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Road Trip from Toronto to Grand Canyon

Discussion in 'North America -' started by ZsoZso, May 25, 2015.

  1. ZsoZso

    ZsoZso Member

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    Hi All,

    I am planning to make a family road-trip in my Tesla Model S from Toronto to the Grand Canyon and back soon (June 6-21). We have dedicated 2 weeks for the entire trip, so it is not intended to be a mad-dash. If we spend only a couple of days at the Grand Canyon, that leaves about 6 days per one-way trip, so it should be a relaxed trip stopping and spending time at nice places along the route. This brings me to my question to the American readers of this forum

    What are the sites (nature, cities, cultural) worth visiting along / near the supercharger route between Toronto and Grand Canyon ?

    I have visited Chicago once (alone, without my family) and liked the architecture of the city, so that is definitely one stop I am planning, but that is the only personal experience I have along the route.

    The rough route I am looking at (let me know if there is a better alternative):
    Toronto -> Toledo -> Chicago -> La Crosse -> Sioux Falls -> Rapid City -> Denver -> Richfield -> Las Vegas -> Grand Canyon

    I will plan the nightly stops and trip-section breakdown based on what we would visit.
    Please, post suggestions to choose from and we will make our picks with my family.
    We do like hiking National parks (only relatively short, few hour hikes will fit into the schedule though), but we are also open to all other kinds of tourist attractions.

    Thanks a lot!
     
  2. cpa

    cpa Member

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    Cottonwood can help out, but here are a few suggestions:

    Unless you love the glitz and glamor of Lost Wages, skip it. Instead, take in Arches and Canyonlands National Parks in east-central Utah. You can make Moab easily from Grand Junction, Colorado. Plenty of hiking and fun things to see. Superchargers are in Moab and Blanding on your way to the Grand Canyon. If you enjoy the classical Westerns from the 30s-60s, then Monument Valley is right on your way to the eastern entrance to the Grand Canyon. Just take US163 from Bluff, Utah and that will put you smack-dab into Monument Valley. You should range charge at Blanding with the understanding that you can top off at Goulding's Campground (right at the Utah-Arizona line) or at the Tuba City Quality Inn if you stop for a snack or a refreshment. South Rim has a couple of charging spots for your stay. You might also venture forth to the North Rim for a different perspective as well! The Painted Desert, Petrified Forest National Park and the Meteor Crater are all east of Flagstaff on the way to Gallup, New Mexico.

    If you have children, they (and you) might like to visit Durango, Colorado and take the Durango and Silverton narrow gauge railroad for a day trip--the steam locomotive is something (at least for boys) really interesting. Also, Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks in Southern Utah are worthwhile, and are proximate. If you do decide to see Vegas, at least stop at Hoover Dam and take the tour that explains the construction and even allows you to descend into the dam itself (if they still offer it--it has been decades for me since I took the tour.)

    Your route from Rapid City to Denver encompasses the Black Hills and Mt. Rushmore--also Deadwood and Lead are sorta on the way but are a little touristy from my recollection.

    If you like a little derring-do and wish to have a leg off the Supercharger Highway, try taking US160 east of Durango to Pagosa Springs, and then northward to Salida for a 70A charge before reaching either Silverthorne or Lone Tree Mall to resume the Supercharger Highway. As always, check and re-check PlugShare for all possible charging opportunities--they are out there; you just need to do your homework!

    Since you are from Toronto, you and your family should be prepared for heat! It will be hot and hotter throughout the American Southwest, particularly if you go through Vegas. Carry plenty of water!

    Have a blast, safe travels, and enjoy the "fly over" part of the US!
     
  3. araxara

    araxara S-P85#3,218 X-90D#3,299

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    You can also head east from the Flagstaff Supercharger to the Holbrook Supercharger and check out the Petrified National Forest nearby. You could make this part of your return trip and head back up to Denver after that.
    17BD8A7E-1DD8-B71C-0EAF6D60CECEC6E5.jpg
     
  4. RiverBrick

    RiverBrick Active Member

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    From Chicago to Denver the I-55 to I-70 route is faster than going North through South Dakota, despite there being a Supercharger missing in the middle of Missouri. Worse comes to worse, you simply charge for 1-2 hours on L2 in Columbia, but you save a couple hundred miles.
     
  5. ZsoZso

    ZsoZso Member

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    Thanks for the tips!

    I do have 2 teenage kids: boy-13 and girl-18.

    If I'm going the Missouri route, what kind of card do I need for using L2 chargers in the area ?
     
  6. RiverBrick

    RiverBrick Active Member

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    The Chargepoint card activates several stations in Missouri, most of which are free.
     
  7. abasile

    abasile Independent Software Eng.

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    This is true, but there are plenty of "sky islands" in the Southwest with pleasant summer temperatures. (In our mountain community, summer highs are rarely above 85 F and it's not as humid as the East.)

    We like the North Rim of the Grand Canyon because it's higher, cooler, less crowded, and the aspen/spruce forests are beautiful. On the other hand, there are fewer amenities than at the South Rim. You could always visit both Rims and couple that with plenty of time in picturesque southern Utah. I wouldn't go out of my way to see Las Vegas, but then I don't gamble or enjoy breathing cigarette/cigar smoke. The nicest part of Las Vegas is nearby Mount Charleston, IMHO.

    In Utah, Bryce Canyon is above 6000 feet elevation and generally pleasant. Cedar Breaks National Monument in southwestern Utah is at 10,000 feet elevation and has some impressive sights.
     
  8. cpa

    cpa Member

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    There is also a bed 'n' breakfast with a Tesla HPWC for guests in a town called Rochefort (spelling might be a little off) that is about 15 miles west of Columbia and 3-4 miles north of Interstate 70. You could charge there overnight and then skip the Independence SC and head directly to Topeka--about 180 miles or so.

    You also might consider staying overnight at motels that have Superchargers or at establishments with HPWC or J1772 plugs to save some charging time on your first leg of the following day. You can plug in overnight at the L2 chargers, or move your car to the Supercharger after rising to get your charge while you and your family get ready for the day. Others may differ with me, but my experience is that Supercharging adds around an hour for every 5 hours driving, so charging during meal breaks or overnight/first thing in the morning will save you some down time each day.
     
  9. ZsoZso

    ZsoZso Member

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    We started our trip today 7am from Brampton. Had a quick coffee break at the Tim Horton's beside the Woodstock SC, then a bit longer break at Comber. The SC was empty at both places, all stalls free, no ICEing. We had lunch while charging at Maumee, this time I saw another Tesla arriving just as we left. Up until this point the weather was fairly cold (16C-18C) and rainy, but then the rain stopped and it started to warm up quickly in the afternoon all the way to 32C. We skipped Angola, then had a coffee break at Mishawaka SC, then arrived to Chicago around 5pm. I parked at an indoor public parking with a Tesla HPWC while we had a walk in the city and dinner, then we drove down to the Country Club Hills SC just south of the city with the plan to sleep at the Best Western close to the SC, but unfortunately that was fully booked, so I dropped off my family in a Holiday Inn a few miles further in Tinley Park and went back to the SC to fill up. Now I am back in to hotel closing the first day of the journey with 90%SoC. In the morning we will head down towards Kansas. It was a pleasant first day, no too eventful.
     
  10. ZsoZso

    ZsoZso Member

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    Second day we drove from Chicago to Kansas City, some short heavy rain-storms with sunny periods between. Superchargers mostly empty, sometimes saw 1 other Tesla charging. I managed to drive the 212 mile gap from the St. Louis SC to Kansas City with 23 miles to spare - most of the time during the drive I had ~40 miles to spare until the last ~60 miles when I stopped watching my speed and started to drive faster being confident that I can make it no problem. We are staying at the Stoney Creek Hotel right beside the SC, arrived around 8pm, has a nice walk around the small lake behind the hotel.
     
  11. MorrisonHiker

    MorrisonHiker Beta Tester

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    #11 MorrisonHiker, Jun 14, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2015
    There's a nice hiking trail around beautiful Red Rocks Park west of Denver, just south of I-70. You can hike the trail in a hour and check out the amphitheatre if you have time. There is a restaurant on site and free public J1772 chargers available at the Trading Post if you'd like to top off before entering the Rockies.
     
  12. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    There are two nice choices to cut the sides of the 4-Corners S-turn.

    Blanding to Flagstaff takes you through beautiful Monument Valley. It is possible to hypermile this segment with a 99% charge, but good insurance stops are Gouldings Campground - Monument Valley, UT — PlugShare, Quality Inn - Navajo Nation - Tuba City, AZ — PlugShare, or Cottonwood RV Park - Bluff, UT — PlugShare.

    Farmington to Silverthorne is longer, but with an overnight in Pagosa Springs at Incredible Pagosa - Pagosa Springs, CO — PlugShare enjoying the hot springs in Pagosa, you can then hypermile it to Silverthorne, or better yet, stop in at Woods High Mountain Distillery - Salida, CO — PlugShare and enjoy downtown Salida. The J-plugs's in both Pagosa and Salida are 70 Amps.

    I recommend the Blanding to Flagstop hop on the way there and the Farmington to Silverthorne hop on the way back.

    Have fun!
     
  13. Ugliest1

    Ugliest1 S85: "Sparky"

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    I'm a broken record whenever anyone mentions a trip passing through Utah. If you stop to supercharge in Moab and have, say 3-4 hours extra, go see Dead Horse Point State Park. It's about a 30-45 minute drive from Moab, and it is my #1 scenic view memory now out of all the travels I've taken, I think it's even "better" than the Grand Canyon. If you can't find anyone who will tell you the story behind the name, let me know.
     
  14. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    Hear, hear! Dead Horse Point State Park - Plan a trip to Utah's most spectacular State Park.

    If you have your mountain bike in the back of the S, there are some great trails there, also: Dead Horse Point (Intrepid Trail System)
     
  15. DFiveK2

    DFiveK2 Member

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  16. ZsoZso

    ZsoZso Member

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    Thanks for the tip! We made a short stop in the park, it was very nice!

    [​IMG]

    Wow, that was indeed a beautiful site to visit! Some photos for those who have not seen this place yet: Photos by Zsolt Zsoldos - Google Photos
    Thanks for the tip!
     
  17. glenhurst

    glenhurst Member

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    What? No pictures of the Tesla? ;-)
     
  18. ZsoZso

    ZsoZso Member

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    Third day (Monday) we drove from Kansas City to Colorado Springs, we stayed at the Old Town Guesthouse Bed & Breakfast which has a Tesla HPWC + J1772 EV plug, the HPWC runs at full 80A, but you need to ask the owners to turn the power on for the chargers. BTW, they are very nice people, we just showed up without reservation quite late and they were very helpful to accommodate us.

    Fourth (Tuesday) day we visited the Garden of the Gods (https://goo.gl/photos/UVwJxwwwihSczQPe9), then drove up to Denver SC, visited Red Rocks Park, then drove through the Rockies on I70 -- very nice scenery (https://goo.gl/photos/rfW3HGuUVbE4Q5Y16) to Glenwood Springs where we had an evening dip in the hot spring pools.

    Wednesday morning (5th day) we drove to Moab and had a 4 hour rafting adventure on the Colorado river, then a little hike at the Dead Horse Point, then drove to Richfield and slept at the Holiday Inn right next to the Supercharger.
    Thursday (6th day) we had a short trip with lots of breaks to check out the scenic Byway 12. (Photos by Zsolt Zsoldos - Google Photos)

    @glenhurst: the links in this post do have some pictures that include the Tesla ;)
     
  19. MorrisonHiker

    MorrisonHiker Beta Tester

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    Glad to see you made it to Red Rocks (although it might've been underwhelming after already having visited Garden if the Gods).

    In the picture with your Tesla, you can actually see my house in the distance. :)
     
  20. CHGolferJim

    CHGolferJim Member

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    Great thread enjoyed with Sunday morning coffee. Thanks.
     

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