Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. Default January/ February Road Trip

    Im a 28 year old male heading on a two month road trip. Im leaving Boston just after New Years in an altima. Got friends in Florida and San Diego, but not to sure what to see in between. Also donít know what to avoid during those months in a 2 wheel drive car. Looking to see some northern states, but worried about snow.
    All advice will be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks alot!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I'm not really sure what you are looking for in terms of advice. With 2 months and "Florida," "San Diego," and "northern states" as your guide points, you literally are talking about a trip that covers the entire country, and it is simply impossible to tell you what's in between, other than to say that everything is in between.

    I also don't know what to tell you in terms of what to avoid. There certainly will be areas that will be closed for the season, but there are very few places where you can't go in a 2 wheel drive car.

    If you have some specific questions, we'll certainly do our best to help, but I'm just not sure what else it is you are looking for at this point.

  3. Default

    thanks, thats a help right there. I thought there was going to be alot of roads closed. I guess when I say Northern States I am speaking about West Coast. Probably hit up Oregon, but didnt know if Washington State was worth the extra effort. Also didnt know how bad the weather is in Colorado/Utah during those months. I know my first post was vague, but I really will and do plan on driving all over. Just trying to find those MUST SEE from some people who know.

  4. #4

    Default Advice of the most general nature

    Hello Dewey,

    As noted, it's a very broad brush you've begun to paint with. Here are, however, a few initial thoughts intended to assist you in narrowing down your questions.

    I'd travel with my own squeegee and a couple of gallons of ice-removing windshield fluid. All day travel on salted roads in the spray from vehicles in front of you leaves you with a constant clean-up requirement.

    I'd want new, high quality windsheld wipers, too.

    I'd want tires on the "new" side as opposed to older tires. An All-Season tread would be ideal.

    Invest in a pair of "cable chains", the modern equivalent of tire chains, and know how to install them properly. Many (all?) Western states have a "chain law" requiring that you be equipped with chains on specified roads at times specified by overhead signs and other media. The usage requirements are generally short-term in nature and are normally only at the passes.

    That said, don't let winter weather stop you from going north. The most highly skilled and best equipped plowing crews anywhere are employed by the states of MT, ID, WY, UT, and CO, and their cousins work in other snowy states. They get the job done, and right NOW. Weather related delays are normally a matter of hours and are only rarely a full day.

    That said, keep a full complement of hi energy food and water on board, and of course proper winter outerwear, including boots, gloves, and a hat. I'd keep a zero-degree rated sleeping bag on board. Keep your fuel tank topped off and carry a small shovel to keep the exhaust pipe cleared. In the highly unlikely event you become ill-informed enough to drive into the teeth of a storm, you'll at least be prepared to wait for the Cavalry to arrive.

    As noted, much of the higher elevation National Park scenery is inaccessible in winter. There are, however, plenty of places where Interstate passes reach the 8,000-10,000' range, so you can have a taste of extreme weather without having to immerse yourself in it all day, every day.

    Plan ahead, watch the weather, be flexible, and don't hesitate to hang out at a truck stop eating pie and drinking coffee for a couple of hours, and you're good to go.


  5. Default


    Thank you very much. I was kind of up in the air about MT, ID, WY but now I know it’s very do-able. I have never done something like this and didn’t even think about chains, thanks again.


  6. Default Hot Springs

    I didnít know there were so many hot springs in the west. Any ideas on the best one accessible in late January?

  7. #7

    Default Hot springs touring


    We share an interest in hot spring (HS) touring. There are hundreds and hundreds of HSs in the West, and from my own research they're broken down into 3 broad categories: Commercial (generally open year-round), noncommercial (but accessible year-round), and noncommercial (accessible seasonally only).

    The first category includes the upscale and totally enjoyable Glenwood Hot Springs in Glenwood Springs, CO. Located right on the Colorado River, the springs are piped into a gigantic outdoor pool. A spa/fitness center is attached, with locker rooms, etc, and the guests at the attached hotel have hot pool privileges. Commercial also includes the very rustic (so rustic my wife refuses to go there!) Elkhorn Hot Springs near Polaris, MT. Elkhorn is also piped into a series of outdoor and indoor pools, with locker rooms for changing. Other developments there include a tiny hotel/restaurant/bar and a few cabins. If you're looking for a place WAY off the beaten path in January, Elkhorn HS is the place. It's one of those areas where the locals you meet don't have last names, so don't ask. Just have a drink with them and don't get too nosy about who they are and what they do, and y'all will get along just fine. Not far from Elkhorn is Jackson Hot Springs Resort, a very cool motel/cabins/restaurant/bar complex which is pretty much the only business in tiny Jackson, MT, in the heart of the breathtaking Big Hole Valley. Between Gardiner, MT and Livingston is Chico HS, a developed resort which I am pretty sure is open year-round. In WY there is Saratoga HS (with an upscale resort and a separate noncommercial soak known as the Hobo Pool) and CO's HSs include Cottonwood and perhaps 2-3 down near Salida whose names escape me now. I think either Silverton or Ouray has a HS resort. Possibly the most well-known commercial soak in CO is about 5 miles north of Steamboat Springs: Strawberry Park HS. It gets hordes of bussed-in skiers from Steamboat nightly and has a reputation for being a bacchanalian nude-a-rama during ski season (not that there's anything wrong with that). A bit east of there is Hot Sulfur Springs HS, a much more sedate and highly varied destination where there are a number of different soaks and where alcohol is banned.

    Near the MT-ID border is Lolo HS, where Lewis & Clark soaked, and just down US 12 a short distance into ID lie Jerry Johnson and Weir Creek HS, each a short walk off of US 12. These are undeveloped walk-ins accessible through the winter, so long as you're willing to take a hike down an icy trail for 30-45 minutes. Tucked WAY out of the way, near Elk City, ID, is Red River HS, newly re-opened under new management, offering an outdoor pool and a hotel/restaurant structure. I haven't been there, but I imagine Elk City and environs is a "first name only" neighborhood, too. Further down in ID are a number of HSs in the Stanley and Boise vicinity, some commercial, some noncommercial but accessible.

    I have read Nevada is loaded with HSs but have done no soaking there nor have I read much about it.

    If you're interested, there are many websites and blogs on the subject. Most offer some sort of state-by-state listing of the HSs and their specific environments. Just one example is

    FWIW, I drove from NC to Park City, UT and back in Dec-Jan last, and we experienced what must be close to the worst Wyoming and Nebraska had to offer. We still managed to keep moving, albeit at 50 mph rather than 80, so all it did was slow us down for a few hours. We were in a well-equipped 4WD pickup truck, but we were on the road with every sort of FWD and rear wheel drive vehicle, too. The typically very dry western snow makes for a pretty decent driving surface, especially when compared to wet snow + ice like we see back here in the East for the most part. Traveling through it is not as much fun as a HS soak with a cold beer, but it's do-able.

    Safe RoadTripping and soaking,


  8. Default

    Thank you Foy,

    This has some great information, just the stuff I was looking for. I did come across Green Tortoise and am now thinking about going on one of those adventures. Either way I will make it to at least Elkhorn, HS this next winter. Place sounds great. Thanks again.

  9. #9

    Default If you like offbeat and out of the way....'ll love Elkhorn HS. They serve a local/regional community of cross-country skiers, downhill skiers, and snowmobilers. The tiny ski mountain Maverick Mountain lies in between Elkhorn HS and the Grasshopper Inn, a raucous motel/bar/restaurant business also serving the winter sports community. All 3 are within a couple miles of one another, and they're all some 45 miles from Dillon, MT, the closest full-service supply point.

    Have fun in Big Sky Country!


Similar Threads

  1. Southern Oregon to Arkansas in January or February
    By shellfish2 in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-20-2010, 06:47 AM
  2. Suggestions for road trip from San Diego to Seattle in February
    By ashwini in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 01-09-2010, 11:45 AM
  3. Help planning Road Trip Phoenix to Houston in February
    By kbailey in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-16-2009, 09:42 AM
  4. road trip in January
    By ro123 in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 11-24-2008, 01:51 PM
  5. Winter Road Trip/ January & February, 2008
    By SarahSnow in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 10-11-2007, 02:27 PM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name