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  1. Default Westfalia Winnipeg Canada to Oregon coast October

    Planning a trip to Oregon coast in October. Any advice on routes to avoid steep mountain passes , with a minimum of interstate highways?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default That's a Contradiction

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    "...routes to avoid steep mountain passes, with a minimum of interstate highways?"

    The fact is that the Interstate Highway System was built, in large part, to provide high speed transport (think trucks, tanks, troop transports) through areas where it was impossible at the time. That included major metropolitan areas and mountains. Interstates are built to design criteria that limit the grade to less than 6% (Not true of the roads they replaced or bypassed) and to radii of curvature that would not require significant slowing by top-heavy trucks (Not true of the roads they replaced or bypassed). The fact is that you have to cross several mountain ranges between Winnipeg and the Oregon coast and only the Interstates will let you do that while avoiding steep mountain passes. You should be OK on 'surface roads' as far as Great Falls Montana, but after that if you want flat, you'll have to be on the Interstates.

    AZBuck

  3. Default Further

    Thanks for the advice. Wondering if we can take hwy 2 to Kalispell then 93 south to I 90 rather than to Great Falls? Not sure about the grade through here. Appreciate any help with this.

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    "...routes to avoid steep mountain passes, with a minimum of interstate highways?"

    The fact is that the Interstate Highway System was built, in large part, to provide high speed transport (think trucks, tanks, troop transports) through areas where it was impossible at the time. That included major metropolitan areas and mountains. Interstates are built to design criteria that limit the grade to less than 6% (Not true of the roads they replaced or bypassed) and to radii of curvature that would not require significant slowing by top-heavy trucks (Not true of the roads they replaced or bypassed). The fact is that you have to cross several mountain ranges between Winnipeg and the Oregon coast and only the Interstates will let you do that while avoiding steep mountain passes. You should be OK on 'surface roads' as far as Great Falls Montana, but after that if you want flat, you'll have to be on the Interstates.

    AZBuck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    US-2 has no severe grades, but it's far from being flat. US-93 is a good road.

    Here's a shortcut to get from US-93 to I-90 - at Elmo, take MT-28 to MT-382 to MT-200 to MT-135. Very scenic and no severe grades.

  5. Default

    Second part of this routing is if we take 95 south for Coeur D'alene to Weiser, what is hwy 20 like going west to Bend, and then from Bend to Hwy 5? Many thanks for the great advice!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default A Solution in Search of a Problem

    Again, your best bet for avoiding steep grades and tight turns is to use the Interstate Highway System. That's why it was built. US-20 is fine for most of its route through Oregon, but note that eastern Oregon is basically a desert with few towns and services. Then you will have to cross Santiam Pass through the Cascade Range at an elevation of over 4,800 feet with significant grades on both sides of the pass and switchbacks on the western slope.

    AZBuck

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