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I want to ride down to the Bay Area, CA in December. Going over the southern i5 mountain passes in December is probably not a good idea. Anyone have a 'safe' travel recommendation from Salem to Northern, CA? Coastal route maybe?
Thanks!!
 

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I think that would be your best option to avoid freezing precipitation. While it does snow on the coast sometimes, it is relatively rare compared to he mountain passes and any other route includes mountains and a higher chance of snow.

A quick weather check the day you leave could give you a good indication if I5 would be clear over the passes. From that you could choose your route if you wanted the fast option vs. the scenic option.
 

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As you know, we were cheated with an early winter... I think going the scenic route is perfect, even if it is raining ;)
Thanks for the feedback.
 

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PSYCHO,
If it were my choice I would take Hwy 97 then to I5 or head West on Hwy 20 and South on 101 until CA 36 and head East to I5. As was said earlier it is really dependent upon the the day of departure or day prior weather. Be safe!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
PSYCHO,
If it were my choice I would take Hwy 97 then to I5 or head West on Hwy 20 and South on 101 until CA 36 and head East to I5. As was said earlier it is really dependent upon the the day of departure or day prior weather. Be safe!!
The concern would be getting over to 97 from Salem. Are there any access points that do not go over a mountain pass? Is 58 lower altitude?
 

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The concern would be getting over to 97 from Salem. Are there any access points that do not go over a mountain pass? Is 58 lower altitude?
On google maps, set up your route, then choose the bicycle option. It will give you elevation graph for the chosen route. It is sort of small and doesn't seem to give an easy way to see the specific elevation at any point but it gives some idea of the elevation along the route if only from the maximum and minimum elevations on the vertical axis of the graph.

It appears that they are very similar in elevation...both around 5,000 feet.
 

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If you can, CA 36 is a wonderful ride. I always include it when I go down to ride the Mattoale RD/ on my way to Laguna Seca.
 
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