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  1. Default Last minute suggestions Salt Lake - New Orleans

    Hello all, I will be leaving Salt Lake tommorrow morning, moving back to New Orleans. I have been closely monitoring the weather and unfortunately it looks like there is going to be some weather all around the west, but my question is seems there are pretty much 2 main routes that I could choose between, those being Salt Lake - Denver - Salina, KS, - Dallas, Shreveport, NOLA and Salt Lake - Phoenix - Houston - NOLA. I currently really can't make up my mind as to which I want to take. The weather is looking like it may be a bit better if I take the route through the Southwest, but it also looks to be a bit longer on that route. Any advice / tips on which route to take and the fastest ways to go would be much appreciated. Thanks!


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

    Default yuck

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    You are right, it does look like you'll be dealing with some fairly nasty weather no matter what way you go. Having said that, I think I'd take I-80 across Wyoming, its probably your best bet for being able to easily deal with winter weather, and then cut down to Denver via I-25 and continue with the rest of the route you outlined.

    Going via Phoenix would add at least 200 miles to your trip, and that's if you cut down on two lane roads from Southeast Utah all the way to Flagstaff. I don't think that's the route I'd want to go, especially since there is still snow in the forecast in those parts. Another option would be to take 2 lane roads between Moab and Gallup NM, and then take I-40 across. This would actually be about the shortest option, but again, since you'd be dealing with 2 lane roads and you've got a winter storm approaching, I don't think I would use this option for this trip.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Shortest is Generally Best

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There is actually a third option which is over a hundred miles shorter than either of the two you have mentioned, and may keep you north of the early 'weather' in the southwest on your trip, while later letting you enjoy some warmth and sunshine across the lower plains. This would be to leave I-15 south of Provo and take US-6 southeast to Green River. After a short bit on I-70 east, take US-191 south to Mointicello, then US-491 south to Gallup, NM and I-40. Stay on I-40 through Amarillo, then take US-287 to the Dallas/Fort Worth area. From there I-20, I-49 and I-10 will get you to New Orleans. Pushing hard, you might make that in 3 days, but scheduling 4 days would let you take it at a leisurely pace, stop at a few places that catch your eye, and have time built in for any weather related delays. Mapping routines will never suggest that route because they have a built in, and strong, preference for Interstate over US routes. But especially in the west there is not that much of a time penalty for using diagonal alternatives to the rectilinear Interstate system.


  4. Default

    Thanks for the welcome and the quick info, guys!

    As I've driven back and forth between Salt Lake and New Orleans multiple times on each of the main routes and I will be doing it with two cats this time, I'm not interested in making this a sightseeing tour, as beautiful as many of the places I will be passing through are. I will be going for speed...but AZBuck, you have piqued my interest with this alternate route. It does seem to be the quickest route as the crow flies, and the one with the best-looking weather. The only thing I'd be worried about is the lower average MPH over seemingly quite long-looking stretches of traveling state highways, and the general unknowns of taking a less-travelled route which I have never taken before. But it may be the best option considering the weather!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    My mapping program shows the following is the fastest - and it's almost exactly 2000 miles:

    I-80 to Lincoln NE
    NE-2 to I-29
    I-29 to KC, bypass around the NE side on I-435 to I-70
    I-70 to STL, I-64/I-270
    I-55 to I-10 to Nola

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Albuquerque, New Mexico


    I will be going for speed...but AZBuck, you have piqued my interest with this alternate route. It does seem to be the quickest route as the crow flies, and the one with the best-looking weather.
    Hmm. The weather forecasts I’m looking at predict snow along much of the Utah/NM section of that route tonight and tomorrow. In fact, shows that US Hwy 491 near Gallup is snow-packed already. If you do decide to head through SE Utah/NW New Mexico, it might (stress might, depending on where it actually snows) be better to cut over to US Hwy. 550 when you get to Shiprock, NM. There are links to check road conditions in New Mexico and all neighboring states at this website.

    Have a safe trip!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default I don't like the forecasts

    The route Buck suggested is the same as what I suggested heading from Moab to Gallup, just with more detail. If the weather was clear, I would probably take this route, but since all the forecasts I see show a winter storm moving through the mountain west today, I would not head this way myself. I think traveling I-80 across Wyoming would be your best bet. You're still likely going to see snow, but the roads will likely be in better shape and you'll have more other traffic traveling through.

    Once you get to I-25, I'd cut down to Denver and take the route you'd previously mentioned. If you're looking for something a little different, you could continue across Nebraska as GLC recommended, its only about 75 miles longer, but it could be a nice change of pace if you've taken the route across Kansas several times.

    Good luck with your trip and let us know how it goes!

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