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  1. Default Is it safe to drive from Chicago to LA in January?

    Hi there,
    My sister and I are contemplating driving my lil Subaru Impreza from Chicago to LA in the beginning of January.
    Is this safe to do?
    If so, which route is recommended?
    Would it be possible to pass thru Boulder, Colorado and/or Santa Fe, New Mexico, or are those places too hard to navigate at this time of year??
    THANX!!!!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Thousands of people drive from coast to coast, every single day of the year. If you couldn't do it, the American Economy - which relies on trucks to move goods - would collapse! And yes, it is also possible to go through Boulder and Santa Fe. People live in those cities all year long, and they have to get around too!

    Really, nothing about this trip should be different than what you experience in Chicago. Most days in the winter are perfectly find to get around, but If you get a really bad storm, you might have to wait a day for plows go through and get everything cleared out.

    As far as route, there are a couple options - and you should stay flexible and keep an eye on the forecasts just before you leave - but it depends a bit on how much time you have and if going through Boulder and Santa Fe are priorities.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    If you want to go via Boulder and Santa Fe, just take I-80 to I-76 to Denver, then US-36 to Boulder. To get to Santa Fe, take US-36 back to Denver, then I-25 to Santa Fe. To get to LA, take I-25 to I-40 to I-15.

    All these roads are Interstate or Interstate-quality highways that are maintained in winter at least as well, if not better than, the tollways and expressways around Chicago.

    In good weather, you are looking at 2 days from Chicago to Boulder, with an overnight around Lincoln, NE.

    Boulder to Santa Fe is about an 8 hour drive in good weather.

    Santa Fe to LA is a day and a half, overnight in Kingman, AZ.

  4. Default

    Thank you both so much!!!
    I know it is probably a weird question.... but the thing is I've only been in Chicago since June, and I've never, ever been in snow before!!! So I have no experience driving in it around Chicago either....
    But it sounds like a road trip could be very exciting!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default

    Unfortunately there is no way to predict what the weather may or may not do at the exact time you travel until mutch closer to your departure. Interstates are a priority to keep open and clear for the very reasons Michael mentioned above. What you need to have is up to date road and weather conditions as you travel and enough time to make the journey safely, even if that means holding up somewhere in the event of a storm and let it pass while the road crews do their job of clearing up. Of course it's quite possible you won't have any weather related problems.

  6. Default

    Okie cool!
    Thank you thankyou!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    If your Impreza is AWD, you shouldn't have any problem as long as you use common sense and it's got a decent set of all-season tires on it.

  8. Default

    Yes! I believe it IS AWD glc!! I think they make all Subaru models that way... I guess I need to ask the dealership about the tires....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default

    All Subaru's are AWD, and that can help a bit when dealing with winter weather.

    However, All/4 wheel drive is probably the single most overrated tool there is for winter driving, especially on long distance travel. 4 wheel drive can help you get moving on snow and ice, but once you're on the highway, stopping is the real challenge and 4 wheel drive doesn't help you there. After a big winter storm, you'll often see more 4 wheel drive vehicles in the ditch than regular cars - because of the overconfidence that comes from misusing the tool.

    Basically, without experience driving in winter, the AWD is only of very limited help to you. It's not a bad thing, obviously, and as we've said, the possibility of winter weather shouldn't keep you off the road, I just wouldn't let it change much anything of your plans.

    One thing about Subaru's, if you do need new tires, then you will have to replace all 4.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    All Subaru's are AWD
    Well, at least since 1997. The first year for the Impreza was 1992.

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