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Old 09-14-2003, 06:36 PM   #1
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Question Best time of year for WA to AZ trip?

Over the years some friends have moved from here in WA to Pheonix, AZ, and since we have the trailer now, we thought it would be a great trip to head down there and visit them all in one swoop. We've never gotten out of the NW though, except by flying somewhere (and not much of that).

Any tips for picking the best time of year to go to AZ, or picking the best route to take? I've heard summers are bad because it's too hot down there, but winters are bad here because you have to cross snowy mountain passes to get anywhere. We had a bad accident a few years ago where we hit black ice and rolled and totalled our Geo Tracker, so I'm pretty nervous about going anywhere if there's snow around. We'd like to take highways, but I guess for speed it would be better to shoot down the interstates. How does one go about planning a big trip like this?
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Old 09-14-2003, 07:33 PM   #2
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You really don't want to visit Arizona in the summer.

Trust me on this - I live here.

You know how the Eskimos have thirty-two different words for "snow?" We have thirty two different words for how hot it is.

Right now, in fact, it's "too hot."

We also feature such all-time favorites as:

Way too hot!
Way too freakin' hot!
Screamin' hot!
Double screamin' hot!
Hotter than he!!!

...and of course, everyone's favorite...

Double screamin' hotter than he!!

Why don't you leave there before the snows hit, and come down the coast. You shouldn't hit much snow that way.

Arizona is much, much nicer in the winter.

Don
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Old 09-14-2003, 07:38 PM   #3
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I agree wholeheartedly with Don: avoid the summers. If you've not been here, do yourself a favor, avoid it like the plague. This time of year, the evenings are getting nice, finally, but the daytime temperature is probably still too hot for you non-desert dwellers. Give it another month and it will be good until mid-May for you to visit. If you do come out this winter, you better look us up as well

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Old 09-14-2003, 07:52 PM   #4
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Hi,

My husband and I enjoy taking trips in the fall - September/October timeframe. We live in Colorado and have taken several trips to Oregon and Washington. Last year we flew to Seattle and then drove to the San Juan Islands. The year before that we drove from Colorado to Brookings, OR and headed North; one year we drove to OR started in the North and drove south. One of my very favorite trips was to WA - drove the entire coast - just loved Beach Number Four! First time in WA and our three trips to OR after that were our very first trips to OR.

We however have not traveled with an RV (just purchased ours in July). We are planning a fall trip to Moab this year in the RV. This will be our first real trip!

I would think a fall trip from WA to AZ would be just wonderful. I don't know what the "fall" weather is like in AZ; hopefully not too hot!

You would have to plan out your trip and watch the weather reports. If things got bad, weather wise, then you would just have to stop over for a few days. The fall snows don't last very long. I bet you could plan your routes so that you are not traveling over the mountain passes very much (worst somes to worst) travel thru OR, CA and Nevada. However, you would miss the most beautiful parts of the country - Idaho, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado! Take one route going and then another one going back!

Good luck and remember half the fun is in the planning of a trip!

Sheila
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Old 09-14-2003, 11:55 PM   #5
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There's so much to see, I don't know which way we should go yet. We've had some really good trips where we knew a lot about the area and had it all planned out, and other fun trips where we planned nothing, and it was all a surprise. Obviously we need to see the Grand Canyon on the way there, and Meteor Crater. I'm sure there's lots more that I don't even know I need to see!

Definitly sounds like summer's out - we'd melt. So we'll aim for winter or spring. Driving down the coast seems like a good plan. At least it stays mild.

We'll definitly let y'all know when we get our plans together and head down that way. I'm sure I'll have many more questions before then.
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Old 09-15-2003, 12:20 AM   #6
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Take the drive down 101 - up until you hit about 200 miles into California it stays a decent little highway - then swap out onto 5 then cut across. Tons of interesting small towns that you can actually park your RV on the beach with full hook-ups, and it is just simply a breathtaking view the entire drive. I did that last year going to Las Vegas and it was simply incredible. I didn't plan anything at all for my trip - just used the Woodall's guide and phoned a few hours before arriving and always found a spot.
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Old 09-20-2003, 12:33 PM   #7
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Wink Wait till November (for Phoenix)

I've lived here 4 years now and it doesn't start to get pleasant outdoors till late October and November. But I'm only referring to Phoenix and Tucson. It was 35 degrees F at the Grand Canyon this morning (supposed to be 105 here in Phoenix today). Flagstaff actually has winter. I've seen I-40 snowed over in November around Flag. I like hiking the canyon in October.
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Old 09-20-2003, 01:58 PM   #8
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ALL good advice!Definitely forget summer.The climate in S. CA. and AZ are great in the spring and you can hit the desert in bloom which can be spectacular.You also have your pick of any of the beautiful N.P.'s like Yosesmite,King's Cyn.,Sequioia ,Joshua Tree in CA and you can go back up through Vegas and see the great Zion N.P. after the Grand Cyn and some of old Rte.'66.Just do 'em before school is out,while you can get campgound spots.
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Old 09-20-2003, 03:27 PM   #9
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Sounds like a blast. I guess I don't know much about all the parks down that way. I'll have to do some reading up. I know the Grand Canyon was probably on the list to swing by, since we'll be down there anyway, and of course we have to take a gander at LV - hang onto the wallet and keep going of course! Thanks for the advice!
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Old 09-20-2003, 06:15 PM   #10
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National Parks link

Steph:
Here's the link for dining, dancing and reading pleasure:

http://www.nps.gov/parks.html
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Old 09-27-2003, 03:17 AM   #11
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Do share your adventures as to which route you take across the mountain range in Oregon/ Ca border. Have had close calls right by Yreka, Ca and the descent right out it! Always looking for an easier way up to see beautiful Northwest from LA. F
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Old 09-27-2003, 11:23 AM   #12
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I'm thinking we'll try going straight down 101, swing by Hearst Castle, and then cut into the center of the state, maybe around Bakersfield, and take I40 over to AZ, swing by Meteor Crater, then head down to Pheonix. It would be nice to follow old Rt66 wherever we could pick it up along the way. It will take longer than running straight down I5, but more interesting too.

What kind of trouble did you have on I5 near Yreka? I'm not a big fan of I5, even when it's clear and dry, people drive like nuts on it, I'm very hesitant to take it over the mountains in the winter. And I used to live in S. OR, so I know the winters can be pretty severe right along the border. We do not get any snow up here, so I'm very nervous about hitting snow in the passes. We'll do whatever's necessary to avoid it.
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