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  1. Default Wichita, Kansas to SF Bay area

    This is kind of strange to ask about but, my dear friend is in Wichita, Kansas gathered with family at their mother's deathbed. She has asked me if I would fly out and drive her mother's car (and 2 cats!) back home with her---home being the SF East Bay. I have never done a winter weather road trip other than up and down the state of California and would love some advice about what would be the best route. I was thinking of the southern route through Albuquerque, Flagstaff etc but from other posts it seems that perhaps, if there is snow to contend with, it might be safer going I-80. We don't really know when we will start the trip, but would like to spend only 3 days on the road. We could be leaving as early as this Thanksgiving weekend! Any advice from seasoned travelers? This will be quite an emotional trip, I would like to make it as safe as possible. Thank you for any advice!

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

    Default nearly identical

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    From Wichita, its nearly identical in terms of distance to go up to I-80 (via Denver) or go down to I-40 (via OK City), so either one is certainly good from that standpoint. Both are just about 1800 miles, so you're looking at 3 long, but reasonable, 10-12 hour days on the road. However, those days are long enough where if you do hit bad weather, you won't have much margin, and will likely need a 4th day if you find yourself having to slow down for the conditions.

    Both routes are basically equal in terms of winter weather risk - so I'd pick the one that looks best based on the specific weather forecast for your exact time of travel.

    There's another active thread about a similar trip starting from Kansas City that you should also take a look at.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Weather permitting, the fastest route is I-135/I-70/I-25/I-80. I-35/I-40/CA-58/I-5 is about half an hour longer, and may be the best bet considering the current weather. I-80 is in pretty rough shape right now, and is closed in southwestern Wyoming.

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