Traveling from Iowa to Mesa next month

Travel Forums North America Traveling from Iowa to Mesa next month

1. Posted by mopar28m (First Time Poster 1 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Can someone give me honest advice about traveling from Iowa to Mesa, AZ next month?

I was thinking about taking the southern route thru Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico & AZ. But I'm wondering if the northern route would be better by going thru Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Utah & then dropping down into AZ.

I've asked on another forum about driving during the day thru the desert or driving at night, which would be safer. I was told both ways.

This is the first road trip I've taken that is over 12 hours from home.

Thank you,

2. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 4410 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

I was in Yuma once around 68-69 and it was hot! But I flew there with the military.

  • On the way to California, I drove old Route 66 remembering the B&W TV series named "Route 66." Hot, hot, hot!

Think about the temperature! Check your car out, makes sure everything is okay, especially the A/C.
Would further north be cooler?

Good luck.

[ Edit: Edited on 25 Jul 2022, 00:26 GMT by karazyal ]

3. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1845 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

You might want to stay a little flexible. We've driven that route quite a few times living in California with family back east. August is not a fun month to travel for several reasons, lots of fellow tourists, crazy weather and a lot of heat.

I'd try the northern route and stop at truck stops to check the weather. They have weather tvs on 24/7. You can often drive around bad weather. You'll have better scenery and it may be slightly cooler. This summer has been brutal for heat though. A few times going through Nevada and Arizona, we've had to stop and let the car cool off, then drive at night. Be sure you have your car checked before you leave.

That said, both trips are very interesting and if the weather cooperates, both are beautiful drives although I like the northern route better. You can run into nasty sand storms in the southwest states but those are also usually predicted on the truck stop television weather reports.

4. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 4410 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Sign up for something like AAA for Roadside Assistance.

When I was younger I would travel from Virginia to New England quite a few times. (Old girlfriend and family.) About a 12 hour ride one way. I would always have a thermos of coffee and something cold to drink. For you, maybe an ice chest with some ice and snacks in it could come in handy if with a family.

Have fun.

5. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1845 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

I just realized you asked about the safety of driving through the desert at day versus night. In the world today, I'm always more comfortable during daylight and the desert can be very lonely at any time of day or night. You also can't see the scenery at night and I love the desert. It has a very sere beauty you don't often see elsewhere. It would be a shame to miss that. On the other hand if it's 110 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, night would be much more comfortable and certainly easier on your car.

I'll still recommend the northern route . . . for many reasons. BTW, I hope you appreciate Iowa. It's a beautiful state. When we lived in Missouri, Iowa is where we went for vacation.

Post 6 was removed by a moderator
7. Posted by 55vineyard (Full Member 179 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

I've only done the southern route (I-10) once in July and it was brutally hot. Did not help that somewhere in Texas our A/C started to go out and car finally broke down outside Yuma, turned out a piece of Saran got sucked into the radiator. I can say that route is pretty boring for the most part.