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  1. Default Los Angeles to... Up North

    My fiance and I are planning a road trip up North. I was hoping to see the Redwood National Forest. I really want to make it up to Seattle, Ore. but she thinks that might be too far. Would we need chains for snow at all?

    Does any one here have any suggestions on anything else we could see in between? That would not require snow tires.

    Also, my fiance is leaning towards going somewhere warmer. Which is ok, as long as we get to see some 'pretty' country or see quaint places. If we did that we'd want to travel in Arizona.

    Thanks

  2. Default How long do you have? and what time of year are you driving?

    AmazingRandy -- How long do you have to drive?

    As a rule of thumb, there is very little snow along the coast route, although you may see some a few times a year. (You get the real snow in the coast range between the coast and the inland valleys.)

    Leaving SF, its about a day's drive to the Redwoods going up US 101 (a main highway), which will put you in the midst of the Redwoods (Eureka to Crescent City). From there to the northern Oregon Border (near Astoria, on the Columbia River) will be about 2 days more of driving, due to the winding road as it goes up along the coast. From Astoria to Seattle can be done in a day (particularly if you cut inland via Olympia), or a better trip would be 2 more days with a stop somewhere around the Olympic National Park, before hooking back east to come into Seattle.

    If you had an extra day to put in this trip, I'd put in a full day in Redwoods National Park (and the several state parks around it), or add a day up in the Olympic National Park.

    If you needed to take a day out, and depending upon weather, you can cut east at Crescent City (just north of Redwoods National Park) and go over the mountains via US-199 which comes out at Grants Pass on Interstate 5 -- which is the fastest, main route north and south. From Grants Pass its about a full day of driving to Seattle -- with an early start you *could* make it to Seattle from Crescent City in a day, but it would be a longish day of driving. Weather would also be a factor here -- 199 is in places a 2 lane winding mountain highway, and I wouldn't take it in falling snow. It's one of the main roads east-west over the coast range, but even so....

    Time back to LA from Seattle is about 2 days driving down I-5, with an overnight stop in Redding or Shasta or thereabouts. Weather of course, may add a day to this, depending upon conditions. If you turn back at the Redwoods, it's still about 2 days -- from Crescent City to Redding is about a day via 199, and another day back to LA on the loop back via I-5. Retracing your steps back on 101 might be slightly faster, but will would be over what I would feel comfortable with for a day's drive (~740 miles.... a LOONNGG day).

  3. Default Interesting!

    Quote Originally Posted by Larrison View Post
    AmazingRandy -- How long do you have to drive?
    We plan on about 6-7 days of traveling.

    Quote Originally Posted by Larrison View Post
    Leaving SF, its about a day's drive to the Redwoods going up US 101 (a main highway), which will put you in the midst of the Redwoods (Eureka to Crescent City). From there to the northern Oregon Border (near Astoria, on the Columbia River) will be about 2 days more of driving, due to the winding road as it goes up along the coast. From Astoria to Seattle can be done in a day (particularly if you cut inland via Olympia), or a better trip would be 2 more days with a stop somewhere around the Olympic National Park, before hooking back east to come into Seattle.

    If you had an extra day to put in this trip, I'd put in a full day in Redwoods National Park (and the several state parks around it), or add a day up in the Olympic National Park.
    Sounds very interesting!

    Quote Originally Posted by Larrison View Post
    If you needed to take a day out, and depending upon weather, you can cut east at Crescent City (just north of Redwoods National Park) and go over the mountains via US-199 which comes out at Grants Pass on Interstate 5 -- which is the fastest, main route north and south. From Grants Pass its about a full day of driving to Seattle -- with an early start you *could* make it to Seattle from Crescent City in a day, but it would be a longish day of driving. Weather would also be a factor here -- 199 is in places a 2 lane winding mountain highway, and I wouldn't take it in falling snow. It's one of the main roads east-west over the coast range, but even so....
    Isn't Grants Pass the area that Kim Family got lost? This would be the part that would worry my fiance! (She'll be my wife by the time we make this trip!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Larrison View Post
    Time back to LA from Seattle is about 2 days driving down I-5, with an overnight stop in Redding or Shasta or thereabouts. Weather of course, may add a day to this, depending upon conditions. If you turn back at the Redwoods, it's still about 2 days -- from Crescent City to Redding is about a day via 199, and another day back to LA on the loop back via I-5. Retracing your steps back on 101 might be slightly faster, but will would be over what I would feel comfortable with for a day's drive (~740 miles.... a LOONNGG day).
    Hmmm... All interesting... I'm starting to think that maybe Seattle my be pushing it. Do you think we could do all this in 6 to 7 days? Also would we have to bring very warm clothes? we're going jan 3-9 Thanks Larrison! Any tips if we go the Arizona route?

    AmazingRandy

  4. #4
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    Default Your Other Option

    On the other hand, if you'd like to indulge your wife (not a bad idea, by the way) and travel in Arizona, it is by no means difficult to find some pretty country, and we're a lot closer to LA than Seattle. Here's a post where I lay out a few things to do north of Phoenix and another where I list just a few of the things to do around the Grand Canyon. You can be in the middle of all that in a day from LA, and while it probably won't be as warm as LA or San Diego, it shouldn't be outlandishly cold either.

    AZBuck

  5. Default It's doable to Seattle... but a lot of driving

    Quote Originally Posted by AmazingRandy View Post
    [ ... ] Isn't Grants Pass the area that Kim Family got lost? This would be the part that would worry my fiance! (She'll be my wife by the time we make this trip!)

    Hmmm... All interesting... I'm starting to think that maybe Seattle my be pushing it. Do you think we could do all this in 6 to 7 days? Also would we have to bring very warm clothes? we're going jan 3-9 Thanks Larrison! Any tips if we go the Arizona route?

    AmazingRandy
    Grants Pass area, yes -- but from what I understand, the Kim family missed their offramp to go over to the coast from I-5, and then turned off I-5 onto a secondary road (not one of the main roads to the coast) and then turned off of that onto an unpaved gravel road. All this took place in the middle of the night, while it was snowing. My recommendation is a) watch the weather, and b) stick to the main roads even it if means backtracking some miles to take the main road.

    You *can* go up the coast to Seattle, and back in 6-7 days, but you won't do the full trip I'm afraid. A rough trip might be...

    Day 1 -- LA to north of SF (somewhere like Santa Rosa?).
    Day 2 -- to the Redwoods, somewehre around Eureka
    Day 3 -- to Crescent City via the Redwoods
    Day 4 -- to Seattle (long day -- but cutting inland to Grants Pass and going up I-5 to Seattle.) It's more scenic to do the coast to Seattle, but you don't have the time.
    Day 5 -- In Seattle.
    Day 6 -- to Redding area, via I-5 from Seattle.
    Day 7 -- to LA.
    An alternative would to to drop the 2 day drive up to Seattle and back, and settle for Portland or the Oregon wine country (south of Portland), or return from Grants Pass via I-5, perhaps with a day in Napa or Sacramento, or even Reno/ Tahoe instead.

    You can do an interesting Arizona Trip too in about that time. A rough Itenerary might be...

    Day 1 -- LA to Williams (or Flagstaff)
    Day 2 -- Grand Canyon
    Day 3 -- Grand Canyon to Sedona
    Day 4 -- Sedona to Phoenix/ Scottsdale
    Day 5 -- Phoenix/ Scottsdale
    Day 6 -- return to LA via Palm Springs area

    There are a lot of alternatives on this as well -- a stop in Las Vegas on the way (its a day from LV to Grand Canyon), or a day over to Holbrook area and through Petrified National Forest, or down to Tucson, or a day in Palm Springs, or back via Joshua Tree. All depends upon what you want to see, and where you want to go, and how fanatic of a driver you are. I've done a monster day from Holbrook to Petrified National Forest to Flagstaff to Sedona to Montezuma's Castle to Phoenix to Wickenberg to Palm Springs to LA -- so I know its doable. But that was a LLOONNGG day driving...

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Larrison View Post

    An alternative would to to drop the 2 day drive up to Seattle and back, and settle for Portland or the Oregon wine country (south of Portland), or return from Grants Pass via I-5, perhaps with a day in Napa or Sacramento, or even Reno/ Tahoe instead.
    Again thanks Larrison, looks like things are leaning towards going up North. If Seattle is too long a stretch... Do you, (or anyone else reading) have any suggestions for things to do in Portland? Oregon?

    But I will still review AZBuck's suggestions... Thanks AZBuck!

    AmazingRandy

    Marvin

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