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  1. Default Calgary AB to Los Angeles CA in December 2014

    Hi everyone! I'm in the early stages of planning a road trip from Calgary, Alberta to Los Angeles, California around Christmas and was hoping to get some advice with regards to how safe this journey would be. I am planning to go to San Francisco for a couple days as well, and thus my starting point for the return trip would have to be from San Francisco. In the itinerary listed below, I outlined a different path from San Francisco to Calgary that goes through Oregon and Washington; however, if the safer alternative would be to come back the way I came (i.e., through Nevada, Montana, etc), then I'd be happy to take that way as well.

    I am driving a 2006 Acura CSX (a Canadian-only model that is basically the same as a Honda Civic) with winter tires (Michelin X-Ice Xi3). I don't have much driving experience in snowy/icy winter conditions, nor do I have much long-distance driving experience (the longest I've driven was from Vancouver to Calgary over 2 days in July), hence my apprehension and posting on this forum - however, at the same time, I feel like I'm a fairly cautious driver and that I need to experience this kind of road trip at some point in my life. This is my itinerary, which I'm hoping is spaced out enough for me to get to LA while driving fairly cautiously:

    Calgary -> Los Angeles
    Day 1: Calgary to Helena
    Day 2: Helena to Salt Lake City (perhaps with a stop in Yellowstone on the way)
    Day 3: Salt Lake City to Las Vegas
    Day 4: Las Vegas to Los Angeles

    San Francisco -> Calgary
    Day 1: San Francisco to Bend
    Day 2: Bend to Spokane
    Day 3: Spokane to Calgary

    Thanks everyone!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    One issue that I see with your outbound trip is the thought of Yellowstone. Unfortunately, the vast majority of roads in Yellowstone closed in either Sept or Oct, and won't reopen until late spring. The park is accessible mostly by tour bus or snowmobiles in the winter, but not by private vehicle. So you might save YNP for a trip in the summer.

    Otherwise, I don't see any big issues with your trip. The interstate (15) is going to be a high priority if weather issues come along -- they want to keep it open as long as they can. When traveling in winter, always allow for an extra day of travel "just in case". You could possibly have to pull off the road into a hotel and wait out severe weather.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you are planning on traveling between LA and SF on the Pacific Coast Highway (a 2 day drive) I would do it on the southbound leg, so the scenic pullouts will be on your side of the road.

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