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Old 11-22-2015, 10:39 AM   #11
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Re: Phoenix to Bend in Winter.

I'm thinking: Phoenix to Vegas to Elko to Winnemucca. Then hwy 95 and via Steens hwy, approaching Bend from the east.
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++ This sounds good! The weather reports will let you know if the route is good. There is enough traffic to warrant full road crews where the few true passes are (Frenchglen, etc) but traffic is low enough that the drive is excellent. And as long as you have chains - you won't need to use them.
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Old 11-22-2015, 12:25 PM   #12
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Re: Phoenix to Bend in Winter.

Hmm, I'm getting some good ideas from this thread, too, thanks! Sure would like to avoid I-5 if possible.

I have one additional consideration, which is that I don't want to overnight anywhere it will get below around 30 because I don't want to winterize my rig (both ends of the trip stay well above freezing, so no need to otherwise).

Las Vegas to Eugene looks like a bit much for a days' drive with the short days (plus I'll be towing). So I'm wondering if there's a good stopping point at "lower" elevation somewhere in between? I don't mind a good long day of driving, but I should probably call that like 8-10 hours for this trip. No problem driving in cold weather, but just looking for a reasonable pit stop for the one night (doesn't need to be a campground). I have a good sleeping bag, but the pipes like it to stay above 27 or so

I can head up whenever there is a decent weather window, but still, it's looking cold at anything over around 2000' or so.

I'll do a bit more map shopping, but maybe some of you already know of a good (or lack of a good) stop between Las Vegas and Eugene? (Or Las Vegas and Portland.)

I actually really enjoy 395, but don't see anyplace "low" to stop partway along.

If nothing else works, I'll go "around the horn" and do I-40 to 58, over Tehachapi, then up I-5 to Portland (I'm starting from the area near Needles, CA).
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Old 11-22-2015, 07:28 PM   #13
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Re: Phoenix to Bend in Winter.

Stay on i5 or 101 to avoid freezing overnight.
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Old 11-22-2015, 08:00 PM   #14
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Re: Phoenix to Bend in Winter.

Thanks for confirming what I was already thinking. I just don't think going the more "interesting" ways east of the Sierra or in Nevada are going to agree with stopping for the night and not freezing. Given that I'm going to be towing and that the daylight hours are short, my usual 14+ hour marathon drive sounds like too much of a grind.

Oh well, never hurts to consider it.

Thanks for sharing your thread, OP.
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Old 11-23-2015, 11:32 AM   #15
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Re: Phoenix to Bend in Winter.

I just drove from Pahrump NV home to Kennewick. Highway 95 stays fairly low, but I did drive through a blizzard with 2-3" of fresh snow on the road between Jordan Vally, OR, and the Boise area.
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Old 11-23-2015, 01:27 PM   #16
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Re: Phoenix to Bend in Winter.

I usually go through Reno--> Susanville (395) --> K-Falls (139/39) --> Bend. I have hit very deep unplowed snow, some spots over the bumper. But it was nice and dry, so it wasn't a problem whatsoever. But even at 9am I still had first tracks on going up towards K-Falls.

I like that route because it almost never gets closed. I-5 has seems close frequently because truckers try to get by without chains (cars too) and end up getting in bad chain-reaction wrecks. But... you'll be on you're own for much of that route north of Reno. I carry 2 sets of chains for the van and a set for the trailer, but I've only had to put them on to come down Willamette Pass.
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Old 11-29-2015, 05:53 PM   #17
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Re: Phoenix to Bend in Winter.

The ice storms of Thanksgiving weekend have me scared and giving me second thoughts Now, I must admit that I don't have any real winter driving experience, the rig is not a 4X4 and not winterized. I have never seen tire chains up close, much less used them. Could I even get AAA on the smart phone to come get us that time of year in the less travelled parts of NV?

Would have ( and had ) done it 40 years ago without a thought! But, am I being chicken now or am I just getting older and wiser?
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Old 11-29-2015, 08:40 PM   #18
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Re: Phoenix to Bend in Winter.

I just drove back from Jackson Hole to Eugene with a stopover in Bend for a couple days and I wouldn't have wanted to drive around the Bend area in a 2wd van. It was better today, but the bit of plowing that was done coupled with cold temps and people driving resulted in polished ice for roads. 6-12 inches of powder would've been much easier to drive on.
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Old 12-07-2015, 04:49 PM   #19
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Re: Phoenix to Bend in Winter.

Buy chains online and test fit them in the driveway before you leave. You'll be fine with anything since it's probably a one or fewer time use item.

I've been to/ through/ around the Grants Pass/Medford OR area two or three times in winter and have driven through mandatory chainup on the highways. I used 4x4 but it was dicey and everybody else was on chains.
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Old 12-07-2015, 04:57 PM   #20
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Re: Phoenix to Bend in Winter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jage
I've been to/ through/ around the Grants Pass/Medford OR area two or three times in winter and have driven through mandatory chainup on the highways. I used 4x4 but it was dicey and everybody else was on chains.
I have a question for you: I'm planning a trip from AZ to Portland, and will likely take I-5. I don't have a set date I have to leave, so will be watching weather window for best window over Siskiyou Pass. Presuming I hit a nice, sunny weather window, would chains be mandatory? Or is that just when the weather might call for them (clouds/snow)?
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