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  • Kiarna Harvey
  • "Road trip in January from Vancouver to LA - weather conditions?"

Kiarna Harvey

Townsville, Queensland

Road trip in January from Vancouver to LA - weather conditions?

My friend and I are thinking about driving from Vancouver to LA in January but are concerned about the weather conditions and if we will have any issues driving this trip?? Thoughts? 

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9 Answers

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  • Los Angeles (city)

    Los Angeles California

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    Portland Oregon

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  • Grapevine (city)

    Kern County CA 93225

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  • Spencer Spellman

    answered by

    You'll be fine. The 5 runs all the way down the west coast, however, it's one of the most boring drives in history, especially the California section. It'll be your fastest route, but I'd recommend doing some of the 101 and Highway 1. The best parts of it are the 101 through the Oregon coast and Highway 1 through Central California and Big Sur. It'll more than triple the time it takes but they are some of my favorite routes in the world. I wrote a couple guides for both:

    https://www.yahoo.com/travel/highway-101-up-the-oregon-coastline-107518475517.html

    http://whiskeytangoglobetrot.com/guide-pacific-coast-highway-big-sur/

    Big Surimage from whiskeytangoglobetrot.com


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  • chuck lee

    answered by

    I drive from Portland to Los Angeles every year in January along I5. Vancouver BC to portland is ok, try not to be in portland at rush hour or it can take hours to get from portland to wilsonville. If you do hit portland during rush hour. get off and explore alberta st.

    From portland on there is grants pass which is usually clear.

    On exit 99 on the west side there is a gas station (the other side of the freeway from casino). Restaurant has the best food along I5 in oregon.

    The problem is Sisikyou pass. That can get alot of snow and lots of accidents. Best time to cross is around noon. The roads are cleaned and gravel laid down. You must carry chains. Oregon has ODOT cameras so I check them before I get to the passes.

    https://tripcheck.com/Pages/CamerasEntry.asp

    After the Siskyou passes, you are pretty much in california which takes good care of their roads. It is windy and steep till you get to redding. Then it is a straight and boring drive till the Grapevine which is just outside of LA.

    Also in Medford there is the rogue creamery which is not that far off the freeway which has Oregon cheeses, meats, and wines.

    Just before the grapevine is Pea Soup Andersen's which is a cool rest stop. Soup does taste real good after a 14 hour drive.

    Like others have said. If the journey is more important than getting there as fast as possible, take 101 and 1, more scenic.


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  • Warren Thompson

    answered by

    January is probably the worst time of year to do a road trip from Vancouver to Los Angeles for weather conditions. That being said, Vancouver didn't actually receive ANY snow last winter so you will probably be fine. I think you'd have a higher chance of running into snowy conditions in the higher elevations of hwy in south oregon / north cali.

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  • Chris Hansen

    answered by

    Once in a while there will be some ice on the roads in the morning north of Portland. But nothing after noon. The coast route is very scenic but factor at least a x3 amount of time to do that. Lots of small towns with lights and speed zones.

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  • Marilou Appleby

    answered by

    You will be fine. Stay on the I5. Have done it many times with a friend. Take turns driving and you will be there in no time:)

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  • David Shen

    answered by

    Well, driving through Seattle, you will most likely meet the rain.

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  • Brett Domue

    answered by

    There can also be road issues on the I-5 at the Grapevine pass just before you get into the LA area. I've heard the road can be closed at times due to the weather. Tasking the coast road should alleviate this potential issue though.

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  • Tiffany Weber

    answered by

    Every year is different. The I-5 is reliable, but you could have snow/ice in the mountain passes particularly south of Ashland. There shouldn't be any problems once you get south of Mount Shasta.

    Have chains in your car and know how to put them on. There are chain advisories when the weather is bad and places to pull over and put them on.

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  • Valerie Stimac

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    answered first by

    Kiarna, hi! This sounds like an awesome trip. Let me see if I can help.

    I am a Seattle-based traveler, and I've done the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) -- it runs the roast from Washington to the Mexico border, and it's a pretty temperate climate year-round. You might not have warm air temperatures, but that's similar to summer.

    If you're going to be driving the interstate (I-5), I wouldn't worry at all -- Seattle is unlikely to have snow (if there is, they do a pretty good job of keeping the highway clear and safe), and once you're south of Seattle, the weather improves enough that snow shouldn't be a concern.

    Hope this helps!

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