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  1. #1

    Default First Time Road Tripper - Time vs. Mileage?

    Hey everyone!

    What a great resource you all have here. Anyway, I'm doing my first solo road trip this summer and in the planning stage, I've gotten a little bit stumped.

    My goal for the trip is to start in Seattle, Washington drive north a little bit to Port Angeles/Hurricane Ridge/etc, then drive west to the coast, and then to drive the PCH from there all the way to San Diego. I'm trying to sort out the mileage and speed limits to sort out how many days I'll need to do a stop-and-go sort of road trip - taking time to hike, sightsee, go whitewater rafting, photograph pretty things, and so on.

    I really don't want to have to drive 12 hours a day and not have time to see the sights. I've done the trip from LA to San Francisco, which is why I'm widening the net a little bit this time around.

    I've got plane tickets booked that give me exactly two weeks to get this done, and I'm thinking that probably won't be enough time, based on my very rough calculations. I can change the tickets, but I need to change them soon to ensure seats are still available.

    Can anyone who lives near my route, or who has driven it/planned it before help me a bit with the mileage numbers (I want to stick entirely to two lane highways: this is a no-interstate trip for me), speed limits, and the like in order to figure my average mileage per day, etc.

    As much as I'd like this to be a bit spontaneous, I think it's important to get a bit of planning out of the way first, especially so that I'm not constantly worrying about getting to San Diego in enough time!

    Thanks so much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    7,960

    Default Go For It

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Nearly that selfsame trip has come up before, and I can't improve on the advice given there. Be especially sure to read down to Judy's recommendations. Two weeks should be enough for what you have in mind, but you can always just keep the thought in the back of your mind that if you get within a couple of days of when you have to be in San Diego, you can always just 'bail' and come inland from the coast, get on I-5 to finish your trip. That way you can just enjoy moseying at your own pace for most of the trip without worrying.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    9,503

    Default May not be really possible in two weeks (***)

    Quote Originally Posted by adolwyn View Post
    My goal for the trip is to start in Seattle, Washington drive north a little bit to Port Angeles/Hurricane Ridge/etc, then drive west to the coast, and then to drive the PCH from there all the way to San Diego.
    In addition to the one AZBuck suggested, here is another one the covers this route.
    Can anyone who lives near my route, or who has driven it/planned it before help me a bit with the mileage numbers (I want to stick entirely to two lane highways: this is a no-interstate trip for me)
    I have driven the entire route, and if you are serious about staying on two-lane (coastal routes) the entire distance (there are some sections where two-lane roads do not exist and you have to travel on the Interstate highways) -- it is really not possible to cover the distance in two weeks, given that you want to drive a reasonable time span each day. On much of the coastal routes, you will not be able to average much more 38 mph (speed limits are higher, but the realities of the road and the traffic through the towns along the way will drop your speed considerably).

    You can cover this distance in two weeks if you do a judicious mix of freeway and two-lane travel. The great thing about this route is that you can start off on two-lane and jump back and forth as you make your way south if you need to pick up the pace some.

    Mark

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,319

    Default Very possible in two weeks

    I've driven from the Olympic Peninsula to San Francisco (2 days in SFO), and back again in a week before. So I really don't think you'll have a problem doing this trip in 2 weeks. It's about 1700 to San Diego from Seattle going to Port Angeles and then hugging the coast via 101 and CA-1. 1700/14 days = 122 miles per day. This should leave you plenty of time to explore.

    Like Mark said, you can't figure on covering lots of miles on these roads. While the posted speed limit is usually around 50mph, you will rarely keep up this speed because the hills and tight turns often slow down traffic, especially if you get behind RVs and other big rigs. And since the coastal highway drives right through the downtowns of most towns along the route, you will be doing a lot of driving at 20-30mph, too. So I would figure 3-3.5 hours to cover the 122 miles you'll need to cover daily to keep on pace.

    Of course, you might want to linger some places for an extra day here and there so you'll have to adjust your daily mileage accordingly.

    And this didn't account for time to get home. If you are going to drive home from San Diego via I-5, it's about 1260 miles. Figure 2 VERY long days or 3 comfortable days.

    Obviously you can do the math, but if the 14 days includes time to get home, then you only have 11 days to get down the coast. This would mean you'd need to plan for about 155 miles per day to stay on pace....probably about 4-4.5 hours/day.

    I think it's very do-able as long as you keep these mileage figures in mind so you don't dawdle too long in a few places and cause yourself to have a mad rush at the end.

    Personally, if you've already done San Francisco to LA, I think I would only go to San Francisco this trip, then you can really linger and explore along the way. And it would only take one very long day or two comfortable days to get home. Just a thought.

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