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Driving to Las Vegas in March. Need some advice please.

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by IvanBeausky, Dec 5, 2015.

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  1. IvanBeausky

    IvanBeausky Low-Roller

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    Driving from Indiana to Las Vegas in March with my dad. He has made the trip before, and I like to drive, so it seems like a simple idea. I am however concerned about the potential for weather on our route. (and please save the whole "I can't believe you would drive thing"...I get it, you don't like to be in a car for 28 hours!)

    MapQuest has us with two options: Number one, almost immediately discounted, is thru Denver. That far north in March seems like a bad idea. The second option is thru St. Louis, OK City, Albuquerque, and then to Las Vegas. It is only a couple miles further and seems to be less likely to be in the midst of significant winter weather.

    My question is how bad is it likely to be thru the Rockies on the route from Albuquerque? Are the highways normally passable?

    If the weather takes a total shit on us, we will buy tickets, but we would both prefer to drive. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. acccrow

    acccrow Tourist

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    I have done that drive many times, both ways, in all winter months including March.

    You will sometimes get blizzard conditions and some accumulation in the high elevations, everywhere from Albuquerque to Flagstaff. There's really no way to tell this far in advance if it will affect you, but it's at least possible.

    They'll shut I-40 in various places if the weather gets bad.
     
  3. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Depending on "freak" storms, sometimes northern routes are better. Southerners can not handle the ice - physically (equipment) and skill (no driving experience). Since you live in Indiana, you know that storms and come and go.
     
  4. JeJas

    JeJas VIP Whale

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    early march, some snow storms are possible. If it's late march, I would not worry too much.
     
  5. garlock

    garlock Tourist

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    U can hit snow after Amarillo, heading west, flagstaff is probably the worst spot but it doesn't stay long along time to hold up for awhile, & you'll be ok
     
  6. thecarve

    thecarve Misanthrope

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    I've driven both routes. The beauty of the Colorado-Utah-NW tip of Arizona area is worth chancing the weather any day of the week.

    Besides, it's only a 2-2.5 day drive. You can always adjust on the fly. Enjoy! :beer:
     
    Number 50!
  7. mdlee3_46041

    mdlee3_46041 Low-Roller

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    I live in Indiana also, about an hour north of Indy and some friends and I drove out to Vegas in March of this year. We took I-70 (the Denver route) and had no issues with the weather. Obviously, each trip can be different in terms of weather, but for us it was ok. We made stops for the night in Salina, KS, Grand Junction, CO, and made it to Vegas the 3rd day. There were 3 of us so 600+ miles a day was no problem and we were still able to stay well rested for the Vegas fun. I should point out that the drive home was MUCH, MUCH, MUCH worse than the drive out. It wasn't because of weather or anything like that, but we were just so exhausted from our time in Vegas that the drive home was almost unbearable. Personally, I probably wouldn't make the drive again, but it's something that I'm glad I was able to do once.
     
  8. Nick Carroway

    Nick Carroway Tourist

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    Think of the southern route as your Plan A. Keep an eye on the weather, and if you're forced to start on the northern route, there's plenty of chances to rejoin the southern route along the way.
    One other note, if you wind up on I-15 heading south from Utah, there's major construction between St George and Mesquite. Some phase of it'll still be going on in March.
     
  9. mdlee3_46041

    mdlee3_46041 Low-Roller

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    I use google maps instead of mapquest because mapquest has always tried taking me on some weird route. For instance, I once used MapQuest for directions to place in Fort Wayne. I live about halfway between Indy and Lafayette and MapQuest tried taking having me take I-65S to I-865/I-465E to I-69N when the proper way is to just take SR28E or SR26E to I-69N.

    Nobody can say what the weather will be like for your trip. You won't even be able to get a semi-accurate forecast until 5-7 days before the trip. I'm not sure what part of Indiana you're leaving from so I looked up directions from my home and then directions from Evansville. The route from both places will originally take you to St. Louis and then you can get on I-70 for the trip through Denver or get on I-44 to take the southern route. I'd check the weather on whatever weather app you use as you approach St. Louis and then make a decision then. It really is only a few miles difference so you can easily change routes without it being too costly. Coming from Indiana, you know that you can get pretty much any weather at any time. Obviously that weather comes from someplace. While the northern route may have a higher chance of snow, as Nostresshere pointed out, people in those areas handle snow much better than most southern cities and southern drivers do.
     
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