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  1. Default Best scenic routes to take from Rockville, MD to Fremont, CA (45 mins from SF, CA)

    Hello,
    I just registered to be a member of RTA and also sent a message to AZBuck relating to the above title message. I figured this will be the best to post my requested information and received others' experiences on the information requested. I plan to drive for 5-6 days preferably arriving there on the 5th day.
    In addition, kindly also provide suggestion in what city/state I have to stay for lodging to arrive to my destination w/in the time period mentioned above.
    Thank, y'all!
    -Lim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,269

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    It will take you 5 full days to do this drive if you take the fastest Interstate routes. This would be I-270/I-70/PA Turnpike/I-80. None of this is particularly scenic and it also involves significant tolls. Overnights will be:

    Elkhart IN
    Omaha NE
    Laramie WY
    Wells NV

    If this is a winter trip, you need to have at least one more day available to wait out weather delays, this route traverses significant mountains, as do all cross-country routes.

    If you want to avoid all the tolls, you could take I-68 at Hancock to Morgantown, I-79 back to I-70 to Indy, then I-74 to I-80. This would replace Elkhart with Indy for your first overnight. This adds about 1 hour to taking the toll roads and will keep you away from the Chicago area traffic and possible lake effect snow.

    With only 5 or even 6 days, scenery will have to take a back seat to speed - but the scenery isn't BAD along either route.

  3. Default

    Thanks for info glc. I plan to start my travel around the end of this month (Nov. 2015). I read that for fall and winter trip, the best option is to take the southern route. If that is the case, any suggestion w/c route to take and city, state to stay overnight on the way to my destination. Target dates of arrival remained the same 5-6 days preferably in 5-days Thanks, glc! -Lim

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Common fallacy

    I read that for fall and winter trip, the best option is to take the southern route. If that is the case, any suggestion w/c route to take and city, state to stay overnight on the way to my destination.
    From what I know, you would not have read that on this website.

    It is a much repeated fallacy that south is better in winter. Both I-10 and I-40 can be subject to winter weather in west TX, NM and AZ, where they are at high altitude. Besides, you would be adding at least another day's driving, which is another day to strike winter weather. It has been known that while the southern routes were subject to ice storms, the northern routes were basking in a spell of fine mild weather.

    By far the best thing to do is plan two routes and leading up to your departure, keep checking the weather forecast to see which one will give you the best storm free run.

    Lifey
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 11-09-2015 at 04:53 AM. Reason: correction

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    As Lifey mentioned, one of the great myths of winter travel is that going south is a way to avoid winter weather. In fact, adding hundreds of miles going south with the expectation that you'll guarantee yourself better way is one of the worst things you can do when planning a winter trip. I-40 across Arizona and New Mexico spends significant time above 5,000 feet with a few mountain passes, and the southern plains can see serious ice storms - which are far more difficult to drive through than a northern snowstorm.

    Having said that, taking a route via I-40 only adds about 100 miles, which is rather insignificant over the course of a 3,000 mile trip. If you were going to go that route, you'd go to Indianapolis as GLC described above and then continue on I-70 to St. Louis and then use I-44 and I-40 to California.

    Stops on this route would be Indianapolis; Miami, OK; Santa Rosa NM; and Kingman, AZ. However, I wouldn't make reservations on any route, as it is entirely possible you'll need to add an extra stop due to weather.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, CO.
    Posts
    303

    Default

    Another vote against the assumption of the southern route being less weather sensitive follows-

    What is a snowstorm in Colorado and Wyoming is often an ice storm further south.
    Snow can be scraped off the road while ice cannot. Southern states don't have nearly as much snow removal equipment as northern states so they may close the roads while a snowed on route may not.

    Finally - I'd rather drive 100 miles on snow than 10 miles on ice. Ice is a really, really good reason to close a road. Snow at least has some traction. Ice does not.

    Take the most direct route, stay on the interstate, be sure you have good tires and windshield wipers on your vehicle with an appropriate emergency bag with you just in case.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    taking a route via I-40 only adds about 100 miles, which is rather insignificant over the course of a 3,000 mile trip. If you were going to go that route, you'd go to Indianapolis as GLC described above and then continue on I-70 to St. Louis and then use I-44 and I-40 to California.
    I think we've lost sight of the goal, which is Fremont and that's up near SFO. Going I-40 adds a lot of northward roads that aren't interstates in California. I've driven those roads and there isn't much to see on them.

    I agree with glc on I-270/I-70/I-68/I-79/I-70/I-74 and I-80 as the best route if weather is okay. Just keep checking the weather as you go.
    Roadhawk

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,269

    Default

    Harry, it really does only add 100 miles, and there is very little non-Interstate quality road in CA going that way. All but about 25 miles of CA-58 is freeway (between Barstow and Boron), and to avoid the crossover to I-5 on CA-58 or CA-46 you can take CA-99 north out of Bakersfield all the way to CA-120/I-205/I-580. CA-99 is a freeway. This also has the advantage of bypassing a lot of the congestion getting from I-80 down to Fremont, you would take I-680 south off I-580 right to Fremont.

    There will be tolls going this way on I-44 in OK. There is a $4 toll between MO and Tulsa and another $4 between Tulsa and OKC, and $2.30 if you take the Kilpatrick Turnpike around OKC, that one requires exact change.

    True, there's very little interesting scenery on CA-99 or I-5 between Bakersfield and the SF area. CA-99 goes right through the Central Valley, which is all agriculture and industrial - and I-5 runs between the valley and the coastal range.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,545

    Default

    True, there's very little interesting scenery on CA-99 or I-5 between Bakersfield and the SF area. CA-99 goes right through the Central Valley, which is all agriculture and industrial - and I-5 runs between the valley and the coastal range.
    If we have a choice between the 99 and the 5, we take the 5. The road is a bit better quality. However, it will depend on where we're going. A couple of years ago, we went to Fresno. The 99 worked well for us. Normally, though, we take the 5. Our favorite new way to skirt LA is to take the 58, though -- 15/395/58/5.



    Donna in SoCal

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