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  1. #1
    OZJim Guest

    Default Road Trip - South West in January?

    Hi all - just stumbled across this forum while surfing. Congrats on an excellent resource for US roadtrippers.

    We're planning a 4 - 5 week trip through the South West in January 2006. Very loosely, we're looking at covering LA - Las Vegas - Grand Canyon (south rim) - Southern Utah (Zion, Brice, Arches, etc), Grand Junction, Skiing in Colorado (Steamboat Springs), Denver, Santa Fe, then across the bottom of New Mexico and Arazona, back into California.

    Is this trip feasible? Principally, we're worried about snow at that time of year in Utah and Colorado. Save for a few firm dates around skiing, our itinerary will be pretty flexible (although I would be pretty disappointed not to get to the national parks in Utah, which I understand are spectaclular).

    I have driven in snow before, but being from Australia I don't have much of a scene of just how bad it can get. We'll be hiring a 4WD and will have chains (if not proper snow tires).

    Any views/advice would be appreciated. Many thanks.

  2. #2
    RoadTripper Brad Guest


    You should be fine as long as you stick to major routes whenever possible, and always prepare for the worst, such as not being able to get to Grand Canyon Village, AZ or some of your other destinations should the weather turn nasty. I'd have as many contingency routes as possible mapped out, including 'secondary destinations' if needbe, that way if you cant visit one thing, you have a back up.

    A NOAA weather radio/CB combo is also advisable, along with making sure you have all the gadgets for your cell phone (namely a car charger... in the car).
    Just pack some winter supplies as well, such as blankets (or emergency blankets if you really need to save space), extra water, food, a small battery powered radio (actually, I reccommend the American Red Cross Disaster Preparedness Kit sold at Target, it has a first aid kit along with 2 flashlights, emergency blankets, ponchos, a transister radio, glo-sticks, and many other items, its a really good item to keep in the car, in my opinion... and it comes with batteries for the flashlights/radio too.)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Winter in the West

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum.

    The areas you want to get to rely on tourism, particularly skiing, for a large chunk of their economy. As Brad points out, the main thing you have to be prepared to do is be prepared for what may come. But the ski areas in Colorado and the National Parks in Utah will typically have their roads opened back up within a day of most snow storms. Pay attention to the weather - here in the US we have a television channel (available in most motels) that is devoted exclusively to weather - keep an eye on it. With a month, a flexible schedule, and some experience with winter driving, I see no reason to not do this trip. Just be careful when need be.


  4. #4
    OZJim Guest

    Default Thanks!

    Many thanks for your advice - sounds like it's certainly worthwhile chancing our arm (with the appropriate precautions and preparations, of course!).

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