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Traveling from Boise Idaho to Eugene, Oregon during Winter

Boise, Idaho
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Traveling from Boise Idaho to Eugene, Oregon during Winter

I am looking at traveling From Boise Idaho to Eugene Oregon during the winter months but don't know the road conditions and passes. The travel would take place on Interstate 20 I believe. What are the roads like, are there major passes, and is that not advisable during November through February? Any info would be greatly appreciated

Florence, Oregon
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1. Re: Traveling from Boise Idaho to Eugene, Oregon during Winter

I made a trip from Laramie, WY to Florence, through Boise, in late December 2001. We cut off of I-84 at Ontario and took Hwy 20 into Bend, as it sounds you are considering too.

The Hwy 20 route is good road and mostly flat, with only one minor pass to traverse. The biggest challenge, if there is one to be had, will be over the Cascades. Assuming you will travel Hwy20/22/126 from Sisters to Eugene, you will find a lot of ups and downs, especially once you cut off of Hwy 20 on to Hwy 126. I find this somewhat troubling in the snow (I prefer one long uphill grade, then one long downhill).

Please keep in mind, that if there is snow on the pass, it will be a different snow than you are used to. Once you get west of the summit of the Cascades, the snow has a much higher moisture content and thus will be a lot slicker. The same rules apply however; have good traction tires/chains, slow down, make no sudden moves, and double (at least) your following distance.

If there is a LOT of snow in the Cascades, you might want to consider dropping down Hwy 97 from Bend to Crescent Jct and taking Hwy 58 over Willamette Pass into Eugene. It really doesn't take any longer and it is, as described earlier, basically one long grade up, and back down.

Use this website to check road conditions:


Either way, both routes are well maintained during the winter.

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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2. Re: Traveling from Boise Idaho to Eugene, Oregon during Winter

Hi Curt F and welcome to TripAdvisor. You should also post this on the Idaho forum.

You'll find it here... tripadvisor.com/ListForums-g191-i3-United_St…

Corvallis, Oregon
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3. Re: Traveling from Boise Idaho to Eugene, Oregon during Winter

I would recommend also considering I-84 to Portland, then I-5 south to Eugene, depending on the weather. The biggest potential winter problem with that route is possible ice on I-84, but that all depends on the day and the weather, especially the wind. Tripcheck.com is your best bet to look at, as Dengay mentioned.

If there's snow in the mountains but the main routes are just wet, you could take 84 and 5 in about the same or less time than hwy 20. The benefit of taking 84 and 5 is speed limit (higher) if weather is OK and more traffic if you have a problem. Hwy 20 is fairly flat til Bend but not heavily traveled and a long distance between cities in the eastern part of the state. If you're not a confident winter driver, the freeway options may be best.

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4. Re: Traveling from Boise Idaho to Eugene, Oregon during Winter

We lived in John Day for several years and had to go home for Christmas to Corvallis so had to go across Cascades on Santiam US20. We could adjust our days to wait for a storm to pass, and we always had sawdust tires in winter. So we always made it

However one time we had a work session in Corvallis from John Day. two car loads of us headed back in afternoon. We had to chain up somewhere east of Sweet Home, didn't take them off till many miles east of Prineville. Second car load was a bit behind us. State closed Santiam and they had to turn back. So it can get that bad. And it was really fortunate we had a carload to help with driving and chains.

I-84 also can get closed, two places most often, between La Grande and Pendleton and Ladd Canyon between Baker and La Grande.

But when it gets that bad plenty of warning, and you can stay home.

Edited: 08 September 2013, 18:37
5. Re: Traveling from Boise Idaho to Eugene, Oregon during Winter

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