Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. Default Aussies tripping from San Fran to B.C.

    G'day mates,

    My family and I are heading to San Fran from Down Under this December. After spending a week there, we are planning on driving up to Silverstar, B.C. to catch some snow. The plan is to spend a few days making our way up north, the question is which route to take?

    I was hoping you road trippers would be able to provide me with some advice and recommendations for which way to go? From what I can gather (on Google Earth) we have three options. 1. Travel up the pacific coast line 2. Cross the rockies and go up through Colorado, Idaho etc 3. Travel up the direct route through the middle of california, oregon, washington state etc.

    Any thoughts or ideas would be great!
    Cheers,
    Tim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Any reason you are not heading east?

    Quote Originally Posted by Timmeh View Post
    My family and I are heading to San Fran from Down Under this December.
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!
    After spending a week there, we are planning on driving up to Silverstar, B.C. to catch some snow.
    Um, California has plenty of snow... Are you sure you really need/want to drive all the way to BC "to catch some snow". Some of the finest powder on the continent can be found at Mammoth Lakes and many resorts around Tahoe are pretty darn nice as well and all of them can be reached within a easy day's drive from San Francisco.
    was hoping you road trippers would be able to provide me with some advice and recommendations for which way to go? From what I can gather (on Google Earth) we have three options. 1. Travel up the pacific coast line 2. Cross the rockies and go up through Colorado, Idaho etc 3. Travel up the direct route through the middle of california, oregon, washington state etc.
    They are all good options. What time frame are you considering for this trek? When and where do you embark North America for the trip back to Australia?

    Mark

  3. Default How much snow do you want to see?

    Just a note, that December is mid-winter here, and the NW US and Western Canada may be rather snowy. In that period of time, you can see snow on all of the routes you listed, but perhaps at somewhat varying levels.

    Pacfiic Coast Route --
    IMHO, this is the most scenic, although it is probably the route with the narrowest, and most twisting roads. It will take you perhaps 3-4 days to get to Seattle via the Pacific Route (following US Coast 1, or Pacific Coast Highway) north from San Francisco. You'll be able to stop along the scenic California coast, visit the Redwood National Forest (and the numerous other redwood state parks and national forests), then continue up along the Oregon Coast to Washington, eventually passing Olympic National Park. Very scenic, with mountains and huge trees and forests, and nice beaches (but cold water and weather at this time of year). You have the option of taking the ferry to Victoria on Vancouver Island in Canada from Port Angeles, Washington, and then another ferry to Vancouver (on the mainland) in British Columbia. That's a nice trip in itself. Plan on seeing rain at some point, and you may see snow if its a significant winter storm. As a note, last year or the year before a family heading over the coast mountains to the Oregon Coast from central Oregon got caught in a snowstorm and spent almost a week in their RV before a family member hiked out through the snow to bring back rescuers.

    Central Valley/ Williamette Valley Route -- I-5.
    This is the fastest route north, following Interstate 5 from the Sacramento California area to Vancouver. This is the major north-south route in the area, and the freeway is very good quality and a high priority in any winter weather. Not as scenic as Coast 1, and you can make it from SF to Vancouver in 2 long days of driving with reasonable weather. Some interesting scenic stops include SF Wine County (Napa & Sonoma Valley, which is also accessable on Coast 1 with a bit of a detour), Mt Shasta, the forests and parks along the way, Mt St Helens, and Oregon Wine country south of Portland. You will be going over at least one pass over 4000' elevation, so in the winter in a storm this can be a concern. But again, this route is the priority route to be kept open, and I've never had a problem on it. Plan on rain though, and you may see snow along the roads on this route.

    Eastern Route -- a couple of options
    There are a couple of ways to do this. there's a route up the eastern side of Oregon and Washington, eventually heading for Spokane or Boise, and up to Canada, or farther east. However, these roads are typically not major interstates, although they are all in good quality and most probably maintained well by the states and local governments. It will be snowy in central BC in the winter, and by December you can get significant snow -- and this route is more susceptible than the others to see significant snowy weather with possibly less services along the route. The eastern route through Washington and Oregon is pretty much through forests -- you're on the eastern side of the main coastal range, and somewhat east of that along part of the route is the semi-desert of the Great Basin through eastern Oregon/ SE Washington. You *can* go farther east to Salt Lake and turn north, but that's getting a bit east (about 300 miles/ 500 km farther east) than you need to drive. If you go all the way to Colorado you're into the Rocky mountains which are high mountains and you'd have to cross back over them to get to Central BC again -- maybe 500 miles (800+ km) farther east then you need to drive. If you have a few days to do the drive, you'd be talking about 4 days just to go east and back west on this drive, let alone the 1000 miles (1500+ km) north on this.

    My opinion would be to pick between the coastal and I-5 direct route, particularly if you're concerned about snowy winter weather. If there's snow you can see it on all the routes through the north west.

    My recommendation if you are concerned about winter weather is to play it a bit by ear... Check the weather forecast when you are in San Francisco, and then decide between the Pacific coast or I-5 route. Unless you're in the Christmas/ New Years period you shouldn't have a problem with hotels, given a week's notice -- and probably not bad on a half-day's notice, particularly if you are stopping in moderately sized towns with a fair number of hotels.

    As noted before, the minimum time to do this trip is about 14 hours driving time SF to Vancouver, not including gas stops, meal breaks, biological necessity stops, sightseeing, winery tastings, etc. It's a good 2 days drive from SF to Vancouver on I-5, which would be the fastest route with the largest, best interstate highway.

    From Vancouver to Veron BC, it'll be about a day's drive -- and I'd encourage taking the Trans Canada Highway or the newer toll road (Highway 5?) towards Kamloops if you're concerned about winter weather. Those are the best and most well serviced roads in that area.

  4. Default From San Fran to Vernon - The scenic route

    Hey guys,

    I posted on this forum a month or so ago asking for advice regarding a road trip from San Fran to Vernon, Canada. We've pretty much decided to take the scenic route. In a nut shell, our itinery looks something like this. San Fran, Reno, Salt Lake city, Boise, Spokane, then cross the border north of spokane and continue on to vernon.

    I was wondering if you all have any advice, stories, recommendations regarding that route? We're Australian, and have been wanting to see America off the tourist path for a while, hence the long and winding back route to our destination.

    Cheers,
    Tim

Similar Threads

  1. Miami to San Fran; Non Traditional Route.
    By tako17 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 06-19-2006, 10:43 PM
  2. NYC to San Fran in late November - best route?
    By bbg in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 11-14-2005, 11:35 PM
  3. San Fran to Vegas in April (Scenic Route)
    By Jason Knott in forum Going to Las Vegas!
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-10-2005, 03:06 PM
  4. Seattle to San Fran...Scenic route?
    By George Garcia in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-03-2004, 05:21 PM
  5. SAN FRAN TO VEGAS - SCENIC ROUTE
    By ratkarth in forum Gear-Up!
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-16-2003, 07:27 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES