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  1. Default Crossing the northern US or Canada in late November

    Hi all
    We are driving across Canada/northern US (west to east and back again) starting in Vancouver in early September and leaving Vancouver late November. Lots of time to see amazing places! A big question we have is how far south are we likely to have to go on the way back (around November) to get across the various mountain chains? Are there any roads in the border regions that close regularly? Are there any roads that are more likely to be open than others in November? This info is pretty vital to our basic planning, as we don't want to leave the drive back across to the west coast too late and find ourselves stuck, or having to detour a long way south to find an open road. I know that weather is impossible to predict, but if anyone has any general experiences we would greatly appreaciate your advice.
    Cheers
    Ali and Pete, Western Australia

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Interstates rarely close more than 12 hours

    Quote Originally Posted by Ali View Post
    We are driving across Canada/northern US (west to east and back again) starting in Vancouver in early September and leaving Vancouver late November.
    Wow! This sounds like a fabulous trip! Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!
    A big question we have is how far south are we likely to have to go on the way back (around November) to get across the various mountain chains?
    It turns out that your best chance for good weather in November is to stay as far north as you can. It is usually too darn cold in the Dakotas in November to snow! Plus, it is rare for any interstate highway to close at all during the winter months for more than 8-12 hours. With rare exception -- just about any US or State highway that you are considering will be open in November. Some of the state highways do close in the Colorado, Wyoming and Montana Rockies -- but I really don't think it will impact your plans very much.

    Mark

  3. Default

    Thanks for your comments, Mark, that is fantastic news! Coming from a part of the world where it NEVER snows (well, except down in the Stirling Ranges where the fine dusting of powder on the top of Bluff Knoll that happens every two years or so makes the front page of the newspaper!), we will be relying on other, wiser heads for this part of our trip planning.
    Cheers
    Ali and Pete, Western Australia

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Be prepared!

    You should watch The Weather Channel or any other weather forecasts in your hotel to see if any storms are predicted for the area you're traveling in. I suggest reading these tips on winter driving. And make sure you have a good car kit. This thread will give you more than enough ideas. The major things you'll want are things to keep you warm if you do have to pull over for a short time until a road is cleared. Blankets, proper boots/coat/hat/gloves, flashlights, food/fluids are the basics.

  5. Default

    Hi Judy
    Thank you - both links are very useful. I must say I gave a little "eeep" when I read that it would likely be too cold to snow!! Pete and I have driven only twice in very cold conditions - once crossing from Reno to Sacramento in very bad weather and once in New Zealand heading up to go skiing, but they were only very short trips. The survival tips in you links are what we need - better to be prepared and enjoy yourself!
    Cheers
    Ali and Pete, Western Australia

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