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  1. Default Route 93 Las Vegas to Canada in Feb.

    I'm from North Carolina and hoping to take Rte 93 from Las Vegas to Canada and Canada Rte 3 over to Vancouver from Feb 6-10.

    Is this a good choice, winter and all? I will be driving a SUV (4wd).

    I'll take all the advice I can alternate routes, what to avoid, how to prepare.

    Thanks to all!

    Fred Vaughan

  2. #2

    Default I'd go for it

    Howdy neighbor (Raleigh resident Foy speaking here),

    From Vegas all the way to Whitefish, MT US 93 runs fairly low (4,000' and less), so there aren't but a couple of serious high points to negotiate. One is at the NV-ID line and peaks out around 5,300' and the other is Lost Trail Pass, on the ID-MT line, and Lost Trail Pass holds 7,014' of elevation. Caveat: I am unfamiliar with much of US 93 from Vegas to Wells, NV, at I-80, but I am fairly certain it runs the valleys in between ranges within the Great Basin and does not get up high.

    The majority of US 93 from Vegas all the way into ID is remote, so keep an eye on your fuel. There's little between Salmon, ID and Hamilton, MT, over Lost Trail Pass, so be prepared there, too. If you're laptop + wireless or smartphone-equipped, tune in to the ID and the MT DOT websites and the real-time webcams at Lost Trail and elsewhere in ID and MT. Come to think about it, NV has a webcam network, too. That'll give you plenty of "look ahead" capability.

    You're liable to pass through much of NV with no cellphone coverage, and depending on your carrier, possibly much of ID, too. The MT section is within the Bitterroot Valley, through Missoula, and up to Whitefish, and that is a reasonably well-populated part of MT, with many small towns and good cell coverage. Still, I'd bring the standard Rockies emergency gear: warm clothing, boots, hat, gloves, a good sleeping bag or blankets, and I prefer having a CB radio on board.

    If it makes sense for your trip timing, Missoula is a fun town to overnight in. Lots of restaurants and bars walking distance from the motels generally on the east end of town, just 2-3 miles from the jct of US 93 and I-90.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    93 gets up pretty high in NV - Ely is at about 6400'. I would bring a set of tire chains just in case.

  4. #4

    Default Excellent catch, glc

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    93 gets up pretty high in NV - Ely is at about 6400'. I would bring a set of tire chains just in case.
    Sure enough, a few minutes of rudimentary map study shows US 93 to hold elevations at or above 6,000' from Pioche through Ely, more or less the middle 1/3 of its traverse of Nevada. Looks like the high point is a pass south of Ely, at 7,700'.

    While that doesn't change my opinion that it would be a fine drive in February, it emphasizes the need for cautionary preparation in terms of what to have on board in the event of a breakdown.

    Would chains be required by NV's chain law (or ID's or MT's, for that matter)? Fred's going to be running a 4WD SUV. Going only by the signage I recently saw in WY and UT, chains OR 4WD are required under certain conditions.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I don't think they are necessarily *required* - but in that remote an area at that time of year, I think I would *want* them just in case. They may make the difference between being able to find safety or being stranded. If you were on Interstate highways instead of the 2 lanes, that would be a different story.

    There are 3 ways to get from LV to Ely - staying on 93 is the least remote. However, NV-318 is 40 miles shorter. You can also take NV-375 (the Extraterrestrial Highway) to US-6. This is considerably longer, but it has the Area 51 mystique. If you take 318 or 375, do not leave Alamo without a full tank of gas, there are no gas stations whatsoever between there and Ely.

    Speaking of Ely, it's a neat little town to spend a night if you want. For a good dinner, I can highly recommend the Cell Block Steakhouse in the back of the Jailhouse Casino. You actually sit in an old jail cell to eat. The Hotel Nevada across the street is supposed to be a cool place to stay - I personally haven't stayed there. I stayed at the Main Motel (recommended). It's an old roadside style motel that's been renovated, it was a Best Western for a while. I do hear that the Hotel Nevada restaurant is lousy, go across the street to eat.

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