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Old 11-20-2015, 05:10 PM   #1
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Phoenix to Bend in Winter.

Hey Guys! We are driving during the week between X'Mas and New Year's Eve. Can spend 2 or 3- days on the road. Want to avoid the I-10 and I-5 corridors. Any suggestions or special concerns this time of year would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 11-20-2015, 05:48 PM   #2
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Re: Phoenix to Bend in Winter.

I'll be reading with interest. I'm going to be heading from NW AZ, to Portland, OR, in a couple of weeks or so. Typically, I'd go up 395, which is a great road, but I can't see doing that in winter. So, I was planning to take I-40 to 58 - over Tehachapi - then up I-5, watching for a weather window to get over Siskiyou Pass (or rather, avoiding a bad window). I realize Bend is a bit east, so that may influence things. I despise I-5, but in winter....

Maybe I'll learn a new/better route now! Was not looking forward to I-5... I don't know if 95 up through Nevada is a good winter option or not. Guessing not, but... maybe?
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Old 11-20-2015, 08:13 PM   #3
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Re: Phoenix to Bend in Winter.

I drove to bend last year about this time and spun out in a little town about 45 miles south of bend. If you're 2wd, I would suggest taking chains just in case and be comfortable putting them on. Luckily I had chains but they broke and it was a loooong 30 miles into bend.
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Old 11-21-2015, 10:54 AM   #4
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Re: Phoenix to Bend in Winter.

I drive Seattle to Phoenix round trip twice a year in the SMB. With your 2WD and chains I wouldn't hesitate to do 3rd or 4th tier roads as 97, 395 variations and I-5 for sure are boring unless you've never driven them before, or are in a hurry. I take 2-4 days, see some of my favorites. PS: This is great country for a road-trip.

Paste these URLs into Google maps

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Phoenix ... 581728!3e0

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Phoenix ... 581728!3e0
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Old 11-21-2015, 11:48 AM   #5
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Re: Phoenix to Bend in Winter.

I'd say take I-5 over the hills and split off to highway 33 for as long as possible then cut over to 101. You'd avoid much of I-5 but it sounds like there is a time constraint. Unfortunately all I see is to get there quickly is I-5 or 395. Highway 33 is a two lane road & is kind of like driving route 66 as it was taken over by I-5 years ago. So when you drive it you go through farmland (best seen in the springtime) and small cities that gives you a sense of the earlier 60's. But there are a lot of stop signs going through those towns. Above the bay area I prefer 101... it's just a pain getting there through the delta region.

During your drive (if you haul through CA) how far do you think you'll get before having to pull off to camp?
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Old 11-21-2015, 05:52 PM   #6
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Re: Phoenix to Bend in Winter.

I have made this trip many times and year round because we had elderly parents in Sun City. I would take 93 to Vegas, 395 to Reno and on through Alturas. 31 to 97, 97 on to Bend.
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Old 11-21-2015, 11:36 PM   #7
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Re: Phoenix to Bend in Winter.

Don't forget if you are in the boonies at night in OR those little towns shut down gas station between 5-6. We had a very stressful drive up 395 one very late night just hoping we wouldn't run out of gas.
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Old 11-22-2015, 07:13 AM   #8
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Re: Phoenix to Bend in Winter.

I'm in a 2WD. Yes, hwy 97 south of Bend can be a little dicey some winter days. I'm not familiar with roads in NV and would like to try them.

SMB is stock 7.3L PSD. 450-mile range for trip planning purposes, w/ reserve.

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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Old 11-22-2015, 07:17 AM   #9
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Re: Phoenix to Bend in Winter.

Oh, BTW - have never used chains in my life!
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Old 11-22-2015, 07:37 AM   #10
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Re: Phoenix to Bend in Winter.

Hwy 93 ( Great Basin Hwy ) might seem like a tempting choice in winter?
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