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Old 12-03-2018, 10:13 PM   #1
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North and South Routes to Grand Junction from California

Planning on road tripping to visit family in Grand Junction for the holidays. Our home is in Southern California and have made this drive I-15 to I-70 during the summer without issues. However we will be making this same trip during the winter months and are considering taking I-40 to Flagstaff then up Hwy 89 to Hwy 160 to Hwy191 to I-70 into Grand Junction.

Has anyone done this route? Pros Cons..... how's the grade and are the roads well kept? We know how the grade is going up through Fishlake National Forest and on the return up to the vista at Capitol Reef....but are they any worse or better on Hwys 89, 160 and 191 into Moab?

Any insight would be much appreciated. Just want to have options in case the weather decides to test us on this trip. Thanks!

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Old 12-04-2018, 12:39 AM   #2
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I've been on both routes however with a Jeep not an RV. Once in a whiteout between Blanding on Monticello on 191. Blanding is at 6100 ft so elevation wise it's a wash and the roads in Southern UT are a little more winding. Don't remember any steep grades but it's been a while. Personally I'd stick to the Interstate if possible, more services and probably cleared faster if there's a snow dump.

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Old 12-14-2018, 10:51 PM   #3
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I also recommend staying on the interstates at that time of year. However, if you do use U.S. 191, cut some miles off the end of the trip by using UT 128 from Moab to Cisco/I-70. It takes you beside the river for much of its length.

An alternative would be to stay on U.S. 160 to Cortez, then use U.S. 491 to Dove Creek, CO 141 to Whitewater, and U.S. 50 into GJ. This is the "scenic route" through the Dolores River and Unaweep canyons. But there are no passes to cross and normally very little snow. If you use this route, don't miss stopping at the Gateway Auto Museum!

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Old 12-14-2018, 10:59 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by fanrgs View Post
I also recommend staying on the interstates at that time of year.

Absolutely. The interstate will get the most attention from road maintenance crews and if you do have a problem assistance will be a lot quicker.

I tried going an "alternate route" one winter through that part of the country and found myself pushing through 6" of unplowed snow ------------- and I had no chains. Vehicle was brand new and I was taking it "Home".
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