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  1. Default Seattle to Prescott AZ in December

    My husband and I are driving from Seattle to Prescott, AZ next week over 3 days (December 17 -19). We are planning to take I-84 in Idaho to I-15 in Utah to SR 20 to Hwy 89 to Flagstaff, then I-17 the rest of the way.

    Are there any parts of this route that are tricky in the winter? I am concerned about passes and icy roads. We won't be in an AWD vehicle, but we'll have chains.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Winter basics.

    Hi and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    As mentioned frequently on this forum for winter driving chains are not the most important thing. Your most important requirement on the road is extra time, a spare day, should you have to sit out a storm. If chains are needed you really should not be on the road. Sit out a storm in a nice warm motel, and get back on the road when the crews have done their jobs. Interstates are always a priority for them to clear.

    No mattter which route you choose, and there are several available (see a good map), be sure to start checking the weather forecast now.... and keep an eye on it, while you are on the road. If a storm looks like it would interrupt travel on your chosen route, be sure to have a plan B, and implement it.

    Of course it is quite possible that you will have an incident free trip, but only the weather forecast can show you that.

    Have a safe trip.


  3. Default

    Thanks for the response! We do have a lot of extra time, thankfully, so we aren't going to rush in unsafe conditions.

    I am also interested in whether or not anyone has experience with this route and has any specific tips or words of caution. I have never driven through Idaho or Utah in the winter, so the only info I have is what I can find through Google.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    I have no experience with 84. However, I've been on both 89 and the 17 in winter months. Truckers rely on these routes to bring goods locally, so they are well-maintained. (Following the sand/salt truck or the plow is somewhat comforting, if you are lucky enough to do so. When I left Flagstaff in Feb. 2013, I was following the plow for a good 10 miles, till he turned around and went north. It was snowing.)


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Ft. Collins, CO.


    I wrote a trip report of going from N. Colo. to Seattle and back via part of that route in 2010.
    But one trip does not make a guarantee you'll see the same conditions.

    I have since decided to not use that route and go further north.

    Bear in mind Oregon has a 65 mph speed limit (or did the last time I was there) so you might not be able to run as fast as you'd prefer.

    Had no problems with the roads other than weather though my memory of I-84 thru the Blue Mountains was of a pretty narrow winding corridor for an interstate.

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