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Author Topic: Washington State to Arizona  (Read 1469 times)

Venturi49

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Washington State to Arizona
« on: January 18, 2018, 11:33:19 AM »
So we are driving from Wash State to the Phoenix area in a few weeks and being winter time was wondering which route would be the best. I5 down through California or 93 through Nevada. Google maps say only about an hour difference. Tia

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Re: Washington State to Arizona
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2018, 11:42:44 AM »
At this time of year the weather should determine the route you take. There could be snow on either route.
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Lou Schneider

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Re: Washington State to Arizona
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2018, 01:45:45 PM »
Welcome to The RV Forum!

I-5 is a major Interstate artery.  The major snow areas are the Siskiyou Mountains in southern Oregon/Northern California (including Siskiyou Pass) and maybe the Tehachapi Mountains in Southern CA.  The rest of the way through California it's close to sea level and snow free.

The heavy traffic alone on I-5 helps keep the roadway clear.  If it does need closure due to an active snowstorm it's usually only for a day or less.

US 93 is a more lightly traveled highway, and it's at a higher elevation than most of I-5.

Note that Oregon chain law requires you to carry chains for the rear axle of your tow vehicle and one trailer axle in snow areas.  This applies to both I-5 and US 93.

Like Tom said, let the weather determine which way you go.  In any event, don't be afraid to stop for a day or two if needed until the conditions improve.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 01:53:10 PM by Lou Schneider »

Roy M

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Re: Washington State to Arizona
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2018, 08:23:51 PM »
Where are you in Washington? If in Spokane I-5 is not very practical.

johnaye

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Re: Washington State to Arizona
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2018, 08:49:46 PM »
Assuming you are using I 5, your choice of route will depend on the day of the week you hit LA.  If you hit LA on the weekend, then I5 to I 210 to HW 57 to I 10 to Phoenix is a great route.  If you hit LA on a week day, I would go I 5 to CA 58 through Bakersfield and Mohave to Barstow.  Then I40 to Flagstaff to I17 to Phoenix, or if the weather is bad HW 95 from Needles to I 10 to Phoenix.  Going through Sacramento at rush hour is going  be a pain, but doable.  Going through LA or Bakersfield is about the same driving time unless you hit rush hour in LA.  In that case, LA is much slower.  BYW, the weather in Phoenix is great right now.
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99dart

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Re: Washington State to Arizona
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2018, 09:19:08 AM »
I know this is an old thread. But, there is already info relevant to my question. We will be heading south to Arizona for the first time ever. The plan is to leave home (Wenatchee,WA) the last week of January after kids travel here for the Christmas holiday. I know the route from here through southern Oregon. My concerns are the route through California. We would be coming down I- 5 from Oregon to Sacramento, then thinking of catching 99
 to Bakersfield. Is that route going to have too much stop-an-go because of traffic lights? Or, should I stay on 5 down to Bakersfield,then 58 to Barstow, 247 into the Palm Springs area. (wanting to miss LA altogether).
 I hope some of you know this area. Thanks
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Lou Schneider

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Re: Washington State to Arizona
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2018, 11:05:31 AM »
CA 99 is freeway all the way from Sacramento to Bakersfield so there aren't any traffic lights to worry about.

99 is the original highway through the Central Valley so it follows an older right of way through several towns and it will have local traffic going from one town to another.

I-5 between Los Banos and Wheeler Ridge was opened in 1972 as a through route between Sacramento-San Francisco and Los Angeles and is entirely rural south of Stockton.  It can be a speedway as all of it's traffic is travelling it's full length.

If you're in a hurry, take I-5 then 46 or Lerdo Highway through Shafter to 99 north of Bakersfield.  If you're not, 99 is a good alternative.  Just avoid the rush hours through Stockton and Fresno.

You'll have some grades to climb on 247 between Barstow and  Lucerne Valley but it's a good drive.  Don't be tempted to take 395 or I-15 to CA 18 east.  Lots of stoplights and bumper to bumper traffic through Victorville and Apple Valley.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2018, 12:52:33 PM by Lou Schneider »

99dart

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Re: Washington State to Arizona
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2018, 12:24:54 PM »
Thank you! That's what I wanted to know. I hate the freeway traffic, especially thru Portland! I've gotten jammed up several times with MH pulling the toad.
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Utclmjmpr

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Re: Washington State to Arizona
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2018, 12:56:19 PM »
  Your going to experience the horrible condition of I5.>>>Dan
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BIG JOE

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Re: Washington State to Arizona
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2018, 07:10:10 PM »
I-5 S to Ca 46 E to Ca 99 S to Bakersfield. Then Ca 58 E to Barstow, then I-40 to Needles. Then Ca 95 S to Vidal Junction, left (ca 62 E) to Parker Az. Then Az 62 E to Vicksburg Rd., turn south to I-10E...... to Phoenix.

All good roads. Minimal Traffic. No LA. (99 from Sacramento to Bakersfield is FULL of local truck traffic) Great Scenery?
 
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Old_Crow

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Re: Washington State to Arizona
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2018, 08:29:09 AM »
  Your going to experience the horrible condition of I5.>>>Dan

Having traveled both 99 and I-5 between Stockton and Bakersfield in the last 4 weeks, I've got to say that as bad as some sections of I5 are, 99 is in overall worse shape.  Less traffic on I5 also.
If they hadn't closed Tioga pass the day before we left, we'd have gone over the top and taken 395 south. 
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99dart

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Re: Washington State to Arizona
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2018, 08:13:02 AM »
Thanks for your responses guys!  This is the first time I've gotten back here since the T-giving hustle.   
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99dart

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Re: Washington State to Arizona
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2018, 08:30:22 AM »
So, I-5 is better all the way to Bakersfield... Copy that.   :))
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Lou Schneider

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Re: Washington State to Arizona
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2018, 10:47:58 AM »
I-5 is a raceway,  with everyone on it travelling the full distance.  You'll have cars bunching up in packs and most of the time there will be long stretches of open road between them.

Packs form when cars back up behind trucks passing one another, blocking both lanes.  With a 15 MPH differential between the truck and car speed limits, it doesn't take long for the faster moving cars to stack up behind the trucks.  When the passing truck moves back into the right lane, the bunched up drivers begin a scramble that can last for miles as they try to pass the current leader and reach the coveted open road in front of him.

None of them seem to realize you can get the same result by simply backing off and letting the other drivers speed on their way.  That's the secret to a stress free trip.  Just back off and let the pack of 10-20 cars pass you by and enjoy the open road behind them.

I've occasionally taken an offramp, paused at the top and then gotten back onto the freeway to get away from a particularly aggressive group.

Remember, California's 55 MPH truck speed limit includes all vehicles towing anything, including motorhomes with tow cars.  Truckers who run that route regularly know exactly how much they can fudge the 55 mph lumit so run at their speed, not the faster car speed limit.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2018, 11:13:21 AM by Lou Schneider »

Lou Schneider

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Re: Washington State to Arizona
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2018, 11:25:24 AM »
An interesting diversion from freeway driving is to take 99 south from Stockton,  then take CA 43 at Selma, south of Fresno.  After a couple miles of city traffic, 43 is a nice rural road that parallels the railroad tracks all the way to Bakersfield. It also bypasses most of the rough road sections of 99.

If it's open, an interesting stop is Col. Allensworth State Park, a farming community founded by free Blacks after the Civil War and later failed due to water problems.  It has a visitor center, several restored town buildings and homes, and a campground for smaller RVs.

Take Lerdo Highway east from Shafter to return to 99.  It's a rural 4 lane divided highway and you'll avoid the truck traffic on  CA 46.

« Last Edit: November 30, 2018, 11:30:27 AM by Lou Schneider »

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Re: Washington State to Arizona
« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2018, 12:04:32 PM »
An interesting diversion from freeway driving is to take 99 south from Stockton,  then take CA 43 at Selma, south of Fresno.  After a couple miles of city traffic, 43 is a nice rural road that parallels the railroad tracks all the way to Bakersfield. It also bypasses most of the rough road sections of 99.

If it's open, an interesting stop is Col. Allensworth State Park, a farming community founded by free Blacks after the Civil War and later failed due to water problems.  It has a visitor center, several restored town buildings and homes, and a campground for smaller RVs.

Take Lerdo Highway east from Shafter to return to 99.  It's a rural 4 lane divided highway and you'll avoid the truck traffic on  CA 46.

 Totally Agree Lou  :)) :))

Ca. 43 is the Way To Go... but worthy of note is: There are 2 (new) Round' About's on 43 theze dayz.. one in Hanford, one near Corcoran. Jus' be ready for those ?? Many folks haven't figured out how they work.. especially if yer towing ?
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99dart

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Re: Washington State to Arizona
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2018, 09:51:32 AM »
Thanks for all the input guys. Lot's to consider.
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NMDriver

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Re: Washington State to Arizona
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2018, 02:29:47 PM »
To add to the options I regularly go from San Francisco to my home in NM via the Phoenix area (I actually use the Buckeye to Gila Bend route to avoid Phoenix).

Anyway, my preferred route is I-5 to the top of the grape vine just past Lebec and use CA 138 over to I-15 down to I-215 to I-10.  That avoids most of LA traffic, does not add any time and puts me back on I-10 just as it leaves LA.

The problem for me, with using I-40 from Barstow east, which I have done many times, is the fewer places to get fuel for a reasonable price and the slightly greater chance of winter driving conditions. It also adds an hour or so to your trip but that is not a big factor in most cases. For sure do not continue on up to Flagstaff on I-40 and use I-17 in winter. While a scenic route it put you back up to 7000ft and snow country. Using US 95 at Needles, Ca to get to AZ 95 at Parker via CA 62 at Vidal Junction is doable but again it is a long way between reasonable fuel points and support facilities.

I find the 1-5 to CA 138 to I-10 route the easiest to find fuel, food, rest areas, etc. and it avoids most of the LA traffic without getting into desolate areas where fuel is twice the price per gallon.
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wackymac

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Re: Washington State to Arizona
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2018, 02:36:16 PM »
When we are coming from Santa Cruz, CA we go 101 to 46 to 99 to 58 then east on 58 to Barstow. Then I-40 to Needles and then 95 to Blythe and then catch I-10.
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Re: Washington State to Arizona
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2018, 03:01:49 PM »
The problem for me, with using I-40 from Barstow east, which I have done many times, is the fewer places to get fuel for a reasonable price and the slightly greater chance of winter driving conditions.

If I'm taking I-40 I fill up in Barstow. That gives me than enough fuel to get to one of the truckstops at AZ 95 past the CA/AZ border.

AZ 95 is 20 miles or so east of Needles.  If you're taking US 95 on the California side south from Needles, a short detour north through Needles to the Arizona side of the Colorado River will save you close to a buck a gallon compared to Needles prices.  There's a Mobil station just north of the river and an Arco with diesel and room for big rigs less than a mile further north.

One time I saw a California CHP car fueling up at the Arizona Mobil station.  In the immortal words of Stan Lee,  'nuff said.   ;)
« Last Edit: December 08, 2018, 03:23:14 PM by Lou Schneider »

NMDriver

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Re: Washington State to Arizona
« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2018, 04:04:03 PM »
If I'm taking I-40 I fill up in Barstow. That gives me than enough fuel to get to one of the truckstops at AZ 95 past the CA/AZ border.

AZ 95 is 20 miles or so east of Needles.  If you're taking US 95 on the California side south from Needles, a short detour north through Needles to the Arizona side of the Colorado River will save you close to a buck a gallon compared to Needles prices.  There's a Mobil station just north of the river and an Arco with diesel and room for big rigs less than a mile further north.

One time I saw a California CHP car fueling up at the Arizona Mobil station.  In the immortal words of Stan Lee,  'nuff said.   ;)

When I am going on east on I-40 I use the Exit 8/AZ 95 junction Truck stops or just go on up to Kingman. Westbound I always fill up at the AZ 95 fuel stop. When I lived in Oxnard and had family in Albuquerque that was a every other month trip for me. Now I am back in NM and the kids are in SF Bay area so it is a 3-4 times a year trip.

Using AZ 95 to get down to I-10 is not a good route IMO unless you want to deal with Lake Havasu traffic or find a nice camp ground on the AZ side of the river.  I just make sure I have enough fuel to get down to Parker from Barstow using US 95 and CA 62 when I use I-40 in CA. Barstow to Parker is 210 miles and I can do that unless the headwinds reduce my mileage to 7 mpg, which they have not done yet pulling the 5er  ;D.

My preferred route is still I-10 and I use the TA in Indio as a fuel stop to get me to Exit 45 on I-10 in AZ, past the goat rope involved at the border and Quartzsite fuel points.
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