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Old 11-20-2019, 08:57 PM   #1
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December Trip - ATL->SLC->SeaTac->LA->ATL

Hey guys,

Looking for some advice, specifically on west coast driving in December. We're looking to head up from Atlanta to SLC, which we did last year in February without issues (i40 to Gallup and then north). We want to then go from SLC to Olympia WA area for a while before heading down the west coast to LA area (Riverside) before hitting i40 or i10/20 to head back East to GA.

Most of the routes I'm good with, but I'm concerned about the trek from SLC to WA (safest looks to be i80 then snaking north to Portland), and also I don't know enough winter weather generally through Oregon and Cali along the coast. From what I can tell, most cities I checked randomly for December average weather looked free of freezing temps and snow.

Any suggestions or thoughts would be appreciated on either legs. We're not on a super tight time-table so we have no problems stopping for a few nights or more as needed to wait for inclement weather to pass.

I've also never drove through Cali (North/South), but plan on doing some more research on here to find out good routes for sight seeing (coastal and possibly national/state parks), but also avoiding traffic hell.

Thanks again for any feedback.
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Old 11-21-2019, 12:08 AM   #2
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I hope you have a good reason to do this trip in December. It's not exactly siteseeing time.

If you can get a good handle on weather forecasts from Salt Lake City take 84/I-5 to Olympia, WA. Even I-40 can be iffy in December.
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Old 11-21-2019, 12:41 AM   #3
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Have you thought about I 15 from SLC up to I 84 and then pick up I 5?

I've run both routes from SLC....80 to California and I 15/ I84 through Idaho and Oregon but that was in the summer.

I 80 through California to I 5 is about 500 miles longer overall and more mountains. Less mountains through the Idaho route. Neither will be fun if you hit bad weather.
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Old 11-21-2019, 09:16 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by twogypsies View Post
I hope you have a good reason to do this trip in December. It's not exactly siteseeing time.

If you can get a good handle on weather forecasts from Salt Lake City take 84/I-5 to Olympia, WA. Even I-40 can be iffy in December.
Not a good reason really, other than the urge for some adventure. We loved our trip last year to SLC area and had a blast with the snow (don't ever see it in Ga). It's also nice when there's a whole lot less people and traffic!

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Originally Posted by Arch Hoagland View Post
Have you thought about I 15 from SLC up to I 84 and then pick up I 5?

I've run both routes from SLC....80 to California and I 15/ I84 through Idaho and Oregon but that was in the summer.

I 80 through California to I 5 is about 500 miles longer overall and more mountains. Less mountains through the Idaho route. Neither will be fun if you hit bad weather.
Definitely, there looks to be two main routes, that being the primary one, but haven't checked to see the terrain and elevation changes along that route, especially going over the cascades. I know we've made the trek before during summer on i90, and it was no picnic going through Snoqualmie pass. I'll do some research.


The other thought I had, which is a bit more miles, but to either go straight west towards Nevada, and take i5 up, or even farther down as needed towards Vegas.
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Old 11-21-2019, 10:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerwoofs View Post
Hey guys,

Looking for some advice, specifically on west coast driving in December. We're looking to head up from Atlanta to SLC, which we did last year in February without issues (i40 to Gallup and then north). We want to then go from SLC to Olympia WA area for a while before heading down the west coast to LA area (Riverside) before hitting i40 or i10/20 to head back East to GA.

Most of the routes I'm good with, but I'm concerned about the trek from SLC to WA (safest looks to be i80 then snaking north to Portland), and also I don't know enough winter weather generally through Oregon and Cali along the coast. From what I can tell, most cities I checked randomly for December average weather looked free of freezing temps and snow.

Any suggestions or thoughts would be appreciated on either legs. We're not on a super tight time-table so we have no problems stopping for a few nights or more as needed to wait for inclement weather to pass.

I've also never drove through Cali (North/South), but plan on doing some more research on here to find out good routes for sight seeing (coastal and possibly national/state parks), but also avoiding traffic hell.

Thanks again for any feedback.
If I were making this trip as an Adventure and needing to be in SLC from Georgia I'd Head to Canyon de Chelly NM - then up to SLC - Still might catch snow - likely - but I've driven this area often in the Winter with little issue unless You Get to Elevation or Catch a passing Storm.

MAP - https://binged.it/348ss8X

After SLC in the winter - this is a Crapshoot! so you will need to look at the weather and make a determination there.

For Twenty years we Skied for the first week in December at Snowbird - only once did we not have Snow! -

Elevation is where you need to be most careful - the weather Can and Likely Will Change a couple times or more a day - again Snowbird one year it snowed three days straight - 80" - Heaven for skiers - so you just need to be Smart.

From Canyon de Chelly you could catch Monument Valley - Goosenecks - Moab and surrounds - Green River - then on to Sandy and SLC.

https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/f...d/29448394.cfm

Beautiful drive once you get across Texas - Long way

Best of Luck - Take and Share Pictures as we have always Loved the Winters in Utah and Colorado, the White Snow makes it just Look Beautiful.

ps - not sure what you are driving but never let your fuel gauge get too low and keep the Propane FULL. Never know when you might just need to sit for a week.
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Old 11-23-2019, 10:30 AM   #6
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I would also check into tire chains because some western states will require you to have chains during a certain time frame. Does not mean you have to use them, but if you do get caught in bad weather and they put chain requirements on a stretch of road and you don't have them there could be some fines involved.
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