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  1. Default New York to Vegas in Dec /Jan

    hello all
    We are looking for advice and suggestions on a roadtrip from NY to Vegas at the end of december start of Jan ,we are visiting from Scotland so plan to hire a car or 4x4 on arrival (suggestions also welcome for choice of vehicle)
    We have around 8 days for trip and looking to see some of small town america , Is this enough time for such a long road trip ? and as weather is also a big factor what would be the best route to avoid any major delays (if possible )
    would we be better to stay on interstates at this time of year ? but i gather from what i have read that we would miss the best places by staying on the main drag .
    A route we had looked at was along the I80 so we would be heading for Denver .Is this a good route ?

    All suggestions and advice welcome , We are in the early planning stages and would appreciate the knowledge of americas seasoned road trippers


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

    Default questions with few answers

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    You can make this trip in the time you've got, but you might not be able to do exactly what you hope. Its about a 5 day drive if you are sticking completely to the interstates, driving all day in good weather. That doesn't leave very much time for exploring, especially if you want to see "small town america" or get off the freeways and take a leasurely trip.

    There is no way at all to tell you what route might be best for avoiding weather, as that will be completely dependent upon specific weather systems you might see along your trip. I will note that going via Denver means you'd be crossing the heart of the rockies at an elevation over 10,000 feet. It is a very beautiful drive, and it could be completely clear during your trip, but you could also see a storm that delays you for a day or two. 4 wheel drive may provide a bit of an advantage, but it won't be a ton of help (4wd can help you get moving in deep snow, but it does nothing to help you slow down at highway speeds) and there is a good chance that such a vehicle will cost significantly more to rent.

    Beyond that, with millions of things to see between NY and Vegas and no idea of what things might interest you or what stops you have in mind, its going to be tough to offer specific tips until you get a little farther along in your planning. You can, however, use the Map Center tool to get a good start on some of the many ideas that you could work on.

  3. Default

    Hi michael
    thanks for your reply
    i have been reading up on weather info for this time of year and it seems to be a bit hit or miss you say a storm can catch you out and add time to our trip ,as for tourist information there is a multitude of things to see ...its hard to know where to start .

    I Am hoping we can maybe take a bit longer to do our trip taking a bit of preasure of and im sure we would enjoy it much more , The biggest thing for us would be to experience the people and culture ,so allthough the interstates are great for covering the distance im sure we would miss out .
    We both drive so covering the miles isnt a problem it just what would be the best route ?
    are we being unrealistic in our time scale ? I will use the map centre to make a start on our route and build on it from there .

    have you done such a trip before michael? and where abouts in america do you live ?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Hi...I'm not Michael, but I can offer a little bit of information to you.

    As far as "covering the miles.....what would be the best route?" There are so many different routes that you could take, including some non-interstates. Bear in mind that as far as weather is concerned, the interstates DO have priority when it comes to keeping them open. If the weather is bad enough to close the interstate, you shouldn't be driving anyway. They keep the interstate closed only as long as they have to, because otherwise our commerce wouldn't go through.

    Route-wise - - you could get on I-80 in NY, go through PA into Ohio, then drop down I-76 and I-71 onto I-70. That would take you from Ohio all the way to Utah, where it runs out, and you'd catch I-15 south to Las Vegas. That's about a 5 - 6 day drive without doing any sight-seeing, but you are forewarned that west of Denver, you are driving through Vail and some other ski areas, so you could run into some "weather". However, it's among the most gorgeous interstate drives in the country, between Denver and the end of I-70 in Utah!

    You could take I-80 straight across to Salt Lake City and then drop south on I-15 to Las Vegas. It's a little lower in elevation. Not as pretty a drive as I-70, but lovely in a different sort of way.

    Another thought is I-70 from OH to St Louis, where you catch I-44 down to Oklahoma City. The OK portion is toll road. In Oklahoma City, you catch I-40. You take that to western AZ, where you can catch 89 to Las Vegas. Yes, the elevation between Albuquerque and Flagstaff varies between 5000 and 7000 ft, and you may meet some weather. But it's gorgeous drive. You could stop at Petrified Forest NP and/or Grand Canyon NP, if you like, on that route.

    I have taken all 3 routes, as we live in Southern California and have family in Missouri, Illinois and New Jersey. All are competent routes.

    You could also take US 30 or US 50 for either all or part of the way. I have no knowledge of the length of those roads, though I have done sections of them over the years.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Yes and Yes.

    When the weather is bad it's best to get off the road and wait for the weather system to pass. Immediately after it has been bad, the Interstate will be the priority to clear and Yes, you are most likely will be better off sticking to them. And Yes, By sticking to Interstate you will miss out.

    The good thing is that travelling at this time of year means you should have no problem finding lodgings and can 'wing it'. The great thing with this is you can have a plan 'A', 'B' and 'C' and as many others as you want. This is where research comes in and you will find Lot's of info throughout the forums and road trip planning pages in the tool bars above. For example the Map centre as Michael suggested.

    If you find yourself along I70 there are many great options to explore. As time is an issue you will have to pick and choose. Get some dots on the map and see how you can link them up, looking 'out of the box' a little bit in the proccess. For example, you could get off I70 on 191 to Moab [Arches and Canyonlands NP's] to 163 through Monument valley and on to the south rim of the Grand canyon before finishing up in Vegas. From GC to Vegas you could ride along part of the original route'66 through Seligman and make a stop at the Hoover dam.

    As you start putting the puzzle together and new questions crop up, just ask. Enjoy !

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