Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1

    Default Bakersfield, CA to Fort Drum, NY in February

    Hi guys!
    I need help planning a route from Bakersfield, CA to Fort Drum, NY. My husband returns from Afghanistan in March so my sister and I will be driving out in early February. My top priority is getting there safely and avoiding states or routes which will likely have the worst winter conditions. We are most concerned about driving on snowy, icy, mountain roads. We will be in a Chevy Trailblazer with 4WD and will have 14 days to make the drive so the option to “wait out” one or two bad storms is there. I understand we will encounter bad stretches of road along the way but we would just like to avoid the most notorious places and have the least stressful drive possible. I would really appreciate any advise your site and users can give me. Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA! You must be so excited to have your husband home soon. Thank you for being a military wife -- I know from experience, it can be difficult. Thank your husband for his service.

    It would be impossible to predict what could be the worst route in March, here in Nov. If it were me, I'd set a tentative route and then, make the final decision right before you leave as to what route you can take. Have some alternatives as well, where you could divert along the way. Carry a laptop or some other Internet-ready device so you can check road conditions along the way too.

    If it were me, there would be two routes to look at:

    I-40 straight across from California to Tennessee, then up I-81 through VA, PA, turning off to NY where needed.

    I-80 straight across the country from California. The only "bummer" to this route is that you would find some of the interstate is toll road. My husband and I are "shun-pikers": people who will usually avoid long stretches of toll road. YMMV.

    If you've got 14 days to make the drive, you could plan on 7 days at 400 miles per day and have time to stop places to see something if you like. Lots to see along either route!

    I-40: Grand Canyon - Petrified Forest NP - Albuquerque has some beautiful museums and rich Native American and Mexican Heritage - Amarillo's Cadillac Ranch - Graceland in Memphis (and other jazz heritage) - country music capital of Nashville - swing down to Great Smoky Mountains if the weather is "right" -

    I-81: if the weather is right, all or parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway or Skyline Drive could be open - Hershey PA with its chocolate factory is not far - Gettysburg is open year-round.

    I-80: Salt Flats - Mormon heritage in Salt Lake City - Wyoming (Yellowstone would probably be mostly still closed at that point) - much more! (It's been awhile since I've traveled this route, but I-40/81 is still fresh in my mind from our trip back east this past summer.)


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    In early February, the odds of finding bad weather and road conditions are pretty good no matter which route you take cross country. According to my mapping program, this is the fastest:


    With that said, I would not recommend you plan on going that way for a few reasons. I-70 goes over 11000' in Colorado and the I-90 stretch from Cleveland to Buffalo is notorious for lake effect snow. There are considerable tolls on this route.

    CA-58/I-40/I-81 as Donna has recommended is 300 miles longer, but I think I'd plan on that due to the early February time frame of the trip and the fact you aren't in a hurry. You DO need to be prepared to wait out some weather. I highly doubt that you will need chains, but if you have a set it would make sense to bring them. California is really about the only state that gets picky about chains on passenger vehicles.

  4. #4


    Thank you both for replying, I appreciate the insight. We made the trip from New York to California in April along the I-80 and somewhere around Colorado I realized there was no way we would be coming back along the same route!
    It sounds like the I-40 will be our best choice but like Donna suggested I will check my options again closer to our departure date.

Similar Threads

  1. Kansas MO to Bakersfield CA
    By frank83 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 08-21-2011, 12:17 PM
  2. Bakersfield, CA to Denver, CO
    By wishbone in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 07-18-2011, 12:51 PM
  3. Moving from Bakersfield Ca to Long Island New York
    By johnsky in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 07-13-2009, 11:12 AM
  4. Looking for Ghost Towns near Barstow / Bakersfield
    By jprabhakar in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-04-2007, 09:37 AM

Tags for this Thread


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