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  1. Default Roadtrip from Chicago to San Diego

    Can anyone tell me best route in winter conditions from Chicago to San Diego

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Honestly, no - because "winter conditions" are not a static thing so flexibility is key. Generally speaking, the best route is the direct route - the shorter the distance, the less time on the road, the fewer chances to see bad weather, and the more extra time/options you'll have to wait if bad weather does strike.

    As a starting point, I would suggest following the path of old Route 66 (I-55/I-44/I-40) to Flagstaff, head south on I-17 towards Phoenix, bypass PHX via AZ-303/I-10/AZ-85, and then I-8 into SD. At 2150 miles, that's a good 4 day drive.

    But even there, you'll need to stay on top of the weather forecasts for the exact days of your travel and be willing to make changes. If there is snow forecast along I-40 in Arizona, you may want to drop down on I-25 at Albuquerque and pick up I-10. But also don't assume that south will be better. I-40, and even I-10 across the southern plains can and do see nasty ice storms, and if those are in the forecast, you could be better off using I-80 and/or I-70 and pick up I-15 in Utah. It all depends upon what the weather looks like on the specific days you end up traveling.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    If you do have to take I-25 south out of ABQ, get off at Hatch and take NM-26 to Deming to pick up I-10.

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Honestly, no - because "winter conditions" are not a static thing so flexibility is key. Generally speaking, the best route is the direct route - the shorter the distance, the less time on the road, the fewer chances to see bad weather, and the more extra time/options you'll have to wait if bad weather does strike.

    As a starting point, I would suggest following the path of old Route 66 (I-55/I-44/I-40) to Flagstaff, head south on I-17 towards Phoenix, bypass PHX via AZ-303/I-10/AZ-85, and then I-8 into SD. At 2150 miles, that's a good 4 day drive.

    But even there, you'll need to stay on top of the weather forecasts for the exact days of your travel and be willing to make changes. If there is snow forecast along I-40 in Arizona, you may want to drop down on I-25 at Albuquerque and pick up I-10. But also don't assume that south will be better. I-40, and even I-10 across the southern plains can and do see nasty ice storms, and if those are in the forecast, you could be better off using I-80 and/or I-70 and pick up I-15 in Utah. It all depends upon what the weather looks like on the specific days you end up traveling.
    Thank you very much for the answer. In principle, I have never gone on such a long journey and the option is that I should travel in the next 10 days and since I am moving temporarily from Chicago to San Diego I am considering whether to travel by car because I will need a car. San Diego and I have a very big problem if the conditions on the road are winter so I was thinking if there is an option to avoid snow on the road with some best route and that is why I need your help

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Check conditions prior to departure.

    What Michael was saying is that you can't pick a route that will guarantee the weather will be free of snow and ice or any other winter like weather. Before deciding on your route you should check the weather forecasts prior to departure and get an accurate picture of what is likely to happen. Even better if you have some flexibility as to when you leave as you could find a good window of opportunity. Interstates are a priority to keep clear and open and should it be bad enough for them to become a problem your best course of action is to pull off the road early and find a nice Motel. Thats not to say that will happen, you could have a problem free trip. The most important thing is to prepare properly, making sure your car is in good shape and not just mechanically, you need to make sure your tyres and brakes etc are in good shape, you have anti-freeze and decent windshield wash. Carry some snacks, fluids and blanket and allow yourself time to do the journey safely with some 'wiggle' room for any such delays. 4 days should be the minimum and keep an extra 'in hand' just in case.

  6. Default

    Can you help me with best weather forecast for that trip.I found some weather forecast on net but I don’t know which one is most accurate.Thank you very much

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    If you can drive in Chicago in the winter, you shouldn't have any major issues driving cross country on Interstate highways. If you do, just find a hotel and wait it out. There is no major cross country route that is not subject to possible snow and ice storms. Safetravelusa.com has links to each state's DOT road conditions site and there are a few sites that have current and forecasted weather. Examples are weather.com, wunderground.com, and weather.gov. I don't think any one is any more accurate than the others, use the one that has the information you need and is easy to use.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Tucson, AZ
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    Default Be Ready for Five or Six Days...

    But hope for four. Since you have not indicated that this is to be a sight-seeing trip, then I would second Michael's suggestion for a route. You have two options that are basically the same distance, but this route is generally at lower elevation and farther south. Both of those should reduce you chances of seeing snow/ice, but NOT reduce them to zero. If everything goes well and you can maintain an average of just a little over 500 miles/day, then you can reach San Diego in four days. But if things don't work out as planned, you should keep an extra day or two in your back pocket and be ready to just hole up in a nice warm motel, let the storm pass and the road crews do their job before you get back on the road. That's another advantage to sticking to the Interstates - they get priority in snow removal.

    As Dave pointed out, you'll need to keep an eye on the weather forecasts as you proceed on your trip. This is especially true going east to west since weather systems move in the opposite direction and you won't get as much notice of bad weather ahead. Most motels and hotels will allow you to cancel with 24 hours notice, especially if you just want to re-book for the next day.

    Mainly, as with all travel, especially in winter, you'll just need to remain flexible and NOT press on regardless.

    AZBuck

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bojanbn View Post
    Can you help me with best weather forecast for that trip.I found some weather forecast on net but I don’t know which one is most accurate.Thank you very much
    I can tell you would love to be given single answers of exactly how you should go about this trip - this is the best route, this is the best weather forecast, etc - but this isn't the kind of thing where there are one sized fits all answers.

    For weather, most forecasts are based off the National Weather Service's data (weather.gov) although their site isn't always the most user friendly. There are any number of sites out there which can give you a good forecast. You've got weather channel (weather.com), weather bug, accu weather, and that just names a few.

  10. Default

    Thank you very much for the answers.
    I am also interested in your opinion option on the i80 route

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