Winter Trip South from BC, Canada

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JayPeeWhy

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Mar 12, 2012
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We are heading down from the BC Interior at the end of December. Hoping to get to Tucson as soon as possible, maybe further south west after that.

What is the best route to travel to avoid too much in the way of mountains and the accompanying snow?
 

donn

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I5.  There are only a couple of places where it will be problematic once you cross the border.  Bellingham south to Everett and Roseburg to Redding CA.  Once into CA the roads will be fine weather wise.  But you might check to see how bad the roads are in CA.  Last spring my neighbor blew two new tires on his TT south of Redding due to the rough roads.  IF the weather is not really bad when you travel a good alternative is US97 south to Klamath Falls and jog over to Alturis CA connecting with US395 through NV.  In fact unless the weather is really bad that might be your best option to avoid CA and their 55 MPH speed limit baloney.
 

RoyM

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Depends what area of B.C you are leaving from. I-5 to LA would likely be the best bet to avoid heavy snow in the mountain passes. If you are in the southeast Hwy 3 to Ft McLeod then 2 and I-15 south  might work. Either way keep a close eye on the weather reports.
 

Howard Kelly

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We are leaving in a few days for Tucson and we usuall check out all the passes. If we can we take I-84 from Seattle (or Portland )  to Salt Lake ...then down I-15 to St Georges. Allways looking for the best road conditions on a day by day basis.
Not a fan of I-5 unless I am in a hurry, much more to see and do on other routes and much less traffic to content with.
We are staying at Desert trails Rv park just south of Tucson, drop in for a visit if you can.
Travell safe
Howard
 

JayPeeWhy

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We initially were thinking Hwy97 from Central BC (cross at Osoyoos, we live just North of there in Kelowna)  Then take the I84 to Boise, then Salt Lake City.  Then I15 to Vegas.

The only other option seems to be the I5, without going to far East.

What kind of passes should we expect going the I84 / I15 route? Or should we just not bother at that time of year?

How much easier is the I5 route?

Thanks for your help.

 

donn

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Using I84 east bound from the Columbia River junction with US97 your first encounter will be Cabbage hill just east of Pendelton.  It is a long steep climb and you will probably see snow from there to south of Lagrande at Ladd Canyon.  Ladd canyon can be closed off and on during stormy weather due to snow and blowing snow.  Actually all of eastern Oregon, Idaho and Utah will have snow almost all winter.  For the latest conditions real time go to the ODOT web cam site and search out the cameras listed on your intended route.  IMHO you might be better off shooting straight south on 97 to Klamath Falls Oregon and follow the roads to Alturis,CA connecting to 395 toward Reno.  IF you want to avoid snow, use US101 down the coast.
 

Howard Kelly

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On Hwy 97 you have BLEWETT PASS just before you get to I-82, then Blue Mtn Summit south of Pendleton.
Interstates are usually kept in good condition but  plan  to stop and wait out a  storm.
 

Howard Kelly

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check out tis site for weather and webcam\
http://www.wsdot.com/Traffic/passes/snoqualmie/
 

Pierat

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Also, if you take the I-5 route, in S. Calif., when you cross one of the passes (your choice, Cajon or Tehachapi), do check in advance for high wind warnings. We prefer the Bakersfield - Needles - Wickenburg - Tucson route, which means Tehachapi Pass. (We feel it has a bit less of the high-traffic, high-wind possibilities of the more southern route.) We'll be heading that way in a week from Eugene OR. Leaving Port Townsend WA early this week. Have a good trip and please let us know how it goes.

RV Parks: Orange Grove in Bakersfield, Desert View in Needles, North Ranch SKP in Wickenburg (Congress). However, we try to use Elks Club RV facilities when we can.
 

Marlybelle

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Oct 17, 2011
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We are headed for the Tucson area Jan 2nd through 5th from Kamloops and plan to use I5 - the last trip used the same route and had no problems at all.  We will head out through Sumas.
 

JayPeeWhy

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Mar 12, 2012
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Hi Guys

Sorry for not posting back sooner Marybelle.

Weather reports looked good, other than cold, so we went down through the Boise, Salt Lake City route. Glad we did as we had such an amazing time at Bryce Canyon, Zion Canyon. Took in the Grand Canyon too and are currently camped out in Sedona, due to frigid temps this is the first time we actually used the trailer as something other than a big suitcase and have been staying in motels prior. Sedona is beautiful, can't believe the number of options to be awakened and spiritually healed by an alien crystal though!

The initial trip through Washington and Idaho was fairly dull and desolate, got much better in Utah though. We were going South for warmth and it got colder and colder the further we went culminating in a minus 28C sunrise hike at Bryce Canyon.  There was one time we were extremely glad of the frozen temperatures. 2 Coke cans exploded in our larder. Fortunately almost all of it was icy enough to clear up with a brush!

Having a blast so far though! Highlights were Bryce Canyon, Angle's Landing hike at Zion (I am not usually scared but an icy traverse across the 2 foot wide saddle with 1,000 sheer drops either side was too much for me!), Trail Running the Grand Canyon South Rim at sunrise and finally getting into the trailer at Sedona. Much fun! 8 of our 9 weeks still to go. Hoping to get to Mexico somewhere.
 

ArdraF

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Feb 12, 2006
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Having "done" Angel's Landing twice, I'm not sure I would have traversed that chain section on ice!  It's terrifying enough on a hot summer day!

ArdraF
 

Howard Kelly

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Apr 22, 2010
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Hwy 40 east bound in California is very rough.. Potholes everywhere  Trucks drive in the left lane. The Shell station in Needles is the rip off capitol of the US.
Sorry to say I have been there... twice  grrrr
 
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