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San Fran to Grand Canyon


AutoteacherSonny

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A great deal depends upon your preferences in getting there. Is speed of the essence, or do you want to take some time and see any interesting sights along the route? If you look a Google maps, it suggests a very time efficient route, using I5, then CA58 over Tehachapi to Barstow, then I40 to AZ64 and to the park. That would be the most direct route and it has no difficult grades, but there is no route that avoids all mountain passes.

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The route Kirk outlined is as good as any. "Excessive grades" are in the eyes of the beholder, but, although this route is not perfectly flat, as Kirk said, there are no difficult grades.

 

You're unlikely to run into snow at this time of year (Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon are both supposed to have highs around 75 today), although there could be a freak storm that drops some snow in the higher elevations. If that happens, it shouldn't last long, though.

 

If you don't already have one, I recommend getting a copy of the Mountain Directory (there's both a Western Edition and an Eastern Edition), http://www.mountaindirectory.com. You can buy the paper edition(s) at this website, or others, like Amazon, or you can get either the app for iPhone/iPads or Android phones/tablets, or the eBook for Windows computers.

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There's nothing scary about going over the Tehachapi Mtns (Hwy 58) but it is home to a couple of wind turbine farms in the country - i.e. it can get windy.

 

If the winds get too high the Calif. Highway Patrol will issue an advisory against high profile vehicles going along Hwy 58, along with electronic warning signs along the road.

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If you have the time, take I-80 to Reno and follow US-395 south to Bastow (sp?). Beautiful drive. Stay in the BLM campgrounds along the way. Dry camping. There are a couple of 6-7% grades, but nothing really bad.

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