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  1. Default Central CA to Omaha - Safest Route?

    I'm going to be driving from CA to Omaha in mid-Feb and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for the best/safest route to take. I won't be doing any sight-seeing, I want to get there quickly, but I am flexible so I am willing to take a longer route to avoid potential troublespots.

    I have very limited winter-driving experience and this is my first ever multi-day drive. So weather/road conditions are my big concern. I know this all depends on the actual weather on those days and I will have several routes planned out to choose from, but assuming no heavy snow storms the entire way, which is my best bet? Since I'm starting in Central CA, I could go north through Sacto/Reno/etc or south through Vegas (or any other suggestions!).

    Thanks much for your help and input!

    -Greg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default I-80 or I-70

    Welcome to the RTA forum,

    If you take the northern route, then I-80 will be your straight shot safe bet, it avoids the Rockies in Colorado, but obviously takes you over the Sierra's in N.Cal.

    If you take the southern route, you could take I-15 to I-80, or take I-70 to Denver, and cut back up to I-80 via I-76. I-70 is a more mountainous, but no Interstate Route is inherantly more dangerous than the other.

    There's the potential of snow, on either route, so you can always keep an eye on the forecast and choose the road that appears to have the best weather ahead.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Tips

    Quote Originally Posted by G-Money
    I have very limited winter-driving experience and this is my first ever multi-day drive.
    Best advice? Slow down in snowy weather. Here are some driving tips for winter road trips.
    So weather/road conditions are my big concern. I know this all depends on the actual weather on those days
    We keep a list of the most useful road conditions pages out there, here are the ones we check.

    I would concur with Midwest Michael -- I-80 is generally the best for winter travel -- road closures are possible (and likely in normal years in February) in Wyoming, but this has not been a normal year for southern Wyoming. There has been almost no snow and the ranchers are already worried about next summer's heat. Some more tips about getting out of a skid can be read here.

    Mostly, have fun, relax. You will be fine.

    mark

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, CO.
    Posts
    306

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor
    I-80 is generally the best for winter travel -- road closures are possible (and likely in normal years in February) in Wyoming, but this has not been a normal year for southern Wyoming.

    mark
    If I were doing it I'd slightly prefer I-80 because the snow in the mountains has been excellent for skiing and the ski-related traffic between Denver and the ski areas up in the mountains to the west has been very heavy and troublesome. If you would be coming to Denver on a late Sunday afternoon it might take you 5 hrs to go 30 miles. Even Saturday afternoon return traffic is really, really slow because of this.
    So I'd suggest either time it so you come thru in the morning or a Mon-Thurs late afternoon or take I-80.

    Other advice-
    Don't use cruise control on slippery surfaces and don't be the fastest vehicle, or even in the fastest 20% when it's slick. Maybe the other drivers know more about the right speed under those conditions than you do.

    noFanofCB

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