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  1. Default Canyon-Country Utah & Colorado in November

    Hi all! I'm brand new to this site--just found it this morning.

    I am planning a road trip with my 73-year-old mother and 19-year-old daughter and want to ensure, not only beautiful scenery, but mostly road safety.

    Being from Florida, I just don't have any skills driving in snow or on ice as well as being unfamiliar with mountain driving. I have done it several times on different road trips but would by no means consider myself an expert.

    My questions are these:

    1. Going up into Colorado from Central Arizona (through Ouray up the 550) with elevations of approximately 14K feet over the Thanksgiving weekend into early December, can I expect road closures, snow/ice, or any other hazards for a full-size passenger car containing 3 people and luggage?

    2. Ditto on canyon-country Utah? Specifically, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, Bryce Canyon NP, Zion NP, and back around to the south rim of the Grand Canyon. What kind of weather and road conditions can I expect?

    ANY advice would be fantastic as I am the only driver and safety for my family is of the utmost importance. Thanks for any help you can provide!!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Generally Speaking

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    You should be prepared for dealing with or accommodating some significant snowfall during your trip. After all, you plan on traveling through mountains in the winter. However, that does not mean that you have to become an Alpine expert in short order. There are two factors working in your favor. firstly, most of that area is high desert, and secondly, the road crews there are quite adept at removing snow when it does fall. If you can build some flexibility into your schedule and just stay off the roads when weather conditions make you uncomfortable, things will soon return to 'normal' and you can continue on.

    It's impossible, of course, to predict the exact conditions you'll encounter this far in advance, but snow is uncommon at both Arches and Canyonlands, although Bryce Canyon gets around 95 inches of snow a season and Zion gets a mix, depending on elevation. Seeing these parks after a snowfall is a unique and beautiful experience. The only days that the parks are closed for sure are usually Christmas and New Year's Day.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I would also keep an eye on conditions on 550 north of Durango - it's a pretty hairy road in GOOD weather. Coal Bank Pass is notorious for bad conditions during and after a storm. Inquire about conditions in Durango before you take it. Here is the website for Colorado road conditions. If possible, I'd bring a wifi-equipped laptop on the trip with you.

  4. Default GREAT info!

    Hey AZBuck and glc! Thank you BOTH for such great information on road safety for my upcoming trip. I truly appreciate it!


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