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Author Topic: California to Ashland in February. Road conditions?  (Read 2901 times)

Zephyr

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California to Ashland in February. Road conditions?
« on: November 26, 2018, 04:29:42 PM »

I'm considering driving to Ashland from Humboldt County California (and back) in February. I did it in September, and took 101 to 199 to I-5. If I make this trip again, what can I expect in regards to road conditions? I have not driven in ice/snow before, so that's my main concern. I have a Honda Civic, so no 4 wheel drive or anything.

February is a good month to take time off of work, but I can do it later in the year too. There's no specific time, as I'd be visiting relatives.

SM-G955U

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Max Rockatansky

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Re: California to Ashland in February. Road conditions?
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2018, 05:05:05 PM »

You can expect a ton of rain along the north coast.  Are you talking about the Ashland in the Bay Area or are you out of state?  Most of that terrain along US 101 and US 199 gets much in the way of snow. 
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Zephyr

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Re: California to Ashland in February. Road conditions?
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2018, 05:23:42 PM »

There's an Ashland in the Bay Area? The one I'd be going to is in Oregon. It's only about a 4 hour drive (in good weather).

I'm used to driving in rain, we get lots where I live.

SM-G955U

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Max Rockatansky

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Re: California to Ashland in February. Road conditions?
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2018, 07:40:26 PM »

There's an Ashland in the Bay Area? The one I'd be going to is in Oregon. It's only about a 4 hour drive (in good weather).

I'm used to driving in rain, we get lots where I live.

SM-G955U

Surprisingly there is.  I’ve gone up the Eureka and Crescent City Area plenty of times in the winter months and I was always fine.  If you’re good with rain then I wouldn’t anticipate many issues.  Oddly I-5 is where your most likely to run into snow due to the higher elevations along the western flank of the Cascades. 
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nexus73

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Re: California to Ashland in February. Road conditions?
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2018, 11:34:02 PM »

Check the ODOT and Caltrans webcams.  Pay attention to the weather forecast.  You do not want to wind up snowed under!  Best to wait until April if you want to have the odds heavily in your favor for a pleasurable trip.  That particular month sees winter weather recede while fire season has not yet started.

Rick
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US 101 is THE backbone of the Pacific coast from Bandon OR to Willets CA.  Industry, tourism and local traffic would be gone or severely crippled without it being in functioning condition in BOTH states.

gonealookin

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Re: California to Ashland in February. Road conditions?
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2018, 10:10:51 PM »

I have not driven in ice/snow before, so that's my main concern. I have a Honda Civic, so no 4 wheel drive or anything.

199 gets snow (much more often rain though) but it's not like crossing the Sierras.  You might need to install chains.  That shouldn't deter you from making the trip.  Buy a set of cable chains and in dry weather, go to an empty parking lot and practice putting them on, and drive around the lot on them a little bit to get the feel of it.  What you don't want to do is just buy the chains, throw them in the car and then be sitting beside a snowy road reading the instructions.
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sparker

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Re: California to Ashland in February. Road conditions?
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2018, 02:50:23 AM »

Between 1987 and 1992 and again from 1997 to 2004 I made on average 6 round trips per year between either the Bay Area or SoCal and Portland and/or Seattle for business or to visit friends ('92-'97 I lived in Portland while in grad school and maybe made 1-2 trips per year to CA).  Some of those trips were over Christmas/New Years'; I can recall only three years -- in a row (from '89-'90 through '91-'92) where I-5 was either closed or featuring escorted "platoons" of cars; my usual alternative was to stick to the coast up to about OR 126 and take that over to I-5.  I was driving mini-trucks (Mazda and later Mitsubishi) with camper shells and always carried both cable and conventional chains, but the time differential between slogging up 101 and that of installing and removing chains with about 20mph maximum with them on was pretty much a wash -- and I've always liked the coast drive anyway.  The reason for staying on US 101 up to Florence was as much about the several small I-5 summits between Grants Pass & Roseburg, which tended to ice up rather than be packed with snow -- and I'd rather do 20 miles through snow than a single mile on black ice!  Avoidance of the issue altogether always seemed to be the best strategy to deal with it.  Unless you're have a specific reason for staying on I-5 such as interim stops or even skiing at Mt. Ashland, if the road reports indicate closures or other safety measures, IMO the best bet is to avoid the problem areas completely.   
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