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Old 10-11-2015, 09:35 PM   #1
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I 40 Memphis to Flagstaff

In general what are the driving conditions on I 40 at the end of January? We are going to Phoenix and could go I 40 from Memphis to Flagstaff. Would it be better to go further south than this route?
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Old 10-11-2015, 09:42 PM   #2
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In February 2015 I drove from Tucson to Fort Smith, AR on I 40 and then in March 2015 I drove from Fort Smith, AR to Orlando, FL on I 40.

The worst part of I 40, that I encountered was at Memphis on the West side of the Mississippi bridge. Huge, I mean huge, craters in the road, off ramps had craters in them that would make you hit high center on a semi.

From Earl, AR west it wasn't that bad.
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Old 10-11-2015, 09:52 PM   #3
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I40 in winter is a toss up as it can be fairly warm or ice and snow covered. I have been on I40 in AR, OK, TX, NM, AZ with ice or snow, but have done the same in winter with fairly warm temps. Prepare for both routes and at departure time if 5 day forecast has nothing of concern you can do I40.
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Old 10-11-2015, 10:40 PM   #4
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I-40 can be very 'iffy' in January. I'd suggest taking I-10 across to Phoenix. We were even caught in a blizzard the end of April around Albuquerque and I-40 was closed down.
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Old 10-12-2015, 03:17 PM   #5
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Yes, go south. I-40 has a number of spots along the way set for road closure for blizzards. There's a message here.
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Old 10-12-2015, 05:01 PM   #6
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I'd stay south and the further east you get the more opportunities to pop north between weather systems if necessary.
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Old 10-12-2015, 06:25 PM   #7
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We have traveled from OK to AZ a couple of times in the winter the last few years. We have taken the southern route and I40. I 40 can be fine or a blizzard. Just watch the weather forecast, let that be your guide.
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Old 10-22-2015, 12:00 AM   #8
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i think you have your answer already. We travel from Socal to Tulsa at least once a year. either Thanksgiving or Christmas. Last year at Thanksgiving were were stuck on I-40 (on the interstate mind you, two miles east of the Tex/NM line for 10 hours in 10* weather over night. Went from dry interstate to 1" think skating rink ice in literally 2 miles. Approx 30 miles of stopped traffic on the interstate. With El Nino coming this winter on the west coast and most of it supposed to hit from December to March i would take I-10 through El Paso. We are making the drive this Christmas to Tulsa out I-40 and will take our chances as we have a large, well equipped 4x4 and not to mention for us to take the southern route through phoenix, El Paso and Dallas adds about 400 miles to our trip. Will be checking weather up until the night before but plan on taking our chances.

I went to college in OK and have made the I-40 trip more than a dozen times with all the extremes. In college i was in 4wd from Williams, AZ to the Texas line due to snow and ice. Thats about 650+ miles. Fun for the first 200 and then not so much.
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Old 10-22-2015, 12:42 AM   #9
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With El Nino coming this winter on the west coast and most of it supposed to hit from December to March i would take I-10 through El Paso.
I'll be driving from AL to northern NV in January. At Midland, TX, I was planning to take 302 - 285 - 180 - 375 to keep me north of El Paso.

Is this an okay route, or a bad choice due to road condition, weather, traffic, etc?
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Old 10-23-2015, 12:14 AM   #10
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I'll be driving from AL to northern NV in January. At Midland, TX, I was planning to take 302 - 285 - 180 - 375 to keep me north of El Paso.

Is this an okay route, or a bad choice due to road condition, weather, traffic, etc?
I have driven Tulsa to Socal a few times through OKC, Wichita Falls TX, Abilene, El Paso on through Phoenix to Socal. It was way out of my way but wanted to have some different scenery. Aside from being way out of my way i had several issues. One, I got a speeding ticket for about 8 mph over out in the middle of nowhere, farmland Texas. My opinion the sheriff who pulled me over was just trying to fill his coffers for the small county. Have heard many stories from people getting speeding tickets for piss-ant violations where they are a 100 miles from anywhere by the local sheriff/highway patrol. Two, some of the roads you are taking are fairly desolate. If pulling a trailer or traveling at night in those are places i would not want to be broken down or have something bad happen.

If I were you would be glued to the Weather.com site checking the extended forecast for the entire route on I-40 for the week prior to your trip. Basically from OKC to Kingman/Flagstaff, AZ is where i would be concerned with on winter weather issues. Taking the route you mentioned could add 500+ miles to your trip.
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Old 10-23-2015, 12:41 AM   #11
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I have driven Tulsa to Socal a few times through OKC, Wichita Falls TX, Abilene, El Paso on through Phoenix to Socal. It was way out of my way but wanted to have some different scenery. Aside from being way out of my way i had several issues. One, I got a speeding ticket for about 8 mph over out in the middle of nowhere, farmland Texas. My opinion the sheriff who pulled me over was just trying to fill his coffers for the small county. Have heard many stories from people getting speeding tickets for piss-ant violations where they are a 100 miles from anywhere by the local sheriff/highway patrol. Two, some of the roads you are taking are fairly desolate. If pulling a trailer or traveling at night in those are places i would not want to be broken down or have something bad happen.

If I were you would be glued to the Weather.com site checking the extended forecast for the entire route on I-40 for the week prior to your trip. Basically from OKC to Kingman/Flagstaff, AZ is where i would be concerned with on winter weather issues. Taking the route you mentioned could add 500+ miles to your trip.
I won't be taking I-40. I would be on I-20 west of Dallas which would get me to Midland. I route I'm asking about would be shorter than dropping down to El Paso.

If the weather looks real bad when I leave Red Bay, AL, then I'll be taking I-10. I won't be driving at night at all.


Attached is a snapshot of the route I'm referring to.
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Old 10-23-2015, 04:24 PM   #12
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If that is the reasons and the route you prefer I see nothing wrong with it. I am curious, after Las Cruces, NM, what is your route. If I'm going from point A to point B I always look for the shortest route. If there is no rush or its a leasurly drive I try for the scenic route. My travels from Socal to middle America are to get where I need to go quickly as much of it is not terrible pretty, IMO. Either way I love road trips and wish you a safe trip.
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Old 10-23-2015, 08:01 PM   #13
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If that is the reasons and the route you prefer I see nothing wrong with it. I am curious, after Las Cruces, NM, what is your route. If I'm going from point A to point B I always look for the shortest route. If there is no rush or its a leasurly drive I try for the scenic route. My travels from Socal to middle America are to get where I need to go quickly as much of it is not terrible pretty, IMO. Either way I love road trips and wish you a safe trip.
Thanks for the reply. I'll be on I-10 to Phoenix and then Hwy 93 to Las Vegas Hwys 95 & 50 to final destination of Carson City, NV.
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