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  1. Default LA to Denver in early January

    I am planning to drive from LA to Denver in early January. My two route choices seem to be I-15 to I-70 or I-40 to I-25. I will be traveling solo and have some flexibility in my timeline (right now I'm allowing 3 days to travel with an extra buffer day to be safe). Does anybody have advice/input on either route?

    My car is a Subaru Forester equipped with all-season tires. That being said, I've lived in warm climates for the past 7 years so I haven't driven in snow in about that long :)


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Wait and See

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The I-40/I-25 route is about 230 miles longer than the I-15/I-70 route, and the I-15/I-70 route takes you over some of the most scenic roads around. So, if the weather forecast is good for that area a day or two before departure, then that would be my first choice. Your car is certainly up to a little light snow, but anything major is probably worth waiting out.

    If the weather forecast looks less than 'iffy' for the Utah/Colorado route, AND it looks good for the Arizona/New Mexico route, then clearly the longer, flatter route is the better option. But note that it is not a given that the southern route will see better weather. I-40 across northern Arizona reaches elevations above 7,000 feet (higher than Denver) and snow, or worse - freezing rain, is a distinct possibility.

    You have some very good things going for you including a car that is good in the snow, a soupçon of caution (not to be discounted), and a spare day to simply wait out any storm that's on when you leave or catches you on the road. Use all of those to your advantage. But there's no way at this point to know which route is best for your particular journey until just before you make it.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default There are always other choices.

    My two route choices seem to be I-15 to I-70 or I-40 to I-25.
    As above, it's just a case of waiting to see what the weather and road conditions are like when you leave and then decide. I would like to mention that you have many more route choices than just the 2 Interstate based routes depending on what your goal is for the trip, but with 3 days you would have time to get off Interstate if you wanted to. For example you could take I40 and US89/160/191 to Moab and I70 with Grand canyon, Monument Valley [US163] and Arches NP being possible detours. Instead of heading to I70 you could head past Mesa Verde towards Durango and continue to Pagosa Springs or head up the Million Dollar Highway [US550] through the mountain towns of Silverton and Ouray to Montrose and take US50/285. These involve mountain passes and you would want to be sure of conditions before commiting to anything as mentioned previously, but I'm just trying to say that there are always more options than those offered by a computer program, or those I have listed for that matter, if you are looking at anything other than the drive.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    If the weather is cooperative, I'd definitely opt for the I-15 and I-70 route. It's absolutely gorgeous. It starts getting really pretty when you go through the Virgin River Gorge, then gorgeous through the San Rafael Swell in UT and into the mountains of CO.

    A good overnight spot is Richfield, UT -- lots of choices of motels. Fuel up when you get into town, as there is only one station open all night (and that's during the summer; not sure about the winter months). About 20 miles east of Richfield is Salina UT, and that's the last services along I-70 for 108 miles when you pull into Green River, UT.

    Richfield is about 550 miles of driving, mostly desert except for Cajon Pass and then in UT. Denver would be another 470 miles or so down the road, but much of it in the mountains. Easy interstate driving, but up in the upper elevations.


  5. Default

    Thank you all for the advice! I am starting to check the weather now with hopes of going for the I-15 and I-70 route. Side trips may depend on how much mileage I feel like doing i a given day (I've only put 8k miles on my car in the last year, so this is a BIG trip for me), but I would love to check out the National Parks!

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