Traveling I-81 from Knoxville to Washington DC

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1. Posted by Kbreeden523 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

I have altitude induced asthma and have never traveled from Knoxville to Washington DC. Does anyone have any suggestions on finding a route with the lowest elevation?

2. Posted by road to roam (Travel Guru 369 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Kbreeden523

Does anyone have any suggestions on finding a route with the lowest elevation?

A suggestion to find a route with a lower elevation: Try looking at state routes and US highways, then finding some topograph maps online for those routes to find whichever elevation suits your needs. Often, state routes were built to go around formidable natural features and were built with respect to privately owned land. This means they can be more meandering and therefore not as direct as the interstates, which often go over and through many natural features and over privately owned land in many cases. Old US highways can be somewhat similar to state routes in this regard.

I believe the highest point you'd encounter on Interstate 81 from Knoxville to Interstate 66 for Washington DC is around 2400 feet. If you think driving in a vehicle at this elevation is too much for your asthma (as opposed to physical activity at this elevation), then consider non-direct state routes and US highways avoiding mountain passes.

[ Edit: Edited on 16-Oct-2019, 13:26 GMT by road to roam ]

3. Posted by littlesam1 (Budding Member 75 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

There is way I can see to completely avoid the rest west in the Knoxville area. Checking out a terrain map I can see that state HWY 62 is not a elevated as I-40. But in my experience in the area I have not found I-40 to be all that high for the most part. I hope you have some luck finding a route that will make it easy for you.

4. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 1307 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

When I use Google maps and switch to Walking instead of Driving, it gives me the altitudes of the route.

It will be longer (almost 12 hours as opposed to almost 10 hours), but it will be a lower elevation (the max elevation will be 1200 feet in D.C.) if you go down I-75 to near Atlanta (going around the bottom of the mountain range) and the go up I-85 to D.C.

[ Edit: Edited on 17-Oct-2019, 03:10 GMT by greatgrandmaR ]

5. Posted by Sluggoaafa (Full Member 1 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

If you do end up taking I-66 from I-81 to D.C., it does go through the mountains around Front Royal. Also, be careful for rush-hour traffic if you do take I-66 as there are certain HOV restrictions at certain times of the day in/out of the District.

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