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  1. #1

    Default Fall travel West from Northwest Indiana

    I am planning a trip West in Mid-November with return date to be on November 26th 2016. It will be a two week trip. I am a bit weather worried and I am wondering if driving out or back do I need to get way south? I want to spend some time in Phoenix/Scotsdale, Prescott and also on to SanDiego. I am open for any help or suggestions for route or planning tips.
    Thanks in advance.

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


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Perhaps the biggest myth of winter travel is that you should or need to "go south." The reality is that you can't go far enough south in the US to avoid the chance of seeing snow and ice. The only thing that will tell you where you can avoid bad weather is to look at a short term forccast just before you leave. It's a much better bet to plan to take the shortest route, which puts you on the road for the least amount of time, and gives you the most options if you do see bad weather.

    As far as your actual plan, you're already pushing the limits of how far you can get in 2 weeks. You're looking at a minimum of 3 full days to get to Phoenix, and then one more to get to San Diego. Factor in an extra day or two just in case you do see some bad weather, and that only leaves you a day or two each in the 3 cities you want to visit.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Way to far off to give a forecast now.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    With mid November being two and a half months away, there is no point in worrying about the weather now.

    It is a common myth that going south avoids winter weather. When in fact I-10 can and does see winter storms most years.

    Your best route will be the one which is showing to have clear weather for the period you will be on the road. So start watching the long forecast a week or so before your departure, and which ever route shows storms coming, is the route to avoid. That could very well be I-40 or I-10. The same for the return journey, study the forecasts and choose the route which is most likely to give you a storm free run.

    Meanwhile it would pay you to get hold of some good maps and familiarise yourself with the alternative routes you could take.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    From St John to San Diego is a 4-day trip, one way, so that means 8 travel days round trip. That leaves you about 6 days for visiting and sightseeing.

    Going south to avoid weather is really a fallacy, since many of the southern routes will just keep you on the highway longer, and get their share of snowy weather as well.

    Your best bet might be to get over to either I-57 or I-55 -- take one of those to I-70 and into St Louis. Then take I-44 down to I-40. At Flagstaff AZ, turn south to Phoenix. From Scottsdale, take I-10 "east" (it's really heading south at that point) to the exit for Queen Creek Rd/AZ-347, and take that down to I-8. Then west to San Diego. (The latter is a more locally known route that cuts off about 25 miles and avoids the intersection of I-10 and I-8 down near Casa Grande. But it's perfectly safe.)

    Your best bet for avoiding weather, btw, is a set of good maps and some way of monitoring weather along your trip (weather app, watching weather broadcasts when in hotels, etc).


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    Of course it's possible you won't see weather disruption throughout your travels in which case you should pick a route, or should I say route's, that suit you and make the journey part of the adventure. Why I say 'routes' is because you could take a different one in each direction and see different parts of the country. As others have pointed out, it's a full 4 days travelling each way without major disruption and even that will feel 'work like', especially with the shorter day's, so you should allow 10 days to give you some 'wiggle room' and make it feel more relaxed.

    Another though is whether or not flying out and renting a vehicle would be a possibility. It would give you a lot more time to explore the west and some of the extra cost would be off set against fuel saving. You could even consider having a couple of nights less to save on lodging and still have a lot more time in the west.

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