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  1. Default Chicago to Seattle - Mid Feb.

    I am so glad I found this site! I am moving to Seattle in two weeks and driving my car out from Chicago. (Iím from Michigan but staying with friends in Chicago for a night) I am looking for any helpful information on the best route, time needed, etc.

    I will be traveling by myself in a SUV that will be loaded with all my personal belongings. I am not to interested in sightseeing and more concerned with time. (Although if something is neat and close to highway I am all about it) My future employer wants me out west ASAP but I know this is not a drive to rush. Is three of four days enough?

    From other post it looks I-90 strait thru is the best/most traveled route west. Living in Michigan most of my life, I have driven through many snow storms and know how winters can be very unpredictable. Any ideas on what the best route to take for a Mid-Jan treck? Are snow tires or chains needed? I just put new treaded tires on my SUV 3 weeks ago so the rubber is good.

    Also, depending on how many days it take any good town along route to grab a cheap motel to sleep?

    Any help/ideas are greatly appreciated! Thank you for this site!!!!

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


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Everything is always going to depend on a specific weather forecast, but generally speaking shortest is best and that is I-90. That route also generally follows the lowest elevation, which is another big plus.

    It is a 2000 mile trip and really requires 4 full days on the road - assuming good conditions.

    Good stopping points would be Sioux Falls, Gillette WY, and Missoula MT. If you go I-94 across ND, that would shift to Alexandria MN, Miles City MT, and then Missoula.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If your SUV is 4wd and your tires are M+S rated, you shouldn't need chains. If the roads get that bad, you should probably stop and wait it out anyway.

  4. Default

    Thank you both for this Info! Definitley have 4w drive with good tires so I'm glad chains arn't needed. Planing a 4 day trip with a 5th open for anything that may go wrong.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Just to be clear, you're generally required to have at least All-Terrain (if not actual mud or snow) tires in addition to 4 wheel drive to be exempt from chain restrictions. If you have new highway tires, then you'd likely still need chains to continue.

    But as was mentioned, if things are so bad on the interstate that chains are required, you'd likely be best off simply waiting a few hours to a day and let plow crews do their job.

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