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  1. Default Maryland to Grand Canyon Winter Trip

    I知 thinking about doing a road trip from Maryland to the Grand Canyon and back in February. I知 thinking of setting aside about 17 days for it but could extend more if needed. My main concerns revolve around it being in winter. I was thinking about doing a northern route on the way there and then a southern route on the way back. Am I taking too much of a risk with the winter weather especially for the northern route (in terms of safety of driving, weather preventing me from traveling and having to extend trip multiple days, etc.)? I will be traveling by myself so I just want to get an idea of the risks and whether or not I知 being too ambitious. Thanks for the help

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default It's possible.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    There is certainly a risk of coming across some disruption due to winter conditions but the country has to keep on the move year round, goods being hauled across the country down to dropping the kids off at school, so travelling in February is not impossible just unpredictable. So remaining flexible would be key to a succesful trip as you can't accurately predict the weather more than a day or teo in advance. Creating a loop and seeing different areas each way is a good strategy and one we recommend. In total this would be a 9 day round trip, allow a couple more for possible delays and that still leaves you around 6 days to enjoy a couple of stops each way and a few days at the canyon. So yes it's totally possible to do as long as you don't mind the possibility of winter weather including the risk of snow and ice. Remember the Grand canyon is at high elevation and conditions are unpredictable, you will have to go to the south rim as the North rim will be closed to traffic.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Define 'Northern'

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Of course there are multiple routes between Maryland (I used Baltimore as a starting point) and Flagstaff. Some of those routes could hug the Great Lakes where lake effect snow could be a real problem, or head through the Rockies west of Denver where severe winter storms could also be a problem. Then again, there's no guarantee that there will be less snow on a 'southern' route. It will all depend on the actual weather that is occurring while you are on the road, and there is simply no way to know that more than a few days in advance, and that situation is worse when traveling west. So lets start with just the basics.

    You're going to need a minimum of four days each way assuming no weather severe enough to force you off the road. But that's with no major stops along the way. If there are a few places en route that you'd like to visit then you'll have to factor in both the time to get to them and the time you'll want to spend at them. For planning purposes, I'd assume that two weeks would be sufficient for a comfortable, safe and enjoyable round trip. You have at least that much time, so this trip is, on its face, completely doable which seems to be all you're asking at the moment.

    So at this point, I think you can rest assured that your goal of a two week plus trip out to the Grand Canyon and back is eminently reasonable. It is quite possible that you will have to sit out a day somewhere along the drive due to weather, but that's not a show stopper. One good thing is that on the way home, you'll be driving with the weather and you can just put yourself ahead of or behind any weather front and drive along 'in the saddle' of good weather between fronts, which are also moving west to east, and not have to force your way through a front. Once you've had a chance to see what appeals to you in between Chesapeake Bay and the Grand Canyon, we can be of more help to you in finding workable routes or suggestions for other similar sights and attractions.


  4. Default

    Thank you guys very much for the quick and extremely helpful replies. I am definitely flexible and willing to sit out here and there if necessary. I am a very last minute person so I haven稚 fully planned out my loop yet but I will definitely get it somewhat more finalized and then ask any questions about the route. I知 not sure how north I would like to go, but over the next day or two I will have a better idea. If I have to miss out on some places along the way because of weather that is fine. Also yes I definitely will be going to the south rim of the Grand Canyon.

  5. Default

    My wife and her friend just came back from a “girls trip” to Las Vegas. One day they took a bus tour to the Grand Canyon South Rim. It was sunny and mid 50s with a mild breeze. So, it is certainly possible to have great weather in February. You could also be trudging through snow. Wish you the best.

  6. #6


    Grand Canyon can offer a special beauty in winter plus reduced crowd setting. By northern route I assume you generally mean I-70 and by southern route, I-40. Both will have elevated areas although part of that is relative to the road equipment in the East and in the West. And I am not sure you will see much different in overall weather going a north or south route over a two week period in February. So maybe key into what special attractions may or may not be open during your travel period.

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