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Old 10-12-2019, 11:54 PM   #1
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MN to OR route?

Want to cross the Rockies leaving MN next week (10/19) and getting to the OR coast. Driving a GMC 1500 w/a 5.0ta. No schedule or deadlines, but I'll not use 8 sets of tire chains! Realistic or foolish?
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Old 10-13-2019, 01:07 AM   #2
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It would be four sets of chains and maybe three. Traveling this time of year in the Rockies is a crapshoot. In my opinion, I wouldn't let the weather get in my way. The worst-case scenario is that you may get delayed for 24 hours while a snowstorm passes through. And you already have your accommodations with you. I've slept a few nights on the shoulder of I5 at the Siskiyou Pass waiting for the road to open.
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Old 10-13-2019, 01:06 PM   #3
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Yes... The Rockies being "continental weather", things change fast. We live at 8,300' in the Colorado Rocky foothills west of Boulder. This week Wed it was t-shirt and shorts weather. Thurs it got down to 15 deg with 3" of snow. Today it'll be 60 deg and the snow has melted.

Even mid-winter, the major roads here in Colorado tend to be clear of snow and dry within a day or two of a snow storm.

If you want the lowest "pass" over the Rockies, taken I-80 thru Wyoming. But not during a snowstorm because the blowing wind creates whiteouts!
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Old 10-13-2019, 06:42 PM   #4
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I concur with Greg. Take the Oregon Trail: I-80 and I-84.
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Old 10-14-2019, 02:34 PM   #5
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We'll be heading up to Chilliwack in late April 2020 to pick up our new E-21 on the 27th..by then will we expect the snows to have cleared mostly??
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Old 10-14-2019, 07:40 PM   #6
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We'll be heading up to Chilliwack in late April 2020 to pick up our new E-21 on the 27th..by then will we expect the snows to have cleared mostly??
Hijack?
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Old 10-15-2019, 10:49 AM   #7
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In both cases, it is wise to keep track of the weather, particularly on the passes. While major roads are cleared quickly, late & early snowstorms happen. As others have said, be prepared to "hunker down" for a day or two, waiting for clear roads.

Specific to April, I ran into open, but barely drivable (and I'm used to snow) I 90 at a Montana pass...
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:26 AM   #8
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You can usually find excellent, very frequently updated reports on road conditions, especially mountain pass conditions on the internet. The state DOT's report and in many cases provide live camera information that is very helpful.
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Old 10-21-2019, 12:04 AM   #9
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Talking I-80 route

Thanks for the info. I think we're going out that route and coming back the southern route, taking ~3 weeks or so to get home, camping along the way. Should be fun.
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Old 10-21-2019, 10:42 AM   #10
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Ditto here, Holly. On I90 leaving MN (and the rain) this a.m. Will try to outrun the wind, then get to I80.
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Old 10-21-2019, 01:01 PM   #11
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Living in Minnesota and having driven 80, 90 and 94 west numerous times we don't even bother with 80 anymore, unless going to Utah/Nevada. Flip a coin on 94 or 90.

OTOH, we enjoy taking US 212 west (The Yellowstone Trail). It may be slightly slower, but much more interesting.

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Old 10-21-2019, 02:21 PM   #12
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US20 is also one of my preferred routes from Oregon to MN.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Route_20
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Old 10-21-2019, 03:19 PM   #13
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We have driven portions of US-212, US-20, and US-12 through MT, WY, ID, and OR. They are all interesting, slower, generally 2 lane routes, that have much in the way of historical interest. However, when facing potential snow forecasts, we would stay with the Interstate routes.
Also, for those 2 lane routes, we plot our gas stops (read: gas availability) carefully, because when towing in the mountainous areas, we can get as low as 11-12 mpg, so we plan gas stops at 150-180 miles, and sometimes at 100 mi. intervals. Some small towns don't have gasoline availability when and where you would expect it.
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Old 10-21-2019, 06:29 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Farther View Post
US20 is also one of my preferred routes from Oregon to MN.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Route_20
Except it doesn't go to Minnesota.

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Old 10-22-2019, 12:22 PM   #15
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Except it doesn't go to Minnesota.
So when did Iowa secede from Minnesota? I guess I always take US16 to I-90 in the Black Hills. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Route_16
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:25 PM   #16
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So when did Iowa secede from Minnesota? I guess I always take US16 to I-90 in the Black Hills. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Route_16
Talk about insulting!

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Old 10-23-2019, 10:31 AM   #17
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I-80 thru WY has a lot of wind. That combined with snow/ice can make it no fun. Especially when the semi trucks don't care and continue along at 70+mph! Been there, but not towing thankfully.
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Old 10-23-2019, 10:55 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by flynfrfun View Post
I-80 thru WY has a lot of wind. That combined with snow/ice can make it no fun. Especially when the semi trucks don't care and continue along at 70+mph! Been there, but not towing thankfully.
I80, I70, I90, I94, 212, 20, etc. all will have wind/snow/ice. Pick your poison. If the weather is nice going to Arizona I'll take Wolf Creek Pass for it's raw beauty, but the weather better be favorable. The scariest one is I70 across Colorado through the Rockies. YMMV.

Enjoy,

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Old 10-23-2019, 11:22 AM   #19
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Have decided no Oregon this trip - straight to AZ. Sunny, dry, flatland, but the wind is incredible. Over the Rockies? No thanks!
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Old 10-23-2019, 11:24 PM   #20
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Talking Oregon no?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PM15283 View Post
Have decided no Oregon this trip - straight to AZ. Sunny, dry, flatland, but the wind is incredible. Over the Rockies? No thanks!
WE wd rather not have to drive
"up there' either, but unless ETI opens their new Distributorship in AZ b4 May we will be forced to go. With my usual luck, the day we pick up the 21 [April 27th] will be the day b4 ETI opens the shop in AZ. My bad.
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