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  1. Default Seattle to Dallas in February

    Need some help please - I will be driving by myself from Seattle to Dallas in mid to late February and am getting a little wary of possible bad conditions. I want to try to make it down in 3 days (hate being in the car for any length of time but no choice so might as well enjoy the trip :) and was wondering what would be the best way to go - google is showing the best way is through utah/wyoming/colorad (is this going to be an ok way to go?) - i moved the route around a little and found that i could avoid wyoming and colorado and go utah to new mexico to dallas instead for about the same amount of time - would this be advisable? thank you in advance for your help.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default No Best - No Way

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    It seems that I've been getting a lot of use out of the same response this winter, but the point is true nonetheless. There is absolutely no need to choose your route yet. As you have seen there are at least two completely different options that are very nearly the same number of miles between endpoints while being separated by 300-400 miles over most of their lengths. Just have those two possibilities mapped out, check the weather forecasts a day or two before departure, and pick the route that is predicted to have the best weather. There's no way to know that ahead of time, and no way to pick the 'best' route now. The one thing I can tell you is that 3 days will be insufficient to make the drive no matter how you go. You would need to cover over 700 miles each of your 3 days. Not going to happen. No Way. You will need 4 days, at least.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default I totally agree with AZBuck!

    I might add:
    * Watch the weather reports every morning before you leave your hotel. You might even need to change your itinerary during your trip due to the weather, or even hold-up in your hotel for an extra day if there happens to be a big storm brewing.
    * Many states use 511 on our cellphone as a number to call for current road conditions. Not all use this though. So you might google for the websites of the Dept. of Transportation for all the states you might be traveling through and jot down their information phone numbers. They could come in handy.
    * Have good maps. Do not leave major roadways to take any short-cuts through more remote areas.
    * Make sure you have basic emergency supplies in your car. This would include, at minimum, a first-aid kit, extra blankets, extra food/drink, flashlight with working batteries (and spare batteries), and appropriate winter boots, coats, hat/gloves, in case you have to be outside for awhile or even do some walking. You might check out the "What Do You Pack in Your Trunk?" thread for more detailed lists of ideas.
    * Chains might be required in some areas. You might want to purchase some before you leave home and practice putting them on. It's easier to learn how to use them this way than to try to do it during a snowstorm in the dark.
    * Four days is probably a good time estimate for this trip. However, be aware that if a storm hits, you might need an extra day or two.

    Don't let any of this make you nervous. Thousands of people drive these routes in the winter and do it safely without any problems. I just believe in being prepared.

  4. Default Seattle to Dallas - the long route...

    so taking off for dallas mid-Feb. and husband wants me to take the longer route to avoid the mountains and possible weather delays so I'm looking at
    I5S thru CA to either 10 or 40. Any recommendations on which is the better road - 10 or 40?


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default There's no avoiding something

    The southern routes go over some high elevations and have some hilly stretches, too. Just because they don't technically have mountains and passes doesn't mean that they will having perfect driving conditions in the winter. The mean elevation is 5700 feet. High enough to have some really cold weather. Ice can be a problem on the roads.

    You will also have mountain passes to go over in southern OR and northern CA, and a few other spots along the way.

    We generally recommend that winter travelers pick the shortest route based on the weather forecast during the days they are traveling (as AZBuck and I have already recommended).

    Now, if you want to take the longer route down I-5 and across I-40 or I-10 because you want to see what these routes have to offer, go for it. There is no one best route for any trip.

    You need to realize that thousands of drivers are on all the routes you've discussed in both posts every day of the year. Interstates always have heavy truck traffic and the DOT's in states typically keep the interstates clear and driveable so the trucking industry doesn't come to a stop. If extreme weather occurs, they are quick to get the roads open again. The interstates are very rarely unsafe at any time of year for any length of time.

    So, again, pick a couple of routes that seem interesting to you and then choose your final route right before leaving after checking weather reports.

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