I want to do a one-way roadtrip between 2 of the following 3 destinations: Denver, San Diego, and Sacramento. Which route is best?


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Hello all, I'm looking at cheap flights for a weekend roadtrip in February. I love driving and I love the scenery of the West and I'm wondering what would be the best route. One-way flights to & from Denver, San Diego, and Sacramento from my home city are all the same price. I want to rent a car and drive one-way between two of those cities:

Denver to/from San Diego Denver to/from Sacramento San Diego to/from Sacramento

Here are some routes I'm looking at:

San Diego to/from Sacramento through Death Valley NP and US-395 beside/through the Sierra Nevadas San Diego to/from Denver through Vegas-Utah-Grand Junction, or Phoenix-Durango, or Phoenix-Albuquerque-Pueblo Sacramento to/from Denver by way of US-50/I-70 through Reno-Grand Junction, or SLC-Wyoming-Fort Collins

I'll have about 36 hours to make the trip (arrive early Saturday morning, take a red-eye Sunday night). Mountains are my favorite, but I've never been through any kind of desert so I'd like to get both mountains and desert. I don't want to stop in any cities, just drive and stop on the side of the road at overlooks and places like that. Obviously this is February so daylight will be relatively short and there could be snow in places. Any thoughts or recommendations on these routes, or a route I'm not thinking of? Thanks!

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