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  1. Default Need tips for Winter drive from Cali to Colorado

    Hello, I am contemplating driving to Colorado Springs this Winter (Dec./Jan.) with two little ones so I will need plenty of stops. I am a little experienced with road trips as I have drove from Texas to Ca several times. I never used chains while driving through snow on those trips so I am not sure if I will need them for this one. My previous trips were pretty flat except for going through Arizona and Ca. I'd like to know things like which route is best for coming out of Northern Ca to Colorado, what is the terrain like out that way, etc. I am not concerned about time as I am looking at 20-22 hrs anyway. I will not be towing anything, but I will have a large load in the pick up bed.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Welcome aboard RTA!

    Depending on your location in "northern California", the most direct route appears to be I-80 through CA, NV, UT and WY. At Cheyenne, could could catch I-25 down to Colo. Springs. Terrain - - you'd have to cross Donner Pass in CA near the NV border. You've got a few other passes along that route, as well.

    Another route could be I-80 through NV and into Salt Lake City, where you catch I-70. (If the weather is "right", you could use US 6 from Provo to Green River, UT to shorten the mileage a bit. Inquire locally about snow levels and weather.) At Denver, you catch I-25 south to Colo. Springs. However, because of the 11,000 ft elevation just west of Denver, we don't usually recommend this route in the winter.


    Donna

  3. Default Re:

    Thanks for such a quick reply. I am new to this, what does Terrain - - mean? Does that mean flat? (I hope). I was looking at turning downward on what I think is I 15 instead of crossing through WY. I don't want to do 50 but I'd like to go straight through kinda. What do you know about I 15? I like most people am trying to tread lightly. I don't have a problem with going through WY just looks like a longer path and out of the way. Also, are tire chains required in the snow up on these highways? I've never used them.

    Thanks (Oops heres the link i meant to put in about the other route)

    http://maps.yahoo.com/#q1=San+Jose%2...%2C-110.466392

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Your Choice

    There's only a 6 mile difference between taking I-80 through Wyoming to I-25, and taking I-15 from Salt Lake City down to I-70 through Colorado to I-25, so either one will work just fine - your choice. As far as 'flatness' goes, all Interstates are built to standards which limit grades and curves so that even big trucks don't have to slow down too much. Again, either route will work just fine. I-80 does not get to quite the elevation as I-70 and is just that 6 miles shorter, and there is a very short connection between I-15 and I-70 on either UT-28 or US-50. Neither of those two things is a showstopper, but you should be aware of them. Chains are only required on certain roads under certain conditions for short periods of time, and frankly, if and when they are required on the Interstates you're probably better off just putting up for the night and letting the road crews do their job.

    AZBuck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Just so you know....the short connection between I-15 and I-70, that AZBuck mentioned, are "short cuts". Using one of those allows you to shorten the trip about 35 miles. Otherwise, you have to go 50 miles further south to catch the direct connection between I-15 and I-70, then another 40 miles to Salina (where US-50 will connect you to I-70).

    As far as the two roads go -- have done that stretch of I-15 between SLC and I-70 several times, and that I-70 stretch is a regular haunt for us during the summer. Both interstates are kept in good repair -- that's why they're Interstates.


    Donna

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    I sure hope you aren't planning on driving straight through - you need at LEAST one if not two overnight stops.

    Buck, I think you are reading your map wrong - I show a 75 mile difference between I-80/I-25 and I-80/I-15/US-50/I-70/I-25. I-80 to I-25 is a much preferable route AS LONG AS I-80 is in good shape through WY.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Nope....

    Assuming the driver stays on Interstates all the way, there is a minimal 6 mile difference. You only get to a more appreciable difference if you use US-50 across Nevada.

    AZBuck

  8. Default

    Thanks for all the great information. I drove back roads to central Tx from California once and it was terrible with lots of animals. I realize this isn't avoidable everywhere but the information you all have provided about interstates encourages me not to get off and switch so much. I look forward to fancy truck stops and clean hotels =)

  9. Default As for the weather

    Is there a special place like an app for android or radio station I can check out for weather conditions on a certain interstate? I'd like to know ahead of there is rain happening further down my trip and what not.
    This is probably a luxury I am seeking, but doesn't hurt to ask =)

    Angel

    Oh and PS truckers....I am one of those people that are scared to pass if I can't see that far ahead (hot days where it's hazey or in rain) don't get mad if you see me trailing slow behind.

    Moderator Note: Please don't create multiple threads about the same trip.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default several starting points

    Your best bet would be to have a Weather Radio, so you could always have the forecast at hand. Its a common addition to a CB radio, which can also be an addition to your roadtrip gear.

    Otherwise, scanning the local radio AM dial or having an XM radio that has the weather channel on it could help.

    App-wise, I'm not as certain. The National Weather Service, the Weather Channel (weather.com), and Weather Bug are all good websites, and I'd bet they'd have some App available. RTA also has a whole list of weather resources to check out.

    And of course, don't forget about the phone. Nearly all states have a 511 or similar system with road condition information.

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