Travel tips: What are the must-dos things on a road trip along Route 66 and the American West?

Travelling to Utah from mid-December, landing inos Angeles and contemplating a three-week drive to Salt Lake City and back via Las Vegas. Any thoughts for Utah, Arizona and Route 66, re car rental, must dos and accommodation? G. and N. Clark, Lilyfield

A road trip through the American West is a classic journey but I'm worried about your timing. Apart from LA and Las Vegas you're heading into seriously cold country. At Flagstaff, close to the Grand Canyon, the average daily temperature for December is between -8 and 6C. Santa Fe is exactly the same and in Salt Lake City you can expect a brisk -5 to 3C. I've travelled through this region with my family at Easter and in Taos New Mexico we woke up to find our car covered by a foot of snow, and I was told that's not so unusual. One of the major attractions in this region is the national parks but this is not a great time to visit them. In Yellowstone most of the roads are closed from early November. Almost certainly you'll have to fit snow chains to traverse some of the roads at this time of the year. If the road trip is an important component of your visit to the USA, I'd wait until April at the very earliest. As for routes, National Geographic has a website dedicated to America's best road trips [] with plenty of helpful information. Take a look at the Route 66 website[] and for accommodation rely on the roadside motels, a story in themselves.


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