It's every trucker's nightmare, normally, and especially during a winter blizzard.

If you've ever traveled Emigrant Hill, commonly known as “Cabbage Hill” you know why. It's a steep 7-mile downgrade west of La Grande, Oregon. This stretch of highway I-84 also known as Deadman Pass, was once called “one of the worst places in America for driving”.


The treacherous stretch of I-84 westbound sees some of the most severe weather conditions in the PNW. After watching several Youtube videos of over-the-road truckers, one can see why. You lose almost 2,000 feet of elevation in 6 miles, all while twisting through a double hair pin turn on a downgrade. Inexperienced drivers ride the brake all the way down.

NOTE: Drivers should check brakes BEFORE the downgrade.

A brake check area is located at the weigh station at Milepost 227. 78% of crashes on Cabbage Hill are out-of-state motorists. On average 59 percent of brake problems contribute to accidents on the Hill.

Drivers are urged to use extreme caution while maneuvering the descent.


The downgrade begins at Milepost 227 and continues through Milepost 217. Motorists are encouraged to drive densively. Of course, during winter, the road may be slick. Often times, I-84 is closed at Cabbage Hill due to snow and poor visibility.

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Tips to maneuver the treacherous stretch of I-84 at Cabbage Hill/Deadman Pass:

• Be aware of the safe recommended speed for your vehicle.
• Control your speed! Posted speeds are maximums in good weather. Bad weather demands lower speeds.
• Oregon law requires that you carry and use tire chains when conditions warrant.

Check out video below from Kip and Jake. Would you want to drib=ve in that?

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