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Old 07-23-2008, 07:08 PM   #1
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Next month we need to travel from Junction City OR to Ogden UT with our 40' DP and toad. SR-126 to SR-142 to US-20 to I-84 at Ontario OR seems to be by far the most direct route.

Is anyone familiar with this route, and can tell me what to expect? We have to cross mountains somewhere, but would these particular roads be a bad choice with motorhome & toad due to mountains, etc?
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Old 07-23-2008, 07:08 PM   #2
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Next month we need to travel from Junction City OR to Ogden UT with our 40' DP and toad. SR-126 to SR-142 to US-20 to I-84 at Ontario OR seems to be by far the most direct route.

Is anyone familiar with this route, and can tell me what to expect? We have to cross mountains somewhere, but would these particular roads be a bad choice with motorhome & toad due to mountains, etc?
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Old 07-23-2008, 07:45 PM   #3
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by AFChap:
SR-126 to SR-142 to US-20 to I-84 at Ontario OR seems to be by far the most direct route.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>Paul,
Might you mean SR-242? SR-242 looks like a small road on my maps.

Anyhow, I have heard from fellow travelers SR-126 is an OK road. Last August we crossed the Cascades from Salem to Bend via SR 22, 126 and US 20. Though only two-lanes, all were fine for us. US 20 from Bend to Ontario was uneventful, even boring at times (though I never get tired of looking at the scenery wherever we are ).

Maybe Monaco Mama can shed some light on SR-242.
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Old 07-24-2008, 07:50 AM   #4
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by AFChap:
Next month we need to travel from Junction City OR to Ogden UT with our 40' DP and toad. SR-126 to SR-142 to US-20 to I-84 at Ontario OR seems to be by far the most direct route. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
If you mean SR-242 instead of SR-142 (I couldn't find an SR-142), DO NOT take SR-242!!! It has a length limit...I don't remember what it is right off hand, but it's shorter than your 40' motorhome! (SR-242 is the road that splits from SR-126 a few miles east of McKenzie Bridge and goes into Sisters.)

Instead, continue on SR-126 until its junction with US-20...the rest of your route is as you describe.

ON EDIT: The Mountain Directory West (if you don't have this, I highly recommend getting a copy if you're going to do any amount of driving in the mountainous Western U.S.) says that vehicles over 50' prohibited (I could have sworn that the sign before entering the road had a shorter length limit, but apparently not). It goes on to say that it's an extremely narrow and winding road with many tight hairpin turns, especially on the west side of McKenzie Pass and has verticle rocks on the edge of the road in places..."The highway on the west side of this pass is so narrow that in many places a regular sized vehicle such as a pickup or van will be over the center line. ... A small motorhome might make it over this pass but there is a risk of damage."

In short, don't drive this road in anything other than a car!
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Old 07-24-2008, 08:25 AM   #5
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Few Route options:

1.) Go north, follow I-5 to I-84 which will turn into I-80 and eventually get you to Ogden.

2.) Go south, Take Hwy 58 out of Eugene to Hwy 97, follow 97 to Klammath Falls, then take 140 to Hwy 95 in Nevada and 95 back down to I-80.

3.) Go south, take Hwy 126 and keep going east till you hit Redmond, then get on Hwy 20 which will take you the rest of the way to Ontario.

I don't know how the grades are east of Burns to Ontario, but either way you'll be fighting your way through the blue mountains.

Flatest, safest route is the interstates. Stay off SR-242, its got ALOT of hair pin turns, and a fairly steep grade. I took my little plymouth acclaim over that one time, the view at the top is stupendous, but the drive to get there is insane.
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Old 07-24-2008, 08:28 AM   #6
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I suggest you take Sunday drive in the car and check it out. 126 has some steep sections but you will be going up. We followed a motor home down from SR20 a few years ago. Just before we started down I saw the MH ahead. I geared down before staring down. About a mile down my wife asked if our brakes were hot. I said no because we won't smell our brakes while moving, it must be the MH. About another mile and the MH was setting on the side of the road with smoke rolling off all 4 wheels. If you want the shortest and more scenic route then go this way. If you want an easier route go to Portland and take I84. One time I checked the 2 routes for milage from Ontario to Woodburn and to my surprise I84 was shorter. It will be a little longer for you but may not be as much as you think.
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Old 07-24-2008, 01:41 PM   #7
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Right, it would be SR242 rather than SR142. And thanks for the several warnings against 242!! Sounds like that might be the route Lucy & Desi took in "The Long Long Trailer!" With our toad, we are right at 61 ft.

No chance for a Sunday drive to check it out routes. We plan to make it at least a two-day drive.

According to MS Streets & Trips:
- Backtracking up to Portland to go around via interstate would be 832 mi
- SR126 to Bend then US26 across would be 784mi
- SR126 to up to US20 and across would be 760 mi
- Back north to Albany and US20 all the way across would be 764 mi
- SR58 to SR140 to US95 to I-80 would be 850 mi
One I now see that wasn't mentioned yet would be:
- SR58 to US97 up to Bend to US20 and across would be 780 mi ... altitudes on this route don't appear as high as further north. Comments on this one?

126 to 20 -OR- Albany & 20 across sounds like the best compromise unless the last one I listed outshines them all. 20 from Albany to the 20/126 junction looks like there are more curves than 126 from Eugene up to 20. Any comments on comparison between those two routes?
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Old 07-24-2008, 03:00 PM   #8
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The easiest and quickest way is via the freeway system...via Portland, la grand to Burley, id. via snowville to Ogden..., The road to bend via 242 or what ever it is makes me nervous in a car...and is extremely slow...
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Old 07-24-2008, 03:45 PM   #9
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Here's a better question. Do you want to tackle the Blue mountains on a 2 lane highway with no runaway turn outs, or a wide interstate with passing lanes and runaway zones. Also, yer going to be running across desert country with towns few and far between. Highways here tend to have steeper grades than their interstate sisters.

Here's tripcheck picture of that section of highway.

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Old 07-25-2008, 05:55 AM   #10
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Backtracking up to Portland to go around via interstate would be 832 mi </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yep this is correct, but time wise a lot less time on the road...I have been both ways (thru bend and around the freeway) and I won't go past Bend towards the coast again...to much work on my nerves in a MH..
Good luck...
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Old 07-25-2008, 07:00 AM   #11
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I would not be concerned about SR-126 *if* you are an experienced mountain driver and know how to gear down going down a mountain pass. We've driven this road several times in an RV and have had no problems.

There are only two passes of any note on US-20 between Burns and the Oregon/Idaho border: Drinkwater Pass and Stinkingwater Pass which have grades of up to 6% (both up and down) for varying lengths (again, I suggest getting a copy of the Mountain Directory West). This is another road we've driven numerous times in an RV without any problems.
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