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Old 07-07-2010, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
16,411 posts, read 26,257,968 times
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I'll be leaving from Michigan to Los Angeles in November instead of August so I am beginning to rethink my original plan of taking I-80 to I-76 through the mountains. I thought it would be really cool for sight seeing through the mountains, but being in november it kind of scares me going through mountain passes in the snow. Would this be any sort of worry in terms of having to drive really slow or roads being closed? I grew up in Michigan, I'm used to the snow, but it slows you down and majority of people don't know how to drive in it.

Would I be better off taking the route south through oklahoma, new mexico arizona in this season?
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Old 07-07-2010, 07:59 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,649 posts, read 40,020,325 times
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Play it by ear (10 day forecast)
Probably an 80% chance of clear roads.
If late November, maybe a 60% chance.

The enjoyment and view is worth a little risk, if it looks wicked, head south.

Are you driving a BIG uhaul with trailer? If just a car, no brainer, enjoy the mountains. If U-haul, consider your abilities and risks.

I did many yrs of 'all-weather' trucking in Colo, WY, SD, NE. Nowadays, they close the roads if there is the slightest chance of danger. (Dummy proof driving)
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:30 PM
 
9,830 posts, read 19,589,616 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burgler09 View Post
I'll be leaving from Michigan to Los Angeles in November instead of August so I am beginning to rethink my original plan of taking I-80 to I-76 through the mountains. I thought it would be really cool for sight seeing through the mountains, but being in november it kind of scares me going through mountain passes in the snow. Would this be any sort of worry in terms of having to drive really slow or roads being closed? I grew up in Michigan, I'm used to the snow, but it slows you down and majority of people don't know how to drive in it.

Would I be better off taking the route south through oklahoma, new mexico arizona in this season?
I-76 terminates at mile marker 269(I-70) in west Denver and merges with I-70.

November in Colorado on I-70 can be either clear and sunny or you can have nasty snow storms. The elevation tops out at 11,100 ft so yes you can have bad weather. Despite having 600,000 miles of experience on this road from Glenwood Springs to Denver, my advice was ignored and a family member hit ice on this road in early October last year and smacked the barrier coming right out of Eisenhower tunnel.

Basically the section of road to worry about is I-70 from mile marker 262 to mile market 116, after that is high desert to the Utah border and it should be A OK from there.

What I always recommend is simply plan to stay over in Denver before heading up into the mountains. Check the weather on the CDOT website and other sources and if it's bad stay over another day because it almost always clears. If not you can take I-25 up to I-80 and then over or drop down to I-40 in New Mexico.

The other thing is most problems with weather in November are mostly at nighttime, so again another reason for staying the night in Denver.
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:33 PM
 
9,830 posts, read 19,589,616 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
. Nowadays, they close the roads if there is the slightest chance of danger. (Dummy proof driving)
Compared to 10 years ago when I first started driving up there CDOT and the state police have started to get pretty quick to close roads, but again there is no guarantee you can't get caught by changing weather conditions. I have plenty of great stories and pictures from my experiences especially the superstorm of 2003.
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,325,418 times
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That late in the year, I'd just take the southern route. It's not a question of knowing how to drive on winter roads. They close the roads in the mountains in winter conditions. If they remain open, they might require tire-chains, which is also a hassle. I've driven through Colorado in mid-winter several times, without any problems, but it's not dependable.
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
16,411 posts, read 26,257,968 times
Reputation: 16497
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
That late in the year, I'd just take the southern route. It's not a question of knowing how to drive on winter roads. They close the roads in the mountains in winter conditions. If they remain open, they might require tire-chains, which is also a hassle. I've driven through Colorado in mid-winter several times, without any problems, but it's not dependable.
Yeah, I can't afford to get held up with roads closed in the winter time, I know how Colorado weather can be haha. I heard the desert road is actually pretty cool and an experience of its own.
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Old 07-12-2010, 07:50 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
147 posts, read 559,606 times
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One trouble spot on I 40 in Nov could be around Flagstaff. Its at 7000 ft elevation and can get a lot of snow. Early Nov your probably okay, late Nov keep an eye on the weather chanel.
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