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Old 12-29-2010, 02:40 PM   #1
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Mt Shasta to Reno question

We're working the SCI convention in Reno again this year (1/26-1/30) and it looks like Cal is getting pounded again with rain, wind, and snow like last year.
I'm wondering if there is a better or easier route there from Mt Shasta. Last year we played it safe and drove all the way down to Sacramento and went over Donner pass(never missed a meal ). They closed it about an hour after we got down to Truckee.
The van drove beautifully through all that snow. It was very responsive the couple times when we had to dodge an out of control subaru once and a prius looking car flying sideways into a snow bank. (The chain up guys at all the stops got a kick out of our van and just waived us on, driving snow and all). Even in the driving rain and 60+ mph winds on I5 north of Sacramento was no problem.
So is there an better way? If weather cooperates I'd love to just go down CA89 thru Susanville or even CA36 at Red Bluff? but it looks like those roads are closed for winter?
Not being from Cal it is hard to make sense of the Caltrans current conditions website since I dont know county lines or mile markers and it seems thats what they use in the descriptions. I check the webcams often but they dont seem to be in the bad areas.
We do have 3 days to get there from P town and if it has to be Sacramento to 80 again, so be it but just wondering if I'm missing another option. And yes I know conditions change hour to hour.
By the way Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all.
Harry
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Old 12-29-2010, 04:30 PM   #2
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Re: Mt Shasta to Reno question

my wife and i made the trip from Shasta to Reno (actually the other way after a family visit in reno). And while scenic, we've decided we will simply continue down the i5 and cut over on 80 up through Donner to Reno on future trips. The reason? 89, 140, 299 and the other West/East highways are lonely places and you are on your own. Pack accordingly...especially in the winter months. Any simple road hazard or similar and one could add to the Donner Party tails around campfires.

cheers,
thom
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Old 12-29-2010, 06:01 PM   #3
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Re: Mt Shasta to Reno question

Quote:
Originally Posted by accrete
The reason? 89, 140, 299 and the other West/East highways are lonely places and you are on your own.
Heck I can't agree on that issue. That's the reason we have our SMB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by accrete
Pack accordingly...especially in the winter months. Any simple road hazard or similar and one could add to the Donner Party tails around campfires.
That one I can agree on.



As a reference, I checked the current (12/29/10) California road conditions for this route.

From Reno, take 395 to Susanville.
From Susanville take CA 44 north to Old Station
From Old Station take CA 89 north to Mt. Shasta

There are no chain control requirements currently in effect and its a gorgeous route to take. Anything is better than I-5.

Another route is taking 305 all the way to Lakeview Or. then cut over to I-5. Note that even I-5 between Redding and Medford can be closed if a big storm blows in.
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Old 12-29-2010, 07:35 PM   #4
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Re: Mt Shasta to Reno question

Thanks R Hogan.
Thats the info I was looking for. I'm going the other way though. Where did you find that info? Was it on the caltrans website or is there a better one I can monitor?

Also, Does the Lakeview route involve any high mountain passes? I'm familiar with the southeastern part of Oregon but not from there down into Reno. Would that be a good option? I'd really like to find another way there if weather permits....

I hate wasting my smb time on I5 and I80 (except when safety calls). Hell thats why we spend so much on these monsters anyway. Stock it up with enough provisions and get out there. Been stuck above Orofino for a couple days and it turned out just fine. As long as I can be in Reno by the evening of the 26th alls good.
Like Gov. Rendell said the other day after they postponed the game, "We've become a nation of woose's". Just follow the age old boy scout motto and "Be prepaired"!
Thanks.
Harry
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:19 PM   #5
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Re: Mt Shasta to Reno question

Unfortunately the road Caltrans conditions website isn't very intuitive.

http://www.dot.ca.gov/cgi-bin/roads.cgi

You kind of have to figure out on these long highways where exactly they are talking about. There is a interactive map on the site that will narrow down the areas for you. You can use Google maps or Bing maps and plug in the chain control start-and-stop locations. For instance either I missed it before or they just changed it, but now either chains or snow tires are required on a short section of 44 between Old Station and Susanville.

CHAINS OR SNOW TIRES ARE REQUIRED FROM OLD STATION (SHASTA CO) TO
BOGARD RANGER STATION (LASSEN CO)



As far as passes on 395, if you scroll along in Google Earth, the highest point between Reno and Lakeview is about 5,500' Its a nice drive, better scenery than I-5 but nothing as spectacular as 395 going South out of Tahoe.
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:58 AM   #6
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Re: Mt Shasta to Reno question

Thanks Charlie.
That is exactly what I'm looking for. I think.
Is there an extension for the chain up areas for google maps like the one you show for bing??
I cant find one when searching.
We love the southeastern part of Oregon and would prefer that route if weather will let us.
Just a note:
The Steens Mountain area is a great place to do some smb camping and the drive from Burns down through Jordan Valley is incedible.
Thanks Harry
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:22 PM   #7
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Re: Mt Shasta to Reno question

If you take the route through Susanville down 395, there's a good place to camp about about 3 mi east of Doyle (38 mi S of Susanville). It's the Fort Sage OHV campground and staging area run by the BLM. It has campsites w/fire rings, toilet, trash cans.

Normally I'd avoid an OHV area like the plague but nobody seems to go there, at least in the seasons I've been passing through (spring and fall). I've had the place all to myself 5 of the 6 times I've stayed there. It has great views across the valley all the way back to Susanville and up into the Sierras.

To get there, turn right at Laver Crossing, which is 1 mi N of Doyle. Follow the signs to Ft Sage; go 1.3 mi east across the RR tracks and turn Rt. Go S 1.2 mi and turn left, go 1 mi NE. Turn Rt & go 1.4 mi to the campground.
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Old 02-27-2012, 12:04 AM   #8
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Re: Mt Shasta to Reno question

Well I was going to ask the same thing in reverse. In 3 days I'm leaving for Oregon. On the 1st I'm headed up through Denver to I-80, going to cross to Salt Lake City. From SLC on the 2nd I'm going to head for Viejo's OHV area. From there to I-5 and North to Oregon which would be the 3rd.

Any advice for this same route five days from now? I won't have much time to plan. I'll have chains regardless.
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Old 02-27-2012, 09:34 AM   #9
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Re: Mt Shasta to Reno question

Jage - Like I said in my PM, we got no winter this year and the forecast for Susanville is sunny and 50deg on the 3rd, so the roads should be no problem.

One note on my directions - coming from Reno your first turn off 395 at Laver Crossing is RIGHT - to the east. [Edit: fixed]
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:39 PM   #10
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Re: Mt Shasta to Reno question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viejo
...we got no winter this year...
That is no exaggeration! Last year we got over double the normal amount of snow. I was hiking over drifts as much as 30' high on July 11 last summer. Mother Nature decided to deduct the excess from this year's allotment and sent our winter to Europe instead, literally. Autumn just rolled into spring this year. Not only are the Cherry trees in full bloom, some are already losing their blossoms, and it's still February. On clear days I can see the Crystal Range (near Tahoe) from home (just SE of Sacramento) and there's almost as much area of huge brown dry patches as there is snow on the side of the mountains at 9,000'. I have never seen such a difference from one year to the next. I'm afraid it will be so dry the whole Sierra will burn down this summer, the Central Valley will fill up with the smoke, and half of us will expire from asthma.
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