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  1. Default Toronto to Las Vegas

    Hello everyone. I enjoy driving and have a mother who has never been to Vegas. Here's the deal she doesn't fly so it's road trip or nothing. I really want to have her see Vegas and the west coast. We are thinking of a February trip so I would also like a route with least amount of snow. Thinking just drive straight south of Toronto below the snow belt turn west and keep driving. Any ideas are greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 11-16-2011 at 09:17 PM. Reason: moved post to its own thread

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    The problem with that thought, about heading south "below the snow belt" and then turning west, is that there really isn't a route that would meet that criteria. Even I-10, the Interstate that's the furthest south in the USA, crosses some areas that get into ice storms.

    Interstates, however, are your best bet for winter travel. First, they are a priority for the state transportation departments: last closed, first to be cleared and reopened. The interstates are important to commerce, and the truckers need to get through.

    It seems to me you have several choices. You can get down to I-90 and I-80 and cross the country that way. In UT, you can drop south on I-15 which takes you into Las Vegas. To me, this would be among the shortest routes that would be open. These roads have "winter", so allow yourself an extra day or two in case you have to be holed up somewhere, waiting for the road to open. (You don't want to be on the road anyway if the weather is bad enough for the DOT to close it!)

    Another thought, albeit a few extra miles: I-90, to I-71, to I-70 to St Louis. At St Louis, catch I-44 to I-40 in OKC. Then you're on I-40 to western AZ, where you catch US 93 up to I-15 and Las Vegas. While NM and AZ sound like "desert", in truth I-40 goes above 4000 ft elevation in those states, and close to 7000 ft at Flagstaff, they see snow.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default the myth

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Sorry to say there is no answer at this time to the question of which route will have the least snow, because that is 100% dependent on specific forecasts that you won't know until just before you leave.

    The problem with your "below the snow belt" theory is that it is impossible to go far enough south to avoid snow and remain in the US. Even Southern New Mexico and Arizona see snow every year.

    It also isn't a good generic idea because, you could certainly run into a ton of snow as you head south - a storm you might be able to avoid by driving west first. There's also the issue that snow isn't the only winter driving concern. While you might be less likely to see snow in Texas or Oklahoma vs. say Nebraska or Wyoming, you could end up being more likely to see ice - which is far worse to drive in imho.

    Having said that, the Interstates get first priority for clearing during a storm and as long as you have time to wait a day or two if you do see the worst, there's no reason you can't have a fun and safe trip. So rather than trying to guess about the weather, I'd focus on what kinds of things you'd like to see between Toronto and the Pacific.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Right at the beginning of your trip, due to lake effect the odds of better weather and road conditions will be in Canada - 401 to 402 and cross the border at Sarnia. From there, one option would be I-69 to Indy, then I-70 to I-44 to I-40.

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