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  1. Default newbie needs help with OR-AZ holiday route

    My husband and I are thinking of heading to Vail (outside of Tucson, AZ) for a couple weeks during December holidays. We are new to Oregon and the west coast so honestly not completely familiar with weather/road conditions during the winter.

    Any feedback on the best route and what we may expect is appreciated. We'd love to enjoy some scenery along the way too. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Why Not Two?

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Assuming that this is going to be a round trip, why not take different routes to Vail and then back home. The somewhat shorter route (I'm guessing Portland is your new home town) is to take I-5 south through the Willamette Valley, over the Siskiyou and Shasta Passes, down the Central Valley to the L.A. Basin, and then I-10 to Tucson/Vail. An alternate route that is a bit more scenic as well as a bit longer (but only by a hundred miles) is to take I-84 up the Columbia Gorge, over to the Snake River Valley and Down to Salt Lake, then I-15 south into the Canyonlands of southern Utah switching over to US-89 when you like, then pick up I-17 from Flagstaff to Phoenix and I-10 from Phoenix to Tucson. Each of those drives will take three days, but if you have more time, there is certainly a ton of stuff to see along either of them. You may also want to hold your decision on which route to use until just a day or two before departure and get the latest weather forecast before making a final decision.


  3. Default

    AZBuck thanks for the feedback, different routes is a great idea. First things first we need to buy a road atlas so we can better visualize the route. We have friends and family we can stop to visit if traveling through California but the scenic route you suggested through Utah sounds great. What about taking the 101 the majority of the way, this is admittedly an ignorant question because I have yet to research what the potential weather is like along this route or how slow the drive may or may not be?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Following the coast should keep you from seeing much in the way of winter weather, but it comes with a major increase in travel time. It takes roughly twice as much time to follow the coast vs. taking I-5.

    If you drove from Tucson to Portland via I-10/I-5 (possibly bypassing LA by taking I-15/US-395/CA-58 from San Bernardino to Bakersfield) you could make the drive in a pretty easy 3 days. Following the Coast, you'd need at least 5-6 days.

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