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  1. Default Questions about best routes from Las Vegas to the Adirondacks

    I'm traveling from Las Vegas to the Lake George area of the Adirondacks in New York in mid-December, with my dog. I was thinking about driving through New Mexico and stopping in Memphis before heading North, since those are areas of the country I have not visited before. I'm guessing there is less chance of winter weather. However, since I'm not as familiar with those states, I was wondering what more experienced travelers thought.

    What are your suggestions for routes?

    Will I need snow tires?
    My mechanic has not yet been able to find snow tires or all weather tires in our area for my Toyota Corolla.

    Any other recommendations?
    It's just me and my dog, so suggestions for individual travelers are appreciated. I'm planning to drive about 6 hours per day to make sure I stay well rested and alert.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Welcome to RTA!

    If you want to go through New Mexico and Memphis, just take I-11/US-93 out of Las Vegas to Kingman, then I-40 all the way to Memphis. From there, the easiest way is to stay on I-40 to east of Knoxville, then I-81 to Binghamton NY, then I-88 to I-90 to I-87 ro Lake George.

    You don't need dedicated snow tires, but you should have all-season tires with plenty of tread left on them. Your car *should* have come with all-seasons. If you need new tires, the easiest way to find all-seasons is at a large chain tire store such as Discount Tire, or a service center run by one of the major tire companies such as Firestone/Bridgestone or Goodyear. Sam's Club, Costco, and Walmart also sell tires.

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


    With regards to the weather all you can do is wait and see what the forecast is a few days before you leave and then keep checking for updates. You may find a more northerly route is experiencing better conditions than a southern route at the time you travel. As you are travelling at a leisurely pace, the best thing to do should a winter storm arrive is simply to get off the road early and rest up, if it was bad enough to require snow tires on an Interstate that would be the safest (and wisest) thing to do anyway. If you travel for around 6 hours a day you should allow for 8-9 days total travel time.

  4. Default


    Unfortunately, my mechanic tells me that my current tires are just for summer weather. I had my tires replaced in Vegas a couple of years ago (by the dealership/not this mechanic) unfortunately. But I'll check out the tire stores. Thanks again!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Time-tested tips for solo roadtrippers

    Quote Originally Posted by DorisO View Post
    Will I need snow tires?
    My mechanic has not yet been able to find snow tires or all weather tires in our area for my Toyota Corolla.
    What? I live in Las Vegas. Discount Tire certainly caries all-weather tires for Toyota Corollas and/or snow tires. Unless you have an unusual vehicle. Not really sure you need snow tires though.

    Any other recommendations?
    It's just me and my dog, so suggestions for individual travelers are appreciated. I'm planning to drive about 6 hours per day to make sure I stay well rested and alert.
    Time-tested tips for solo travelers

    Have a nice trip!


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


    I spent 6 months in Saratoga Springs NY in the winter when I was in Navy training.
    I needed snow tires which I bought on arrival in that location. (moved from Florida to NY. Passed Autumn somewhere around Virginia.....)

    But if you're just visiting for a short time then M+S tires should be adequate if you don't absolutely HAVE to be someplace.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Central Missouri


    A couple of other tips:

    I-40 through New Mexico has a lot of construction. Some of it is actually listed on SafeTravelUSA, other bits are not. Make sure you plan accordingly, as these construction areas will slow you down.

    Plan on reasonable daily drives. Don't believe the drive-times that are given on electronic programs like Google Maps, etc. They don't account for things like construction zones, the need to use the facilities (or dog needs to go!), food, fuel stops, leg-stretching stops. Plan on 500-550 mile days, max.


  8. #8


    For tires you could order on-line for delivery to your mechanic.

    Costco also carries quality tires--I usually buy their Michelin for a number of reasons--but I have my local mechanic do the tire balancing and rotation after the initial installation. Costco does provide free balancing but that part can be inconsistent. Their warranty coverage is very good. And, if you are not already a Costco member, the gasoline is high quality and the savings for likely pay for your annual membership fee.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Your Biggest Advantage

    As a former Maine-iac, can tell you that the others here are right. A good, relatively new pair of all weather tires is all you need. 'Snow' tires don't offer that much more tread and studded snow tires have been outlawed in many states because of the damage they do to the roads. Your ace-in-the-hole though is the fact that Corollas are front wheel drive which is much better on snow and ice. Just make sure that when you pick up you car that the all weather tires are on the front. I've had a front wheel car of mine (a SAAB 93) returned to me with them on the back! But then front wheel drive cars were a rarity then. The other very important bit of advice is to slow down in snowy weather. When you think you're going slow enough, go slower still. And if the roads start to ice up, call it a day and head for a motel.

    I also just got back from Washington DC and the beltway there, I-495, was nothing more than a huge circular parking lot. I've had similar experiences in Philadelphia and of course New York City. I'd try to thread the needle between the large eastern cities by taking I-65 north out of Nashville to Elizabethtown KY, then the Bluegrass Parkway east to US-60 around Lexington KY and I-64 east to Charleston WV. Then it would be I-79 north to Morgantown and I-68 east to Hagerstown. Finish up using I-81 north to Binghamton NY, I-88 east to Albany and I-87 north to Lake George.

    Although the above sounds complicated, it's really not. Draw it out on a map and you'll see. While it is about a hundred or so miles longer than the shortest possible route that mapping routines will give you, it will be much more relaxing, scenic and enjoyable.


  10. #10


    AZBuck's suggested route makes good sense. I just completed an I-81 segment from Maryland to North Carolina, and it was terrible. Tons of truck traffic, more than in past years, which just made it a high speed stop and go experience. Not much scenery to enjoy in those conditions. A truck was continuously viewed pulling into the fast lane to pass another truck that would often require a good couple of miles to accomplish. We had to detour at one point due to a total road closure and drove a couple of US-numbered highways which was much more relaxing. I-81 north of Maryland to Binghamton, NY, should be fine, but I would also consider driving I-79 from I-40 north to I-80 across NY.

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