Feasible One Day Journeys in the USA and Canada

We have had many people ask how far you can travel in one day in the USA and Canada. On rural Interstates you can safely assume an average speed of 60mph over a long distance, but on US Highways and state highways it is much more difficult to give a figure since the quality and nature of the roads can vary (although most are excellent). Also, you may wish to stop to look round towns or admire views, and you may encounter the occasional delay due to "construction" (road works). A safe working figure for an average speed on open roads in the west is probably around 50mph, but rather lower through towns, over mountain passes, etc. Due to the greater number of towns overall speeds on normal roads tend to be less in the east than in the west.

Here are some examples of journeys which we know are feasible in one day, in alphabetical order. In this section we aren't making any recommendations about the quality of the scenery along the way or the towns at each end, only that each journey is actually possible in one day.

Alamogordo, New Mexico to Carlsbad, New Mexico (185 miles)

A short trip, allowing plenty of time for a visit to Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

Alamogordo, New Mexico to Deming, New Mexico (120 miles)

A short trip, allowing time to explore both the very scenic mountain roads east of Alamogordo and also White Sands National Monument southwest of Alamogordo.

Alamosa, Colorado to Dalhart, Texas (310 miles)

Allows time for a visit to Capulin Volcano National Monument in northeastern New Mexico.

Alamosa, Colorado to Farmington, New Mexico

(via Wolf Creek Pass and Durango 220 miles, or via Antonito, Chama, Pagosa Springs and Durango 260 miles)

From Alamosa to Pagosa Springs there is a choice of routes, both highly scenic: either directly via US160 over the Wolf Creek Pass, or via Antonito and Chama, the two towns between which the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad runs.

Alpine, Texas to Carlsbad, New Mexico (240 miles)

Allows time for a stop at Guadalupe Mountains National Park, just inside Texas.

Alpine, Texas to Dalhart, Texas (480 miles)

A fascinating ride as the country changes from the mountainous area near Alpine to the flat lands of the Texas panhandle.

Baker, Oregon to Jackson, Wyoming (525 miles)

Via Challis this is a very long trip - about the limit of what is viable in one day. Using the Interstate for the majority of the trip would probably make it much more acceptable in terms of journey time.

Bend, Oregon to Moses Lake, Washington State (280 miles)

Via Wa14 along the Washington bank of the Columbia River.

Bend, Oregon to Klamath Falls, Oregon (140 miles)

An easy trip.

Bishop, California to Porterville, California (245 miles)

Via US395 South, Ca178 West and Lake Isobella.

Bishop, California to St George, Utah (430 miles)

Via US395 South to Big Pine, over the mountains via a fairly slow back road to US95, south to Las Vegas, then I-15 North to St George. A long trip.

Bishop, California to Merced, California (240 miles)

Via Yosemite National Park. Allows time for stops along the Tioga Pass Road, but for the Yosemite Valley section of the park at least one other separate full day would be needed.

Boone, North Carolina to Gatlinburg, Tennessee (155 miles)

Via the Blue Ridge Parkway. Allows time for stops along the way.

Boone, North Carolina to Roanoke, Virginia (145 miles)

Via the Blue Ridge Parkway. Allows time for stops along the way.

Cortez, Colorado to Flagstaff, Arizona (260 miles)

Cortez, Colorado to Montrose, Colorado (115 miles)

Allows time for a visit to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument near Montrose.

Cortez, Colorado to Salida, Colorado (260 miles)

Cortez, Colorado to St George, Utah (360 miles)

Via US89, Page, Arizona 98 and US160. A long trip. Page, Arizona is a convenient stopping point for lunch, and a visit to the excellent Glen Canyon Dam visitor centre is recommended.

Craig, Colorado to Jackson, Wyoming (340 miles)

A fairly long trip. Rock Springs is a good place to stop for lunch.

Craig, Colorado to Montrose, Colorado (220 miles)

Via Co65 over the Grand Mesa.

Crystal River, Florida to Albany, Georgia (220 miles)

Crystal River, Florida to Naples, Florida (210 miles)

Deming, New Mexico to Lordsburg, New Mexico

Via I-10 this is only 58 miles. However, it is possible to visit Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument north of Silver City, together with City of Rocks State Park, to make this a very pleasant day's trip with a total mileage of 180 miles.

Denver, Colorado to Scottsbluff, Nebraska (240 miles)

A fairly easy trip.

Dillon, Montana to Jackson, Wyoming (140 miles)

Dillon, Montana to Kalispell, Montana (320 miles)

Allows time for a visit to the National Bison Range.

Espanola, Ontario to Hunstville, Ontario (220 miles)

Via Sudbury (by-pass) and Parry Sound.

Espanola, Ontario to Munising, Michigan (260 miles)

Via Sault Ste Marie.

Espanola, Ontario to Owen Sound, Ontario (160 miles)

Via the South Baymouth/Tobermory car ferry.

Espanola, Ontario to White River, Ontario (230 miles)

Via Sault Ste Marie.

Farmington, New Mexico to St George, Utah (405 miles)

A fairly long trip. Page, Arizona is a convenient stopping point for lunch, and a visit to the excellent Glen Canyon Dam visitor centre is recommended.

Flagstaff, Arizona to Las Vegas, Nevada (246 miles)

An easy trip.

Flagstaff, Arizona to Los Angeles, California (467 miles)

Golden, British Columbia to McBride, British Columbia (260 miles)

Via the Icefields Parkway; allows time for stops along the Parkway.

Golden, British Columbia to Hinton, Alberta (240 miles)

Via the Icefields Parkway; allows time for stops along the Parkway.

Golden, British Columbia to Princeton, British Columbia (250 miles)

An easy trip.

Grand Marais, Minnesota to Minneapolis/St Paul, Minnesota (260 miles)

A fairly easy trip.

Helena, Montana to Jackson, Wyoming (410 miles)

Helena, Montana to Kalispell, Montana (234 miles)

An easy trip.

Hunstville, Ontario to Owen Sound, Ontario (160 miles)

Indio, California to Tucson, Arizona

Via Ajo, this is a fairly lengthy trip with a total mileage of 463 miles.

Jackson, Wyoming to Riverton, Wyoming (210 miles)

Via Dubois.

Jackson, Wyoming to Twin Falls, Idaho (305 miles)

A short trip.

Klamath Falls, Oregon to San Francisco, California (360 miles)

Logan, Utah to Jackson, Wyoming (160 miles)

Logan, Utah to St George, Utah (383 miles)

A fairly long trip, with some heavy traffic likely on I-15 in the Salt Lake City and Ogden area.

Lordsburg, New Mexico to Tucson, Arizona (200 miles)

A short trip, allowing time to visit both units of Saguaro National Park near Tucson.

Los Angeles, California to Indio, California (154 miles)

A very short trip, allowing plenty of time to explore Joshua Tree National Park.

Los Angeles, California to San Luis Obispo, California (195 miles)

Los Angeles, California to St George, Utah (410 miles)

An easy trip, especially if you start from the east side of Los Angeles. Las Vegas is a convenient place to stop for lunch.

Manassas, Virginia to Salisbury, Maryland (115 miles)

Via the Annapolis Bridge.

Marathon, Florida to Miami, Florida (110 miles)

An easy trip. In the reverse direction you could easily run up to Key West and back to Marathon in the late afternoon and evening.

Marathon, Florida to Naples, Florida (185 miles)

McBride, British Columbia to Williams Lake, British Columbia (210 miles)

Via Prince George.

Montrose, Colorado to Pagosa Springs, Colorado (155 miles)

Via US550 South and US160 East, or alternatively via US50 East, Co149 South and US160 West.

Moses Lake, Washington State to Princeton, British Columbia (230 miles)

Porterville, California to St George, Utah (460 miles)

A fairly lengthy trip.

Princeton, British Columbia to Seattle, Washington State (205 miles)

An easy trip, allowing time for stops in Manning Provincial Park.

Princeton, British Columbia to Williams Lake, British Columbia (270 miles)

Rapid City, South Dakota to Scottsbluff, Nebraska (260 miles)

Rapid City, South Dakota to Sheridan, Wyoming (238 miles)

Allows time for a stop at Devils Tower National Monument.

Reno, Nevada to Twin Falls, Idaho (470 miles)

A long and fairly gruelling trip.

Roanoke, Virginia to Waynesboro, Virginia (120 miles)

Via the Blue Ridge Parkway, and allowing time for stops along the way.

San Francisco, California to San Luis Obispo, California (241 miles)

Via the Pacific Coast Highway.

Salisbury, Maryland to Williamsburg, Virginia (290 miles)

Via the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.

Thunder Bay, Ontario to White River, Ontario (180 miles)

Waynesboro, Virginia to Williamsburg, Virginia (280 miles) 


Driving

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