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  1. Default Winnipeg, MB Canada to Los Angeles in January

    Hi All,

    I'm in the midst of planning a fairly ambitious road trip, we (myself, my wife, and our 2 kids aged 2.5 yrs and 11 months) are going to Los Angeles from Winnipeg, Canada (just North of North Dakota) in early January.

    Years ago, I did the drive on my own, and traveled through North Dakota, to Billings, MT, through Salt Lake City, through Vegas to LA. I really enjoyed it, but that was before kids, so planning was at a minimum, and I had no problem spending 10-12 hours on the road...etc.

    Now things are drastically different, and I am looking for 6-8 hour days on the road, and the easiest route possible. Highway conditions, places to stay, and all of the important things when travelling with small kids are my biggest concern.

    Plan A - through Salt Lake City
    Travel via i29/i94/i90/i80/i15...this takes my through ND/SD/WY/UT/NV/CA, and at first glance I would plan on getting hotels in Bismark, ND, Casper, WY, Salt Lake City, and Las Vegas then LA..

    Plan B - through Denver
    Travel via i29/i80/i76/i70/i15, and at first glanec with this plan I would plan on getting hotels in Sioux Falls, SD, sometown east of Denver, sometown west of Denver, Las Vegas then LA.

    Any thoughts on which of these paths make more sense? Either way I am passing the Rocky Mountains, which is generally a safer path in the Winter?

    Anyways, please let me know if you have any suggestions, or see flaws in my approach!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    What I would do, is watch the weather forecasts during the week before your departure. Use the route that seems like the weather would be more cooperative. My husband, an ex-trucker, said that his company would always route them over 90/94 during the winter months because the weather was more cooperative, but he was holed up more than once in Montana. For that reason, make sure you have an extra day or two where you could wait it out.

    If you can travel with a portable crib of some sort, you will be able to be more flexible about your overnights. Most places will have a place with two double or queen beds, but often will not have a crib available. My daughter traveled with her family to visit us this past summer, and every time, she was glad that she had the crib with them.

    You probably won't have to make reservations, except perhaps in Bismarck. I can recommend the Days Inn -- we were stuck there in July, 2014, and they were especially accommodating. At the time, too, they were serving HOT, TO ORDER breakfasts -- free.


  3. Default

    Thanks for the advice Donna!

    That makes sense to hold of on finalizing directions, I hadn't considered that most of the hotels in those sittings should be available on short notice, I suppose we could also have multiple reservations and just cancel them as we go. We will be travelling in a Minivan equipped with Winter Tires, so lots of room for a crib...etc.

    The one thing I have noticed about the Montana route is that you really need to be on the ball with weather, there are really look stretches without any towns.


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


    Quote Originally Posted by SteveCo View Post
    The one thing I have noticed about the Montana route is that you really need to be on the ball with weather, there are really look stretches without any towns.
    That's not really the case, certainly not any more than other states in the Mountain West. About every hour you'll come across a city with plenty of services like motels. Going across the state, you've got Glendive, Miles City, Forsyth, Billings, Big Timber, Livingston, Bozeman, and Butte - and a few smaller towns in the middle.

    Really, you'd find the same sort of thing if you were to take I-80 across Nebraska and Wyoming.

    If you're looking for the easiest route, then I'd say I-94 to I-15 would be your best bet, assuming the weather cooperates. I-90/94 across Montana is generally an easier winter drive than I-80 across Wyoming (where high winds and drifting can be a problem) and I-70 which takes you over the heart of the rockies.

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