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Old 01-05-2017, 07:20 PM
 
Location: USA
1,722 posts, read 601,298 times
Reputation: 3809

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Hello, All...

Late notice, but tomorrow morning I begin my trek from Phoenix to Seattle. I want to find a route which takes me out of winter snow's way, since I'm a girl traveling alone. I'm not afraid to drive in snow or on icy roads, since I lived in New England for decades & did it most of my life, but since I have 1.5K-mi to drive with a gnarly cold, I'd like to avoid bad weather & find the safest, fastest route. My main concern is getting stuck with road closures.

According to Google Maps, I can take:
93N to 84W
84W (which brings me through ID, which I think I should be avoiding this time of year, no?)
10W to 5N (which adds only a bit of mileage, but probably a LOT of time as I'll have to make it through Riverside / L.A. traffic, then up thru many major cities on 5N.)

Can anyone who is familiar with these roads, give me their opinion on the best route based on experience? When I look up the DOT sites for each state, I honestly can't really tell much regarding closures on 93 or 84. Maybe that's as there aren't any. I've lived in CO where we had them in the winter & was just assuming ID, N OR or S WA might have them, too?

Thank you so much for any help!

P.S. I'm happy to just drive thru L.A. on 10, then take 5N for peace of mind, but does 5N ever have closures?
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Old 01-05-2017, 08:41 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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Southern Route (I-10 & I-5) are much safer weatherwise (I sometimes cut north (215) out of Riverside to Bakersfield, but 210 across north LA is probably faster (off hours). I got hammered by high winds in Mojave last time I tried the 'short-cut'.

You can check 511 for current conditions, I-5 has siskiyou pass
https://www.tripcheck.com/TextPages/...p?curRegion=7#

I have avoided the Siskiyous by heading to the coast / CA 101. but that is not fast (I just wanted Breakfast in Samoa Cookhouse...) got into freezing fog along coast, so... I-5 would have been best (Dec trip)

BTW: I LOVE driving in snow (grew up as a CO / WY truckdriver), but... if YOU have the choice.... play it safe, the elapsed time is very close either route, ID, UT, OR is a winter risk.
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Old 01-05-2017, 09:35 PM
 
Location: USA
1,722 posts, read 601,298 times
Reputation: 3809
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Southern Route (I-10 & I-5) are much safer weatherwise (I sometimes cut north (215) out of Riverside to Bakersfield, but 210 across north LA is probably faster (off hours). I got hammered by high winds in Mojave last time I tried the 'short-cut'.

You can check 511 for current conditions, I-5 has siskiyou pass
https://www.tripcheck.com/TextPages/...p?curRegion=7#

I have avoided the Siskiyous by heading to the coast / CA 101. but that is not fast (I just wanted Breakfast in Samoa Cookhouse...) got into freezing fog along coast, so... I-5 would have been best (Dec trip)

BTW: I LOVE driving in snow (grew up as a CO / WY truckdriver), but... if YOU have the choice.... play it safe, the elapsed time is very close either route, ID, UT, OR is a winter risk.
This is really great info, Stealth, thank you so much. I was hoping a trucker would reply. I usually let my GPS guide me on the fastest route & although I have traffic assist, it doesn't take me around wildfires or flooding unless there's an established detour. Since I've had my fair share of snow, including blizzards & hurricanes, I'm fine to enjoy clear, sunny CA roads whenever possible.

You're right in that 101 is a slow drive. Last year, I took a long trip up 101 with my 84-yr old mum. We were supposed to go from SDiego to WA. I thought she'd enjoy it. The contrarion octogenarian didn't & I was a bit peeved I didn't take 5N. I couldn't make it passed San Francisco, when her crankiness got to me. Usually parents tell their kids to behave, lest they turn around the car & everyone goes home. This time, I had to say it to mum. She's safely back in FL & I'm sure she got coal for Christmas.

BTW, I think my GPS usually guides me around L.A. via 215, or at least I'm on that road for awhile & I'm glad you mentioned it... I've got a Garmin update which I should do tonight.

BTW, why do you avoid Siskiyou Pass - snow, wind, slow traffic... could there possibly be a road closure?

Thanks again, Stealth. I appreciate your help.
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Old 01-05-2017, 10:00 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,540 posts, read 39,914,033 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A.Typical.Girl View Post
...
BTW, why do you avoid Siskiyou Pass - snow, wind, slow traffic... could there possibly be a road closure?

.
There can be snow closures on Siskiyou Summit, but it is rare (high traffic route / well plowed, not often cold and icy)

use 511 while in Sacramento, or just plan to cross midday (warm and sunny).

Best wishes, and yes... I know a tad about 'caring for parents'... got my disabled dad the day I turned 18, and for next 32 yrs. He hated every minute and made sure I knew it!

Count your blessings, sometimes you need to name them "one-by-one" to realize just how many you have!

Safe journeys, honk when you cross into WA! (I am a 'river' border dweller) Looks to be cold and clear till Sunday, then light snow, and RAIN by Tuesday. I-5 is usually clear / low enough elevation to avoid snow. I am HIGH and windy and been iced in for a long spell (rare).
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Old 01-05-2017, 11:11 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,081 posts, read 22,924,480 times
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I-5 is your best option, as it will be sanded, plowed, etc.

Medford just got a record snowfall of around 8 inches. But, I'd still prefer I-5 to Hwy 101. The weather at the north CA coast can be really severe with high winds in winter, and there is a lot of construction on Hwy 101 due to landslides, which causes delays while you wait for the pilot cars.

As far as from northern CA to Seattle, I-5 is always your best bet this time of year, in my opinion, because the roads are cared for and well traveled. I've lived all over this area and up into Bellingham and to the Canadian border.

Plus, there will be plenty of traffic and you should have cell phone service most of the way, if not all of the way, if you stay on I-5, so it's safer, too.

If you don't have any, get some chains at Walmart you can just return if you don't need them :-)
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Old 01-06-2017, 12:23 AM
 
Location: USA
1,722 posts, read 601,298 times
Reputation: 3809
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
use 511 while in Sacramento, or just plan to cross midday (warm and sunny).
Okay, thanks, that's good to know when to begin watching the pass.

Quote:
Best wishes, and yes... I know a tad about 'caring for parents'... got my disabled dad the day I turned 18, and for next 32 yrs. He hated every minute and made sure I knew it! Count your blessings, sometimes you need to name them "one-by-one" to realize just how many you have!
Yes, I understand. My mum's just spoiled by me. Like you, our roles were reversed. And, you're right... many of us are so lucky. But, I'm still not traveling cross country with mum again & you can't make me.

Quote:
Safe journeys, honk when you cross into WA! (I am a 'river' border dweller) Looks to be cold and clear till Sunday, then light snow, and RAIN by Tuesday. I-5 is usually clear / low enough elevation to avoid snow. I am HIGH and windy and been iced in for a long spell (rare).
Will do. You know I was in Palm Springs last week... looks like I'll be there again tomorrow... & I overheard a man saying he came back to PS to his 2nd home, as his 1st home in SEA was too cold & there was snow. I was hoping he was just so used to CA desert heat that he felt anything under 55 was cold.

Thank you so much again. I'll honk for rabbits at the OR-WA border. May take awhile, as I've got a gnarly cold, so I don't think I can do my usual 450-500 mi/day. Stay warm.
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Old 01-06-2017, 12:56 AM
 
Location: USA
1,722 posts, read 601,298 times
Reputation: 3809
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
I-5 is your best option, as it will be sanded, plowed, etc.

Medford just got a record snowfall of around 8 inches. But, I'd still prefer I-5 to Hwy 101. The weather at the north CA coast can be really severe with high winds in winter, and there is a lot of construction on Hwy 101 due to landslides, which causes delays while you wait for the pilot cars.
Thank you for reinforcing the best route, NMS. And, you know what, I forgot that last Oct when I was driving 101, we happened upon a portion of the road that had 1 lane completely filled with landslide dirt. It was pretty dangerous to traverse, since drivers kept pulling into the wrong lane, which was scary as the road was so windy at that part, you couldn't see them over the dirt piles. Fortunately, I'll be sticking to 5 this time.

Quote:
As far as from northern CA to Seattle, I-5 is always your best bet this time of year, in my opinion, because the roads are cared for and well traveled. I've lived all over this area and up into Bellingham and to the Canadian border.

Plus, there will be plenty of traffic and you should have cell phone service most of the way, if not all of the way, if you stay on I-5, so it's safer, too.
Very good on the road & the cell reception. If I don't call my mum 3 times/day, she sends the police. No kidding. When I was in Palm Springs, trying to get some sleep with my cold, I didn't return 1 of her calls soon enough. She called the front desk & since they couldn't give her any info (not sure why they didn't put her thru to my room), she called the police to check on me. They were very nice about me hacking & coughing on them.

I think she watches too many of those FBI serial killer programs... lol.

Quote:
If you don't have any, get some chains at Walmart you can just return if you don't need them :-)
I honestly don't know what to do with chains or know when I'd need them. Do you need them on all 4 wheels? Why would it be any different than driving in New England snow & ice? I've never used chains there. BTW, I have a small SUV, if that matters. Honda CR-V & it's filled to the brim with belongings, so pretty heavy.

Again, thank you for your help.
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Old 01-06-2017, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Seattle
1,531 posts, read 1,311,621 times
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Just a note for winter travel in the I-5 corridor...

It's not just snow over Siskiyou Summit (CA/OR border) that can pose problems; you can often get icy conditions on I-5 south of the Siskiyous (from Redding on north) and on some of the low summits in Oregon between Grants Pass and the Willamette Valley. Especially in the evening and early morning, I've had real hair-raising times with black ice (which as you can surmise is pretty invisible) in these areas, and I've done this route in winter many times.

If you can afford a few extra hours (around 4-5 wheels turning) and if you're able to see this thread while you're underway, I'd recommend taking CA Hwy 20 west from I-5 (around Williams) to US 101 near Ukiah, then stay on US 101 up to Oregon. This will take you through the redwoods and along the scenic southern Oregon coast, and while it's likely to be wet the chances of snow and ice on the road are minimal compared to I-5.

To return to I-5 use Oregon Hwy 38 from Reedsport to Drain. It's not only the quickest road from the coast back to I-5 it's also the most scenic; keep your eyes peeled for numerous Roosevelt elk on the roadside just east of Reedsport and before you enter the pretty canyon carved out by the Umpqua River.

Here's a map with this route: https://goo.gl/maps/LghTEgKb2k12
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Old 01-06-2017, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Airports all over the world
6,152 posts, read 6,320,285 times
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They are forecasting snow starting Sat morning and then freezing rain Sat afternoon/night in the Portland, OR area. Traffic pretty much came to a standstill when this happened a couple weeks ago.
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Old 01-06-2017, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Hougary, Texberta
8,576 posts, read 11,065,012 times
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Any week other than this one, I'd totally agree with all the other posters. Unfortunately NorCal is going to be hit with once in 25 year storms right now.


My vote is to go up at US 95 through Laughlin to Vegas to I-15 and take I-84 across to I-82 in Washington, up to I-90. Snoqualmie will have tons of snow, but they're very used to it, and the road is well maintained.


It's more miles on I-15, but well traveled. US93 is a great road, but it's two lane, undivided, and if you do get bad weather, the chances of something not great happening increase a fair bit, and most of it is through the vast nothing of Nevada.
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