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  1. Default road trip - LA/San.Fran/Vegas/Lower states? in December

    Hi Everyone,

    First time post on the forum. I was hoping that you could give me some advice on our road trip. We are an Australian couple with a young child and we have experience driving from LA - Vegas before.

    This time we are extending the driving a little further and making it a much less jam packed holiday ( a little more casual).

    this is what our dates look like at the moment.

    Dec. 9 -11 - LA
    Dec. 11-16 - Drive from LA - San Fran via route 1
    Dec. 16-22- Drive from San Fran - Vegas

    Now from this point on it gets a little tricky and i was hoping for your help. We want to continue to drive from Las Vegas down into Arizona/New Mexico/Texas. We have friends across in Virginia that we would like to meet up with between 22 - 30 December. Can we drive all the way to Virginia without hitting terrible road conditions?

    Being from the state of Queensland in Australia we do not get snow/ice etc. If we drive down into Arizona/New Mexico/Texas are we going to hit snow icy roads.

    Please, if u could offer suggestions/advice etc. it would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks Mick.

    Any suggestions

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Potential Problems

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There are a few things to be aware of about your proposed trip, none of which are showstoppers, but which will require a bit of flexibility on your part. The first thing to be aware of is that the Pacific Coast Highway (CA-1) is currently closed south of Monterey. It's going to require some major engineering to rebuild it and it may not be open by December. I don't know if your previous trips between San Francisco and Las Vegas occurred in winter, but all the passes over the Sierra Nevada will be snowed in and closed in December, requiring you to drive around the mountains, either to the north through Reno and then down US-95, or to the south via I-5 or CA-99 to Bakersfield and then CA-59 over to I-15. Finally, there is simply no way to guarantee that I-10, and certainly not I-40, will be snow and ice free when you need them to be. Both highways do see snow. I-40 is at elevations over 7,000 feet for much of its traverse of northern Arizona and New Mexico while I-10 is often just warm enough to turn that snow into freezing rain and ice. And out on the plains of Oklahoma and Texas is where moist air from the Gulf of Mexico meets cold air coming south from Canada producing serious blizzards, Your best bet is to realize that the drive from Las Vegas to Virginia will take 5 days under normal circumstances via I-10, and be ready for one of two alternatives. Use I=40 if that is predicted to be clear, or have an extra day in hand if you should have to sit out a day while the crews clear the roads.


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