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Old 06-04-2016, 10:59 AM   #1
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Quartzsite or Kingman?

Headed out July 24 from San Antonio to California. I had planned to stay the night near the arizona/new mexico border, then a night at Quartzsite before we go on to Bakersfield. I see that Quartzsite is 116degrees F today. Kingman is only 107.

Is there an advantage to heading north to Kingman at Phoenix or stay on I-10 through Quartzsite?

This could be a miserable experience.
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Old 06-04-2016, 11:09 AM   #2
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The higher altitude at Kingman results in the slightly lower temps . If your going to Quartzsite in July , be warned ; you may be the only one there.
I've been through Quartzsite, in mid October @ 97 degrees, and there were very few people around , in July with the possibility of 120+, everyone could be in hiding.

EDIT: If I was planning this route in July, I'd look into parking all day and travel at night, everywhere in the southern desert will be HOT. Blazing sun through the windshield will just make it worse.
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Old 06-04-2016, 11:11 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by montyhp View Post
Headed out July 24 from San Antonio to California. I had planned to stay the night near the arizona/new mexico border, then a night at Quartzsite before we go on to Bakersfield. I see that Quartzsite is 116degrees F today. Kingman is only 107.
Is there an advantage to heading north to Kingman at Phoenix or stay on I-10 through Quartzsite?
This could be a miserable experience.
montyhp
Pick a route north from San Antonio up to I-40 and on to Kingman,
I favor the Kingman location in the summer...(Quartzsite in winter).
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Old 06-04-2016, 11:27 AM   #4
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Quartzsite is about the worst place to camp that time of year. Anywhere in the lower elevations of Arizona it could be well over 110. Kingman is about 3500 feet and will be sightly cooler. I would suggest staying in the Benson/Tucson (3500ft) area and driving through the desert rather than trying to stay overnight in it.
In the low desert is doesn't normally cool off much at night. Here in Lake Havasu it is not uncommon to see a low of 90+ and Quartzsite isn't much different.
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Old 06-04-2016, 11:33 AM   #5
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Another thought , the Barstow to Bakersfield ( CA 58 ) section of your route , was under construction at the Barstow end when I crossed in late March. No real delays just a slow down, this area, until you start to climb towards the Tehachapi summit, will be the hottest & driest ( you can feel your skin drying up as you drive through , RH near zero ). In July this is a section I would ONLY consider at night or before noon with the sun at your back. Have lots of water and sunscreen on your left arm.
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Old 06-04-2016, 11:55 AM   #6
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I'd encourage you to go thru Kingman. Start early each morning. Stop early in the afternoon. Be aware that it is not uncommon for tires to blowout due to the heat, especially if you are driving at Texas speeds. (A real advantage of going this route is that you'll miss the So Cal Inland Empire traffic congestion.). Blake Ranch just east of Kingman is a nice stop. (Fuel available at the offramp.) In Tehachapi (higher elevation & cooler) there's a good overnight place near the glider airport. Worth the short drive to it. And while it is very hot right now in So Cal, it isn't usually this hot. Watch the weather. (Incidentally, 11 years ago we went from Temecula to Lackland AFB for our son's graduation from basic. First day I drove all the way to Casa Grande. 116*F at 6pm. We learned. Leave early. Stop early.)
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Old 06-04-2016, 04:57 PM   #7
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What is your destination in California? Perhaps we could give you an altogether route to stay cool. All three towns you mentioned will be HOT. Definitely don't plan on dry camping without electric. You're going to need air.
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Old 06-04-2016, 07:48 PM   #8
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Why not find a spot in Flagstaff? 7,000 feet.
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Old 06-04-2016, 08:58 PM   #9
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Why not find a spot in Flagstaff? 7,000 feet.
Or Williams? Your last two 'cool' spots before hitting the hot deserts.
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Old 06-04-2016, 11:46 PM   #10
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What is your destination in California? Perhaps we could give you an altogether route to stay cool. All three towns you mentioned will be HOT. Definitely don't plan on dry camping without electric. You're going to need air.
Final destination is Napa. The alternative would be to head directly to albuquerque and take i40 across.
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Old 06-04-2016, 11:49 PM   #11
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I'd encourage you to go thru Kingman. Start early each morning. Stop early in the afternoon. Be aware that it is not uncommon for tires to blowout due to the heat, especially if you are driving at Texas speeds. (A real advantage of going this route is that you'll miss the So Cal Inland Empire traffic congestion.). Blake Ranch just east of Kingman is a nice stop. (Fuel available at the offramp.) In Tehachapi (higher elevation & cooler) there's a good overnight place near the glider airport. Worth the short drive to it. And while it is very hot right now in So Cal, it isn't usually this hot. Watch the weather. (Incidentally, 11 years ago we went from Temecula to Lackland AFB for our son's graduation from basic. First day I drove all the way to Casa Grande. 116*F at 6pm. We learned. Leave early. Stop early.)
Thank goodness we are on brand new michelins. We are early drivers, but sometimes we have to do a long day. This will be our first real hot summer trip since we got the motorhome in November.
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Old 06-05-2016, 09:24 AM   #12
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Final destination is Napa. The alternative would be to head directly to albuquerque and take i40 across.
July - and Colorado Mountains - I'd think long and hard about trying to get some cool enjoyable nights before I pressed across the desert to Napa.

Maybe Durango, Montrose, I-70 to Rt 50 across through Ely, to Reno and then into Napa, not great but at least a few days with elevation and some good nights to sleep.

Also the suggestion for a night or two of driving across the desert might not be all bad.

July is the issue.

BOL,
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Old 06-05-2016, 09:54 AM   #13
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That time of the year will see some of the hottest temps throughout your trip.
If you can travel at night as others have said or say leave at 4:00 A.M. you will be better off.

Northern route I-40 some what cooler to Kingman,then it will be Hot all the way to Napa. Bakersfield north can exceed 100* at times.

I would stay in Flagstaff...Only you know what temps you will put up with. Have plenty of water,and Ice.Keep drinking the H2O.

Welcome to Summer travel in the Southwest and Deserts of California.

Safe travels and have a great trip.

P.S.
Did I say drink lots of water?

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Old 06-05-2016, 02:34 PM   #14
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July - and Colorado Mountains - I'd think long and hard about trying to get some cool enjoyable nights before I pressed across the desert to Napa.

Maybe Durango, Montrose, I-70 to Rt 50 across through Ely, to Reno and then into Napa, not great but at least a few days with elevation and some good nights to sleep.

Also the suggestion for a night or two of driving across the desert might not be all bad.

July is the issue.

BOL,
This would be a very good route. We haven't done it all at once but have done many portions of it.

I would make another suggestion to work your way up to I-40 at some point and take it to Albuquerque then Hwy 84 (painter Georgia O'Keefe's home area) north to Pagosa Springs, Colorodo and take Hwy 160 across Colorado through the Durango/Cortez areas. Lots of beautiful country to see...spend a morning in Pagosa soaking in the immaculate concreted hot springs of all different temperatures overlooking the river, ride the train from Durango to Silverton or drive up there, tour Mesa Verde Nat'l Park in Cortez. Lots of perfect temperatures along this route. No big mountain climbs along this route.

Then take 491 to 191 in Utah and north to I-70. Along the way are Canyonlands and Arches National Parks - will be hot for hiking but a nice drive in your A/C vehicle.

Once on I-70 in Utah you have choices: I-15 north to Salt Lake City then I-80 into Napa or Hwy 50 (would be our favorite) across Nevada to I-80 into Napa.

The scenery and temperatures would be so much better than the southern deserts in July. Just more to think about.....
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