Attending a family reunion in Las Vegas (end of March)
My family and I want to drive to Las Vegas from Seattle and back home to Seattle. Any suggestions on the best routes? Weather going over the mountains? We are planning on doing the drive in 2-3 days. Just got a new minivan and this will be first major road trip, can't wait. Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
Not sure if these are the best routes but this is what I've done and it's a nice route.
Go south on I-5 to just south of Mt. Shasta, then take Route 89 East to Reno. Route 89 takes you through some tremendous scenery around the Mt. Shasta, Lassen, and Plumas National Forests. From Reno to east on I-80 to Fernley, then Route 50 to Fallon. Then Route 95 to Coaldale Junction. Then Route 6 to Tonopah. Then back on Route 95 to Vegas.
While in Nevada you will be driving some beautiful, yet desolate, stretches skirting Death Valley and other areas. Just be sure to fill your gas when you get the chance. There's some long stretches there without many services.
On the way home I would I-15 into Utah where you can make a stop at Zion National Park...breath-taking! Then up to Salt Lake City, then I-84 into Idaho, then I-84 West through Boise into Oregon. Remain on I-84 through Baker City and Pendleton until it intersects with I-82. Then take I-82 north across the Columbia River into Washington. Follow I-82 through the Tri-Cities and Yakima until it connects with I-90 at Ellensburg. Then I-90 home.
It's a nice roundtrip through various scenery. About 2500 miles total.
SR89 @ Lassen Park
I drove parts of Judy's suggested route last May and also found it a beautiful drive -- but I was unable to get through Lassen Park on 89 and had to go a different route -- it was still closed in May as it was covered in winter snows (right there at the Park) and they hadn't been able to schedule the plows at that point. You'll want to get the latest information on that stretch from Caltrans before you commit to it. It IS closed right now from the south park boundary to SR44, and there is no info on an opening date for this year. You can get updated information on Caltrans' website -- and you can link to that from this site.