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Driving I5 down through Oregon to California - Help!!

Vancouver Canada
posts: 52
reviews: 27
Driving I5 down through Oregon to California - Help!!

We are planning to drive to California from Vancouver BC.

Is it safe to drive through the night through Oregon on I5, someone told us we need to have chains as the elevation through Grant's Pass?? is very dangerous without chains?

Any tips will be greatly appreciated.

We are driving on March 2.

Thank you!

Renton, WA
posts: 1,930
1. Re: Driving I5 down through Oregon to California - Help!!

No worries. If there is anywhere that chains might be required it is over Siskiyou Pass, close to the OR/CA border, not Grants Pass. Just keep checking www.tripcheck.com for Oregon road conditions. The problem with not having chains when the "chains required" signs are up is both legal and practical....legal because you will get a ticket if the state troopers catch you, and practical because you will have less control of your car without chains.

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
posts: 37,169
reviews: 795
2. Re: Driving I5 down through Oregon to California - Help!!

There are three lower elevation mountain passes just north of Grants Pass. If -- and this is a big if -- it's *really* cold and wet, then yes they do get some snow. That may be what you've been told.

But not often and probably by early March there won't be a really cold storm.

Best bet is to do what is suggested above and check the following website:

www.tripcheck.com

Edited: 3:03 pm, February 22, 2013
Renton, WA
posts: 1,930
3. Re: Driving I5 down through Oregon to California - Help!!

I've checked Accuweather for Hilt, CA, which is the first "town" you hit after Siskiyou Summit, and the weather looks just fine for your trip...forecast temperature for Hilt is 61F.

Eugene, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Eugene, Springfield
posts: 5,080
reviews: 125
4. Re: Driving I5 down through Oregon to California - Help!!

I agree with the advice to keep tabs on tripcheck.com

The biggest snow storm of last year occurred in March. When we moved to Oregon about 20 years ago, there were snow closures on Siskiyou Summit in April. It can happen.

bobmrg tends to see things through rose colored glasses. I'm more of a pessimist. Either way, it pays to check and be prepared. After all, this is Oregon.

Dallas, Oregon
posts: 5,248
reviews: 300
5. Re: Driving I5 down through Oregon to California - Help!!

Just check the weather forecasts before you leave. If there is snow or ice over the Siskiyous, we usually take Hwy 199 at Grants Pass to Hwy 101 outside Crescent City and stay on that until just north of Ukiah, then take Hwy 20 back to I-5 near Williams.

Edited: 5:06 pm, February 22, 2013
Vancouver Canada
posts: 52
reviews: 27
6. Re: Driving I5 down through Oregon to California - Help!!

In case of snow, which exit should we turn from I-5 to go along the coastal route (is that Hwy 101?) then back to I-5?

Pardon my ignorance of the towns, is what I am asking what OregonJohn suggested in reply #5?

As we are driving through the night, we just want to be safe.

Thanks for your help in advance.

Oregon
Destination Expert
for Newport, Depoe Bay
posts: 8,201
reviews: 42
7. Re: Driving I5 down through Oregon to California - Help!!

It is Hwy 199. Exit 55 is the so called bypass, but so much has developed along it, not sure it is much of a bypass. coming from the north exit 58 also works. and it is a bit shorter. However not sure how well it is marked once you get off.

There is a summit on 199 though no where near as high as Sisiyous. I think it is about the same elev as Sexton Summit on I-5. You can avoid all those low passes if you take OR-38 to Reedsport.

Renton, WA
posts: 1,930
8. Re: Driving I5 down through Oregon to California - Help!!

199 is twisty-turny and two-lane, so take it slow at night if you have to go over to the coast. Big plus is there would not be much traffic on 199 compared to the freeway.

Dallas, Oregon
posts: 5,248
reviews: 300
9. Re: Driving I5 down through Oregon to California - Help!!

The extended forecast for next weekend is for warm weather. We're headed to Depoe Bay and may get temps around 60. I would guess the weather down I-5 will be clear sailing down to California. The weather systems in the Pacific that would bring rain or cold all seem to be headed way to the north -- looked like quite a bit above Vancouver Island on the TV weathercast I saw last night.

10. Re: Driving I5 down through Oregon to California - Help!!

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