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Old 12-15-2007, 07:32 AM
 
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I'm moving from Chicago to Salt Lake City in early January. What is the best/safest driving route to take to avoid severe weather conditions in the mountains?
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Old 12-15-2007, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Denver
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I did a quick Mapquest and your biggest problem won't be mountains because you won't be hitting them until the very last bit. Your biggest concern will be the open plains, which is pretty much all the way for you.
The quickest route was I-80. During the winter, that stretch, especially in Wyoming, is notorious for shutting down due to blizzards and people getting stranded. Your best bet is to really watch the weather and be very prepared.
I live in Longmont, Co, just south of Ft. Collins so we hear the road reports for that stretch all the time because it seems to get closed down a lot. The winds can be horrible.
We had a band we wanted to see in early March and they weren't coming to Denver so we were choosing between Salt Lake and Albuquerque. We choose Albuquerque because I was worried about that stretch of highway to Salt Lake.
So just really, really keep your eye on the weather.
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Old 12-15-2007, 08:38 AM
 
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Yeah, i am really worried about blizzard conditions and road closures and getting stranded out in the middle of nowhere. Right now I'm thinking of going way out of my way to avoid it, and going south and taking 40 across and then going up I-15. Your post is convincing me that is a better way to go. I've got a Chevy Tahoe, so that will help to have the 4WD.

Thanks!

Last edited by missy1959; 12-15-2007 at 09:32 AM..
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Old 12-15-2007, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Denver
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If you have the time, it would be a beautiful way to go.
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Old 12-15-2007, 10:53 AM
 
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Yahoo maps the Southern route at 2400 miles, 36 hours going down and across I-40. Yah, I've got the time, I'd rather spend my time on a driving tour of the Southwest than stranded in a blizzard in Wyoming Would love to get another look at the Colorado Rockies someday, but maybe not in January........ Considering the other option, is 70 just as bad as 80 out your way?
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Old 12-15-2007, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Denver
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Well, anything out in the plains suffers from the blizzards and can definitely get shut down. Then if you continue I-70 you will deal with the big mountains, possible snow storms, big passes, and horrible traffic, depending on what time you hit it. Now, if the weather is nice and you hit I-70 at non skier traffic time, it is a beautiful drive.
Overall, I-70 isn't as bad as I-80 I don't think. And of course, it can be unpredictable - last December/January case in point, with what seemed like the endless snow storms.....
If you have the time, the southwest route is nice. Flagstaff is beautiful.
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Old 12-15-2007, 02:05 PM
 
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Ok, just figured I'd cover all the bases while I was here. Thanks so much, you've been really informative and I now feel like I'm not being a wimp for driving the long way around.

Have a happy and safe holiday if you celebrate them, and stay warm!
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Old 12-15-2007, 03:13 PM
 
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Just don't forget, Flagstaff can get some fairly decent snow as well
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Old 12-15-2007, 03:30 PM
 
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Well, I'm from the Chicago area, we live close to Lake Michigan, so I'm no stranger to the white stuff, to be sure. I'm just trying to avoid driving through the worst of it. Ok, so if i wanted to do that i shoulda moved in July, i know

Here we thought we were going to retire to somewhere nice and warm, and instead we're following my daughter to snow central......... just because the kids are grown up doesn't mean you stop being a parent, that's for sure!
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Old 12-15-2007, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Denver
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Warm isn't all it's cracked up to be
I have never been to Salt Lake so I don't know how it compares to here on the Front Range, but at this elevation, when the sun is out in January and February, it can feel down right warm! My brother, who is from West Bend out of Milwaukee loves coming here during the winter because it's so sunny and different from where he's from. Maybe Salt Lake is a little the same way.
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