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-   -   Driving from Boulder CO to San Francisco (https://www.fodors.com/community/united-states/driving-from-boulder-co-to-san-francisco-216552/)

edy May 7th, 2002 01:55 PM

Driving from Boulder CO to San Francisco
 
We are planning to fly from the east coast to Denver and then my husband wants to make the rest of the rtrip by car. We want to go out on I70 to I-15. The question then is North or South. He wants to see Lake Tahoe also. How many days would it take to go either route, without accounting for sightseeing time? Also would it be worth the extra time to go South through Las Vegas. Hope you can help us with this dilemna.Edy

Dave May 7th, 2002 02:28 PM

Edy,It is a do-able trip. But remember, there is a lot of driving involve. Approximately 1400 miles. You have to really love to drive. <BR><BR>The I-70 to I-15 is one of the most scenic interstate highway. Take I-15 South to Las Vegas. It's about a 12 hours drive. If you like to take in a show or gamble, then Las Vegas is for you. You can also gamble in Lake Tahoe if you only want to gamble.<BR><BR>From Las Vegas, take 95 North to Lake Tahoe. It's about a 10 hours drive. <BR><BR>From Lake Tahoe, take I-80 West into San Francisco. It's about a 4 hours drive.<BR><BR>Have fun driving. I love to drive too.

edy May 7th, 2002 09:18 PM

Dave: Thanks for the info. I think that is a bit more driving than we bargained for. Guess we will have to go north on I15 to SLC. Do you know how long that trip would take? Edy

Ann May 8th, 2002 06:18 AM

Edy, a few years ago my husband and I drove from SF to Boulder via Route 50, known as the loneliest road in America. It was actually very beautiful, and not a super highway. Lots of small towns and lots of "nothing" as well. We stopped in Tahoe for a few days, Carson City, then made some time to Eureka and Ely, and then on to Moab (a little off 50) on the spur of the moment. Once into Colorado we left Rt. 50 to go via Glenwood Springs and on to Boulder. It was much more interesting and fun than staying on the superhighways all the way. Check out some maps and think about taking the "long" road if you have the time. We did it in less than 2 weeks, by the way.

Edy May 8th, 2002 08:17 AM

Dear Ann: <BR> Thanks for the suggestion! Definitely food for thought. Naturally we want to see as much as possible and the Interstates just don't provide the most scenic and interesting route.<BR> By the way, noticed your e-mail address and see that we are from the same area of the Northeast.<BR> Edy

Dave May 8th, 2002 02:18 PM

Edy, the drive from Denver Airport to SLC using I-70 and I-15 would take about12 hours straight. From SLC to SF, it takes another 12 hours on I-80. Like I said, it's a lot of driving. Have fun.

kam May 8th, 2002 03:37 PM

SLC to Tahoe would be slightly less--maybe more like 10 hours. 80 through Nevada is awful but 70 and 15 are really pretty roads. You might want to stop in one of the ski areas in Utah like Park City to overnight instead of in SLC itself. One great recommendation I have to break up your trip through Nevada is to stop at the Star Hotel and Saloon in Elko, NV. It's a very historic hotel, very genuine and Elko is a center for Basque culture in the West. It's located about 300 miles east of Reno, making it a good place for lunch between SLC and Tahoe. I don't think you'll find it in the guide books, just trust me. Have a great trip and bring some "on tape" books for much of the drive through Nevada. Tahoe is gorgeous--you'll be happy when you get there.

Dayle May 8th, 2002 05:07 PM

Hi Edy!<BR><BR>If you take the I70 route from Boulder, you really should detour 35 miles to the south to see Moab/Arches/Canyonlands. Spend a minimum of 3 days.<BR><BR>The drive from SLC to Reno on I80 is one of the most boring you will ever do. I would seriously recommend dropping your rental car in SLC & pick up again in Reno. If booked ahead, these flights shouldn't be too much!<BR><BR>Tahoe is gorgeous! Have fun!

Edy May 16th, 2002 12:20 PM

Dave,Ann Kam: <BR>Thanks for all your input last week. Now a new dilemna. Where would you suggest that we stay our night between boulder and slc. We want to make a few short detours to see things,but do not know what would be a half-way point if we were stopping to see the sights. How long would we allow to see some of the Moab area. Also, is it possible to see any of Yosemite after Tahoe without spending a night between Tahoe and monterey? That's a lot of questions i know. Thanks for any info. Edy

Suzie May 16th, 2002 01:27 PM

If I were in Tahoe going to Yosemite and then on to Monterey I would think an overnight somewhere would be necessary. If you left South Lake Tahoe in the morning and drove to Lee Vining, which is the east entrance to Yosemite and includes Tioga Pass, it would take about 2 1/2 hours or so. You can see lots of Yosemite starting here but it will take much of the day if you are really interested in the sights.<BR><BR>At the end of the day you could leave the park through either the Arch Rock Entrance on 140 and go out to Merced or the Big Oak Flat exit out to Modesto on 120 (same road # as Tioga Pass).<BR><BR>You could stay in Modesto or Merced and continue the next morning to Monterey. Modesto to Monterey is about 2 1/2 hours and Merced to Monterey is just slightly less than that.

Edy May 16th, 2002 06:17 PM

Suzie:<BR>Thanks for the time estimates and suggestions.I think we will follow your lead to Modesto overnight. <BR>does anyon have an answer to the other question?

Cecilia May 17th, 2002 02:16 AM

The drive from Denver to Moab on the I70 takes about 5 hours. Arches and Canyonlands are wonderful parks with amazing scenery and to see them both you should really try and spend at least 2 days in the area. There is a scenic drive in Arches, with a few shorter hikes to viewpoints, that can be done in an afternoon,but you really should do at least one of the longer hikes to get a good feel for the place. The hike to Delicate Arch is a couple of hours round trip and probably the best hike in the park. The trail gets very busy though so try and get there very early in the morning.


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