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Old 11-29-2009, 04:38 PM
1,540 posts, read 3,444,456 times
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Originally Posted by Discovery1 View Post
Is Jan, Feb require snow chains when passing Mt. Shasta area between Or & Ca border ? How about road condition from Oregon coast 101 down south to CA at same time frame ?
Thank you

If you're going to travel I-5 at that time of year, I would definately carry chains. The highest point on I-5 is at the California/Oregon border and it can get pretty nasty if a storm is blowing thru which is quite common in December and January.
There are usually only 3 areas that would be a concern depending on the weather. The passes at the border, around Lake Shasta and the Grapevine just north of L.A. If the weather is bad, then the coast would be the way to go.
I-5 is the major hwy between the Pacific Northwest and California so they do a great job at keeping that roadway open. The only times that it gets bad is usually "DURING" a storm. Usually within a day or so after a storm passes, they will have it cleaned up and open. Chains are usually only required when it's snowing heavily or freezing rain. Freezing rain is the worst. It is liquid until it hits something solid. Anything solid. The roadway, your windshield, anything at all. I won't drive in that at all. We had an ice storm last year that closed down everything for a week. It was a mess.
As far as the coast route is concerned, the only thing that can get bad are the winds. Snow and ice isn't usually a problem on Hwy 101. If you have a relatively low profile vehicle, then the coast route shouldn't be a problem at all.
To sum it up, keep an eye on the weather. If, on the days you're traveling the weather is good, then I-5 should be ok and it is much quicker. If there is a storm, even a relatively minor storm, I'd take the coast route at least past the 2 northern passes and then cut over to I-5.
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