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Old 01-06-2010, 01:03 AM
 
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Anyone have any insight on the weather conditions "I might be running into on I 5 for a trip starting around Feb 4th? I have to haul 3 horses from So Cal to WA.
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:40 AM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
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The only place you might need to think hard about the weather is over Siskiyou Summit, which is between the CA/OR border and Ashland. I went through in the beginning of April once and was greeted by a couple of inches of snow on the road. But, it was nothing to write home about.

Severe conditions most anywhere else along I-5 would be exceptional (even for Feb), as opposed to rule.
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:11 AM
 
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The only problems I've had could have been avoided if I had better timed my trip so that I crossed over the Siskiyou's in the afternoon instead of midnight...

Of course you will need to have chains with you and sometimes vehicles are allowed but trailers not... depending on snow/ice.

Medford has a kiosk on the side of I5 where people will stop to check the summit conditions heading South.
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:34 AM
 
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If that is Grants pass..I almost died up there.
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Old 01-06-2010, 11:07 AM
 
Location: WA
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The Siskiyou pass is rated (statistically) as the most treacherous pass in the interstate highway system. Watch the weather (and road cameras) before going as it can be a very hard trip.
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Old 01-06-2010, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Everett, WA
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It's hard to predict this far ahead of time but if the weather gets real cold, roads around the Portland/Vancouver area could tend to become icy.
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Old 01-06-2010, 11:24 AM
 
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If Siskiyou is bad, cut over to Eureka and take 101 north a ways.
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Old 01-06-2010, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sean98125 View Post
If Siskiyou is bad, cut over to Eureka and take 101 north a ways.
That's a long way out of route and you'd still have to come back to I-5 somewhere. The most direct route is US-199 between Crescent City and Grants Pass, Or. It commonly doesn't snow there, but it's a very winding and crooked two lane which follows the Smith River up to the state line (where there's a tunnel). Fantastic scenery though! And, if I could regularly navigate it in an 18 wheeler, which I did, dragging a horse trailer shouldn't be a problem. From the state line to Grants Pass, you're at a higher elevation and may very well see some snow.

To the OP: It's also possible to see quite a bit of snow in the Lake Shasta area. Though it may not be common, when it does snow, it can really come down. When conditions are right, it can snow like the dickens on the Grapevine too, between Los Angeles and Bakersfield, but if it does, CALTRANS and the CHP will just flat close the road until they get it plowed off.

There are also some smaller summits between Ashland and Grants Pass which can have snow on them. I think there are 4 and it's not uncommon for the roads to be wet up to the very tops of those hills, but snowing at the summits.

But, your biggest threat may not be mountain passes and snow at all. It's more likely to be very, very dense fog in the San Joaquin Valley. Because of some unique conditions, the likelihood of dense fog is high during "fog season," roughly from October to March. It can develop shockingly fast and cut visibilities to absolute zero from one exit to the next. There are giant information signs along the highways (I-5 and CA-99) to warn you of fog and, when it gets bad, CHP will close the roads and only allow vehicles to proceed in guided convoys at very low speeds. I wouldn't lose much sleep over it, but be aware that you can run into it any time, but especially at night and near daybreak.

I'm curious, though, what your destination in Washington is. If it's east of the Cascades, there may be some alternate routes which won't present you with those kinds of problems.
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Old 01-06-2010, 06:24 PM
 
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Here is the catch. I am hauling a trailer full of horses to Whidbey island. :/

Needless to say I am a little worried...

It would be tough to wait out a snow storm with horses in the trailer.
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Old 01-06-2010, 07:53 PM
 
Location: Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roharajustification View Post
Here is the catch. I am hauling a trailer full of horses to Whidbey island. :/

Needless to say I am a little worried...

It would be tough to wait out a snow storm with horses in the trailer.

Yes, it would be, especially if the delay ran into a day or two. Your horses would have to be fed and watered. But, they'll have to get that anyhow and let off the trailer every now and then.

If you're that concerned about it, you could always go up US-101 out of the Bay Area and just stay on it all the way to Astoria, OR. It's mostly 4 lane in California (if not all the way by now) and nearly all 2 lane in Oregon, but it hugs the coast where snow rarely ever happens. From Astoria, you could take US-30 east to the bridge which crosses over the Columbia River into Longview, WA and catch I-5 again there. It's quite a bit further and may not be your cup of tea, but at least you'd be unlikely to see a single snow flake.

If you decide to go that way, don't bother trying to take 101 through downtown San Francisco and out over the Golden Gate Bridge. Just pick up I-580 at Tracy, CA and stay on it. It'll take you to the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge, which will put you on 101 north of SF.
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