city of Prescott and the many side trips you can take. Going back home I'd suggest going north on US 395. You have a great trip planned. Drive safe.
If going US-89, pass up I-70 and go a ways further UT-20 to get to US-89; you will make slightly better time. There is a nice restaurant on the east side of 89 as you enter Panguitch called Flying M. There is plenty of room in a dirt lot on the north side of the restaurant. It doesn't look impressive from the outside but the food and prices are good.

At Kanab, stay on 89; do not take 89A. 89A is a shorter and prettier drive but has a lot of twists and turns and there is always at least one (usually more) jerk (polite term) in a pokey motor home that doesn't believe in using the pullouts to let the piled up traffic to pass. Also, 89A bypasses Page and there aren't any other decent places to stop after Kanab until you hit Flagstaff.

Frankly, staying on I-15 to Vegas and taking the 93 to I-40, then taking 89 down to Prescott would probably be faster. You'll get more Interstate driving that way and it wouldn't be much, if any, longer.

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