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Old 02-16-2011, 04:02 PM   #1
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How to avoid the Tehachapi Pass?

We drove to Inyokern, CA, planning to visit Death Valley NP. Only to arrive at the start of a wind and snow storm. Now we want to continue on to the Fresno, CA area.

Forecast for the Tehachapi Pass looks grim for the next two days. So I'm looking for alternatives.

Anyone driven south on 58 out of Mohave, then west on 138 from Rosamond to Gorman, there to pick up I5 south?

Thanks much.
Bruce [and Jenna plus Clancy the Australian Terrier]
2007 F350 DRW and 2007 Excel L33RSE
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Old 02-16-2011, 05:33 PM   #2
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You'll need I-5 North once you get there... but it's not a bad route you've set although the Grapevine can get closed for snow if it's coming down heavy. But it's not too terrible at all.

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Old 02-16-2011, 06:00 PM   #3
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College Days Haze

I drove that Highway 58 eons ago back in College, but not much is remembered from those times. When a Storm was about to pound SoCal last December, that Highway was given on Radio as a alt. route for all Traffic.

I've become a big fan of flyover pix on Google Earth for Trip recon. Once downloaded, you can invoke left side Website page options like Reviews of places [on TripAdvisor], and uploaded Tourista pix on 'Panoramio'. I scouted in advance a Boondocking trip to Lake Powell. It was very kewl to see so much in advance. There were plenty of linked Big Rig Owner Reviews re: various Campgrounds; view spots; and Fuel Stations. If Google Earth isn't working for you on your 'Net connection speed, at least try Trip Advisor for Reviews. Since you're heading towards where ~80% of U.S. Fruit/Veggies come from, perhaps Semi Truck Haulers you chat up can tell you about Road conditions. If there's some restriction re: ' 30' And Over To Kingpin Not Advised ', that info would be on the CalTrans Website. I don't believe that's the case.

My main point here is that a lil readout at the Google Earth Webpage bottom tells you ground elevation at the crosshairs icon. Along with a scale, as on a Map, you can deduce over linear distance how steep grades and curves are, and other info that prevents being blindsided like Ricky & Lucy in 'The Long Long Trailer'.

I zoomed in on the Campground at 'Lee's Ferry' AZ to see fine details in advance. Very kewl.
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:12 PM   #4
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Traveled the road many times and it is straight and AVOIDS the Tehachapi pass. I would go south out of Mojave and pick up 138. Good road but watch your speed. Hood up at Gorman and go north on 5 till you hit the 99 split.
2004 Monaco SE
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:14 PM   #5
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You would be going south on the 14, not the 58, and exiting on the 138. The road is okay, but as previously mentioned you would be hitting the grapevine at the 5 which is notorious for being closed in bad weather. Personally, I would choose to take the 58 to Bakersfield--it a really good road.
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Old 02-17-2011, 11:11 AM   #6
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Although each storm can be different, its typical that the same wind & snow storms that hit Tehachapi Pass also hit the top of the Grapevine. Hwy 138 is ok, but not as good as 58, and you're likely to go out of your way and then end up in the same storm conditions. Tehachapi pass is just under 4000 ft elevation and top of the Grapevine, Gorman to Lebec, is just over 4000 ft.
If you dont want to drive through the current storm, just hang out where you are for a day and the storm is likely to be gone as quick as it arrived.
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:49 PM   #7
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I travelled both highways this past month in my motorhome - the main difference between the two routes is HWY 58 is freeway and the other is two lane highway. My preference is across HWY 58.
Bob, Sandi & Marmaduke the Big Pug and Tasha a Frenchie and Tiki a Skipperkey
SW OREGON 2004 Dolphin
If towing: a 2006 Mini Cooper or 2015 RAM Limited 4X4 or a 86 El Camino on a trailer
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