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  1. Default Irvine, CA to Seattle/Vancouver

    I'm putting together plans for a solo road trip up the West Coast later this month. After much consulting (with various relevant topic threads here, as well as many, many other websites), here is the schedule I have come up with. I'd appreciate feedback on its feasibility, especially on a couple of the driving portions - you'll soon see which. What seems unreasonable? Any recommendations? Thanks in advance!

    Day 1
    - Irvine to Yreka, CA (677 miles)

    Day 2
    - Yreka to Amboy, WA (361 miles), Mount St. Helens
    - Amboy to Seattle (170 miles)

    Day 3-8
    - Seattle to Vancouver (140 miles)
    - Vancouver to Whistler and back (maybe)
    - Vancouver to Seattle (140 miles)
    - Seattle!

    Day 9
    - Seattle to Neah Bay (150 miles), Cape Flattery Trail
    - Neah Bay to Seaside, OR (247 miles)

    Day 10-11
    - Seaside to Crescent City (400 miles), Redwood National Park
    - Cresent City to San Francisco (355 miles)

    Day 12-14
    - San Francisco
    - San Francisco - Irvine (400 miles)

    One thing I'm considering is to break the drive from Crescent City to San Francisco into two days, then take that day out of San Francisco (which I've been to enough times). The big concern is really Day 2 and Day 9. So what do you think? Too much driving, not enough fun? Or have I stumbled onto something here? Again, I appreciate any feedback.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Why Knock Yourself Out?

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Well, clearly your day of concern is your very first day. 685 miles is really too much to drive and enjoy. While you may be able to do it, especially with the excitement of the first day and presuming you can get out of LA before the freeways start to slow down, you would be putting yourself in a bad position to try to enjoy your first few days. You are certainly not going to be in any shape to do anything other than drive to Amboy, get out of the car for 5 minutes to look at Mt. Saint Helens off in the de stance, and then get back in to try to compleat the 535 miles you have scheduled for your second day. The rest of your itinerary is reasonable, but unless you rearrange these first couple of days to try to accomplish less, you're not going to be in very good shape to enjoy them.


  3. Default Long days...

    I've driven nearly this same route numerous times -- OC to Bellingham (about 30-60 minutes south of Vancouver).

    You can do OC to Yreka, but its going to be a LONG day. My usual break point is about here -- Mt Shasta is almost exactly 1/2 way, and I've stayed in Redding lots of times. Just be aware that some of the most mountainous driving is between Redding and Dunsmuir (Mt Shasta/ Weed), so you need to be prepared to slow down a bit and take it carefully, particularly if you're tired or the light is fading or gone.

    Also, the main bridge over Shasta Lake is being repaired -- I-5 is down to one lane in each direction about 10 miles north of Redding. Depending upon when you hit it, you can see delays of 60 minutes or so. (They don't start work typically until 8 or 9, so its better to pass over it in the early morning, or late evening when the work on the bridge has ceased).

    The only other day I would be concerned about is Seaside to Crescent City -- that's all all day, full day drive due to the road. I'm guessing that's probably 10 hours drive or thereabouts.

    Vancouver to Whistler is about a 2-3 hour drive (depending upon where in Vancouver you start from), and please note that 99 south through Vancouver is on surface streets over Lions Gate bridge. (Can be slow at rush hour..... *understatement*). The road is being worked on, so you can see significant traffic delays at times between Vancouver and Whistler.

    Lastly, be prepared for traffic in different locations, and the varying weather on the trip. I did this last week over several days and weather ranged from
    a snow storm on top of Whistler/ Blackcomb (and 20+ mph winds, plus temperatures of 27 F), to rainy and cool in Vancouver, to 91 F in the California Central Valley. I always seem to hit rush hour traffic in Portland, and the I-5 going north out of LA last week had at one point 3 "SIG ALERT" lane closure accidents or incidents going over the grapevine (I was coming south, and the messes were going north -- 2 accidents and a brush fire along the road.... for folks going north it looked like 3 hours just to get over the grapevine...)

    So just mellow out, relax back, have a cold sip of water or soda, and listen to the radio. It'll be a LONG drive that first day.

  4. Default

    Hmm, interesting. Thanks for the responses so far. One thing I would now consider is to add an extra day at the beginning of the trip, stay at Redding / Mt. Shasta (this is still a rough drive, but I'm really not looking to "enjoy" the drive up, as I've done LA-San Francisco/ Sacramento before, and frankly, there's not much to enjoy). Then my second night would be in Portland or thereabouts. My third day would be for Mount Saint Helens (sticking around for a few hours, and now that I've done a little more reading, probably from the West Side rather than the South) and Seattle, and the rest of the itinerary would remain the same. Maybe I could even fit in Mt. Rainier on that third day?

    Another thing I could do to alleviate this first day problem is stay up in Los Angeles for the night (with relatives), and cut down on 40+ miles and the potential for traffic. In fact, this is probably the smart thing to do.

  5. Default

    On Vancouver...

    Vancouver is really going through a lot of construction at the moment getting ready for the 2010 Olympics. Stay away from Cambie street bridge and don't go through downtown (Georgia st, Lion's Gate Bridge) or you'll be stuck there for hours.

    Near the ferry terminal at Horseshoe Bay, traffic can become a bit nasty as well if it's a weekend or holiday. Be prepared for delays.

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