We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Eugene to Bend in March?

Level Contributor
181 posts
177 reviews
Save Topic
Eugene to Bend in March?

What should I expect in a minivan drive March 10th? I know the elevation is pretty high. Is it too bad to drive?

Newberg, Oregon
Level Contributor
6,118 posts
389 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Eugene to Bend in March?

I think the pass summit is around 5,000 feet. But March 10 should be pretty clear, unless it starts snowing at elevation about the time you leave. Even in mid-winter, the main highways through the Cascades (20, 22 and 58) from the Valley are cleared fairly quickly.Just check the ODOT road conditions website before you leave.

Edited: 8:37 pm, December 10, 2012
Eugene, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Eugene, Springfield
Level Contributor
8,493 posts
187 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Eugene to Bend in March?

If I remember right, our heaviest, wettest snowfall of the year came last March. I'm not as optimistic as OregonJohn. But I do agree, you should keep an eye on conditions


Even if they aren't covered in snow, 126/20 can both have dangerous black ice. What should you expect? Anything, everything and nothing.

Level Contributor
924 posts
80 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Eugene to Bend in March?

Mitchmurr - whatever you do, take the advice from Oregonpoppa and look at tripcheck.com. We can easily get a dumping of snow in the mountains in March and April. Skiers are usually still skiing on weekends that time of year.

In addition, DO NOT just rely on your GPS, which may, in fact, direct you up small mountain roads where you could get stuck in snow. Stay on the main highways, drive during the middle of the day if at all possible, and take your time.

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
Level Contributor
43,065 posts
1,080 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Eugene to Bend in March?

>>If I remember right, our heaviest, wettest snowfall of the year came last March.<<

And that snowfall dumped a bunch of snow at sea level at the coast!

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Bend
Level Contributor
1,634 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Eugene to Bend in March?

March is in the middle of winter, in my opinion. Typically, the seasonal route (242) is still closed - and that road reopening sort of signals end of winter to my mind.

Definitely check TripCheck. Definitely be prepared with chains. Definitely be ready for slow going. Think about alternate routes (I-5 N to Salem, 22 W to Detroit Lake and Santiam Pass) that are at higher elevations for shorter distances. It's good to familiarize yourself with the road maps ahead of time.

You're doing the right thing by asking. I don't think anyone is telling you not to make the drive. BUT - the weather's a crap shoot any time of year, really, so it pays to be prepared even if it's for nothing.

Renton, WA
Level Contributor
4,158 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Eugene to Bend in March?

wahiakah kid: Most GPSs that I am familiar with offer a choice between the fastest and the shortest route. If the user selects fastest route, no small mountain roads will be included.

Camp Sherman, Oregon
Level Contributor
1,287 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Eugene to Bend in March?

Adding to all the above:

From a earlier post on this pass, which I drive often in the snow:

Carry chains and know how to use them.

Sometimes flashing signs down lower will say chains or traction devices needed but when you get up higher the restriction might have been lifted. Couple steep curvy sections near the top, then east side a gradual decline. Helps to go down in a lower gear and ignore the tailgaters that want to go 70!

Often better to hit pass mid day rather then earlier or later as sometimes snow/ice melts.

Our last three times over and back we have had snow and ice on the roads. Lot's of crazies (frustrated by too slow drivers) doing the leap frog passing at night with single and double solid yellow lines!

Also the last three March's on our way to Death Valley we have encountered heavy snow, though we took the further down south route 58. Assume Santiam would be the same.

Like others have said, check http://www.tripcheck.com/

The cams are very helpful.

Lassen National...
Level Contributor
2,631 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Eugene to Bend in March?

>>Lot's of crazies (frustrated by too slow drivers) doing the leap frog passing at night with single and double solid yellow lines!<<

And those are the people who end up in the ditch. I doubt the drivers were driving "too slow." Black ice is way more dangerous than snow usually. People see snow & slow down, but with black ice if they don't know the area & conditions well they'll just maintain their speed.

9. Re: Eugene to Bend in March?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 5:17 am, December 18, 2013