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  1. Default New Here - Need Advice. Socal to Montana and back

    Hello All,

    So happy I found this forum! I am planning a trip next week. My pregnant wife, 1 year old daughter, and myself will be road tripping to Missoula, MT and back.

    My original plan was to leave home and drive 12 hours through the night to Pocatello, ID via I-15. Stay a day/night there then continue on to Missoula.

    On the way back, head south via US93 to Reno, NV where we will stay for a day/night then continue to Socal.

    Anything about this plan that doesn't sound great? Maybe a better approach? We are looking at splitting our driving between two days each direction and want to stay in cities that have things to do/see for a family.

    Thanks in advance for the help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Best to start over.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You don't say exactly where you are starting out from, but to start your trip with an all night drive is the worst possible start you could imagine. You will be exhausted the following day and your body clocks will be out of sync. You will both be completely exhausted and your 1 year old will be full of energy having been stuck sleeping in a car for hours on end. I also suspect that you have been looking at on line mapping travel time estimates, those that are way too optimistic and even from San Bernardino, it is over 800 miles to Pocatello and far more than you can safely drive in a single day, never mind through the night, plus it would be torture for your pregnant wife and daughter, as well as being extremely dangerous to them.

    Two full days [not nights] is the minimum you would need just for the drive, with an overnight stop at a midway point each direction. So starting again, how many days can you make available for this trip ?

  3. Default

    We will be leaving from Huntington Beach, CA. We can commit two driving days each direction. We plan to leave Aug 17th and be back Aug 26th. Also, planning to stay in Lake Tahoe on the way back instead of Reno, NV

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default You need more travel time.

    That will be a tough 2 day drive with a pregnant wife and young child and would be 2x 10- 11 hour days on the road by the quickest route. Nephi UT has lodgings and would make a good mid way point going up with a couple of lodging choices. If you plan on coming back via Lake Tahoe you will need to enter into a 3rd day for the journey home. Personally I would allow 3 days each way and make it the journey a more enjoyable affair rather than feeling like work.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    We just came back from a trip in that area. I completely agree with SWDave that Missoula is two very long days in the car, both of them around 610 miles. For a child, that's TOUGH. You're going to have to stop a lot, to let your 1 year old out of that car seat to stretch, and your wife too.

    Why not drive three days on the way up? You could stay in St George, UT, and either Tremonton UT or Pocatello ID, before pulling into Missoula on the third day. Yes, St George is a little hot at this time of the year, but there are plenty of hotels to choose from and the vast majority of them have pools.


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