Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. Default Mid January - Oklahoma City to Eugene Oregon

    Hello,

    I will be making a trip starting January 14th from Oklahoma City and arriving prior to January 21 (hopefully!) in Eugene Oregon. I am looking for advice on the best route considering weather conditions. It will be me and my dog in a mid-size crossover vehicle. I made the reverse trip (Oregon to OKlahoma via Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas) about six months ago so sight seeing is not really a big aspect of this trip. I just want to arrive safely and avoid as much of the mountains and harsher weather as possible.

    It was suggested that I take a southern route through New Mexico and Arizona and then up through California. Any thoughts on this? I am comfortable driving this trip but my concern is, as I said, heavy snow in the mountain passes. I've not driven much in those conditions and I worry about accidents.

    Any help or idea would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    If your primary concern is getting there quickly, and in one piece, then sticking to the Interstates and taking the most direct route would be your best bet. The Interstates are generally the first roads to be cleared, and also will have the best conditions. Even if you do have to wait out a storm, you'll likely arrive quicker than adding hundreds of miles to your trip by taking an alternate route.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Going via I-40 and I-5 could be a good route for your trip, but it by no means a route that is free of winter weather. I-40 sees snow and ice from Oklahoma all the way through Arizona (reaching near 7,000 feet around Flagstaff). CA-58 sees snow from time to time while crossing the mountains east of Bakersfield, and the I-5 sees plenty of winter weather in the mountains of Northern California and Oregon.

    An option that would be about 200 miles shorter would be to go straight north to I-70 at Salina, Kansas, then over to Denver, up I-25 and across WY on I-80, to I-84 north of Salt Lake, before finishing your trip crossing Oregon on US-20.

    I'd pick the option that looks like it will have the best weather during the time of your trip (and there will be no way of knowing which route will be best until just before you depart). Either route should take you 3.5 to 4 days, so you'll have plenty of extra time available in case bad weather forces you to slow down or stop until conditions improve.

  4. Default

    I was thinking of this route - any feedback?

    I-40 to Santa Rosa South on 60 to Alamogordo then 70 through to I-10 onto I-5 all the way up crossing at Siskiyou.

    If I take this route I will be having a friend meet me in Redding to drive across Siskiyou with me. I absolutely do not feel comfortable taking it alone in January since I've only ever crossed it once and it was bad enough in April - I can't imagine January.

    I'm thinking this route as it helps me avoid most of the higher elevation areas in the Southwest and, as such, hopefully avoids some of the worst January weather. I've been through Flagstaff and some of those roads can be rough in the best of times - I'd rather not try in January if I can avoid it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Adding a Whole Lot of Miles

    The route you're proposing adds around 400+ miles to the total length of your drive, or another full day on the road. That's just one more day for bad weather to catch up and find you. And for all that extra driving you still don't avoid mountains. You'll still face crossing the Coast Range north of Los Angeles, and the Cascades twice, once around Mount Shasta in northern California and once over Siskiyou Pass in southern Oregon. By comparison, the worst that could happen to you by taking the more direct Denver/I-80/I-84/US-20 route is that you do see some bad weather and sit that same extra day in a warm comfy motel room rather than burn daylight and gas covering extra miles. I just don't see the up side.

    AZBuck

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Not to mention, heading south at Santa Rosa could have you running directly into severe weather. I-10 in New Mexico and eastern Arizona is still at an elevation over 4k feet, and sees its share of snow and ice during the winter months.

    As has been said a couple times now, there simply is no way to avoid the chance of winter weather when traveling across the US in January. More often than not, adding hundreds of extra miles by going south in the off-chance that it might see better weather does more harm than good.

  7. Default

    I get what you are saying but I guess I just can't stomach the idea of taking the Denver/I-80/I-84/US-20 path particularly the US-20 aspect. That road is hell in the winter and more often than not is closed.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default myths and facts

    I'm sorry, but I think you need to take a step back from the ledge.

    First, It simply is not true that US-20 is closed "more often than not" in winter. The reality is that it is 90% of the time in the winter the road is perfectly clear, passable, and used by thousand of people over the course of a day.

    And the same is basically true with all roads that we're talking about, although Interstates are typically cleared even faster. I-5 across the Siskiyous is perfectly fine the vast majority of the time. But with all of them, when a storm hits the roads can get bad - and its often better to simply wait for about a day for the weather to improve and the roads to be cleared.

    The much larger point that everyone here is getting at is really pretty simple: You can build your trips around myths and fears (like going south will improve your chances of seeing better weather, or a road is closed most of the time in winter) or you can build your trip around the facts.

    Ultimately you behind the wheel, and you're certainly welcome to take any route you'd like - that is the beauty of the roadtrip. It's entirely possible you'd see fine weather on the route you've listed - but that would purely be up to chance. Its also entirely possible that you could do yourself much more harm than good.

    The facts of winter travel are pretty simple - shorter is better, because you can't see a storm if you aren't on the road; accurate weather forecasts, not latitude or elevation, are the only way to know what areas will see bad weather when you are on the road; and extra time is always good in case the storm can't be avoided. What you chose do to with those facts, is really up to you.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    My software says the *fastest* route is as Michael describes, but staying on I-84 to Portland, then I-5 to Eugene.

    Taking I-40/CA-58/I-5 only adds about 75 miles and would be my second choice.

    If you absolutely must go south, take I-44 to Wichita Falls, then US-277 to Abilene to pick up I-20. Note that this will add almost 400 miles and a full day. This will also put you right through Phoenix and LA traffic.

Similar Threads

  1. Los Angeles to Oklahoma City in January
    By wintertraveler in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11-17-2010, 03:17 PM
  2. Eugene,Or to Oklahoma, best route
    By szimmer in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-19-2010, 07:22 AM

Bookmarks

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

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES