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Author Topic: Route advice please: Vancouver BC to Bryce/Zion (Las Vegas) in May  (Read 738 times)

rkubara

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Hello, I will be driving a 34' Class A and dolly towing a rather heavy VW Passat in early May. I am trying to determine which route to take to the Utah Canyon parks; through Salt Lake City, Twin Falls or down I5 as far as possible.  My instinct (and wisdom that has accrued during my 60-years) tells me to go I5 to Bakersfield, Las Vegas and back north to the canyons. However this seems to add many hours and extra fuel cost. I really don't want steep climbs, winding slow driving and most importantly, risk of snow and ice. So maybe going I5 does not add time and fuel costs if I have to go up down hills and slow to 25 MPH on twisty roads on the other routes?

I am looking to learn from those of you with experience driving a long heavy rig to the canyons or even to Las Vegas. Please share your thoughts.
Thank you
Ron

SeilerBird

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Re: Route advice please: Vancouver BC to Bryce/Zion (Las Vegas) in May
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2017, 10:11:58 AM »
Personally I would take I-90 to I-84 to I-15 then turn off at 20 for Bryce and then take 89 to Zion. I would not even think of taking I-5 and going through Las Vegas, way too long.
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LarsMac

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Re: Route advice please: Vancouver BC to Bryce/Zion (Las Vegas) in May
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2017, 10:16:38 AM »
run I-84 to I-15 and At Scipio, take US 50 east toward Salina. Then take I-70 westbound to US-89 South at Sevier.
 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Route_89_in_Utah
« Last Edit: March 05, 2017, 10:26:48 AM by LarsMac »
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rkubara

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Re: Route advice please: Vancouver BC to Bryce/Zion (Las Vegas) in May
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2017, 03:01:24 PM »
Thank you both for your quick reply. Both of you recommend I-84 and I know it is the shortest route. Is it hilly and/or curvy and do you know about chance of snow ice in May? I read a blog (not on this site) of someone who drove an RV that route in March 2015 and wished he had not gone that route due to climbs and snow. I know may is much later than March but...?

SeilerBird

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Re: Route advice please: Vancouver BC to Bryce/Zion (Las Vegas) in May
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2017, 03:30:54 PM »
Absolutely no one can predict the weather two months in advance or even one day in advance. Remember climate is what you expect, weather is what you get. The best thing to do is to take the shortest route and keep your eye on the weather forecast. If snow is predicted it won't last long in May and they keep the Interstates really clear in poor weather. I don't think the grades on that route will bother you at all.
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RoyM

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Re: Route advice please: Vancouver BC to Bryce/Zion (Las Vegas) in May
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2017, 03:31:52 PM »
You are dealing with the mountains, weather conditions can change very quickly. You should be alright in May but it pays to keep up with the weather and road reports and be prepared to wait out storms. I-84 is a good road with relatively easy grades but it can be very windy through the Columbia gorge.
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rkubara

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Re: Route advice please: Vancouver BC to Bryce/Zion (Las Vegas) in May
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2017, 03:40:12 PM »
Great input, Thanks again!

AStravelers

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Re: Route advice please: Vancouver BC to Bryce/Zion (Las Vegas) in May
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2017, 04:37:18 PM »
Ditto on I-84 to I-15.  In May it should not be a problem.  Bryce is at 8000' and Zion is 4000'. 

Make reservations today.  Both parks and area fill up early and many or most are already full. 
Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado 4X4

http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/

rkubara

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Re: Route advice please: Vancouver BC to Bryce/Zion (Las Vegas) in May
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2017, 12:36:18 PM »
I had brake fade coming down a mountain pass (Washington Pass on Highway 20 in WA) many years ago and never want to repeat that experience. While my car dolly has electric brakes,  I now like to unhook the car and have my wife drive it both up and down major passes. Up because I prefer not to hold the transmission in second or first gear with the throttle wide open for long periods. I will not be in any hurry and do not mind hooking/unhooking the tow car.

Please advise any sections or passes on I90 or I84 up and down that I should detach the car.
Thanks

Jim Godward

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Re: Route advice please: Vancouver BC to Bryce/Zion (Las Vegas) in May
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2017, 02:18:18 PM »
I live in the Portland OR area and here are my suggestions.
Take I-5 to Vancouver WA, then the I-205 south to I-84 in Portland.  Then I-84 east to I-15.  Then follow the previous suggestions south.

I know of no grades on either I-84 or I-15 to either of the alternate routes from I-15 that would be a towing problem.
Jim
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beaverfever

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Re: Route advice please: Vancouver BC to Bryce/Zion (Las Vegas) in May
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2017, 03:40:34 PM »
there is no way to get there without mountains and passes. i agree 84 is the way to go except turning at twin falls to 80. it misses about 1/2 of salt lakes
traffic jam but  won't save any time.

AStravelers

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Re: Route advice please: Vancouver BC to Bryce/Zion (Las Vegas) in May
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2017, 07:22:33 AM »
I had brake fade coming down a mountain pass (Washington Pass on Highway 20 in WA) many years ago and never want to repeat that experience. While my car dolly has electric brakes,  I now like to unhook the car and have my wife drive it both up and down major passes. Up because I prefer not to hold the transmission in second or first gear with the throttle wide open for long periods. I will not be in any hurry and do not mind hooking/unhooking the tow car.

Please advise any sections or passes on I90 or I84 up and down that I should detach the car.
Thanks
You don't say what you are driving, but I drive a 29' Class A (Ford chassis) maxed at 18,000 pounds, towing a 4,000 pound small pickup truck. Even going up (or down) a 8-10% grade I am not in 1st or 2nd gear with a wide open throttle going up hill.  Going down hill on a 10% grade I will be in 2nd gear at 3500-4000rpm and about 25mph.  When the RPM's get up to about 4300-4500 I press the brakes hard for 10-15 seconds to get my RPM's down to 3000-3500.  If I have to get on my brakes more than about once every minute (preferably no more than every 2-3 minutes) I am going too fast and need to slow down and downshift.

I did have brake fade once in the last 13 years and that was in my 40' diesel pusher, on a 3-5% grade coming down US-285 into Denver from the southwest.  I was not a steep grade, so I drove at 45-50mph, pressing my brakes to often.  The brake fade snuck on me, and it was scary.  I got it stopped and the front brakes were smoking.  That is when I learned GO SLOW AND GEAR DOWN!!! 
« Last Edit: March 07, 2017, 07:36:01 AM by AStravelers »
Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado 4X4

http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/

AStravelers

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Re: Route advice please: Vancouver BC to Bryce/Zion (Las Vegas) in May
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2017, 07:33:26 AM »
If you go down I-5 there are some long pretty steep grades near the OR-CA border.  Going on I-84 coming down into Pendleton, OR there is a steep drop. If you are starting the drop at 65-70mph you are going to have a hard time slowing down.  Then leaving Pendleton then there is a long slow, pretty steep climb for about 5-6 miles.  If you expect to drive at 50-55mph going up that climb you are going to be screaming at close to your max RPM.   

Go slow at the appropriate gear selection (manually selected, not just letting the computer decide which gear to be in) and there is no problem on either route. 
Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado 4X4

http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/

Terry A. Brewer

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Re: Route advice please: Vancouver BC to Bryce/Zion (Las Vegas) in May
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2017, 11:34:56 AM »
This was taken at Bryce during our Hop Skip & Jump Rally 5/2014.

rkubara

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Re: Route advice please: Vancouver BC to Bryce/Zion (Las Vegas) in May
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2017, 02:20:52 PM »
Thank you ASTravellers and Terry, good information. Terry's photo at Bryce in May tells me a lot, unfortunately.

AStravelers

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Re: Route advice please: Vancouver BC to Bryce/Zion (Las Vegas) in May
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2017, 06:25:03 PM »
Thank you ASTravellers and Terry, good information. Terry's photo at Bryce in May tells me a lot, unfortunately.
Being in May, it is likely the snow was off the ground by noon or at the worst the next day. 

Instead of being a negative, snow, in the usual small amounts (probably 1-4 inches) you find this late in the season is a great experience.  White snow with the sandstone features features make for some outstanding scenic views!

Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado 4X4

http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/

tanglemoose

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Re: Route advice please: Vancouver BC to Bryce/Zion (Las Vegas) in May
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2017, 10:46:35 PM »
We are coming from St. George and want to go over to Bryce and highway 12.. end of March.. came down 1 15 March 1st to exit 16 and over to zion. Nice easy drive... but looking at hwy.. 14  and thinking that is not a good idea... best to go all the way to hwy. 20...  we don't want to drive in tunnels on 9.... any suggestions from those who have driven...???
Donna and Mark
and our Golden Lexie
New 2017 TT Keystone Cougar  Same model... but NEW Features!
2015 Keystone Cougar 1/2 Ton Series, 21rbswe, 26'
2013 Toyota Tundra
Living in Cold Montana Country.....

AStravelers

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Re: Route advice please: Vancouver BC to Bryce/Zion (Las Vegas) in May
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2017, 06:52:40 AM »
We are coming from St. George and want to go over to Bryce and highway 12.. end of March.. came down 1 15 March 1st to exit 16 and over to zion. Nice easy drive... but looking at hwy.. 14  and thinking that is not a good idea... best to go all the way to hwy. 20...  we don't want to drive in tunnels on 9.... any suggestions from those who have driven...???
Hwy 14 is very steep and winding.  Could even be snowed in.  If it is clear of snow and ice, driving it just depends on your mountain driving experience.  As far as taking hwy 9 through Zion, you should be under the 50' length limit, but I don't remember the height limit where you need to be escorted.  Plus there is the entrance fee for Zion.   
Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado 4X4

http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/

tanglemoose

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Re: Route advice please: Vancouver BC to Bryce/Zion (Las Vegas) in May
« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2017, 10:01:17 PM »
Hwy 14 is very steep and winding.  Could even be snowed in.  If it is clear of snow and ice, driving it just depends on your mountain driving experience.  As far as taking hwy 9 through Zion, you should be under the 50' length limit, but I don't remember the height limit where you need to be escorted.  Plus there is the entrance fee for Zion.   

We do.lots of mountain driving, but ice and mountains are never a good mix. Wondering if we should just take 59 to kanab and up to 89.... looks like better roads...
Donna and Mark
and our Golden Lexie
New 2017 TT Keystone Cougar  Same model... but NEW Features!
2015 Keystone Cougar 1/2 Ton Series, 21rbswe, 26'
2013 Toyota Tundra
Living in Cold Montana Country.....

AStravelers

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Re: Route advice please: Vancouver BC to Bryce/Zion (Las Vegas) in May
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2017, 06:18:22 PM »
We do.lots of mountain driving, but ice and mountains are never a good mix. Wondering if we should just take 59 to kanab and up to 89.... looks like better roads...
Taking 59 to Kanab and then up 89 is mostly level, no real hills.  It is the long way around.  Since you are probably short enough(under 50'), why not save yourself a loooooong drive and just go through the tunnels inside Zion?  Even if you have to pay the passage fee it would be cheaper than the long drive.

Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado 4X4

http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/

 

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