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Old 12-22-2014, 11:53 AM
23 posts, read 36,102 times
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Hi All;

Quick question for you... Coming up for the Holidays from CA to visit Bend, traveling on HWY 97. What are the expected road conditions to be? Driving a VW Passat FWD, will we be needing chains? Any other BETTER route suggestions?

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Old 12-22-2014, 12:06 PM
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,785 posts, read 17,067,988 times
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97 is really the best bet, as the pass you cross is low. The down side is that you are at 4,000" +/- for most of the drive, so rain can be on the cusp of turning to snow and ice. So far the weather has been unusually mild and just wet, not snowy. But your best bet is to watch the forecasts for the cities of Weed, Klamath Falls, Chemult, La Pine and use this site for road conditions:

TripCheck - Road Cams, Road & Weather Conditions in Oregon - ODOT

Several of the places (Chiloquin, Chemult, etc) have general winter weather advisories that say you should be carrying chains or traction tires. The 4WD does count as a traction device, but if starts snowing heavily, you will be required to chain up even a 4WD.
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Old 12-22-2014, 02:32 PM
Location: Bend, OR
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Road conditions will vary depending on the weather. Even if it's predicted to be clear, it can change pretty quickly up here. You will definitely need to carry chains with a FWD vehicle. Make sure you know how to put them on too before you make the trip. If the conditions are such that chains or snow tires are required, you will have to put them on. FWD actually does pretty well in the snow, but it's still a good idea (and the law in OR) to carry chains or have traction tires when conditions require it.
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Old 12-23-2014, 02:37 PM
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Bring chains. The weather up here can change quickly and turn parts of 97 into an ice rink.
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Old 12-23-2014, 08:49 PM
Location: Mountains of Oregon
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Bring some Kitty Litter. When your stopped & it's Icy, spread some litter around in front of the tires to help get you moving.
Have some weight in your trunk in foul weather. Sometimes if you let some air out of your tires it helps. I carry a 12volt air compressor in the winter.

I carry a 12volt jumper unit. https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q...lt+jumper+unit

Bring water & food.
flashlights, charged phone, battery charger.
warm clothing, scarf, hat to cover your ears, gloves.
warm water proof, insulated boots.
spare tire, good jack
antifreeze, brake fluid., power steer fluid

Tow a John Deere Gator 6x4 ATV........just kidding

Check Tripcheck & Caltrans for road conditions & roads cams


California Department of Transportation..

Drive Safely...

Enjoy your trip.
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