Drving the grapevine in the winter.

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May 12th, 2014, 09:11 AM
  #1
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Join Date: May 2014
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Drving the grapevine in the winter.

HI, all!

Brand new here. I have a question.

I am driving from LA California to Vancouver Washington for Christmas. I know that is a ways away but I want to get planned ahead. What are the opinions of safety, in driving the grapevine in the winter. My family did it when i was kid but this will be the first major road trip I have taken with out my family it will just be my self and my wife.

I have driven in winter conditions before and I have driven from Phoenix to LA before. I know it is nto the same but What I am getting at is i have driven long stretches before.
dchsknight is offline  
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May 12th, 2014, 10:09 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
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How much time do you have for the trip? There are so many California licensed drivers that have never driven in snow that the CHP tends to shut down the Grapevine whenever it snows or it gets slippery. If this should happen, take US101 all the way to Paso Robles and then 46 and 41 east to get back to I-5.
Timing your trip to avoid storms and having a plan to get off the interstate if a storm rolls in at least for a few hours is wise. If this is a rental car you are driving, consider taking the train (Coast Starlight) even if it does cost a bit more than driving yourself.
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May 12th, 2014, 10:17 AM
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I've only driven it southbound, because I get nervous about possibly running into tule fog in December in the Central Valley, so what we always did when driving up to Sacramento was take the 101 then cut over on the 152 (think that is the highway we took) and then take the I-5 back on return.
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May 12th, 2014, 07:32 PM
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The likelihood of the Grapevine getting serious amounts of snow in December is pretty slim. Watch the weather forecasts in the days before your planned departure date. In the off-chance a big storm is predicted, you could always leave a day earlier or later or take an alternate route out of L.A.

I would think your odds of getting really bad weather in December will be farther north. Mt. Shasta area, southern Oregon, for example.
Jean is offline  
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May 13th, 2014, 01:59 AM
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Amen. While December can have some heavyh weather - check the reports/forecasts - but also agree, you are more likely to hit some snow when getting to Southern Oregon/Northern CaL -than when going over the grapevine - another 700+ miles further south.
Tomsd is offline  
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May 14th, 2014, 08:09 AM
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The CHP shutdown of the Grapevine happens but it is rare. When it does happen, it usually isn't very long. I wouldn't give it a second thought now, but if there is a severe weather forecast in that area at time of departure, then you can make a contingency plan.
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May 14th, 2014, 08:56 AM
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It happens a few times a year due to an abundance of caution. Local media can predict it fairly accurately .
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