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  1. Default Ohio to San Diego & back!- January/Febuary

    I'm looking into taking a trip from Ohio (Canton to be exact) to San Marcos, CA (real close to San Diego) sometime in January or Febuary.

    I'm looking for advice on things to see. I'm thinking about taking I-70, I-15 when I drive out, and then come home a different route. Looked at coming through Flagstaff, but would possibly consider going through Tuscon, and into Texas some on the way home.

    So thats pretty much it. Any suggestions? Cheap places to stay during my drive?


  2. Default


    Also, without sight seeing, what kind of timeline would you guys suggest?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Shorter, Warmer, but not Cheaper - Two Out of Three Ain't Bad

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    I-70 through the heart of the Colorado Rockies is certainly a scenic way to go, but it does increase your chances of seeing significant snow. There's a reason there are several very large ski resorts in that area. Besides, it makes for a slightly longer trip. If, instead, you headed southwest from St. Louis on I-44 to Oklahoma City and pick up I-40 to I-15, you'll need to drive about 50 miles less, and decrease (but not completely remove) your chances of seeing road-closing winter weather. Such a route would also take you past the Petrified Forest/Painted Desert, the Grand Canyon. The downside is that I-44 is a pair of toll roads in Oklahoma, the Will Rogers and the Turner Turnpikes on either side of Tulsa.

    Either route will take a few hours more than four days. That means that if you schedule five, get a couple of solid days' driving under your belt, and the weather forecast looks good, you can take it a bit easier on the western portion and see some of the great natural wonders of northern New Mexico and Arizona. If the weather forecast looks bad, you can decide where you'll need to pull up for a while, find a nice warm motel room, and spend that 'extra' partial day just letting the storm blow over and the road crews do their jobs.

    You could then take the very southern route (I-10/I-20/I-30/I-40/I-65/I-71) on the way home for only an additional 150 miles or so.


  4. #4


    Barring unattractive weather forecasts, I would opt for the I-44/I-40 route at this time of the year. The biggest concern along this route would be freezing rain and ice. The biggest concern about the I-70 route would be heavy snow and much colder weather. Watch the Weather Channel website's 5 and 10 day forecasts and decide on a route accordingly. It's no fun to be caught in a winter storm anytime but it's certainly better at 20 or 30 degrees than it is at 0 or 10 degrees.

    Both routes offer the opportunities for great scenery. I-70 from Denver to the I-15 junction is perhaps the most scenic stretch of Interstate in the country - especially in the Glenwood Canyon area where the road literally hangs from the canyon walls in some places. On the southern route, in addition to the sites mentioned above by AZBuck, you will be in the Route 66 corridor and that might give you some ideas for things to see. If, like me you're a life-long midwesterner, I think you would find the southwest fascinating.
    Last edited by Charlie H; 12-09-2013 at 03:39 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    You asked about a timeline. If you took the I-44/40 route suggested above, you're looking at 2400 miles of driving. With no sightseeing and no winter weather issues, that's about a 4-5 day drive (depending on how many miles per day you drive, 500-600). Going through St Louis and Denver, you'd be looking at 2450 miles -- not a whole lot more, but (as said above) a higher probability of snow, ice and sleet.

    You also asked about cheap places to stay along your route. If you're traveling on your own, there are hostels. Most of those are a great way to meet others as well as an inexpensive place to shower and sleep. Where those don't exist, you can look on the website here to see where inexpensive motels run, or check out the coupon books at most visitors centers/rest areas and truck stops. Those have coupons for reasonable motels. In January and February timeframe, I would not worry about reservations unless you are planning to stay in Flagstaff between Thurs. Feb. 6 and Sun. Feb. 9th, when NAU hosts a big festival and motels fill with teenagers. You can expect to pay $40-50/night for a Motel 6, Red Roof Inn, or some of the other low-end motels.

    Staying with friends or family up in San Marcos? If not, I have a couple of motel recommendations in the area. Looking for things to do in San Diego? I live in the area and can recommend some.


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