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  1. Default need advice on the flattest, fastest route from florida to seattle

    Possibly taking a cross country drive from florida, ending seattle, late october to early november. I'm not good at driving in high, mountainous terrain, so I'm looking for the flattest route possible, but one that also doesn't add more than a couple days to the trip. This drive is for a move, not for vacation. I was thinking the southern route, which I have driven before (about 10 years ago) would be the best way to go. I know that over the rockies is the most direct route, but I'm not sure if I'd be up to that kind of driving - I love the mountains, but I don't want to drive through altitude climbing, winding roads. Any specific advice would be great. Thanks!

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

    Default Stick to the Interstates

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The best thing I could tell you to do is to take the Interstates, where mountain roads won't be a significant concern. Even going over the most major passes, they have limits on curves and grades, so you don't have the winding, switchbacked roads you might think of for crossing a mountain.

    I'd also say that going south and then going up the west coast would still force you to cross several significant mountain passes.

    Having said all that, I think the best route that would fit your needs would be a diagnal route, taking you up through Atlanta and St. Louis up to I-80 and take that across the continental divide to Salt Lake City, and then cut up through Boise towards Seattle.

  3. #3

    Default Agreed

    MM, as usual, has it right. His suggested routing will have you wondering where the devil the Rockies even are as you cross the Continental Divide. Sure, you'll see mountains on one side or the other, but no long grades, no switchbacks, etc.

    The one very slight correction I'd offer is the I-80 route connecting up to Boise doesn't quite get to Salt Lake City (SLC). This is serendipity to you, as staying in I-80 to SLC takes you over the one high pass on I-80 anywhere east of the Sierra Nevada, that being Parley's Summit, at some 7,500'. If you're bound for Boise en route to the Seattle area from I-80 east of SLC, you'd take I-84 west where it joins I-80 some 25 miles east of Ogden, UT. It's shorter than staying on I-80 over Parley's to SLC, and it gradually follows the Weber River canyon into the Great Salt Lake basin at Ogden.

    I join MM in encouraging you not to worry about mountain driving. The Interstate system makes it easier than you might think. Besides, the I-80 route from the Midwest is far flatter than traversing the desert ranges along the southern route, where there are mountains in NM, AZ, and CA to deal with.


  4. Default

    Thank you for your responses! This forum is incredibly helpful and I really appreciate you taking the time to give advice.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Mountains -- if you stick to the Interstates, most of the time you'll never really know you're in the mountains. The grades are easy and the highways built to a specific set of requirements that includes good guardrails. Driving the truck "over the cliff" isn't too likely. "Getting stranded"....well, use good judgment. If the weather stinks, get off the road, find a good motel and settle in for the night. The Hwy departments usually close a freeway if the weather is unsafe for driving.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Keeping this real....

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    Mountains -- if you stick to the Interstates, most of the time you'll never really know you're in the mountains.
    This is a bit of an exaggeration.... Even on Interstate highways, you'll know when you're in the mountains and you should not be misled. Interstate highways are not immune to icy conditions in the west, any more than they are in the east. But you have experience driving in the east... The grades are gentle, but if you need to be ready for the elevation changes -- Also, if you insist at driving no more than 50 mph, you must stay in the right lane and make sure your emergency flashers are turned on.

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