Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: How to avoid driving thru Phoenix, AZ?
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Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes  >  Travels & Favorite Places

 > How to avoid driving thru Phoenix, AZ?

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Posted: 02/05/18 07:51am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

From Tucson to Camp Verde, AZ-what is the best way to avoid going thru Phoenix via I-10 and I-17. The last time we took that route the traffic in Phoenix was horrible. We're considering taking Hwy 79 North of Tucson to Gold Canyon, AZ (stay a few nights), and depart on Hwy 87 thru the Tonto Nat. Forest, and pick up Hwy 260 to Camp Verde. How's Hwy 87 thru the Tonto Nat. Forest? We're driving a 36' Class A towing 4 down.

Desert Captain


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Posted: 02/05/18 08:02am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

First of all, no need to avoid Phoenix "IF" you do it right... Leave Tucson around 8 and take 77 {Oracle Road} to Oracle junction, pick up 79 to Florence junction and then 60 west. This will put you in Phoenix around 10 and the worst of the commute is done. Take the 101 loop north to connect with I-17 and you will be through Phoenix and clear in under an hour.

But... if you still want to avoid all of that 87 is fine up to Payson though there are lots of long steep grades. Payson up through Pine and Strawberry is steep and pretty tight. The 260 over to Camp Verde will be no fun either. For the record, we live 25 miles north of Tucson and deal with these roads all of the time, often in our 24' class towing my Harley which makes us 35'.

As always.... opinions and YMMV.


Sandia Man

Rio Rancho, NM

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Posted: 02/05/18 10:11am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you have time there are various routes you can choose from including the one you indicated, otherwise I wouldn't hesitate to take I-10 and I-17 between 11am and 2pm. Also taking I-10 to superstition highway 60 and taking 101 north totally avoids going into the main part of PHX altogether, it is a route we often take. Even when we are traveling through Cali we avoid most traffic issues using the time frame above.


Meridian Idaho

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Posted: 02/05/18 10:15am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Little longer route, but a lot easier in my opinion...and the way we go to Tucson...take the 10 to the 8 then to the 85 to the 303 to the 17...

Gary And Cathy
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Spent the summer in Conconuly, Wa, MH now in Vanco

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Posted: 02/05/18 11:14am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Phoenix isn't all that bad due to all of the new roads they've been building. Ha been through it many times with a 40'DP and toad. Make sure your GPS maps are up to date and obviously don't go during rush hour.


Nodwell RN110 out moose hunting. 4-53 Detroit, Clark 5 spd, 40" wide tracks, 10:00x20 tires, 16,000# capacity, 22,000# weight. You know the mud is getting deep when it's coming in the doors.


Enjoying the West!

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Posted: 02/05/18 12:10pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Arizona is not all flat desert!!

We've tried all different ways. Our two favorites are:

Out of Tucson take 79 to Florence then 60 into Apache Junction (spend a night at Lost Dutchman State Park, if you can... a beauty)

From 60 get on the 202 (Red Mountain Hwy) to 101 north. (Don't stay on 60 farther east.. that's where the traffic is). On 101 you'll connect to I-17 north well beyond the major 'city' traffic but you'll still have traffic. If you've driven I-17 previously to Camp Verde you know that you will have some major climbs and descents at Black Canyon City and down to Camp Verde. These are 6% grades.

2. Once you're on the 202 in Phoenix get on 87 north taking you to Payson. You'll have a long uphill to Payson 6-7% and much is with 4 lanes. There's no rush just stay in the right lane. This is a very popular route for RVers in summer to escape the heat so many drive it. At Payson 87/260 continue on to Strawberry and you'll have some short hills - hardly noticeable after your first climb. You're now on the Mogollon Rim as it's called. Now you have to get off the 'Rim' and down to Camp Verde. You'll take 260 west to do this you'll have a long downhill of 9 miles at 6%. It's a good highway with wide-open views - beautiful.

It all depends on how you enjoy mountain driving or city traffic. We like the mountain driving and never mind going out of our way to do so. [emoticon] We like scenery. Have a good trip!

Full-Timed for 16 Years
.... Back in S&B Again
Traveled 8 yr in a 40' 2004 Newmar Dutch Star Motorhome
& 8 yr in a 33' Travel Supreme 5th Wheel

Bruce Brown

Northern NY


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Posted: 02/05/18 12:27pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Please respond to other thread posted HERE.

There are 24 hours in every day - it all depends on how you choose to use them.
Bruce & Jill Brown
2008 Kountry Star Pusher 3910

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