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  1. Default End of Oct Solo Female Roadtrip from Asheville, NC to Central WA state

    Hi! This is my first post on RTA, what a great resource!

    Iím a solo female traveller relocating from Asheville, NC to Central Washington State at the end of Oct. Shortest looks like going north but feel like a more southern option would offer better weather? Any suggestions on route?

    More info:
    - Prefer to avoid big cities and will also have my car loaded with belongings
    - Prefer to avoid places that might have snow/ice conditions
    - Prefer to be able to camp
    - Love exploring interesting landscapes
    - No time constraints but probably looking at 14-20 day trip

    Any suggestions or feedback would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Lots of solo women travelers in this community

    Welcome to the trip planning forums. It turns out that the majority of solo roadtrippers are women. Here are some tips I wrote a couple of years ago.

    While it is certainly possible to hit snow and ice in late October, generally the best way to deal with winter-like weather is the shortest route -- Avoid detours to the southern states -- ice can be significant problem in states like Texas.

    By the most direct route, it would 5-6 days to travel from Asheville to Washington. How many days are you allowing? Camping in later October will require more time because of the colder weather and the need for more preparation. What is your budget for this adventure?


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    Hello and welcome to RTA !

    As Mark mentioned above, you could do this trip in 5 or 6 days so having between 2 and 3 weeks means you can do a bit of exploring. Rather than creating a route around the weather (which is totally unpredictable until a couple of days in advance) why not do a bit of research and have a good look at some maps and take note of places you would love to see. Once you have a few ideas mapped out a route will start to form as you link them together and once you have the basics down, we can help fill in the gaps and offer suggestions. Remember that winter can come early to certain places, the Rockies for example, and you may need some really good winter camping equipment to stay warm and dry. Of course if you come across cold conditions you could opt for a Motel for the night. If a storm did come in then it's usually best to just sit it out and let it pass rather than trying to avoid it by driving many miles trying to get around it.

  4. Default

    Thanks for the warm welcome + tips, Mark!

    I don’t like to drive more than 5 hrs a day so I’m planning on taking maybe 8-12 days. I haven’t set a budget but that is a good decision maker. I’m trying to make this as economical, hence camping if possible.

  5. Default

    Thanks, Dave! You gave me some helpful points to consider while planning! Appreciate it!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Ft. Collins, CO.


    Lots of the National Forest campgrounds are now closed & gated for the season.
    There has been snow in Wyoming and probably further north. It's supposed to freeze tonight and be cold for the next several days. It's possble we'll get a warm spell but then again, maybe not.
    The later in the month, the less likely to have warm weather again.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Some of Your Options.

    Taking you at your word, that you only want to drive about five hours a day, but have up to twenty days at your disposal but would rather take twelve, I'd guesstimate that you have roughly 50-60 hours and close to 3,000 miles (at highway speeds) at your disposal. That's actually quite a lot and will let you plan your trip to see many sites that you've always wanted to and/or stay out of the northern Rocky cold and possible snows. Our problem is that you have too much leeway for us to give recommendations based on your limits and you really haven't told us enough about what, specifically, you want to accomplish on this trip other than getting to central Washington and seeing some pleasing landscapes.

    All that said, we can offer (as others already have) some very general guidelines. The first is that given the time of year you'll be traveling, staying relatively farther south is a plus, but not a necessary one. And there is a lot to like about the scenery if you were to, say, first head for the Gulf Coast then through west Texas and the Desert Southwest before heading uy0 through Arizona (Grand Canyon) and Utah's Big 5 (Zion, Bryce, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Arches), then finally following the Snake and Columbia Rivers into Washington.

    Alternatively, you could take a more northern route, perhaps following the Missouri River to the old Oregon Trail along the Platte River and on up through the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, and (maybe) even Glacier National Park. The problem with that route, as has been noted, is the possible untoward weather. BUT, you have enough time that you can afford to simply sit out any storms, enjoy the crisp sparkling chill of new snow, and then continue your journey once the roads have been cleared.

    And of course, you can do almost any route in between those two. I envy you your choices, but not having to make them. But for every site you don't get to, there will be others that you do and there are inevitably memories to be made. There simply are no bad options here. Think about it for a bit and especially think about what YOU really want to see. Once you do that, that's when we can be the most help to you.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Maybe a rethink.

    As already mentioned by noFanofCB, you will finding camping at this time of year difficult. If you really want to camp, best you check which campgrounds are still open in your time frame. I have found as well, that there are very few open in October. Might be a good idea to do your research on budget accommodation along the way. Nothing worse than planning to camp in a certain place, and finding that all campgrounds are closed.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Ft. Collins, CO.


    I had a bit of "experience" yesterday that even dispersed camping on BLM lands this time of year might not work out.

    I've been trying to find the location of a WWII B-24 crash south of Casper Wyoming. Yesterday the webcams for the area showed dry roads, clear skies and no snow in the sagebrush. So I went for a drive (400 mi round trip)

    All that was true however the unimproved dirt roads were impassable because they were wet. This meant that my 4WD jeep with pretty good offroad tires was slipping and sliding badly to the point that I gave up my quest and went home rather than get myself stuck somewhere. I think I took 20lb of mud home with me.

    Going to snow tonite and be in the 20's for a day or two. Difficult camping weather.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Central Missouri


    Denver area got a nice snowfall last night -- around 2" in the southeast portion (Aurora area). I would agree, "difficult camping weather" unless you're prepared with 4 season tent and a very warm sleeping bag, and you have some luck in finding an open campsite.


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