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  1. #1

    Default Traveling from South Texas to Alaska

    I am traveling from the Rio Grande Valley of Texas to Alaska and need lots of advice. Since the weather is so different at both ends of our trip I need to know what to do to prepare my car. Also how many days would it take to travel from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas to Petersburg, Alaska. I plan on traveling through El Paso, TX, Phoenix, AZ, Las Vegas, Reno, NV, Sacramento, CA, Eugene, OR, and up to Canada to Prince Rupert, BC. and there take the ferry. I really don't want to go through large cities but I do want to travel on large interstate Highways. Do you thing this would be a good route? I picked the southwestern United States route because we are traveling at Christmas time and I want to avoid snow country as much as possible. Please someone help with this trip.

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


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Considering this is a December trip, rather than driving up to Prince Rupert, have you thought about just getting on the Ferry in Bellingham, Washington? That would likely be a whole lot easier, especially in late December.

    If you do decide to drive to Prince Rupert, then I would say your better route choice would be to go north through Denver and Calgary, which is about a days drive shorter than going all the way to the west coast and up. Remember, while you might avoid snow in the Southwest (although West Texas, southern NM and southern AZ all see some snow/ice) you'd also have mulitple mountain passes to deal with as you make your way up north. Assuming you're starting around Laredo, I'd plan at least 8-9 days for the drive to PR, as it will take at least 7 full driving days, and I'd want a day or two extra to deal with weather. If you go up the coast, add at least one more day to those figures.

  3. #3


    Thanks Michael for the advice. Where are the mountain passes that I would encounter. I thought driving through Colorado would have mountain passes but I really don't know. Do you know what I have to do to prepare my vehicle for the trip. South Texas is almost always hot and warm in the winter so my car is not prepared for cold winter weather. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    It sounds like one suggestion might be I-35 north out of Laredo, west on I-10 through Texas and NM, to I-25 north. That will take you up to I-90 in MT, where you catch I-90 West to I-15 North which ends at the Canada border. From there you catch Rt 2 and Rt 4 to Calgary. In Calgary, catch the Trans Canada Hwy 1 to Cache Creek. There, head north on Rt 97 to Prince George to catch Canada 16 west out to Prince Rupert.

    Mountains....You don't have a lot, but on that route above, you will be doing a lot of driving at above 3500 ft elevation. That increases the risk of snow. That said, the Interstates can be closed if the weather is bad, and they will stay closed the least amount of time that is needed because our trucks MUST get through.

    An earlier suggestion was catching the ferry at a point further south. If it were me, that's what I'd do. The route through Calgary and British Columbia is mostly 2-lane. It's GOOD road, but it's not an interstate quality. That trip up the Inside Passage is supposed to be incredible (it's on my list of things to do someday).


  5. #5


    Thanks, Donna. Do I need snow tires or could I drive on the all season tires that I have on my car? I know I need to put antifreeze in my car and winter windshield wiper fluid. Is there anything else I need to do to my car?
    Does anyone know a route to take going through the southwest that would be interstate or interstate quality roads? I want to drive through the snow as little as possible. Please someone I need advice. Thanks.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Your all season tires should be okay, but I'd recommend you pick up a set of cable chains and learn how to put them on.

    Your best bet for avoiding snow - but it's always subject to change - would be I-10 to I-5.

  7. #7


    Thanks I really appreciate all the good advice.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Winter driving tips.

    You will find some useful winter driving tips in this thread. You will notice other links added, click on those for more great info !

    Have a safe trip !

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default a bit of an impossibility

    I really have to say that trying to go through the southwest doesn't seem like it should really make very much of an impact on your trip. First, even going on I-10 can see snow (as evidenced by the closures this week), and then you'd have to deal with several mountains along the coast as detailed here.

    However, the bigger issue is that if you are still planning to go to Prince Rupert, you're talking about a trip that takes you 1000 miles north of the US border. You're going to have a strong chance of running into winter weather, no matter which way you go. It is true you'd have longer stretches where winter weather would be rare, but to me its cancelled out by the large number of extra miles involved. In other words, you'd have about 1,000 miles of road where you would likely not see snow, but 500 of those miles are miles you wouldn't need in the first place by going a more direct route.

    If you want to avoid snow, I'd still strongly recommend leaving from Bellingham instead of Prince Rupert. Even there, I'd still take I-25 to I-90 (via Montana) or I-25/I-80/I-84 (via Utah/Idaho), which saves several hundred miles over I-10 to I-5, and really isn't any more mountainous. For example, in Colorado, you wouldn't be dealing with any mountain passes, as they would all be west of your route.

  10. #10


    I've changed my plans and am going to take the ferry al Bellingham instead of Prince Rupert. Is the best route driving through I-10 to I-5 and north to Bellingham?

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