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sf to portland

San Francisco...
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sf to portland

i'm driving from san fran to portland- looking to do it in one day. it's just me and my dog and i want to do it fast and safely. I-5 will be my route, i'm curious what the terrain is like and what cell reception is like. what can i expect?

Eugene, Oregon
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for Eugene, Springfield
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1. Re: sf to portland

Under normal circumstances, you can do this in 11-12 hours, although some on this forum might suggest you could do it faster (especially if you don't stop for meals and leg stretching rest breaks...which are strongly encouraged). A lot depends, however, on when you'll be making the trip and what the weather is.

The only problem you might have between SF and the 505 cut-off ti I-5 will be traffic. From there to Redding, it's flat and fast...unless you encounter thule fog...which can slow you down considerably. After Redding you go through the twists and turns around Shasta Lake, then it's stright again until you get to Siskiyou Pass on the border between Yreka and Ashland. It's only 40 miles and the pass is only 4000 ft., but it can get slammed in winter by snow (check www.tripcheck.com for road conditions and forecasts). Great efforts are made to keep the pass open, but there are times you are required to carry chains. After the Siskiyous, the only other challenge is Sexton Summit just north of Grants Pass, but it shouldn't pose much of a problem if you got over Siskiyou Pass OK. After that, it's a straight freeway run to Portland.

Again, if you're coming during the mid to late fall through the spring months, you have to allow for weather...snow, Ice, rain, fog and even freezing fog.

But your only other choice would be coming up the coast and that can't be done in one day safely.

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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2. Re: sf to portland

There are actually two more mountain-type passes in Oregon in addition to the two oregonpoppa mentioned - Stagecoach Pass is one and I forget the other - plus one in far northern CA . We tow a big 5th wheel so notice them a lot more, LOL ;-) The only fairly high one is Siskiyou, though.

Verizon has the most cell coverage in rural parts of northern CA and Oregon, and other than when you're right in the mountains, cell service is good for them. AT&T is also okay most places, but T-Mobile is useless in rural areas.

Other than a few spots here and there, you can easily average a safe 65 MPH on the whole route. The scenery is dull until you reach about Red Bluff, then it gets pleasant for most of the rest of your journey. There are lots of places to eat along the freeway, and rest stops roughly every 30-40 miles or so.

Edited: 03 November 2010, 04:52
Portland, Oregon
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3. Re: sf to portland

To add to the two replies above:

The Siskiyou Pass can be closed, sometimes for a couple of *days*. All depends on the snow. I'd suggest checking the forecast a day ahead of the trip just to see what is likely weather. As Oregonpoppa said - Tripcheck.com will let you know.

The next (and last) set of mountains is the three between Grants Pass & Roseburg - Stagecoach, Sexton, and Smith. If Siskiyou Pass was ok, these are generally ok too. Do watch for black ice though. Takes a lot of folks by surprise. Also between Grants Pass & Roseburg there is essentially no gas, so check at GP.

That is it for mountains between CA border & Portland. Oregon has a great rest stop system - I encourage making use of them on any long trip. They all have doggy stop areas too so your traveling companion will appreciate them also. Doggy water is not always available, so I'd bring your own.

Cell coverage - I can only speak for Verizon: has pretty consistent coverage Medford to Portland. Maybe a bit of an issue in the hills north of GP but otherwise it is clear sailing. Wireless will have less coverage - again primarily in those mountains.

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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4. Re: sf to portland

>> Also between Grants Pass & Roseburg there is essentially no gas, so check at GP.<<

There is a *large* gas and fuel station with good prices right on the freeway at 7 Feathers Casino in Canyonville. Can't miss it. It also has a good sized convenience store with deli and ice cream :-)

>> Doggy water is not always available, so I'd bring your own. <<

Any rest stop with restrooms will have running water inside in the restroom sink. Outside faucets may be shut off in winter.

San Francisco...
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5. Re: sf to portland

i really appreciate all the info! thanks!

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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6. Re: sf to portland

You're welcome and have a safe trip :-)

7. Re: sf to portland

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