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  1. Default Driving from San Fransisco to Florissant, CO

    Hi,

    My mum and I are visiting my brother in San Fransisco for a few days in December and then the plan is to drive to Colorado (Florissant) where we are spending Christmas.

    I posted on another website and got told that I should book flights instead, but then I saw other posts with people asking similar questions and just being told to be careful and watch the weather forecasts....

    So I'm hoping I can get some good advice here. I know that there are rules about driving in CO during Winter and being prepared. Both of us are confident drivers and I have driven in the snow before (but not an expert).

    Do you think that drive is doable? I was thinking we would have 3 nights / 4 days to do it, but we could take a bit longer if needed. From what I have read I believe the possible "worst" part could be the last section of the drive, around the Vail/Idaho Springs area.

    Instead of the I-70 from SLC should we take the I-80?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,494

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    I would recommend I-80 to SLC, then I-15 south to Spanish Fork, then US-6 east to I-70. At Frisco, take CO-9 south to US-24 east.

    You are allowing plenty of time for this trip, in case you have to get off the road to wait out a storm. Note that you might need tire chains on I-80 over Donner Pass unless you have 4 wheel drive with snow tires - and CO may have a traction law on I-70 which would require chains or snow tires. All season tires with at least half the tread left and marked with "M+S" on the sidewall qualify as snow tires. Either restriction will just be temporary till they can get the road cleared, you should probably stop and wait a while if this is the case. Just keep an eye on the weather and forecast when it gets near time for the trip. Real time road conditions for all states can be found at safetravelusa.com.

    What will you be driving for a vehicle?

  3. Default

    Hi,

    Thanks for the advice!

    Itís a rental but should be a Ford Edge - had a look and think itís an all wheel drive?

    Thanks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,494

    Default

    If it has all wheel drive and all-season tires with more than half the tread left, you should be fine. However, if Donner Pass has chain controls in force, you technically have to carry them even if you don't put them on. California is pretty anal about that.

  5. Default

    Ok, thank you! Will make sure we are properly equipped before we leave the bay area.

    If anyone has any must see places / things to do then would love to know those as well! Thanks!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,011

    Default Now for something completely different.

    Moab UT would make a nice stop on route with maybe time to visit Arches NP. I'm not sure if SLC is a must see destination for you, but I'll just put an alternative out there for you which I would prefer, weather permitting ! (It might not be for you) First head south on I-5 and take exit 263 to CA99/CA58 to Barstow to overnight. Next head to the Grand canyon south rim and enjoy the sights of this wonder of the world. Next morning exit the east entrance along Desertview drive to US89/160/163/191 which will take you through Monument valley and up to Moab to overnight. Leave Moab via UT128 through Castle valley to I-70 and on to your destination. An alternative after the Grand canyon would be to head to Durango CO and then drive the spectacular 'Million dollar Highway' (US550) to Montrose and then take US50 to Poncha Springs and 285/24 to your destination. All your options will be subject to weather and road conditions which you should check each day but you should not have the need to book lodgings in advance so you can adapt if and when needed. (Either of the options would add between 60-90 minutes to your daily drive time but would still be quite comfortable. Adding a half/full day to your drive would give you more time to enjoy some sights.)

  7. Default

    Oh wow thats a totally different way! Because it's slightly further South would it be likely that the weather would be warmer and therefore less issues with snow? Or is it not enough of a difference?
    Definitely another way to consider!
    Thank you!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,011

    Default

    Travelling during December means you could see winter storms anywhere and you won't know until near the time of departure. I think it will be a more interesting time if you like scenic drives and nature though.

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