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  1. #1

    Default Ottawa,Canada to Tuscan AZ- Which way?

    My husband and I are wanting to drive( driving an SUV) from Ottawa, Ont, Canada to Tuscan, AZ the last week of January. We are in no hurry but have a vacation rental waiting for us for Feb. 1. It will be our first road trip in the US. Having looked at Mapquest I realize we could go across Canada and head down from Alberta, or head straight south following the Appalachians and then turn west or a third route has us following just south of the Lake Erie and Lake Ontario and then moving south-west. Considering the time of year ( snow and freezing ice) which route would be the best.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default There Simply is NO 'Best' Route

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The basic advice you'll see repeated over and over in these forums is to keep the drive as short as possible both to minimize the time you'll be subjected to adverse weather, and to allow yourself the luxury of being able to sit out a day should the weather turn really nasty and prevent you from driving for some relatively short period. As an alternative, if there are multiple routes that don't vary by much in mileage, research them all and be ready to choose which one you'll follow only at the last minute when you can get the most up to date weather forecasts before your departure. The simple fact is that there are NO routes that will always and everywhere be free form snow, sleet or other bad weather. Oftentimes, taking a southern route in the hopes of seeing warmer temperatures will backfire in that 'warmer' may be just enough to turn snow into freezing rain, and road crews without the experience or equipment to handle poor road conditions are often not up to the task. In your specific case, the shortest route would be to start out south to just east of Gananoque and then enter the U.S. on I-81. Turn west on I-90 to Cleveland where I-271 takes you to I-71 south. At Columbus, turn west again on I-70 to St. Louis and then take I-44 to Oklahoma City, I-40 to Santa Rosa, NM and finish up US-54/US-70 to Las Cruces and I-10 into Tucson. For your alternatives, you can consider (1) continuing down I-81 to Knoxville, TN and then turning west on I-40 to Little Rock, I-20 to west Texas, and finally I-10 {about 275 miles longer than the preferred route} and (2) Using ON-401/ON-402 through Toronto and London to Sarnia, picking up I-69 in the US to the junction with I-90 and following that west to Chicago. From There, I-80/I-76 to Denver, and I-25/I-10 will get you to Tucson with a 'penalty' of only about 130 miles.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default any and all

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Any of those routes could be the "best" choice, just as any of them could see severe weather during the time of your travel.

    Since you aren't on a hard deadline, I'd do a little research and start looking at things you might want to do between Ottawa and Tucson. Since most of the continent is in play, there are really millions of things you could do (and just as many ways to get there), but if you start thinking about a few things you'd really like to see or do, then the "best" route for your trip should start to emerge. The weather will be what it will be, but since you've got the time, just be ready to sit and wait out a storm, should you run into a weather issue during your time on the road.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Taking I-90 between upstate New York and Cleveland carries a high risk of lake effect snow, as does I-94/I-80 in the Chicago area. If I were making this trip, I'd look at the following first:

    Take your route of choice to Toronto.
    401/402 to Sarnia
    I-69 to Indianapolis
    I-70 to St. Louis
    I-44/I-40 to Albuquerque
    I-25 to Hatch
    NM-26 to Deming
    I-10 to Tucson


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