Jump to content

Avoiding the Siskiyou Pass (Oregon/California Border)


WOBentley

Recommended Posts

I am heading south for the winter from Oregon to Central California. We have 3 of us in a Caravan. Looking at the weather it snows for the 5 days before we are leaving over the Siskiyou Pass (Mt. Ashland/Mt. Shasta) with temps in the mid to upper 30's as a high, so we have decided to bypass the Siskiyou Pass by heading over to Hwy. 101. We are looking for the best way to come back to I-5 and curious if 299 out of Arcata California or if driving down 101 to Route (HWY?) 20 South of Willits (North of Ukiah) would be better. It looks like taking 299 might well put us back up to some altitude and risk of snow and ice whereas 20 appears to be a "larger" road and a shorter (though a longer drive on 101) trip and less likely to have altitude and snow ice issues. I am really interested in this from a Class A perspective. I have a 40' Class A DP (no Tag axle) and will be towing a Jeep Wrangler unlimited (which we could unhitch and drive separately if that would be preferable). The other two couples have slightly smaller rigs. Any experience with these routes and potential issues would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks in advance

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have been researching similar routing for next March going to our workamping job east of Portland and consistently the Williams Hwy 20 route has been the recommendation as the option over the pass. As I write this there is a high wind, major rain and very high waves warnings for the coast, so have to stay aware and monitor for which is best or hunker down if need be until safe to travel. Safe travels.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, Highway 20 would be a good choice - it is curvy and you won't be going real fast, but is reasonable and doable. We have done it before. If it was us, we would continue down 101 and pick up I-580 over the Richmond bridge (no toll going east) then connect with I-880 and continue on down. Where are you going? If to Palm Springs or Arizona, I'd continue on down 101 and then connect with I-10 east bound, thus saving a trip over The Grapevine.

 

Barb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Took US101 and CA20 in October with our 40' motorhome towing a car. The narrow sections of US101 were worse than CA20 in our minds. We have made the trip multiple times and know CA20 well, since we have family off it.

 

Where are you cutting over to US101? I would do it north of Roseburg, since the passes between Roseburg and Grants Pass can also be bad in winter. I prefer OR126 from Eugene, but OR38 or US20 also work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were leaning toward 38 to Reedsport as we are coming form the South end of the Portland area and we have driven it before.

Do the narrow parts of 101 involve cliff edges with little to no Shoulder? I have driven a Vintage car down there before but don't remember specifics...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were leaning toward 38 to Reedsport as we are coming form the South end of the Portland area and we have driven it before.

Do the narrow parts of 101 involve cliff edges with little to no Shoulder? I have driven a Vintage car down there before but don't remember specifics...

The narrow parts are short sections of slow curvy roads with redwoods right on the shoulder, no cliffs. Very doable if you know where your mirrors are.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Bill! That is encouraging indeed!

One member of our group really wants to save the time and go over Shasta. If the weather changes that will be Ok with me (that's how we went last year) but a few hours extra traveling safely is well worth it to me!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not US 97?

 

That would be my first choice with a Class A 'n toad. It's also a bit "lazier" and some great scenery.. then you're right back on I-5. 101 has it's attractions, but if you're trying to make miles it wouldn't be my preferred route. You might even spot some bald eagles. ;)

 

If you do go 101, I would cross west on 126, down 101, then 580 as the "safest" route. This time of year 20 could have highway restrictions in place, although, as Bill mentioned, other than the altitude, it's an easier drive than some parts of 101.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can also call 511 on your phone to get current conditions of all passes in the state. It may be that Siskiyou Pass will be clear.

 

We did that in December 2010, when we were unavoidably stuck at home until the first part of December. Like you, if Siskiyou Pass was snowed in (or required chains), we were prepared to go over to US-101. Fortunately, a call to 511 said that the pass was clear, so we continued south on I-5.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I vote for Siskiyou pass and waiting. There is a real nice Oregon state park with full hookups and a bicycle path right out the door. You can easily check the pass conditions with your internet connection and plenty to do in Medford. Don't forget it is not only Siskiyou Pass but also the area around Mt. Shasta. We ended up waiting on the area around Mt. Shasta while Siskiyou Pass was bare and wet.

 

I had a friend that was towing on 97. He ended up in sub-zero temperatures and snow covered road. He is going down I-5 this year. The problem with 97 is that there is a real possibility of having snow covered road for a long, long ways.

 

Pay attention to road conditions on that coastal by-pass. We did it in El-Nino year. They closed 101 and we spent a couple of nice nights in our own "private" campground since the road both north and south of us was closed. I finally got out of there by taking a dirt road for 20 miles to by-pass the closure portion. I was towing a tent trailer and it was dicey, no way with any type of regular trailer. I did find out old free range hippies were not happy to me on "their" dirt road.

 

The good news is I kept telling my wife what a god-awful mess the Napa Valley is for wine tasting due to crowds. We came in on the backside of the valley and found that the lower end was flooded and closed. I was just like 1968....no crowds, great people, and even the weather was fairly good.

 

http://usbackroads.blogspot.com/2011/01/valley-of-rogue-state-park-gold-hill.html. 2011 trip.

 

http://usbackroads.blogspot.com/2012/01/valley-of-rogue-state-park-oregon.html. 2012 trip...and stuck in Medford.

 

Not to mention we also got stuck in Eugene that year. I think the lesson is leave earlier. Snow in Eugene??

 

http://usbackroads.blogspot.com/2012/01/oh-lord-stuck-in-eugene-again.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with doing a last-minute check of road conditions over Siskiyou Pass; it's good to have a "Plan B", but 5 is definitely a better route than 299 or 20 for a 40' that's towing.

 

One tip: if the weather and road reports indicate that 5 is the better route choice, try to plan going over the Pass in the late morning/early afternoon (even mid-afternoon) hours; midday timing gives a better chance of "shady spot" ice having melted off.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Highway 20 is a regular truck route traveled by big rigs. It is a two lane highway, but is an easy drive with some hills (but nothing of any significance). I travel it regularly with my HDT and 37' fiver. I would not hesitate to take it with your set up if you decide to go down 101. Hwy 101 is a beautiful drive through the redwoods. It is slow going in some areas due to curves, but is not a difficult drive. It is also traveled by big rigs so you should have no problems.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with doing a last-minute check of road conditions over Siskiyou Pass; it's good to have a "Plan B", but 5 is definitely a better route than 299 or 20 for a 40' that's towing.

 

One tip: if the weather and road reports indicate that 5 is the better route choice, try to plan going over the Pass in the late morning/early afternoon (even mid-afternoon) hours; midday timing gives a better chance of "shady spot" ice having melted off.

And keep going until you get to Redding/Red Bluff area.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks...We have considered 97 and have gone down that route in the Summer several times (including twice earlier this year) but they are predicting snow in Klamath Falls so it is not looking good for that route. Shasta forecast is changing, but still looks snowy on the days we are traveling...will likely not make a final decision until a day or so in advance. We have stayed in the Redding area several times and in Red Bluff (Durango) once. I really appreciate all of the advice. We will be watching the coastal winds and mountain snow closely when we head out...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Oregon Dept of Transportation has web cams stationed along the pass (and many other areas).

You can see conditions. Currently they are bare and wet.

Zoom in / out. Click on a camera icon:

 

Rich,

Wonderful site. Thanks for the link.

Later,

J

PS We too have been delayed heading south (shoulder surgery) but plan to depart central WA Tue and the site will be very helpful finding the best route through OR.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
RVers Online University

campgroundviews.com

Our program provides accurate individual wheel weights for your RV, toad, and tow vehicle, and will help you trim the pounds if you need to.

RV Cable Grip

All the water you need...No matter where you go

Country Thunder Iowa

Nomad Internet

Rv Share

Dish For My RV.

RV Air.

Find out more or sign up for Escapees RV'ers Bootcamp.

Advertise your product or service here.

The Rvers- Now Streaming

RVTravel.com Logo



×
×
  • Create New...