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iLUVdisneyLAND 12-07-2009 09:46 PM

Question about driving the Grapevine
Hi Everyone,

1st post here...just wanted to thank everyone for their great info...I have been lurking here for a few weeks. My DH and I are taking our DD (2) to Disneyland this week. Thursday (10)- Sunday (13). We are driving down from the Bay Area.

For those of you who drive I-5 from the north, when do you decide if you are going to take an alt. route. It looks like the last time you have to cut over to 101S is around the 31 to Paso.

Several reports show light snow/rain mix at Lebec on Thursday. We are leaving the Bay Area around 6 am on Thursday.

Any thoughts/suggestions/previous experience would be great. I have only driven the Grapevine once, in July, when I took DD for her first time while DH was fishing in Alaska. So, I have zero experience with it during the winter months. I am from Oregon originally, so I totally get the snow driving thing...but it seems like I always hear about what a mess the grapevine is....


leslie_537 12-07-2009 09:53 PM

We are driving it tomorrow and coming home that way Thursday night! I called cal trans today and it wasn't closed . It is the I-5 call 800-427-7623. I doubt there will be any snow left over to close the Grapevine but who know they seem to close it for very minute things due to accidents. I think this week at the most you would have a CHP escort car.

leslie_537 12-07-2009 09:55 PM

Other than worrying about snow. The Grapevine is a smooth easy drive. At least I think. A little bit of a climb but not too bad. You can usually cruise it quickly too. The traffic only seems to bottle up right around the Magic Mountain area. It seems like they are always doing contruction there for like the last 15 years! :)

pixiewings71 12-07-2009 10:07 PM

The Grapevine will just close if it snows too much, they don't bother with it, they just close it. We watch the flashing road signs and call the number to check the status. So far we've only had it closed once, that was this past Feb when we went for Presidents Weekend....that was the drive of took us almost 11 hours to get home, and we are about 6 hours away.....

ttig34 12-07-2009 10:13 PM

Grapevine is currently closed. This was reported as of an hour ago. It is currently 7:13 pm PST.

A mixture of snow and rain have led the highway patrol to shut down traffic along Interstate Five at the Grapevine.

I-5 at the Grapevine was shut down in both directions within the last half hour. Northbound I-5 is closed at Grapevine Road. The southbound interstate is closed at Smokey Bear Road.

LavenderPeach 12-07-2009 10:29 PM

I'm not surprised the grapevine is closed now. We're supposed to get snow here tonight and we're a little lower in elevation than over there.

Also, they seem to close the grapevine more at night than they do during the day. Probably because it snows more often during the night when the temps dip down. I would bet that it will be open tomorrow at least by late morning but you never know so call that number PP mentioned. We drive up and down the 5 several times a year but we've never had to re-route so I don't have any info about that for you. I don't think it's supposed to rain/snow thursday night, is it? I guess the forecast could change though. I think you should be fine but it's good to have a back-up plan, especially if you plan on driving on it at night on your way back up. Good luck and have a fun trip!

perlster 12-07-2009 11:24 PM

the story

iLUVdisneyLAND 12-07-2009 11:30 PM

Thank you everyone for your quick replies...hopefully it is warm enough once we get there late morning on Thursday that it is a smooth ride over the hill!

NStramler 12-07-2009 11:41 PM

I am in Bakersfield and both Highway 58 and I-5 are closed. We are suppose to get down to 29 tonight with rain and snow.... We hardly ever get snow!! So if you are going over the grapevine please keep doing checks on the CHP or the road conditions. Road conditions change very fast.

smiley_face2 12-08-2009 09:41 AM

Grapevine's still closed this am.

NStramler 12-08-2009 09:54 AM

Our local news said this morning that as of now the only way to get to Los Angeles is the coast highway. Both the Grapevine and Highway 58 are still closed. I would think they would be opening sometime this morning since there is no rain today but it is going to depend on the ice.

leslie_537 12-08-2009 10:12 AM

Well we plan on leaving at 9am and that would put us on the Grapvine around 10:15am. So I am keeping my fingers crossed! The temps in Frazier Park that is one of the first stops southbound on the Grapevine are currently 19 F and it says it feels like -3 f. So I am not holding out too much hope. I guess it all depends on how much snow they got and how fast they clear it. But with the 58 closed the traffic is going to be crummy on the coast highway!

jenpace 12-08-2009 10:50 AM

If there's any questionable weather, especially later in the day for your return trip, I wouldn't chance it.

A couple of years ago I was traveling home from DL to Santa Cruz in the afternoon and although we did make it over the grapevine, they closed it in both directions about 30 minutes after we drove through. All those people had to wait stuck in their cars overnight in the snow. I still can't believe how close that was for us :scared1:

That same trip I took I5 to 46 to 101 and let me tell you, driving in the dark and the snow on 46 was just about the scariest thing I've ever done. There was an 18 wheeler on my bumper and nowhere to pull over...I thought we were going to be meeting James Dean right then and there!

I was unprepared for the weather possibilities and started my drive home w/out a smart plan. Just play it safe and you should be fine.

NStramler 12-08-2009 11:23 AM

Highway 46 is a highway that we avoid. To the locals it is known as "Death Alley"...... They just said the Grapevine should be open soon but who knows it is still so cold outside and I know the temps are cooler up there than they are here. On the bight side it is a beautiful sunny day!!! To those of you that are going to Disney have a safe "magical" trip......... :flower3:

jenpace 12-08-2009 11:31 AM


Originally Posted by NStramler (Post 34599069)
Highway 46 is a highway that we avoid. To the locals it is known as "Death Alley"......

I believe it!

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