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Old 10-23-2012, 01:52 AM
Location: Texas
14,078 posts, read 17,654,955 times
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Originally Posted by ksjr88 View Post
So we're planning to go from Las Vegas to Seattle and then back. Up trip mostly highway 1, then down trip mostly highway 5. We would like to try some highway 120, 199, 196, etc. up: Clark County 215 E to WA-520 W - Google Maps
and down: WA-520 W to Clark County 215 E - Google Maps

Question is, would there be too much snow in our path? I imagine highway 1 and 5 wouldn't be close since they're major roads, but the smaller highways could? We're from Minnesota, so not strangers to snow and ice, but mountains and windy coastal roads are another story.

We'll be renting a full size car or better, would it be enough or should we get a SUV...

Thank you all for any pointers!!

Actually, your first choice linked there isn't really too bad as far as snow goes, if you cut out the trip from I-5 up toward Crater Lake, OR. There are a few places where you might run upon some snow, though, but they won't be too bad or probably last too long:

1. Mountain Springs Pass (just over the state line into California) and the California high desert from Barstow to the top of Cajon Pass. It doesn't snow that often, but it can and if it gets deep enough, CALTRANS will simply close the road until they get it plowed and dried off. Generally, though, you should be alright, but winds might be a problem.

2. PCH (Pacific Coast Highway--CA-1) rarely sees snow anywhere along it's route, though rain is common up north of San Francisco. However, it IS subject to howling storms which come blowing in off the ocean and it IS a booger to drive, especially between Bodega Bay (Watch out for The Birds!) and its end where it junctions with US-101, in the area around Ft. Bragg. It's crooked and narrow, but a spectacular drive. Once you transition to 101, plan on a stop at False Klamath Cove, between Eureka and Crescent City. There's parking there and never went by that I didn't stop and pick up pieces of redwood washed up on the beach.

3. US-199 from Crescent City, CA up to Grants Pass, OR is a magnificent journey through the Redwoods which is well worth the trip, but it is very crooked and subject to rock falls. As a general rule, if you're going to hit any snow at all, it'll begin at about the tunnel on the Oregon state line because that's the highest elevation of the route. Often, it will continue on into Grants Pass, or nearly so.

I-5 from there on up to Seattle sees very little snow, except at the summits of some little hills. Rain is far, far more common. It CAN snow, and does once or twice a year, but it generally doesn't last too long and I've never seen it get bad enough to close the road. You should be OK.

Overall, it's not a bad choice.
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:03 AM
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Thank you all for your suggestion!! We'll be going for 19 days. Partly to visit family for the holiday in LA. Our schedule make it such that this was the only time of year we could take a longer trip. When ever we visiting CA, we were always stuck in LA or SanFran, and now wanted to take in a much as we could of pacific regions.

For this trip, we'll forgo the Sierra inlet, and will just op for the ocean and desert routes. We will come go back in the summer or spring next time to take in as much of the mountain trails as possible.

One last question: we drive standard size cars at home, and rented compact to standard size cars when traveling. Is a full size needed for these routes? (UP) (Down) Or a standard sufficient. For some reason the cost is very dramatic between standard and full, vs. stand and lower classes.
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:19 AM
Location: SoCal
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Standard or even compact will be fine for the roads.

Depending how many adults you have, you might want to size up for your creature comforts. (We took a road trip with 2 adults and 2 near-adults. They all thought I was a hero for having rented a standard-size car instead of trying to shoehorn us all into our 2-door compact.)
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:38 AM
Location: Central Mass
1,972 posts, read 2,464,025 times
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Originally Posted by ksjr88 View Post
Or a standard sufficient. For some reason the cost is very dramatic between standard and full, vs. stand and lower classes.
All those roads are either state or federal highways. If it were legal, they'd be fine on a bicycle, motorcycle, tricycle, car, truck, van, ball rolling down the hill, etc.
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:43 AM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,545 posts, read 39,924,861 times
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How many are traveling?

I usually bid for compact and get std or fullsize for free. (But I prefer the economy and ezr parking of smaller.)

I reserve the cheapest car, an then bid or use Hotwire at the last minute for 'deals' I usually get something in the $12 - $16 range. But did enjoy a week in DEN for $4.95/day. I put 3500 miles on the clock.

19 days is substantial time out and about. You might consider the weather in PNW. You will be pretty safe up to Roseburg, OR, but north will likely be dreary and cold (potentially windy). Northern CA and NV; UT National Parks, AZ, So CA parks / desert. Would all be a higher priority than PNW for me (in winter).

I can ezly spend a week in SF area, and I really enjoy staying at Ft Mason Hostel. The proximity and people are worth any 'hostel' roughness.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by scorpio516 View Post
hahahaha.... yea, I wish I have the stamina to ride something like this for the trip.

We, my wife and I, really appreciate all the advice! I now know, the two of us will be very happy on the road. Thank you all for the help!!!!
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