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  1. Default Best route Orlando to Salt Lake City in January?

    Hello everyone. I am helping my son relocate from central Florida to Salt Lake City the last week in January and am looking for suggested driving routes. I will be driving a pickup and pulling a trailer, my son will be driving his small two seater car. I have experience driving in winter conditions but my son, who is a Florida boy does not. A northern route through the plains appears to be the most direct but Iím concerned about weather conditions. A southern route looks like a lot of switching between interstate and back roads and possibly the need to drive the continental divide. Any suggested routes will be greatly appereatiated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Reality vs. Misconceptions

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    It is commonly thought that cross-country driving in winter requires a southern route, special equipment, knowledge of the weather weeks to month in advance for planning, or some other 'magic'. The reality is much simpler. There are no routes that will be free from winter precipitation, skills that can be of use take several seasons to hone, equipment is no substitute for skills and can instead lead to unwarranted overconfidence, and there is absolutely no better tool in your arsenal for dealing with winter driving than time.

    The 'best' route under such conditions is almost invariably the most direct all-Interstate route. In your case that would be I-75 up to Chattanooga, I-24/I-57/I-64 through Nashville to St. Louis, I70 to Kansas City, I-29 up to I-80 and on into Salt Lake City. If the roads and skies are clear, you can use NE-2 as a shortcut from I-29 at Nebraska City to I-80 at Lincoln. Any other route simply adds miles and hours when you would be subjected to the elements. Besides northern road crews are better equipped and more experienced than their southern brethren.

    The best use for any extra time you might have spent by trying to follow a longer southern route is better kept in your back pocket to be used to simply hole up in a nice comfortable, warm. and safe motel room while the weather blows through and the highway is cleared in its aftermath. The route outlined above would take around four days at a steady but maintainable pace. If you allow five days for the drive, then you will have plenty of time to avoid bad weather by simply not driving rather than trying to fight your way through it or drive hundreds of miles out of your way to try to avoid it.

    Fortunately, there are not a plethora of other travelers in the winter, so reservations and keeping to a strict schedule are not required. Simply find a place to stay near the highway each night when your bodies or the weather are telling you that you've had enough for one day.


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