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  1. Default New York to Los Angeles in 5-6 days

    Hi all,

    I am currently planning a road trip from NYC to Los Angeles and would greatly appreciate your advice.

    I am planning on departing NYC on December 31st and have to be in LA on January 5 or January 6 at the latest. I understand this does not really allow much time to take in the sights which is unfortunate but I would still like to take the most scenic route possible so I can at least take in the scenery as I drive.

    The only city I have to stop in is Denver, CO as I will be spending a night with friends there. My only other concern is I would like to avoid driving in snow as much as possible, (I am from Australia so am not too comfortable driving in snowy conditions).

    Ideally I would like to spend as little money as possible so was planning on staying at cheap motels along the way so if any of you could recommend any cheap accommodation that would be a bonus.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.

    - Mark
    Last edited by Mark54; 12-17-2014 at 04:21 PM. Reason: Grammar

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    5-6 days is about the right amount of time to make this trip, assuming no real extra stops, but that does kind of assume you'll see good weather. If you do see snow - a distinct possibility at this time of year - it could make it difficult to meet your timeline, especially if you are not comfortable driving in winter conditions.

    Every route you could take on this trip does have a chance of seeing winter weather, but I will say that by going through Denver, you limit your route options. Getting out to Denver, you pretty much have to use I-80 or I-70 (or a combination of the two) and after Denver, I-70 to I-15 is the straightforward route. I-70 across Colorado and Utah is one of the most scenic highways in the world and it is well maintained all winter long, but it does go over a 10,000 foot mountain pass, and has a high likelihood of seeing at least some snow.

  3. Default

    Thanks Michael.

    I am looking forward to the drive through Colorado and Utah so fingers crossed the weather isn't too bad.

    Would you recommend getting tire chains?

    Also what is the motel situation like along the major interstates? I plan on getting an app that shows nearby accommodation but right now I'm not too sure if I should pick cities/towns along the way and book accommodation in advance or just pull into motels when I get tired.

    What do you think would be the best places to stop for the night between NYC and Denver?

    Thanks again,


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    If you aren't comfortable driving in snow, then I wouldn't bother with tire chains. They aren't ever required for cars along I-70 in Colorado, and if conditions are so bad that you'd need them, you'd be better off waiting in Denver until conditions improve.

    If weather is clear, I'd probably go I-80/I-71/I-70 and avoid the tolls and Chicago traffic. Your stopping points would be near Columbus/Dayton, OH and Kansas City. After Denver, Richfield/Salina, UT is your best bet. I probably wouldn't make reservations myself, and you shouldn't have any trouble finding a motel, but having said that, I wouldn't wait until you "get tired" to stop. By the time you feel tired, you've already driven too far, and you should already be off the road. I'd simply prefer the flexibility in case you hit weather or other delays and can't make it as far as those cities. if you feel more comfortable with reservations, go ahead, just make sure they've got a reasonable cancellation policy.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I seldom prebook hotels, and I've only been shut out once. You will find plenty of choices all along the major interstates, the longest stretch along that route with no services is between Green River and Salina UT, it's 108 miles of nothing.

    Lower priced hotel chains to look at would be Motel 6, Super 8, Econolodge, Travelodge, and Rodeway. There are others. The phone app is excellent but they don't list Motel 6 properties, they have their own app.

    If I-70 is in bad shape, you will probably have to take I-25 to I-40 to get around it - which will add quite a few miles. I-80 across Wyoming is not a very good alternate, it has its own issues with wind and black ice.

    To get from I-80 to I-71, you have to take I-76 for a ways.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Safety over Schedule.

    Mark, the route Michael laid out above is probably the best route you can take. I have driven it many times, albeit not in winter. However, he did omit to put in I-76 between Youngstown - where you leave I-80 - and to past Akron, where I-76 ends, and you pick up I-71.

    You might like to look for the hotel motel discount coupon booklets at rest areas. They usually have good deals in them. It pays to call beforehand to ask about availability, but the coupons are for walk-ins only.

    I'd agree with Michael, don't wait till you are tired. Set yourself an achievable goal for the day (no more than 600 miles), and stick to it.... weather permitting.

    Don't be pushed by your timeline if the weather does not co-operate. I recall well being held up by a hurricane earlier this year, and on landing the pilot apologised for the late arrival with the statement 'we chose safety over schedule'.

    Have a safe trip.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Here is a link to a coupon for Quality Inn Richfield, UT. Richfield UT hotels. We've stayed there a number of times on various trips, and have never been disappointed. There are indoor hallways, and I believe their hot tub is open year-round as it is indoors. There has been a restaurant right next door.


  8. #8

    Default Your trip

    First rent a all wheel drive vehicle/ but not at airport as its more that way. I-70 across is most likely best route to Denver.I-25 from Denver to Albuquerque new mexico than I-40 to Barstow ca than I-15 to I-10 to LA. is also very scenic IF you travel with computer most hotels have wi-fi so use National Weather Service to check weather each day in area you-re traveling in. For hotels I use trip advisor /to check prices and ratings of hotel as there are some bad ones.Check out wyndham rewards as they have a large selection of hotels and as a member you get a discount .My advise if you need chains don-t go / the life you save may be youre own. good luck
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 12-18-2014 at 07:01 AM. Reason: Removed unneeded and misformatted quote

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