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Advice: Road Condition to Tualatin, OR (from LA)

Which Car?

  • Subaru Outback

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
Dear Northwest Friends,

Looks like our Christmas will be spent in Tualatin, OR this year. My wife and I have decided to forgo flying and make a road trip out of this, trekking up from Los Angeles, CA. What has not been decided on is which car to take: 1) Model 3 LR-AWD on oem 18" all-season tires or 2) Subbie Outback on either oem all-season or Michelin X-Ice snow.

Clearly we like the prospect of taking the Model 3 or we won't be having this conversation. Even after 27k miles, it's still so dang fun to drive the 3 compare to anything else, even more so on a road trip. We also really enjoy making all the supercharging stops. However there's the added concern for potential snow and extra cold-temp, particularly through the mountains. That is not to say the 3 can't handle them, just requires a lot more situational management (reduced range and non-ideal tires for snow/ice).

So, how has the weather been in the Northwest recently?

We'll be making our way up on 12/21 and then leaving on 12/27. The current weather forecast seemed rather mild (no snow?), but can one really trust the weatherman?

What are your thoughts and experience traversing this route (essentially I-5 all the way) in your Tesla?

All feedback welcomed.

Thanks in advance. :)


Running on Empty
Sep 16, 2016
Agree that Siskiyou Pass (~4,000 ft) is pretty much all you have to worry about. I-5 is obviously well-maintained so as long as it's dry through there the day you drive through, you'll be fine. Even if it snowed the day before, they will have it plowed and sanded by then. To be safe, I would try to drive that stretch during daylight hours if at all possible.

The area of primary concern is from Redding, CA to Ashland, OR, but Ashland up to about Cottage Grove also has some elevations in the 1,000-2000 ft range, so that can have some ice/snow issues when the lowlands are fine sometimes. The lowlands north of Cottage Grove rarely get winter storms that affect driving conditions.

If I were you, I'd look at the forecast before leaving and if the 12/21 forecast looks good and the 12/27 forecast (that forecast will be much less reliable a week out) doesn't look horrible, then I'd take the Model 3. You could always take 101 back down the coast if I-5 looks snow on 12/27. It would be 3-4 hours longer but it's nice to drive a different route on the way home and see different things and different superchargers anyway in my opinion.
You could always take 101 back down the coast if I-5 looks snow on 12/27. It would be 3-4 hours longer but it's nice to drive a different route on the way home and see different things and different superchargers anyway in my opinion.
I had to do this once several winters ago going from Portland to the bay area. At first I was furious that I had to add so much time to an already long trip, until I got to Reedsport and remembered why I love living in Oregon in the first place.
Yeah the trip took longer than if it were dry roads down I-5, but the beauty of the Oregon and northern California coast is just mesmerizing and relaxing to me.
Hi Folks,

Thank you all again for the regional road tips. I thought I'd report back on a successful trip.

Perhaps it was luck that both my wife and I got sick leading up to the trip and ultimately delayed our departure by a couple days. As the result we completely averted the storms that were rolling through the region.

Ironically the worse of it turned out to be in our own backyard. On the return trip, the I-5 Grapevine/Tejon Pass was shut down yet again due to snow & ice. We fortunately did not have to wait too long by the time we got into that area. After a 15 minute wait, it was re-opened but not without the cautious escort of the California Highway Patrol through the first few miles. Several cars abandoned were seen off to the side, facing the wrong way, having slid off some time earlier. Yay SoCal drivers.

On a slightly sour note, I did incur a speeding ticket through the Shasta/Redding region on the way back. Nailed by a CHP bird. Say what?! Sure enough, there was a CHP Cessna circling above, hawing over the motorists through this oh-so-convenient downhill section. At the bottom, his buddy awaits and proceeded to pull over cars after cars. Alas I own up to my own action. It has been a long while since my last infraction. Traffic school, here I come … hopefully.

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