Where to go on a road trip this week?
November 12, 2019 8:21 AM   Subscribe

Can someone recommend me a general target destination for a road trip this week, starting from San Francisco and going... probably east? Hopefully places that aren't *too* icy/snowy?

I'm in the SF Bay Area right now and would like to go on a road trip this week. It isn't really planned, I suddenly had to shove all my work PTO into the next 2 weeks because of scheduling chaos. So I figured a road trip would be affordable and I've done it a few times before.

However, since it's november, I figure a lot of places outside of CA are really icy/snowy. Typical californian that I am, although I can easily access snow if I feel like it, I've never actually driven in icy/snowy conditions beyond a little snow sprinkle. I've already gone on road trips through Nevada, Arizona, Oregon and Washington (in the spring) and was hoping to avoid returning to those places, which just leaves eastern states. Can someone recommend me a general target destination where I can easily sleep in my car (with lots of blankets/sleeping bag) and not worry too much about black ice (or if there is ice, at least let me swerve into an empty roadside and not off a cliff LOL). Would major highways/streets be less likely to have these hazards?

Also, if anyone has general tips for cold road trips let me know. I was planning on renting a car rather than using my own car.
posted by picklenickle to Travel & Transportation around United States (8 answers total)
What about heading north instead? Lots of beauty up that way, and snow is unlikely. Point Reyes is amazing—if you haven't been, def consider it.
posted by ottereroticist at 8:47 AM on November 12, 2019

I was going to suggest the opposite- drive south to Baja. Though I will say, having slept in a car on road trips in Southern California in the winter, it can be fairly cold (there's also still a risk of more fires since it hasn't rained yet).
posted by pinochiette at 8:56 AM on November 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

I was going to say south to Palm Springs, Anza Borrego, or Joshua Tree. It can still get snowy/freeze-drizzly in the passes into and out of LA, or in the Angeles National Forest if you go that way to skip LA, but it's not really precipitation season yet.

If you're not using Park4Night already, you'll want that app as you go.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:10 AM on November 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

I was also going to suggest north -- Pt. Reyes, Mendocino, and if you're really up for it, Fern Canyon.
posted by BlahLaLa at 9:28 AM on November 12, 2019

I would go east through Nevada (quickly, since you've already done that) and on into Utah and western Colorado, where it will be sunny and, at lower elevations, not terribly cold. Looks like you could expect high 50's or low 60's in Moab or Grand Junction, either of which would make a reasonable destination. I expect you can find national forest or BLM land along your route where you can sleep in your car in some quiet scenic spot for free. If you have enough time and want to go further, I would then head south into New Mexico, and then if you want to go even further, through southern Texas. You could head for Big Bend National Park and/or the Gulf of Mexico.
posted by Redstart at 9:38 AM on November 12, 2019

If you're renting, make sure you can bring the car out of state if you plan on doing that. I'd probably go southeast to Sequoia National Park, Death Valley, and then over to Palm Springs/Joshua Tree/ Salton Sea/Salvation Mountain. You could go all the way out to Santa Fe, New Mexico to see Meow Wolf if you have enough time. There are some gorgeous national parks on the way.
posted by quince at 12:19 PM on November 12, 2019

Bumpas Hell
posted by at at 12:40 PM on November 12, 2019

Sea Ranch/Gualala! Or Mendocino! God's own country up there, friendly people, grocery stores and restaurants and just oodles and oodles of nature and coastline!
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 4:12 PM on November 12, 2019

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