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  1. Default Salt Lake to Seattle in December

    I am curious if there is a route where snow isn't a huge problem and that won't take an eternity. Here are the options I considered.

    Drive through Boise, ID, through eastern oregon and eastern washington and over the cascades. Problem: Blue Mountains in Oregon and Cascades could have really inclimate weather.

    Drive up to Missoula, MT and then drive I-90 to seattle. This will effectively take the Blue Mountains out of the picture but you still have the Cascades and who knows what kind of snow will be in Montana.

    You can't avoid the Blue Mountains unless you go way to the south and go through like Carson City or Reno, NV. The route through Carson City or Reno will take you up into Medford and then you can go up I-5. Problem: That route will scrape the eastern part of the Sierra Nevadas.

    You don't have to go through Nevada, you can just go straight through southern oregon to Medford and then up I-5. But that passes close to Crater Lake where I heard snow can be quite the problem as well. Is there really no solution? I could go to sacramento and then up I-5 but that would take an eternity.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Nothing Perfect

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    You are right, each and everyone one of those routes has the possibility of snow and other winter weather. Even your Sacramento idea would force you to go over Grants Pass on I-5 at the CA/OR border.

    But the reality is, the possibility of snowy weather is just a fact of life almost anywhere in the US in the winter. However, just because there is a chance of bad weather, it doesn't mean you will actually see bad weather at the time you need to make your trip.

    The direct route is almost always your best option, but before you leave, check the forecasts, and if there is bad weather expected on that route, then look for alternate options.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default Two choices


    Realistically, the only choices are your first and second, with a preference for the second. If the weather is bad in eastern Washington, you can cut over to Portland and head up I-5. This detour adds less than 2 hours to the trip. If you go through Missoula you have no alternatives.

    The alternates further south start adding huge amounts of time because the roads are much slower, and if you hit bad weather crossing the Sierra or Cascades in Nevada, northern California or southern Oregon you are far less likely to get through in a timely manner. In my experience the Interstates are usually in better shape than the secondary roads, so I'd vote for the Boise route. After Pendleton, OR you can decide whether to head NW or just W then N.

    Good luck, and keep that weather radio tuned in.

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years

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