AARoads Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Cinci to Denver: different routes across MO & KS & Eastern CO?  (Read 7088 times)

keithvh

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 79
  • Location: Cincinnati, OH
  • Last Login: September 16, 2019, 02:05:22 AM

Obviously, the "quickest" route from Cincinnati to Denver is I-70 (picking it up in Indianapolis) all the way across.  But I've already DONE that one.  Looking at a map, these look like other options:

(1)  US-36 across Northern Missouri and Northern Kansas, connecting w/ I-70 finally just east of Denver.

(2)  US-24 also goes across Northern Missouri and Northern Kansas, connecting w/ I-70 in far West Kansas.

(3)  US-50, which goes right through downtown Cincinnati already, all the way across to eastern Colorado.

(4)  Meet up with US-60 near Cairo, IL, take that through southern Missouri, then angle up to Denver via something like US-400.

I am a bit of a "county collector", not really hard-core but I like going new ways if I'm going to do a trip I've done before.  Each of the above would add up to a couple dozen counties (I have basically all the counties in southern Indiana, southern Illinois & western Kentucky between Cincinnati and the Mississippi River).  Of the 4 routes above, which would be most "interesting", from scenery, seeing new stuff, et cetera?  Any other possible options (I don't want to add TOO many hours to the trip, of course)?  Obviously, I could do 2 of these (1 out and 1 back).

Thanks!
Logged

hbelkins

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 13431
  • It is well, it is well, with my soul.

  • Age: 57
  • Location: Kentucky
  • Last Login: September 18, 2019, 04:28:35 PM
    • Millennium Highway
Re: Cinci to Denver: different routes across MO & KS & Eastern CO?
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2014, 11:05:48 PM »

Obviously, the "quickest" route from Cincinnati to Denver is I-70 (picking it up in Indianapolis) all the way across.  But I've already DONE that one.  Looking at a map, these look like other options:

(1)  US-36 across Northern Missouri and Northern Kansas, connecting w/ I-70 finally just east of Denver.

(2)  US-24 also goes across Northern Missouri and Northern Kansas, connecting w/ I-70 in far West Kansas.

(3)  US-50, which goes right through downtown Cincinnati already, all the way across to eastern Colorado.

(4)  Meet up with US-60 near Cairo, IL, take that through southern Missouri, then angle up to Denver via something like US-400.

I am a bit of a "county collector", not really hard-core but I like going new ways if I'm going to do a trip I've done before.  Each of the above would add up to a couple dozen counties (I have basically all the counties in southern Indiana, southern Illinois & western Kentucky between Cincinnati and the Mississippi River).  Of the 4 routes above, which would be most "interesting", from scenery, seeing new stuff, et cetera?  Any other possible options (I don't want to add TOO many hours to the trip, of course)?  Obviously, I could do 2 of these (1 out and 1 back).

Thanks!

I've done US 60 across Missouri, US 50 all the way from Cincinnati to just across the KS/MO border, and US 36 from St. Joseph all the way across Missouri and as far east as it runs concurrently with I-72.

Scenery-wide, US 60 is definitely the most interesting, as you get some mountainous terrain between Poplar Bluff and Springfield. US 50 has the disadvantage of taking you through downtown Jefferson City, which can be a slowdown, and parts of the trip through Indiana can be slow as well. You do get to see the Illinois section where bridges were built for a four-lane but the connecting lanes remain unbuilt. Nothing really stood out for me on US 36 unless you're just dying to see all the CKC MO 110 signs.

From Cincinnati, I'd do I-71 to I-64 to I-57 to connect with US 60 at Sikeston.
Logged

renegade

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 455
  • Change my mind.

  • Age: -40
  • Location: Metro Detroit
  • Last Login: September 18, 2019, 12:35:26 PM
Re: Cinci to Denver: different routes across MO & KS & Eastern CO?
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2014, 02:03:34 AM »

Could do I-74 to I-80, then west to I-76 down to Denver.  Lots of chances to do parallel highways if the interstates get boring.
Logged

corco

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4950
  • Just Livin' the Dream

  • Age: 31
  • Location: Boise, Idaho
  • Last Login: September 18, 2019, 11:22:25 PM
    • Corcohighways.org
Re: Cinci to Denver: different routes across MO & KS & Eastern CO?
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2014, 02:36:40 PM »

36 is my preferred route across Kansas (decent scenery, nice but not annoyingly frequent small towns, a good bit of sort  of kitschy 1950s Americana), though I haven't done it across Missouri. I have done a good chunk of 50 in Kansas too and would suggest staying away from it- it's really not that interesting and then once you get into Colorado you're battling a string of small towns (if you did 50, I would suggest cutting north on 287 in Lamar), though I do like 50 in Missouri.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2014, 02:54:53 PM by corco »
Logged

agentsteel53

  • invisible hand
  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 15374
  • long live button copy!

  • Age: 38
  • Location: San Diego, CA
  • Last Login: November 21, 2016, 09:58:39 AM
    • AARoads Shield Gallery
Re: Cinci to Denver: different routes across MO & KS & Eastern CO?
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2014, 03:12:40 PM »

36 is my preferred route across Kansas (decent scenery, nice but not annoyingly frequent small towns, a good bit of sort  of kitschy 1950s Americana), though I haven't done it across Missouri. I have done a good chunk of 50 in Kansas too and would suggest staying away from it- it's really not that interesting and then once you get into Colorado you're battling a string of small towns (if you did 50, I would suggest cutting north on 287 in Lamar), though I do like 50 in Missouri.

36 is very different in Missouri than in Kansas.  much more four-lane, much more sections of entirely bypassed towns that can be found on the old alignment.  thus, a lot of the towns are more decrepit and forgotten.
Logged
live from sunny San Diego.

http://shields.aaroads.com

jake@aaroads.com

usends

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 527
  • usends.com

  • Location: Headwaters Hill, CO
  • Last Login: Today at 12:16:57 AM
    • US highway endpoints, photos, maps, and history
Re: Cinci to Denver: different routes across MO & KS & Eastern CO?
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2014, 03:29:04 PM »

Don't know what kinds of things you like to stop for, but here are a few thoughts:

(1)  US-36 across Northern Missouri and Northern Kansas, connecting w/ I-70 finally just east of Denver.
I did this in 2002.  Sounds like speed may not be an issue for you, but I-72/US 36 moved really well across IL and MO (it's 4-laned all the way into KS).  But, because of this, in many cases the alignment is a bypass, so you have to make a little extra effort if you want to see some of those small towns with nice courthouses.  US 36 is two-lanes across KS, but it does take you past an interesting site near Lebanon: the geographic center of the 48 states.  Also a surprisingly scenic area in the northwest corner: the Arikaree Breaks.  US 36 in eastern CO is considered by some to be the loneliest road in the state.

(3)  US-50, which goes right through downtown Cincinnati already, all the way across to eastern Colorado.
If you do this, you'll go through Hutchinson KS - the Cosmosphere museum there is very cool.

(4)  Meet up with US-60 near Cairo, IL, take that through southern Missouri, then angle up to Denver via something like US-400.
This one's out of the way, but if you do it, consider stopping at Ft. Defiance Park near Cairo, which allows you to see one of America's great river confluences.
Logged
usends.com - US highway endpoints, photos, maps, and history

keithvh

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 79
  • Location: Cincinnati, OH
  • Last Login: September 16, 2019, 02:05:22 AM
Re: Cinci to Denver: different routes across MO & KS & Eastern CO?
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2014, 08:07:01 PM »

Thanks for all the suggestions!  Leaving Wednesday, think I'm going to take US-36 across on the way West (technically, this is actually shorter mileage wise than even I-70 is).  Northern KS sounds interesting, and I forgot about the Arikaree Breaks up in the far Northwest ... I've heard good things about that area before!

On the way back, I'm going to have a chance to meet an old friend in Wichita (will just happen to randomly be there on business).  So think I'll go down to Lamar, CO, take US-400 across KS, and eventually meet-up with US-60 to take across southern Missouri.  Sounds like it could be fairly scenic especially around the Ozarks, and at least it's something different.  Yes, Cairo I've been to before but that's definitely worth a re-visit, to see the bridges and confluence once again.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2014, 08:17:57 PM by keithvh »
Logged

thenetwork

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2347
  • Age: 2015
  • Location: Grand Junction, Colorado
  • Last Login: September 18, 2019, 11:54:29 PM
Re: Cinci to Denver: different routes across MO & KS & Eastern CO?
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2014, 01:20:36 AM »

Last time I went cross country from Ohio to Colorado, I followed I-71 to Louisville, I-64 through St. Louis to Wentzville, US-40 to Kansas City, then US-24 to Colorado Springs (trying to follow the pre-freeway alignments whenever possible). 

The time before that I followed US-30 from Ohio to Illinois, then US-6 from Joliet to Denver.  For routes that pretty much parallel the Interstates, I liked US-6 over the US-40 / US-24 combo.
Logged

usends

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 527
  • usends.com

  • Location: Headwaters Hill, CO
  • Last Login: Today at 12:16:57 AM
    • US highway endpoints, photos, maps, and history
Re: Cinci to Denver: different routes across MO & KS & Eastern CO?
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2014, 07:21:47 PM »

...I'm going to take US-36 across on the way West (technically, this is actually shorter mileage wise than even I-70 is)...

...a point not lost on the good people of Norton KS:
http://usends.com/Explore/2001_11_Kansas/index.html
Logged
usends.com - US highway endpoints, photos, maps, and history

keithvh

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 79
  • Location: Cincinnati, OH
  • Last Login: September 16, 2019, 02:05:22 AM
Re: Cinci to Denver: different routes across MO & KS & Eastern CO?
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2014, 06:30:40 PM »

Some quick thoughts on my trip (this was a quick trip, already out to Colorado and back) .....

East to West: Went I-74 to Champaign IL, I-72 to Hannibal MO, US-36 all the way across MO, KS and eastern CO to meet I-70 just to the east of Denver.

First time I traveled I-72 Springfield to Hannibal.  That's a remarkably unbusy highway for a midwest Interstate, given it was around high noon on a Wednesday.  But I did enjoy the road: bridges across the Illinois River are pretty impressive, there was more scenery on the far west part of this route than I thought there would be.

US-36 is pretty dull across Northern Missouri.  I'm not a fan of roads without mile markers, this highway did not have them.  For being a "CKC" route, you'd figure they'd put a mileage to Kansas City on a mileage sign at least once, right???  Not one to be seen.  That I-35/US-36 interchange at Cameron also needs a major upgrade if they're going to sell it as a "CKC" corridor.  LONG lines waiting to go from US-36 West to I-35 south because it's an un-signaled left hand turn.

US-36 in Kansas, meanwhile, I LOVED.  Nearly exclusively 2-lane, but it still traveled pretty quick (traversed KS with an average speed of 58 MPH even w/ towns, gas breaks and breaks for a few pictures).  Scenery was pretty cool --- and seeing the gradual transition from midwest to west was cool too.  Much different experience from I-70 or I-80 in traveling east to west.  Stopped for a little at the interesting spots (Marysville, Lebanon, geographic center of mainland US, Arikaree Breaks).

US-36 in Colorado --- desolate is an understatement.  I was counting, I would see a car heading the opposite direction about once every 3 miles traveled --- in the early afternoon!  There really should be some "no services next 75 miles" signs on this road.  Seeing the "road closed barriers" and the "no snowplowing 7 PM - 5 AM" signs was an attention getter: the weather was beautiful when I traveled through but getting isolated out here w/ car problems in bad weather would absolutely be no joke.  Colorado has the mile markers which I like for rural highways, something to keep the attention.  Got the first glimpse of the Rockies on a rise about 15 miles west of Last Chance.  Always a memorable moment.

West to East: Went I-70 to Limon, US-287 southwest from there to Lamar, picked up US-400 to Wichita and across to Joplin MO, US-60 across southern Missouri to Cairo, eventually to Paducah and I-24/Western KY Parkway/I-75 home to Cincinnati.

US-287 corridor in eastern Colorado was pretty busy --- lots of trucks.  Could tell this area was economically struggling
(drought), nothing was visually appealing.

I know that US-400 isn't particularly popular --- and some don't think it necessary given the many duplexes --- but the  Denver-Garden City-Dodge City-Wichita-I-44 corridor is an actual corridor and given that I feel the single-number routing is justified.  Good highway, although southern KS just simply isn't as visually appealing as northern KS.  This route does need a 4-lane bypass of Pratt, otherwise everything is sufficient.  Greensburg, it's obvious something is "different" there versus other small towns (having to rebuild since the 2007 F5 tornado), I made sure to stop there for food.

US-60 from Springfield to Poplar Bluff isn't terrible --- it's better than US-36 in northern Missouri.  One thing I wasn't prepared for is that it takes a deceptively long time: (a) it's not even close to a straight line, that of course because of geography, and (b) quite a few small towns and (horribly timed) traffic lights.  Most scenic part of the drive was in Carter County, between Winona and Ellsinore.

US-60 from Poplar Bluff to Charleston is dreadfully dull and flat.  It is pretty remarkable the change in topography that occurs at Poplar Bluff.
Logged

bugo

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 6066
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Oklahoma
  • Last Login: September 17, 2019, 06:40:52 AM
    • No Frills Blog
Re: Cinci to Denver: different routes across MO & KS & Eastern CO?
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2014, 10:12:36 AM »

US-60 from Poplar Bluff to Charleston is dreadfully dull and flat.  It is pretty remarkable the change in topography that occurs at Poplar Bluff.

The Mississippi River once ran west of where it does now.
Logged
This signature has been censored by the AARoads Bureau of Morality.

Avalanchez71

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1094
  • Location: Middle Tennessee
  • Last Login: September 02, 2019, 05:12:17 PM
Re: Cinci to Denver: different routes across MO & KS & Eastern CO?
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2014, 02:20:23 PM »

You could have travelled along US 42 to the former US 460 to US 51 to US 40 over to US 85 to Denver.
Logged

nexus73

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1745
  • Age: 63
  • Location: Coos Bay OR
  • Last Login: September 18, 2019, 10:08:42 PM
Re: Cinci to Denver: different routes across MO & KS & Eastern CO?
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2014, 08:30:30 PM »

You could have travelled along US 42 to the former US 460 to US 51 to US 40 over to US 85 to Denver.

You can find "US 42" in Oregon since ODOT placed up a couple US-shielded signs on state route 42 close by Camas Valley.  Seeing those cracked me up!

Rick
Logged
US 101 is THE backbone of the Pacific coast from Bandon OR to Willets CA.  Industry, tourism and local traffic would be gone or severely crippled without it being in functioning condition in BOTH states.

agentsteel53

  • invisible hand
  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 15374
  • long live button copy!

  • Age: 38
  • Location: San Diego, CA
  • Last Login: November 21, 2016, 09:58:39 AM
    • AARoads Shield Gallery
Re: Cinci to Denver: different routes across MO & KS & Eastern CO?
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2014, 08:39:56 PM »



You can find "US 42" in Oregon since ODOT placed up a couple US-shielded signs on state route 42 close by Camas Valley.  Seeing those cracked me up!

Rick

I spotted two.  one eastbound reassurance, one T-junction assembly.  the westbound one in that area was correctly Oregon 42.
Logged
live from sunny San Diego.

http://shields.aaroads.com

jake@aaroads.com

CtrlAltDel

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 691
  • Location: East Tennessee
  • Last Login: Today at 12:59:15 AM
Re: Cinci to Denver: different routes across MO & KS & Eastern CO?
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2014, 08:44:34 PM »

I would suggest i-44 through Missouri. The Ozarks are pretty nice and full of beautiful scenery. The problem is that once you run out of Missouri, there's really no good way to get back north, short of heading straight north on I-49. Although you could take the infamous US-400 to Dodge City. Not sure if that entices you though.
Logged
Interstates clinched: 4, 57, 275 (IN-KY-OH), 465, 640

bugo

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 6066
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Oklahoma
  • Last Login: September 17, 2019, 06:40:52 AM
    • No Frills Blog
Re: Cinci to Denver: different routes across MO & KS & Eastern CO?
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2014, 11:40:49 PM »

I-44 in Missouri is a dreadful road.  Curves, hills, truckers who think they're driving Porsches blatantly cutting you off.  Just a miserable experience, especially in the rain.
Logged
This signature has been censored by the AARoads Bureau of Morality.

leroys73

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 330
  • Age: 70
  • Location: Dallas Area
  • Last Login: January 07, 2019, 08:33:11 AM
Re: Cinci to Denver: different routes across MO & KS & Eastern CO?
« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2014, 09:35:57 PM »

If you have the time I would take US 50 all the way.  I have done US 50 by motorcycle from the Atlantic to its end in California, except from Newton, KS to Denver.  However, my Uncle has ridden it from all the way and he said from St. Louis to Denver is an experience.  Now he did it on a motorcycle so the wind could have given him a problem but by car I believe that would be the way to go.

I spent a lot of my youth only 7 miles from US 50.  I was born in Williamsburg, Ohio just 7 miles from Owensville that is right on US 50.  So I am partial to it.
Logged
'73 Vette, '72 Monte Carlo, ;11 Green with Envy Challenger R/T,Ram, RoyalStarVenture S,USA Honda VTX1300R ridden 49states &11provinces,Driven cars in50 states+DC&21countries,OverseasBrats;IronButt:MileEatersilver,SS1000Gold,SS3000,3xSS2000,18xSS1000, 3TX1000,6BB1500,NPT,LakeSuperiorCircleTour

hbelkins

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 13431
  • It is well, it is well, with my soul.

  • Age: 57
  • Location: Kentucky
  • Last Login: September 18, 2019, 04:28:35 PM
    • Millennium Highway
Re: Cinci to Denver: different routes across MO & KS & Eastern CO?
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2014, 10:42:16 AM »

This journey is like the one posted recently where the family was moving from North Carolina to somewhere in New England: It's already completed.
Logged

leroys73

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 330
  • Age: 70
  • Location: Dallas Area
  • Last Login: January 07, 2019, 08:33:11 AM
Re: Cinci to Denver: different routes across MO & KS & Eastern CO?
« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2014, 07:25:12 PM »

I-44 in Missouri is a dreadful road.  Curves, hills, truckers who think they're driving Porsches blatantly cutting you off.  Just a miserable experience, especially in the rain.


NOT! 
Driving probably 75-100 times since 1967.  Even before interstate.  Parts were bad then but we did not know any better.
Logged
'73 Vette, '72 Monte Carlo, ;11 Green with Envy Challenger R/T,Ram, RoyalStarVenture S,USA Honda VTX1300R ridden 49states &11provinces,Driven cars in50 states+DC&21countries,OverseasBrats;IronButt:MileEatersilver,SS1000Gold,SS3000,3xSS2000,18xSS1000, 3TX1000,6BB1500,NPT,LakeSuperiorCircleTour

 


Opinions expressed here on belong solely to the poster and do not represent or reflect the opinions or beliefs of AARoads, its creators and/or associates.