California weather question

900' ceiling and snowing, that tells me it's dark and low visibility. Temps ranging from upper 20's to mid 30's tells me that the snow will be melting and then refreezing as temps drop, icy roads. As a Floridian I'd be hesitant to drive in that mess since I'm inexperienced driving in ice and snow. If it were colder with no precipitation then I'd be more willing to drive in it.

Just a wild assed guess. ;)
rental car, sure.
my own car? probably not ;-) I detest driving in snow, glad we dont get it much in this area compared to the rest of the country.
I've only made that trip a half a dozen times in 40 years so my answer is I don't know. Most of the time it is fine, Caltrans has a huge bunch of snow removal equipment on hand so it has to really be snowing so hard that they can't keep up. Every once in a while you see on the news that they have stopped traffic and there is nowhere for anyone to go. Carry chains. It is a beautiful train ride.
chains or 4wd+chains for sure....I guess it depends on when your making the trip though.
I have lost friends on that pass in better weather. You would definitely need chains. If I could reschedule I would go on a different day.
donner pass can change in a fast hurry. id keep checking forecasts and road cams till it was time to leave. ditto on the chains!
I love driving in the snow/ice. Ha with the plowtruck this year I'm unstoppable, a thousand pounds on the front a few thousand pounds in the back I have limitless traction.

On topic if I were you I'd rent a four wheel drive and tell 'em to make sure it has good tires, no problemo.
I would be prepared this time of year not doing so could make you dead or even worse.
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Thanks for confirming my gut feeling. With any luck, the trip will get the ax. Plus I wouldn't mind being home for a day or 2. :)
I rode on Amtrak once from Denair to Reno to go to a New Years Eve party and it was spectacular scenery through the Sierra Nevadas and they have those cool tunnels also.
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Woo hoo, I got to pull the plug on it. Glad too. 6 days in Cali last week. Nice to be home a few daze before heading to Krautland. :)
I realize it's a moot point now, Nate, but all that advice re carrying chains is good. The CHP can and will make the passes open only to vehicles with traction tires or chains. Up here in OR, traction tires means studded.

The problem with rentals is that they never equip their cars with chains or studs, so you can get shut down from using roads that are not all that bad, condition-wise.
A nescessity for bush work around here in the winter. If the conditions all come together you can be screwed without them. Nothing like the sound of chains destroying a pick-up.:D
Speaking of chains, it looks like they found that family AOK.

There are guys who make a business of installing chains. If the CHP are requiring you to put chains on these guys will be on the roadside to put them on for you for a few dollars. All those out of work loggers have to do something.