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Advise on Travel on I-5 from California to Vancouver BC in late December-January

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kendancy66:
I wanted to find out if there might be weather related issues travelling On I-5 from Los Angeles to Vancouver BC in late December.  I know that there are sometimes issues travelling over the Grapevine north of Los Angeles.  But not familiar with the part of I-5 in Northern California past Sacramento and Oregon.  I know there is a mountain pass on the CA-OR border.  Are there ever weather related closures through that pass and through Oregon? If there are closures, could they be avoided by travelling along on the coast on US-101?

Max Rockatansky:
The most weather prone portion is Siskiyou Pass right at the California/Oregon state line.  There are occasional closures but they generally don’t last long.  The bigger concern is having to potentially deal with chain controls. 

To that end, there are segments of US 101 north of Eureka which occasionally get snow also.  You are more likely to run into severe winter rains more than anything.  There aren’t really many good return routes from US 101 to I-5 between US 199 and US 26. 

gonealookin:
Portland occasionally grinds to a halt during snow and ice storms.  Ice storms can happen with a weather pattern that sends frigid air from the east down the Columbia River.  I-84 gets the worst of that and can be closed for a few days, but Portland is also impacted because not many people there are driving on winter tires.  Seattle also famously has issues with snow storms.  These aren't too common, and some winters probably go by with little to no ice or snow at all, but if you draw that particular straw you'll be impacted.

Agreed that Siskiyou Summit ("Highest Point on Interstate 5!") frequently has chain requirements and occasional full closures, and that's the forecast you need to look at a few days ahead to decide on timing going over that.

kendancy66:
Thanks for responses, Max and gonealookin.  Does anyone have alternate route suggestions, in case there are chain controls?  I currently don't have any chains.  Should I get some, just to be safe?
 I checked on Google Maps and see that detouring from Red Bluff to Eureka to Crescent City to Grants Pass would add 2.5 hours to trip on the way there

Max Rockatansky:
Realistically you would need to turn inland pretty far south of Red Bluff to find a suitable road to get to US 101 from Red Bluff.  36 isn’t exactly what I would consider difficult but it is pretty curvy and you’re likely to run into the same chain controls that would be hypothetically affecting Siskiyou Pass. 

Really to answer your question about chains we would need to know what you are driving.  If you have an AWD of 4WD vehicle you can pretty much bypass R1 Chain Controls. 

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