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  1. Default I will be traveling to San Francisco from Winnipeg Manitoba

    Can anyone suggest which route would be the quickest, and what to expect during the month of February. Also and information about tolls along the way would be useful. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Expectations

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Well, being as you'll be starting from Manitoba in February, I don't think I have to tell you that snow is a distinct possibility. Indeed, since you'll be crossing the northern plains, the Rockies, the Great Basinand the Sierra Nevada; as well as going against the prevailing winds, you should pretty much count on seeing at least one good snowfall. To minimize the impact from the weather you're likely to see, you should do two things.

    First, stick to the Interstates. In your particular case that's I-29 south from the border to Fargo, I-94 west to where it joins I-90 at Billings and then on to Butte. From there take I-15 south to Salt Lake City and then I-80 west to San Francisco. There are a few places where mapping programs might suggest 'shortcuts' but on a 4-5 day trip (more on that later) the miles saved are simply not worth the chance of running into foul weather on them. The Interstates are the major commercial arteries of the US economy and keeping them open is given the highest priority. Besides, they are the widest, straightest, and level est roads available.

    Second, leave extra time if everything else fails and the roads actually are not safe for some period during your drive. At 2,200 miles via the route I suggested, this trip could be done in 4 solid days of 550 miles a day, and in summer, that's just what I would expect. In winter, you should allow five days for the drive and just be willing to sit out a day if you have to. If you don't need it, you can spend that extra day enjoying San Francisco. But if you don't plan on it and then need it, you will be severely up the creek.

    As far as I know, the only toll you should encounter would be for the Oakland Bay Bridge into San Francisco, $5.


  3. Default

    thanks for the welcome and the quick reply!

  4. Default

    so I did alittle more route research and came up with this as a alternate, the route you suggested would take us an extra 600km out of the way, and for the most part this alternate route would be on interstates whats your take on this?

  5. Default

    this one might be easier to see

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Neither map is very clear, so if you could just provide a link from google we'd have a much better idea of what you are thinking.

    The one shortcut I might consider from Buck's route that appears to be on your map is taking I-86 and US-93 through Twin Falls ID rather than going down to Salt Lake City. However, that saves less than 200 km, not 600 km.

    The only way I see you trimming more than 500km off of Buck's suggestion is to take lots of 2 lane roads through North Dakota and again through the area near Yellowstone - and I wouldn't recommend either of those shortcuts.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Yes, taking I-86 to I-84 to US-93 to I-80 saves you about 120 miles and about an hour to an hour and a half in good weather. Before going that way, check the weather and road conditions. US-93 is only a 2 lane road, but the speed limits are 65 in Idaho and 70 in Nevada, except in cities and through towns.

    Curious - where did you get 600km from?

  8. Default

    Theres really only one area of the route that I'm not sure about, at first I was gonna go this way because its what google maps came up with :,9.876709&z=7

    and then this what I came up with after:,2.469177&z=9 the area around yellow stone is what concerns me.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 11-14-2010 at 07:19 PM. Reason: added maps

  9. Default

    and the 600km's come from alternating my route from the first suggested route from the second post on this thread, saying that I should go all the way to Butte, and then south to Salt Lake City, and then west from there.

  10. Default

    errrr ok what about this one, looks like its all interstates.

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