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  1. Default December/January Road Trip from AZ to SEA & back

    in mid december, i was planning on driving back from arizona to seattle. i was planning on taking the i-10 to LA, and drive up the i-5 to seattle which is the easiest way.

    then on about january 10, i was planning on driving a return trip from seattle to arizona. Same way, or maybe even driving back down the coast.

    scenery is not that biggest worry, just more of safety.
    can anyone give me some advice about possible weather conditions that time of year, and if its going to be dangerous or not.

    I'm trying to stay away from driving in the snow because my car is just a sedan so i dont want to have any trouble.

    With these two trips, do you think there will be snow? do you think it will be bad? if so, any other safer routes to take to make it safely?

    thanks in advance, im really needing some advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Whether the Weather Co-operates or Not: You Make the Trip Safe

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The route you've laid out is the quickest and safest way between Phoenix and Seattle. The Interstate Highways are the first major highways plowed when it snows, and in fact, every effort is made to keep them open during a storm. The three major passes where you are most likely to run into adverse weather are in southern Oregon: Siskiyou, Sexton Mountain, and Canyon Creek Passes. So keep an eye on the weather predicted for the nearby towns of Ashland and Grants Pass. If you have experience driving in snow then there is nothing wrong with 'just a sedan', but if you have no experience the biggest baddest SUV will be of little help. Should the roads become snow covered to the point that you are uncomfortable, by all means just get off the highway, find a motel, and sit out a day until conditions improve.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Safer in a sedan

    Quote Originally Posted by AZsundevil View Post
    I'm trying to stay away from driving in the snow because my car is just a sedan
    Given the choice I would choose a front-wheel drive sedan over just about any SUV for snow-trip on-the-highway driving. Here are some tips and suggestions for safe winter driving. Here are some general tips for safe roadtripping.

    Mark

  4. Default

    i'll actually be on a tight schedule, and wondering if you think there will be snow delay in southern oregon?


    does anyone know what the winter conditions are like during early-mid january?

    thanks for all your help. i really do appreciate it...its helping me decide whether or not i want to drive this trip, or just fly. Thanks!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default How tight a schedule?

    Quote Originally Posted by AZsundevil View Post
    i'll actually be on a tightschedule,
    It is about 1500 miles from Phoenix to Seattle by the fastest possible route and the fastest you can probably drive this distance (safely) would be two days (averaging 13 travel hours per day). Three days would be better (8.5 hours per day) -- If you don't have at least two full days to spend in transit -- you ought to consider flying. There is at least a 60% chance that you will hit some snow on this journey. If so, you will need to allow a minimum of three days to make this trip.

    Mark

  6. Default

    ahh sorry that i have so many questions...

    2 days was what i was thinking..

    but i was thinking that the snow area would be the mountain area of southern oregon. do you think i'll be able to get through that area of snow in a daylights worth of driving?

    im guessing thats the only part that im going to hit snow.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Unlikely, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by AZsundevil View Post
    ..but i was thinking that the snow area would be the mountain area of southern oregon.
    Since we are still in the midst of a drought, it is unlikely -- but you could hit snow from Redding, California all the way to Seattle and if so, then you will not be able to cover this distance in only two days, (unless you are prepared to drive 14+ hours per day).

    Mark

  8. #8
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default My take

    Quote Originally Posted by AZsundevil View Post
    ahh sorry that i have so many questions...

    2 days was what i was thinking..

    but i was thinking that the snow area would be the mountain area of southern oregon. do you think i'll be able to get through that area of snow in a daylights worth of driving?

    im guessing thats the only part that im going to hit snow.
    Depending on if you hit a storm, or just a little flurry, you should have no problem crossing from the Grants Pass area through the Rogue Valley and over the Shasta-Cascade area. You might see snow down into Redding though.

    I'd watch the weather very carefully (perhaps taking a NOAA weather radio would help). If it even hints at being bad, I'd stop in Grants Pass or Medford and don't even try to get into the Shasta area after dark, the roads are sure to be slick if there is any moisture there. If you do decide to go over the Syskious Summit, you might want to stop in Yreka and rest.

    I've made this trip several times and in clear weather you can get to Redding by early evening if you leave at 2-3 AM from Seattle, so if the weather is clear you'll be up and over the potential snowy area in late afternoon.

    -Brad

  9. Default

    thanks for all the advice. when the time comes, im going to probably come back and ask a few more questions, maybe run the Itinerary by you guys and see what you guys think. i was for sure planning on hitting nornor cal/ southern oregon during the daytime both trips. so i was timing it to be in that area during early morning so i can drive through there during the day time.

    thanks you've all been a great help.

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