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  1. Default West coast road trip - May/July 08

    Hello,

    Stumbled on this amazing resource and was hoping to get your collective advice regarding where we should start our west coast road trip - North vs South.

    We have from May 21 to July 30 to spend exploring the west coast. We want to go from San Diego to Vancouver.

    My question is which way, based on the time of year, should we go. South to North or North to South.

    We are flexible. Right now we are thinking South to North to follow the sun as it were.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Sun Chaser

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Shoreside Lanes

    Quote Originally Posted by Sun Chaser View Post
    My question is which way, based on the time of year, should we go?
    I can see the value of going south to north (chasing the increasingly longer days of summer) but for sections of the California coast -- most of us prefer to drive north to south because of the relative ease of pulling into the pullouts to take photos and marvel at the scenery. The roads are windy and narrow and crossing over the yellow lane to pull into turn-outs on the southbound side can sometimes be unwise. Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!

    Here are some threads that might provide some ideas of places to explore on this trip.

    Exploring San Diego with Gen
    Exploring Los Angeles
    Favorite beaches between LA and San Francisco
    A must-see!
    Great vegetarian fare in Mendocino
    Avenue of the Giants
    Peter Thody's Redwoods to Seattle trip
    Crater Lake and places In Oregon
    Olympic Peninsula ideas from Judy
    Seattle and Portland ideas

    Plus, be sure to look at the bottom of any page of this Forum for more ideas.

    Mark

  3. Default Another opinion...

    How much of your drive are you going to be on the coast, versus inland?

    Thinking through this, if you're going to stick solely to the coast route, then Mark's advice has a lot of weight.

    But... if you're going to be wandering back and forth, say through the deserts and Sierras and Crater Lake and the like, you may be advised to go South to North as the weather gets warmer.

    My experience is that May is a better month for visiting the desert than July, and that in the higher mountains you can find road closures through June. (Last summer I found trail and some road closures through 1 July). This is particularly true if you're heading a little more off the beaten tracks, but even at major venues some places don't fully open until July. For example, when I was at Lassen National Park last June, most of the trails off the main roads were closed -- Bumpass Hell, for example. At Crater Lake only half the road around the rim was open in mid-late June.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Excellent points

    Quote Originally Posted by Larrison View Post
    But... if you're going to be wandering back and forth, say through the deserts and Sierras and Crater Lake and the like, you may be advised to go South to North as the weather gets warmer.
    As Larrison so aptly points out -- you need to think a little about the nature of the route you are considering before choosing north/south -- south/north orientation.

    Mark

  5. Default

    Thank you for your advice. You make some excellent points. We probably need to do a bit more planning to really make the call...but at least I know now what I need to be considering. Thanks again.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 12-14-2007 at 11:20 AM.

  6. Default

    Go south to north. If you're the driver, you'll the see the beaches better that way! ;)

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