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Old 07-11-2016, 01:25 PM   #1
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Lake Tahoe to Moab - Easiest Route?

For those of you who explore the western US:

If you were driving from Lake Tahoe to Moab with an Argosy 26' in Tow would you take I-80 (longer miles, but on an interstate) or US-50 (More direct, but not interstate). It's a long drive and I'm looking for the easiest route.

This would be travel in July, so snow and ice shouldn't be an issue :-)

Thanks in advance !

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Old 07-11-2016, 01:55 PM   #2
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Between those 2 options the easiest as what I think you're looking for is the I-80 route. It's easy straight forward driving, not a lot of stops or turns to worry about, and stays in a more civilized route for getting gas depending on your gas tank size.
If you google maps the routes the I-80 is 14 min slower than the US-50 route but in reality with the trailer, the I-80 will likely be faster.
Plus there are some pretty long stretches on US-50 without gas, so if I was on that route I'd be stopping about every time I saw gas to be sure I could get to the next gas station. Of course depends on your gas tank size.
I've driven both routes, the I-80 is easier, the US-50 more scenic.

It's a long drive, expect 12+ hours of driving, consider breaking it in two if you can. I drove from Lee Vining/Mono Lake to Moab in one shot, it was very long, and remember getting a little drowsy on the US-191 stretch south to moab.

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Old 07-11-2016, 02:01 PM   #3
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Reno to Moab

We just returned from Oregon through Reno/Tahoe on our way back to Norman, OK at the end of June 2016. We traveled via I-80 through Salt Lake and down through Moab on our way back. I-80 is like all interstates; boring but efficient if you're trying to get someplace sooner rather than later. We stayed in Winnemucca, NV at the KOA for one night on the way. It is new and well maintained. Would stop there again if that way.

We have also traveled east and west on Hwy 50 by car, but not towing, from Denver to Mt. Shasta & Mt. Lassen through Green River, UT Ely and Reno. Less traveled; a different kind of beauty across vast scenic expanses. ("The Loneliest Road in America") I would not hesitate to tow my Airstream going this route. May well at some point.

More "civilization" along I-80. But not much...

Safe travels.
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Old 07-11-2016, 09:28 PM   #4
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Folks who get value from a KOA may be happiest there. We often stay at KOA, but do not use their amenities. We were happy to find a Passport America Park (New Frontier) located up the hill from the KOA in Winnemucca. It is not as close to 80 so a bit quieter and with PA membership, much less expensive. Unlike many PA parks that are long in the tooth, Frontier is quite new It is large with many sites, lots of cabins for semi permanent occupancy, much gravel, and very young trees. We would go there again and were glad we investigated. The Casino in front was a short walk and made for a nice dinner option.

We may try 50. After many trips the view along 80 is no longer engaging. The distance between gas stops on 50 is of concern, but looks doable. Everyone has to travel the Lincoln highway at least once.

Good luck on your trip to Moab.

Travel safe. Pat
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Old 07-12-2016, 12:11 PM   #5
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We've done both routes pulling our 23' AS. US 50 is memorable, I-80 is forgetful. In July heat will be an issue in the desert either route, heaven forbid you have a problem, but assistance may be more responsive on 80. Fill up every chance you get on 50, but it's fine, also a good road. 50 reminds me of growing up in western KS. "it is said that if you stand in the middle of the road and stare real hard down the road, you can see the back of your own head" :-) Safe travels and enjoy the wonderful west, traffic will not be a problem on either route.
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Old 07-12-2016, 12:30 PM   #6
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If you go I80, stay in Elko and have dinner at the world famous Star Hotel!

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Old 07-12-2016, 01:04 PM   #7
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US 50 =
I 80 =
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Old 07-12-2016, 06:51 PM   #8
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Lake Tahoe to moab

I would definitely take Highway 50 to 70 then to Moab. Little traffic, lots places to pull over. Very easy drive. I have done this several times at different times of year. Beats the awful traffic of Salt Lake. Stop at Great Basin on the way.
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Old 07-12-2016, 09:14 PM   #9
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There is a reason 50 is known as "The Lonliest Road". Make sure your tank is full when starting out. Don't pass up the opportunity to top off along the way.
I will be making the same trip in September. It is boring I 80 for me this time.
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Old 07-12-2016, 09:33 PM   #10
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There are gas stations in Fallon, Eureka, and Ely, and probably a few other places on Hwy 50. Traveling on Hwy 50 is an experience. Traveling on I-80 is a chore. Hwy 50 is well paved, and well worth it, if for no other reason than you might decide to pull over and get out of your vehicle and look as far as you can see in each direction and possibly not see another car (for a while, anyway; Hwy 50 is not abandoned). The stretch between Ely and Delta, UT is gorgeous.

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Old 07-12-2016, 09:42 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Claudiaj View Post
I would definitely take Highway 50 to 70 then to Moab. Little traffic, lots places to pull over. Very easy drive. I have done this several times at different times of year. Beats the awful traffic of Salt Lake. Stop at Great Basin on the way.
We did this in May, going from Tahoe to Cave Lake SP (a worthwhile detour alternative to Great Basin), then on to 70 and Moab. Stunning, easy, and plenty of places to top off your tank. 50 is really not all that "lonely" but a very peaceful drive.
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Old 07-12-2016, 11:23 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by McDave View Post
Traveling on Hwy 50 is an experience. Traveling on I-80 is a chore.
This is the very best description! And, if you travel Hwy 50 you have an excellent reason to stop for the night at Great Basin National Park in Eastern Nevada, a truly unknown little gem in the National Park System.

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Old 07-16-2016, 04:47 PM   #13
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Thanks for the great advice ! We ended up taking Hwy 80 - but couldn't go the distance and stopped in Price, UT (I hate driving mountains at night). I didn't think Hwy 80 was 'That Bad' and the we did get to see the great Salt Lake. Next time we come back this way we might try Hwy 50.

Arches, and Deadhorse point near Moab are fantastic by the way. I actually think Arches is way better than the Grand Canyon, as there are so many more opportunities to get out and 'be in the middle' of it all. It's much more hands on.

I appreciate all the great advice. Safe travels all !
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Old 07-16-2016, 08:50 PM   #14
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This time of year, HY 50 should be no problem. Just keep an eye on your gas tank and mileages to the nearest towns with gas stations. Then enjoy the Big Empty.

You can't take I-80 all the way to Moab: were you thinking of dropping down to I-70 at some point? Via I-15 through the Wasatch Front? Unless you have a specific reason to stop in Salt Lake City or Provo, we'd avoid it: a serious rush hour, and oftentimes serious construction that ties up traffic.

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