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  1. Default Seattle, WA to Austin, TX in the winter...

    Hey there,

    I'm a newby on here and was wondering what route would be best for me and my partner to go from Seattle, Wa to Austin, Tx in early to mid December. We will be moving there and will only have us and our dog and 2 cats in our crossover SUV, that's brand new. I am able to drive in snow but would like to avoid as much snow as possible. I know there's no way to avoid snow at all during the cold season but, was wondering what route would be best? Time is important but, if that includes a TON of snow, we'd rather go a longer way to avoid the mass snow areas.

    Also, we plan to make a few stops in Oregon to see family before moving and will be staying in hotels along the way for sleep. We both can drive but, my partner would rather drive in daylight and I can drive nights...

    If anyone could help us and let us know the best routes to get to Austin, it would be much appreciated!

    Thank you!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default How to Avoid Weather (Hint: It's not the Route that matters)

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    This question comes up time and again, and there are really only two simple rules to finding the safest driving strategy in the winter. (1) Find the most direct, all-highway route. (2) Leave time in your plans to simply sit out any bad weather. Adding hundreds of miles to a journey in a futile attempt to find a 'snow free' route is just plain counter-productive. There is no such route anywhere in the continental United States, and adding miles simply increases the time you'll be on the road and subject to untoward weather.

    In your case the best route depends very critically on where those 'few stops in Oregon' are. Without knowing where the serious cross-country portion of your trip is going to begin, we really can't tell you how you should go. But in general, the drive from Seattle would take a minimum of four solid driving days and you should budget a fifth day for the trip to handle any inclement weather you come might come across. Please dissuade yourselves from any idea that one of you can drive during the day while the other drives at night. You will need both of you awake and alert to keep this trip safe.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 11-17-2012 at 06:24 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    It would help if you told us where in Oregon you will be stopping - then we can recommend a route from your last stop.

  4. Default

    I will be leaving Corvallis, Or. as our last visit before leaving to Austin, TX...
    Thank you very much for your help...and we are looking for the best route that has less snow on it, no matter what the time frame would be. We'd rather be on the road a few more days longer than dealing with a ton of snow...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default You'll have to wait and see.

    Then the only way to decide is much nearer to your time of departure, and while on the road when you can get up to date weather forecasts and road conditions. The weather is so unpredictable that even historic climate data can't help you decide as there is just no way of knowing what it's going to do any given day that you are on the road. You should have no problems finding lodgings along the way, so you can leave your final plans until then. With a weather forecast available you should have a good idea of what and what isn't possible with the weather over a few days, and if there is "tons of snow" already laid down someplace, you will know in advance.

    With time being important the quickest way would be I5 to I10 by the look of things, although it may be wise to miss the LA basin and cut across on CA58 and down 395 to San Bernardino.

    If it were I and the weather was favourable I would opt to take US20/I84/I15/US6/US191 through Utah and cut down to Austin via Albuquerque. It'll cost you an extra couple of hours even though it is 200 miles shorter in distance, [which isn't much over the 4 days you should allow for such a trip] and in my opinion would make for a nicer drive. [Note; I'm not a fan of Interstate and love the Four corner region for it's 'drive thru' scenery.]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Quote Originally Posted by RayOfSun View Post
    we are looking for the best route that has less snow on it, no matter what the time frame would be. We'd rather be on the road a few more days longer than dealing with a ton of snow...
    I really think you completely missed the point of Buck's post. There simply is no "best route that has less snow."

    Every single route you can take can and does see snow in the winter. Even if one route sees a little less snow on average, that really doesn't matter if there is snow or ice on that route on the specific days of your trip.

    Furthermore, trying to take a route that adds a few days to your trip in the hope that it will have better weather is actually something that increases your chances of having problems, because it means you are on the road longer, which means more days to see a storm, and fewer days available to sit and wait if conditions do not allow for safe travel.

    In your case, the quickest all-freeway route does happen to be essentially I-5 to I-10, with a bypass of LA as Dave suggested.

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