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  1. Default Port Angeles to Los Angeles in February

    We're heading south and are wondering if it is wise to drive the I5 all the way to L.A. or cut across to the 101 to avoid the mountain passes in Southern Oregon and Northern California. If so, what would be a route to cut across to the coast? We have at least 3 or 4 days.
    Last edited by AZBuck; 01-22-2008 at 10:57 AM. Reason: Formatting

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Not a Tough Choice, Really

    The Interstate Highway system is constructed to specifications which limit the grade (steepness) and curvature of the road. The 'old' US Highway system was not. There is no way that US-101 is going to be a safer, faster, or less stressful drive than I-5.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Scenic Drive or Speed Run?

    Either route should be fine.

    Once in a blue moon, if not less often, parts of I-5 over the passes in southern OR and northern CA might be closed for short periods of time while road crews clear the roads off. But this road is so well-travelled that travel is rarely an issue.

    That said, whenever you travel in the winter, it's always a good idea to plan for possible delays while waiting for a road to be cleared. Sometimes this might even mean an overnight layover. And carrying chains is a good idea, too.

    Traveling 101 down the coast is going to be comparable to driving conditions in Port Angeles. The road is very similar to 101 from Port Angeles to Olympia...the same type of 2-lane road, windy in places, a few hills, and some flat and wider stretches. But the weather-related road conditions are going to be more similar to what you might find on the 101 stretch on the west (Forks, etc.) because of proximity to the ocean. So it really depends on what kind of storm front, if any, is coming through. If you're comfortable driving in Port Angeles and the surrounding area in February, you'll be fine on the coast.

    If this is roundtrip, I suggest going one way down and the other route back home. Four days would make a nice coastal trip. You won't have time to linger and explore, but you can make the trip in four days if you keep moving. You will have to drive fairly long days to do it in four days but I think the scenery is worth it if you've never doen it. You can drive the I-5 route in two very long days.

    There are several good routes to take from the coast to I-5. However, be aware that if weather has turned foul, these roads aren't as well-travelled as either the coast or I-5 and aren't likely to get as quick of attention by road crews. You will want to double-check with local authorities on the conditions for any of these routes as most of them are in the hills and heavy snow could be a factor. The major routes are Portland to Tillamook, Salem to Lincoln City, Albany to Newport, Eugene to Florence, Drain to Reedsport, Winston to Bandon, and Grants Pass to Crescent City. As you go south, these routes tend to get longer and take you over higher elevations.
    Last edited by PNW Judy; 01-22-2008 at 01:17 PM. Reason: added info

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