Need info on driving from Chicago to Tucson

Old Oct 31st, 2008, 09:15 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 5,741
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
On your way back, idleweiss, you might consider heading east on I-10 and loop down 90 into Marfa, Texas. This is where the movie "Giant" was filmed, with Rock Hudson, Liz Taylor and James Dean. I believe that parts of "No Country for Old Men" and "There Will Be Blood" were recently filmed there, too.

It is a wonderful little town full of history. Here is a link with some info:

http://gosw.about.com/od/texastravelguide/p/marfa.htm

From there you can do Big Bend National Park. http://www.nps.gov/bibe/ My sister has hiked all over the West and Southwest for 25 years, and this is her favorite place to hike. (She asked me not to mention this to my siblings living in Arizona and Colorado! hahaha)

Texas has SO much history, and you can explore other sites along the way.

If you don't do Big Bend, you can head back to I-10 from Marfa; I-10 runs into I-20, which will take you into Dallas/Fort Worth. If you like western/cowboy stuff- you can't beat Fort Worth. The National Cowgirl Hall of Fame is there, as well as the Fort Worth Stockyards.
http://www.cowgirl.net/

From there, you can head north on I-35 or I-45. Connecting to I-40, I would also recommend taking a trek over to Memphis and going home north from there. If you've never been to Memphis, it has some awesome music history (and Elvis only being a part of that). I'm not a huge Elvis fan, but I loved Graceland. Very impressive and well-run.

If any of these things interest you, you can do a search here on Fodors of other trip reports, etc to see if these are things you might want to do.

Have a fun and safe drive!

Paula
Chicago-born,
Texas-adopted
sarge56 is offline  
Old Nov 1st, 2008, 08:35 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,694
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
idleweiss, February might not be the time to do this, but if you come back the same route and come up through Missouri on I-44, there are some pretty places to visit if you get off the beaten track a bit. There are tons of caves to visit if you like that sort of thing--Near Springfield is the big one that they drive you through, Meramec is closer to St. Louis.

And on the more easterly side of MO there are some absolutely beautiful springs to visit. You have to wind about to visit them, through the Mark Twain Nat'l forest, but in the spring it is well worth a detour IMO. Alley Springs is one of the more famous ones and as I recall the most photographed springs in the state. Big Springs is a different kind of springs, and a fisherman's haven.

Elephant Rock state park is very unusual. I don't know if the Johnson Shut-Ins have truly recovered from the Taum Sauk Reservoir failure but I could look that up.

If that interests you, I can come back with links.
Toucan2 is offline  
Old Nov 1st, 2008, 03:39 PM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 172
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Idleweiss, I know this is off the subject of driving info, but I noticed on one of your other posts you mentioned you enjoyed hiking. Did you find some good areas in Tucson to hike? Would be interested, as we also love to hike and enjoy the outdoors.
ustwo is offline  
Old Nov 1st, 2008, 11:07 PM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 304
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Among many hiking trails in and near Tucson, Sabino and Madera Canyons are often highly recommended. Katchner Caverns are also very interesting to see. I have seen hikers there, but I have not hiked in that area. Tucson has a great Visitors Guide with many activities and events listed as well as a informative magazine called Discover Southern Arizona which is available free. Tucson will certainly beat Chicago in Feb. as far as weather! You will enjoy your stay!
CollegeMom is offline  
Old Nov 5th, 2008, 04:02 PM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 5,741
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
idleweiss, the natural caves in SW Missouri are amazing. But I have to say that Merrimac is not the best (it is by far the most publicized, that is for sure!).

The Onondoga State Cave park is much better. And cheaper. You most definitely should make a stop there if you're traveling thru SW MO on the way home.

Here is the website:

http://www.mostateparks.com/onondaga.htm

sarge56 is offline  
Old Nov 6th, 2008, 03:21 PM
  #26  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 111
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
historytraveler
Sorry I haven't gotten back to you - been out of town. I like very much your scenic and salt river canyon route. We would take the scenic stuff on the way home from Tucson to Chgo. and take rkkwan's faster route going to Tucson. My husband has mapped it out on mapquest and it is apparently approx. 665 miles and 11+ hours using your route in reverse from Tucson to Albuquerque. Can you suggest a midway stop? We would probably want to go to Santa Fe either in place of or in addition to Albuquerque. Thanks again.
idleweiss is offline  
Old Nov 8th, 2008, 01:40 PM
  #27  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 111
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi ustwo Did not want to neglect answering your question on hiking around Tucson. As you said we are seeking info. on stops along the way for our driving itinerary, and prefer to keep this as the main thread but go to www.localhikes.com If you do not see Tucson. add it. They give you enormous info on all hikes, explain what you will see and rate the hikes as to difficulty. We take easy and moderate, but you may be able to do more. We have tried twice to hike the Vetana Canyon trail which, for me, is difficult but people a lot older than myself are able to do it. Maybe this year we will try once more.We love hiking Sabino,and when you drive into Saguaro East or West as well as going to Mt. Lemmon, there are many different hikes. Info is given to you on site. hope this helps.

Also historytraveller interested in hearing from you and has anyone driven to Tucson from the midwest??
idleweiss is offline  
Old Nov 8th, 2008, 03:56 PM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 6,134
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
idleweiss, with all the talk about other options and routes, I hadn't bothered to come back to your post. Glad I had another look.

We've driven this route a number of time with a few variations.Usually we are coming or going from Denver. We hardly ever drive over 7 hours a day and I we usually spend the night in Sante Fe. Sante Fe is,IMO, much more interesting than Albuquerque.

We have also gone northeast of Holbrook into Utah and stopped at Bluff for the night before heading up to Moab and on to Denver. There is a nice motel there. If you are interested I'll get back to you on the name.

If I haven't answered your questions satisfactorily, please ask again.
historytraveler is offline  
Old Nov 8th, 2008, 09:36 PM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 6,134
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I can spell ( most of the time). It should be Santa Fe.
historytraveler is offline  
Old Nov 8th, 2008, 09:40 PM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 304
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Chances are the weather will be better and warmer for sightseeing on the way back to Chicago in March, but it sounds like you can be flexible either way which helps. We have had ice storms and wonderfully dry roads in Jan. We have gone your route for 5 years from just north of Chicago to Tucson. We figure 28 driving hours on the road with good roads/weather. Our stops with good roads are Springfield, MO, Santa Rosa, NM and then Tucson with about 10-12 hours of driving per day. We have seen the sights so don't stop enroute. We do take highway 25 out of Santa Rosa toward Las Cruces and the Hatch/Deming cutoff unless we visit friends in Las Cruces. Santa Rosa to Las Cruces is about 4 hours and Las Cruces to Tucson is about 5 hours. The White Sands National Park on 25 is interesting if you like that era of history.

We usually take this southern route heading to Tucson and either return the same way or through Colorado/IA etc. if the weather looks good when we come north. Retirement offers many benefits, and flexibility is one of them so we just watch the weather and plan accordingly. Only once did we spend an extra day/night in Springfield because of a horrible ice storm, and we have left Chicago area a day early to avoid the predicted (and actual) snowstorm. You will love Tucson in Feb./March!
CollegeMom is offline  
Old Nov 9th, 2008, 10:43 AM
  #31  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 111
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
historytraveler & any other fodorite
We will definitely take the salt river canyon route to Santa Fe on the way home to Chgo. from Tucson. As this is probably a 12+ hour drive, we would want to take our time and make an overnight stop somewher in the middle. Do you have a suggestion about where to stop that would be interesting.
idleweiss is offline  
Old Nov 9th, 2008, 12:15 PM
  #32  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 6,134
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I was surprised that the trip took 12 hours, but when I asked Mr. history (the driver) he said it'd take about 12 hours. Guess my memory isn't that good.

Okay, for a place to stop I think Showlow is probably your best bet. Snowflake (love the name) is a much smaller town just north of Showlow, but they do have a couple of nice motels. Holbrook while definitely lacking in charm has several of the usual motel chains on the north side of highway 40.

A possible add on if you stop at Showlow would be to take the circular route which is highway 73 to Fort Apache and by the Kinisha Ruins up to 260 which takes you into Showlow.

Have a great trip and let me now how it goes.
historytraveler is offline  
Old Nov 9th, 2008, 12:38 PM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 6,134
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would also suggest you try and stop at Acoma Pueblo. It is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the U.S. It's on 40 near Grant and about 40 miles west of Albuquerque.
historytraveler is offline  
Old Nov 9th, 2008, 07:04 PM
  #34  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 172
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks idleweiss for the hiking webpage. I bookmarked it and will explore it as soon as I get time. It looks interesting and I think it will be a good help to us.

CollegeMom, you said you take 25 out of Santa Rosa. Did you mean 54? Have you ever stayed at the Baymont Inn and Suites in Santa Rosa?
ustwo is offline  
Old Nov 10th, 2008, 08:08 AM
  #35  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 6,134
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
After rereading your post, I think I'm still a bit confused on travel times. Are you saying you think it'll take 12 hours from Tucson to Chicago? Originally I thought you meant Tucson to Albuquerque and I'm sure that route is about 8 hours depending on the number of stops you make. But I'm also certain that it would take longer than 12 hours to get from Tucson to Chicago. I know it usually took us about 13 hours from Tucson to Denver with an overnight in Santa Fe. We would leave Tucson early (about 6:00 a.m.)and arrive in Santa Fe about 2:00 p.m. That was going the fastest and least scenic route which is I 10 to cut-off to Hatch and then I 25.

historytraveler is offline  
Old Nov 10th, 2008, 01:54 PM
  #36  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 304
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
For ustwo, you are correct it should have been 54 from Sata Rosa to Las Cruces. We have not stayed at the Baymont Inn and Suites in Santa Rosa. We have stayed at the La Quinta and Best Western, and both were fine. There are many hotels on the same street, so we have never had a problem arriving without a reservation. The White Sands Park is on NM 54 if that matters to you.

For historytraveler: With many stops it could be 12 hours (typically 8 or 9) to Santa Rosa from Tucson, but it is unfortunately about 28 hours from Tucson to Chicago. It would be wonderful if it were only 12 by car!
CollegeMom is offline  
Old Dec 31st, 2017, 04:52 AM
  #37  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
not sure how old this post is..but i am so tired of winter and we are retired. a few years..would like to leave next winter January probably and return end of April..an have never did this before..but thinking about a rental in Tucson..and also concerned about the winter driving..also not sure about the area..i was looking at rental in the Tanque VERDE VALLEY DESERT
lou353 is offline  
Old Dec 31st, 2017, 08:44 AM
  #38  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 70,412
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Welcome to Fodors lou353. >>not sure how old this post is
janisj is online now  
Old Dec 31st, 2017, 05:21 PM
  #39  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 16,927
Received 22 Likes on 4 Posts
Start a new thread. Tanque Verde is an area on the east side of Tucson. Don't know anything about Valley Desert. Maybe a condo complex? I would never drive from NJ to AZ in the winter. Did it rom Chicago once and barely escaped ice storms in OK. Get a long term car rental or ship your car.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
maribethp
United States
33
Dec 16th, 2013 06:27 AM
Heavens
United States
9
May 22nd, 2012 04:57 PM
skagitgirl
United States
5
Mar 10th, 2011 07:44 PM
Clousie
United States
9
Jun 27th, 2010 01:07 PM
jfos
United States
8
Sep 24th, 2009 03:43 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -