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Open Roads Forum  >  Roads and Routes

 > Leaving out of Gold Canyon, Which way to Flagstaff?

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teeznu

USA

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Posted: 03/22/20 08:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So, the question is I-17 or State Road 87 to Flagstaff. Here's the particulars. NOT IN ANY BIG HURRY. We've been up I-17 in previous years. There's a long upward pull that I watch the fuel gauge drop almost in front of my eyes.
I'm 40 ft pulling a 30ft car hauler trailer. (No I don't need any lessons on Length)The total rig is 40K pounds and we're currently in Gold Canyon. What would be your suggestion and as stated above we're not in any hurry.
Thanks in advance for your response.

Tyler0215

Iowa

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Posted: 03/22/20 08:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If your going to go to Flagstaff, your going to go thru the mountains.

BB_TX

McKinney, Texas

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Posted: 03/22/20 09:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Been a number of years since I been there, and not in the RV, but 87 is about the same distance and certainly more scenic. But as I remember lots of winding curves and ups and downs and narrow two lane with little if any shoulders. Ultimately you still have to climb the same total in elevation. But I think due to ups and downs there will be more total up hill towing and more fuel usage.

Take a look at google maps street view to get an idea of the highway.

Old-Biscuit

Verde Valley

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Posted: 03/22/20 10:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Roughly 182-185 miles either way
Roughly 40 minutes longer via 87

Recent storms have dropped snow (Payson---north to Flagstaff)

87 is more scenic


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Janss

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Posted: 03/22/20 01:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Use Google Maps to route the trip. Then change to Bicycle mode (icons across the top). Scroll to bottom of text directions and you'll see an elevation graph. Look at both routes. (Note...this is on computer, not phone app which I don't know if the same display.)

I often try to take different sections of route on our trips around the U.S. where we've been before.

As others note, just be sure to check the weather and road conditions before you go......AZ511.com or call 511 for road conditions/closures.


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obgraham

TriCites WA

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Posted: 03/22/20 02:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In a car or standard RV we usually go Payson, Happy Jack, and Flag.
I had no problem with my 38 foot DP towing a CRV.
At your length, I might revert to I-17.

mileshuff

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Posted: 03/23/20 10:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ellsworth to Bush Highway to 87. Turn at Clints well onto state route 3 (Lake Mary Rd) to Flagstaff.

There is an 11 mile grade heading into Payson. It is 4 lane, divided. From Payson to Pine/Strawberry there are a few shorter grades but aren't bad. After that it's fairly flat to Flagstaff. Very scenic drive.

Check weather. Snow is forecast today and later in the week. During day time hours it probably will be to warm to stick on the roads.


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teejaywhy

Gilbert, AZ

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Posted: 04/01/20 01:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The Payson route is very scenic, especially HWY 3 (Lake Mary Road) from Clint's Well to Flag. (Watch for elk in the late afternoon / early evening!)

Most of the grade on 87 is four-lane and not much different than the grades on I-17, HOWEVER there is a short stretch of two-lane climbing out of Payson to the top of the Mogollon Rim that is two-lane and a bit twisty-turny. Not sure what that would be like with 70' of rig. Check google maps for a visual.

From the top of the Rim on to Flag is two-lane but smooth sailing.


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