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The Siskiyou Pass, commonly called “The Siskiyous,” is one of the most hazardous stretches of road on Interstate 5. The summit is at an elevation of 4,310 feet and you’ll lose about 2,300 feet of elevation in six miles at a 6% downgrade while maneuvering through sharp curves and some of the most hazardous visibility (fog) and road surface conditions in Oregon. Almost 15,000 vehicles travel this stretch of highway daily and about half of the vehicles involved in accidents here are commercial trucks with trailers.

Extreme Caution UrgedEscape ramps are located northbound at MP 6.3 and 9.5. When in doubt about snow and ice conditions, chain-up your truck. It’s better to be over-prepared than to jackknife and then wish you’d chained up.

Why Chain-Up Here?Chain-up areas are located ahead of inspection sites so that chains can beinstalled with ample shoulder space. Sometimes this needs to be donesome distance from the snow line itself. Highway personnel are there tohelp you get over the pass safely. Be cooperative. Work with them. If youare not fully chained-up prior to the inspection site you will be turnedaround! When required, chains must be installed prior to the inspectionsites located at MP 1 northbound and MP 11 southbound.

When is it the Best Time to Go Over the Pass?Mother Nature is hard to figure. At night temperatures drop and freezingis common. Fresh snow is the slickest early in the morning when the suncomes up. Midday is usually the best time to travel over the pass.

• Remember to check brakes before entering the downgrade.
• Be aware of the safe recommended speed for your vehicle.
• Posted speeds are maximums in good weather. Bad weather demands slower speeds.
• Fog, snow, and black ice are commonbetween October and April. Be prepared!
• Descend the summit in the proper gear.
• Oregon law requires that you carry anduse tire chains when conditions warrantand/or signs posted.
• Be sure you have emergency warningdevices (triangles) and use them if youare stopped.
• Be sure all your lights are working.
• Don’t drive if you’re fatigued!

DOT Registration Information Motor carriers can obtain information and services about trucking regulations and Oregon permits at the Ashland Port of Entry, located on I-5 at MP 18 northbound.

« Back to the August 2007 edition