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Old 01-17-2009, 02:48 PM
 
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Is it sane to drive across the rockies in now, other than going down I5 to 10? I really really do not want to have to make that big of a detour. I have RWD and some experience with snow driving though not huge amounts.

Thoughts? Helpful websites?
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Old 01-17-2009, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
92 posts, read 196,025 times
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Depends on where in the east u are headed...I traveled from N.H. to Seattle during November of 1985 and it was 60 degrees in Indiana....by time I arrived in Sioux Falls SD...there was a major winter storm..with I-90 closing behind me....got stuck in small town in SD (Kennebec) with 3 ft of snow..and it just got worse as I headed west.....was 10 below in Sheridan WY with snow....and there was snow all the way through MT, ID and WA till I arrived in Seattle...

I-80 and I-70 are still northern routes and can be very bad in winter..and either way you have to go through some mountain passes which may be impassable during storms..

Best bet if you have time would be taking I-5 then I-10 or I 20 (pick that up around Pecos I believe). That way you will avoid blizzards...you can then take one of the North/South interstates if you need to go N/S..having traveled the Inter Mountain west and the Great Plains during winter, I can tell you it can be horrific with snow, white-outs, and serious wind chill...be careful in the Appalachians if you go that way...they also can have snow and black ice...

Good Luck

Last edited by duke1946; 01-17-2009 at 03:22 PM.. Reason: add info
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Old 01-17-2009, 03:56 PM
 
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I have traveled from NY to LA many times in my life. The mountains past Denver going west are forever and very dangerous especially in the winter. I have been to Seattle but I came there from LA. I am not sure of the mountains or where on the east coast you are heading. I do know that the mountain ranges from almost anywhere in the west are very dangerous in the winter time. Much more than the east. Once you get through Montanna, Wyoming, or colorado depending on how much you dip you will be safe at least as far as driving through steep mts. You might still encounter winter weather but it will be less dangerous. You might end up going through about ten or more hours worth of Mts, so I would definately check to see if all the roads are clear and what detours you might need to take. I won't lie it will be dangerous going through the Rockies at this time of year. If you dont like heights, you will be in for a long trip. Good Luck.
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Old 01-17-2009, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Cosmic Consciousness
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This winter's weather has been rather unusually heavy in the northern 55% of the U.S. according to the CNN weather maps I've been seeing.

These threads offer a wealth of advice on winter driving in the west, with emphasis on the mountains. There are even more threads in the General Moving forum. I wish y9u a safe trip!

traveling I-90 cross country to midwest
winter driving tips
side note to winter drivig tips
Is it safe to drive from Northern CA to TN in Dec?
Driving from NJ to Tacoma, Wa alone.
Best route from Boston to San Francisco in winter
Looking for best route
drive from boston to phoenix to avoid snow?
Moving gf from Rochester, NY to Los Angeles, CA / inexperienced cross country driver. tips? travel time? etc...
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Old 01-17-2009, 06:32 PM
 
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I am going to Kentucky. Driving down to 10 would add an extra day or more and I don't want to do that unless necessary... *le sigh*

Anyone know where I can look up roads and detours and such?
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Old 01-18-2009, 12:10 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,981 posts, read 102,527,356 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xidama View Post
I am going to Kentucky. Driving down to 10 would add an extra day or more and I don't want to do that unless necessary... *le sigh*

Anyone know where I can look up roads and detours and such?
I think it will be necessary to head south, then east. I-80 is the generally preferred route across the Rockies, as it is flatter than I-70, but it's also farther north. The weather can be just horrid. I-70 across Colorado is usually open, unless a storm is in progress, but is more mountainous, and you really need to know how to drive in the mtns, especically in the winter, to be safe. I-80 across Nebraska isn't *too* bad; we have driven it many times in every month of the year and seldom encountered any major problems.

To look up roads, buy an atlas. For detours, call the state highway dept. The numbers are usually listed in the road atlases.
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Old 01-19-2009, 11:58 AM
 
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It really is all about timing. If you squeeze between storms you will have no problems. However, making it all the way across the country without hitting a winter storm is not likely.

The best chances of snow on the freeway between Seattle and "the east" would be the Cascade Mountains on I-90 just east of Seattle, I-90 through northern Idaho and western Montana, and I-84 through northeastern Oregon, then again northwest of Salt Lake City. I-80 through Wyoming can be bad and then you are pretty much to the Plains.
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