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  1. Default Yuma - SanDiego - Fresno - Edmonton


    Looking for any insight as to best routes for driving a motorhome from Fresno to Edmonton at the end of March 2011. I have my route mapped out from Yuma - San Diego - Fresno (staying on the 101 AS MUCH AS possible), but looking at flat, "quick" options from Fresno back to Edmonton. Currently my plan is to take the I-5 to Sacramento, I-80 over to Salt Lake, then I-15 up to Alberta. My concern is the mountain passes on I-80 @ Truckee and I-15 @ Butte. My time is flexible and I could take the I-5 up to Seattle, but then I still have Mt.Shasta and atleast one big pass in BC/Alberta.

    Driving our first RV home and would like to break her in somewhat gently and avoid any major mountain passes if possible.

    Would appreciate anyone to pipe their two cents my direction in regards to these routes.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO



    There's no way that you can avoid mountain passes - you have to get across the mountains somewhere.

    The fastest route is CA-99/I-80/US-93/I-84/I-86/I-15. This cuts off about an hour and a half from going through SLC. If you want to avoid I-80 over the Sierras, go back south to Bakersfield and take CA-58 to I-15. That's going to be the least strenuous way.

    I assume you have reasons for going to San Diego and Fresno?

  3. Default

    Thanks! Spring break and we want to hit up a couple parks. I've always wanted to drive the 101 so we'll be able to get on a portion of that road on the same trip. I looked at the Bakersfield route and that could be a real good possibility if the weather turns bad along I-80. The mountains are beautiful and we love passing through them, just a little more nervous on inaugural trip in our new rig and winter storms are still within striking distance. I saw the bypass around SLC, but looking at the map I am drawn to drive across the salt flats, regardless of the extra mileage. Trip is going to be a hoot, just hoping for good weather.

    Thanks for the reply.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    With Interstate being designed with gradual curves and gradients for the biggest of rigs, they shouldn't be of any real concern to your RV as long as you don't work her to hard on the climbs. The same goes for any other highway that you would be comfortable taking an RV along for that matter. It'll be a good work out for all those NP trips that lay in wait ! ;-)

  5. #5

    Default Staying lower in MT

    Hello iceberg,

    I assume you're talking about Donner Pass along I-80 at the CA/NV border. If the instant forecast is for bad weather there, you have good info as to how to avoid it.

    Further east in Nevada, there's a single pass between Wells and Utah. There I-80 gets up to around 6,500' but only for a short distance.

    The ID-MT line, however, is Monida pass, at 6,800', so perhaps you weren't aware of that high point. Really no avoiding it.

    You can avoid the pass between Butte and Helena by taking MT 41 out of Dillon, MT, to Twin Bridges and MT 55 from there to Whitehall. A short jog east on I-90 crosses a ridge topping out at around 5,200', then north on US 287 at the eastern foot of that ridge brings you back to I-15 at Helena with no serious elevation along the way. From Dillon to Whitehall is just about dead flat along the rivers, as is Three Forks to Helena. Nice drives on good, wide 2 lane highways, too. The junction of I-90 and US 287 is called Wheat, Montana, and there you'll fine some of the finest baked goods and coffee anywhere.

    Last edited by Foy; 03-15-2011 at 01:51 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Are you sure you don't mean CA-1 (Pacific Coast Highway) instead of US-101?

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