User Content > Road Trips

US 160, end-to-end?

(1/15) > >>

So, if the opportunity presents itself, I'm considering doing a trip end-to-end on US 160, then doubling back to US 163 and trying to hit Monument Valley, the Moki Dugway, etc. Return trip would probably be getting up to I-70 and just coming east from whatever point I get on the interstate, but that's subject to change. (My brother has mentioned going to Utah sometime, and I'm trying to convince him to make this trip; he had mentioned flying out west and renting a car to go to Monument Valley and the Dugway, but there's no way I'd get on a plane right now because of the virus.)

So, I'm trying to figure out realistically how long it would take to drive the length of US 160, and where logical overnight stopping points would be.

If we left early enough the first day, we could realistically make it to Springfield the first night. But if we didn't depart (he lives about 2.5 hours away in the Golden Triangle area) until later in the day, the first night's stop would likely be either in Paducah, Sikeston, or Poplar Bluff, which would put us getting beyond Springfield on the first full day of travel. And the trip would be complicated by an impending closure of the US 51 bridge between Wickliffe and Cairo; probably the best bypass would be I-64 to I-57 instead of trying to cross at Paducah and then trying to get over to Cairo, especially since the Dorena-Hickman Ferry has been beset by closures this summer.

I'm not sure exactly where in Kansas would be targets to shoot for when considering overnight stops. I'm guessing plenty of opportunities are available in Trinidad and Walsenberg, which are the beginning and ending points of the I-25 concurrency, but I'm also guessing making it from Springfield to I-25 in one day would be a stretch. (By contrast, on a trip back in the early 1990s, we overnighted along I-70 in Hays, Kan., and the next day made it to a point south of I-70 (Montrose?) on US 50 to prepare for a drive down US 550 to the Four Corners, and then-US 666 to Gallup.)


Don't know how often you get the chance to take a drive-on ferry ride, but if you're on US-160 east of Branson, then you're just a few short miles down MO/AR-125 from the Peel Ferry across Bull Shoals Lake.  It's free and there's always a line, including usually a mess of motorcycles, but you'd have to stay in your vehicle these days due to Covid-19.  Shame too, as it's cool to take kids on it and have them stand near the front and back as it transits the lake and peer down into the engine room at the John Deere diesel engine tugging you across.

Max Rockatansky:
West of I-25 isnít really much a problem time wise since US 160 is either in rural areas, mountain passes, or the Navajo Nation. 

Alamosa CO has an abundance of lodging (at least in the Hampton Inn etc. range) and shopping. That and Salida CO (on US 50) are the places I usually overnight and reprovision, before spending a few days at a hot springs resort about halfway between the two off US 285. Alamosa is near Great Sand Dunes National Park, worth a look even if you don't try to surf down one of the dunes.

Pagosa Springs CO is pretty skimpy on the usual lodging chains. Cortez CO has a few. I'm not familiar with your options in Walsenburg CO and Trinidad CO, at opposite ends of the overlap with I-25.

The west end of US 160 is within the Navajo Nation. Right now, it has COVID 19-related restrictions to navigate around (most notably night and sometimes weekend curfews, and closure of Navajo-operated parks like the Four Corners tourist trap), though they didn't stop me from traveling part of US 160 within the reservation last month.

The closest major city near the east end of 160 is Poplar Bluff. I would stay there, so you could get on 160 soon after you depart that day. Springfield, MO is about five hours away from the terminus, and the road becomes much less crooked after Reeds Spring Junction. I'm not sure how much you want to drive each day, on the long end (7hrs) you could leave the state and stay in Pittsburg KS.


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version