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  1. Default Trip from NJ to LA during first week of Jan


    I need to travel to LA in January first week.

    I am considering driving from NJ to LA with a hope to do some sightseeing around the route.

    I need advise on probable route plans w.r.t weather conditions.

    I have experience of covering NJ to Thousand Islands and then to Niagara Falls and back to NJ(
    Its around 1000 Miles and continuous drive duration of ~17 Hrs.
    On Average I spent around 4 hrs at each destination and covered this trip in 2 days..

    Now with this experience, does drive from NJ to LA in Jan first week is advice-able if so which route would be less risky.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default A speed run in Winter is fraught with challenge

    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    As you might have noticed we are experiencing record-breaking cold and winter storms this year. Hard to predict the weather in early January, but I would say that you can fully expect plenty of snow and ice on any route! But without question, the best route in Winter is the most direct. It will require five days of driving --8 to 10 hours per day -- if the weather is good to drive from New Jersey to California. So extra sightseeing is not likely unless you can spend more than 5-6 days on the road.

    The most direct route is I-70 to I-15 to Los Angeles. I would take it, despite crossing the Colorado Rockies -- Colorado has some of the best snow removal teams in the business. Avoid I-40 (especially in Texas) if storms are predicted.

    Mostly you will need to look at the weather reports each afternoon as you make your way across and plan accordingly.

    There is some great scenery along I-70.

    How many actual days can you spend on the trip?


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The experience you have with that one trip certainly will help you at least have a feel for spending some long days in the car, although the skills you need for a long distance trip across the country aren't exactly the same.

    On a long distance trip, pacing yourself is very important. You really shouldn't plan to do much more than 500-600 miles a day. That's the limit of what professionals are allowed to do, and when you start doing more than that, you really start to push the limits of what you can do safely. Even if you feel can do more in one day, doing more than that will leave you worn out on future days.

    There are several routes you can look to take. The Most direct route follows I-80/I-71 to Columbus, then I-70 out to St. Louis, and then uses I-44 to cut down to I-40. However, there are also lots of other combinations of routes you could look to take, including those that use I-70 or I-80 all the way to Utah. Every possible route - even southern routes - have the chance of seeing snow and ice. You really will need to keep an eye on the forecast, and then build your trip around what looks best in the days of your travel.

    At best, you'll need to plan for this drive to take 5-6 days, but it would be best to have at least 6 or 7 available to give you a cushion, and allow you to sit and wait out a storm if the weather doesn't work in your favor. Of course, those are minimum times, allowing only time for very basic stops, if you want to explore along the way, add time for that too.

  4. Default

    Thanks Mark for your quick response..

    I have 5 Full days.. starting early hours of 31st Dec and planning to reach LA by Jan 5th Morning..

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    If you've only got 5 days, then siteseeing really isn't an option. You pretty much need to have some good luck and hit perfect weather to make it on your timeline. If you can arrive on the morning of the 5th, that would seem to be at least part of a 6th day, so that helps too.

    One note about leaving early and potentially arriving in the morning, it isn't wise to try do to a lot of your driving at odd hours on a trip like this. Trying to get out on the road a little early the first day, or before rush hour traffic isn't bad, but you really need to think of this like you're about to work 5 straight 10 hour days. The more you can keep things close to your regular schedule - and during daylight hours - the better off you'll be.

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