It is October and I need to travel in an RV, towing a small car, from Salt Lake City to Denver. I'm concerned about road conditions at this time of the year and don't want to get caught in snow. Is it better to go I-80 through Wyoming and then down into Denver? Or, is it better to go south from SLC and the east on I-70. I'm not too concerned about time as I have several days to do it in, but I'm concerned about road conditions, rest areas appropriate for RVs and not wanting snow. I'm a single woman traveling solo.


Both ways would probably be fine during October. Major snowfall can happen in October, but it's rare for it to close the highway for long. Your entire drive will be around 12 hours (I'm adding plenty of extra time since you're in an RV towing a car and you'll be driving alone).

You say that you have a few days to do this trip in, so I would just decide which way you're going as close to the departure time as possible. That way, you can watch the weather, and decide on a different route if snow is expected on one of the highways.

Assuming the weather is fine, I'd probably choose to take 80 because it's interstate freeway the entire time, which I'd feel more comfortable with (since I'm not usually driving an RV or towing a car).

  • given the more southerly track, wouldn't I70 be less likely to experience an early snow fall? – jwenting Oct 10 '13 at 5:35
  • 2
    @jwenting: In the western US, higher elevations get much more snow. The highest elevation on I-80 is about 8,600 feet, while on I-70 it is 11,158. – Nate Eldredge Dec 24 '13 at 2:42
  • I-80 benefits from following the original Transcontinental Railroad route over the Sherman Summit area (the railroad itself uses the Hermosa Tunnels which allow it to stay a bit lower), which is a much lower pass than what's available for I-70 to run through. Also, I-70 uses the Eisenhower Tunnels to get under the mountains, while I-80 does not have to tunnel at all. – UnrecognizedFallingObject Dec 3 '14 at 3:41

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