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Chains Law in Oregon (Mt. Hood this Friday)?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I'm planning on going to Mt. Hood this Friday between business trips.  Have a reservation for a small sedan at the airport.  I read that chains need o be present in cars at all times in snow zones.  Does Avis at PDX airport rent chains or outfit their cars with studded tires?  (Predictions are for light snow showers on Friday.)

 

Is there an easy way to get to Mt. Hood without a rental otherwise?  Thanks for the advise.

 

 

post #2 of 12

Here's an idea.

A year ago in late fall we visited  Oregon and heard the same (ie you need to carry chains) so we checked with LesSchwab Tire who have 100's of locations in CA and PNW.

 

They said if we bought chains at any of their stores (for show) and did not use them  we

could turn them in at any other of their stores for a full refund. We bought the chains in Sweet Home OR, drove to CA and turned them in unused for a full refund in Grass Valley, CA.

 

I think they were only $35 so we would not be out that much if we really used them!

post #3 of 12

That's what I would do. Member gloves for chaining.:rolleyes

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the tip.  I see two LesSchwab Tire on the way up to Mt. Hood.  If only $30 that's not too bad.  I'll give Avis a call though all indications online are that they don't rent or allow chains on their rentals.

post #5 of 12
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thank, Slider.  I would have definitely taken advantage of this, but I won't be there on the weekend.

post #7 of 12

That's a good thing. At least crowds will be non-existent. There's a Les Schwab in Sandy,Oregon right on Hwy 26. So if they do not allow chains on their cars what ya goin do?  Hard to say what the state will do for chain requirements. Being it hasn't snow on the hill they will prolly throw those signs up like there was a 10 foot dump. However, the plows will be out in force cause they have all the rock saved up from a dry winter.

post #8 of 12

 Visit www.seatosummit.net for more information and online reservations.

Express public shuttles are available both midweek and weekends from the following locations and private groups can always be arranged: 1) Park-N-Ride in the Pearl Dist (14th & NW Johnson @ 7:15 AM)
2) Pioneer Square (Front of Starbucks Broadway and Morrison @ 7:30 AM)

 

 

http://www.mthood.info/travel/mt-hood-travel-transportation.html

 

 

Other trans outfits.

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly001 View Post
 

I'm planning on going to Mt. Hood this Friday between business trips.  Have a reservation for a small sedan at the airport.  I read that chains need o be present in cars at all times in snow zones.  Does Avis at PDX airport rent chains or outfit their cars with studded tires?  (Predictions are for light snow showers on Friday.)

 

Is there an easy way to get to Mt. Hood without a rental otherwise?  Thanks for the advise.

 

 

 

Quote:

 

Kelly - I've done this 4 or 5 times.....for Mt. Hood.  I just pack a set of chains-and rent an actual car that fits those chains.   Chains usually fit a reasonable range of cars, and the tire sizes are listed on the box - just match the rental tire size to the chains then.  No rental agency will  say its OK to  put chains on a rental so don't ask;  that way you don't know.   They also don't have studded tires on rentals.  I wouldn't recommend forking around to find chains in Portland or Hood River.

 

As far as chain control enforcement, I've not ever seen any - like California - but if you get stuck and you don't have them, expect a hefty fine.  But chains are often posted to be required, and the road is slippery as hell when it is - so if there's chain control, you probably won't make it up there (or back) without them.  The mountain resorts (I usually do Meadows) are very reasonably priced and can actually have very worthwhile skiing depending on snow and weather, which varies in that area from bluebird to blinding blizzard and everything in between..


Edited by stevescho - 2/9/14 at 10:41am
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

A little feedback and advice following my trip.  Indeed, kudos to Les Schwab in Sandy, OR for buying chains.  Cost me $35 for the chains and they offered to take them back for a full refund if I didn't need them.  Really good and friendly customer service.  I was in and out in 5 minutes.  Well, I ended up needing the chains and it was no joke.  My advice if it's puking and you don't have chains, don't attempt the drive to Mt. Hood.  They do not salt the roads so you will be driving on several inches of packed snow/ice.  The plows push some of the snow off the ground, but the snow is so wet that it quickly forms a heavy crust on the road.  If you've ever driven on untreated dirt roads in New England, that's what you are in for.  I didn't see any checkpoints even though chains were required so you could take your chances, but, again, I really wouldn't recommend it.  Getting chains on your car the first time is a pain, especially the cheap model, which is not very user friendly and limits your speed to 30 miles/hour.  (Most locals have studded tires and drive regular speed so you infuriate quite a few people.)  Don't forget some light waterproof gloves to get the chains on (ski gloves won't cut it.)  Made for a memorable experience.  It's too bad that Mt. Hood doesn't offer a regular shuttle in these conditions as I can imagine this ordeal is quite a turn-off to most tourists.  Mt. Hood is rather convenient to the airport, but it took me a good 3 1/2 hours to rent a car, get chains, outfit the car, and drive 35 miles at 30 miles/hour.  Utah makes it so much easier.  I seem to remember shuttles from the airport and the Utah Transport Authority offers a lot of cheap options as well from downtown or from the park and ride lots at the entrances to little or big cottonwood canyons. 

 

That said, if you make it to Mt. Hood Meadows, you are in for a treat!  Great mountain with a lot of diversity for all levels.   Had a blast!

post #11 of 12

Comparing any coastal PNW areas except Whistler to Utah is a stretch. The reason there is no shuttle is that there is not enough demand because the riders on these mountains are almost entirely locals.  People just don't come here to vacation in the winter, which is fine by me.  Glad you had a good time.

post #12 of 12
kelly got the real deal welcome to the pnwet.
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