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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Vancouver,BC
    Posts
    4

    Default Vancouver to San Francisco Return Trip (March or April '11)

    Hi Everyone,

    Really enjoy reading everyone's posts. Tips and suggestions are really great. Came upon this site while googling coastal drives in the Pacific Northwest. I'm sure this isn't the first time a thread requesting information on a roadtrip from Vancouver to SF has been posted so sorry for any more duplications.

    My husband and I have decided to do the drive down the Coast (approx. 10 to 12 days) depending on what we decide on what to see. He's a photographer so the day trips may end up being longer than expected.

    Here's what I've been able to map out or possible stops but if there are any suggestions on where to stay or 'can't miss' sites, that would be great! Not sure if we're being ambitious on the daily drives but definitely let me know what you think. We'd like to take our time on the way there. We live close to Seattle so I think that we'll just be driving through and going straight to Oregon taking Hwy 101. Seattle may be a stop on the way back. Would the Redwood National National Park be worth the stop?

    Day 1 - Vancouver to Cannon Beach
    Day 2 - Cannon Beach to Coos Bay
    Day 3 - Coos Bay to Crescent City
    Day 4 - Crescent City to <haven't decided yet - suggestions?>
    Day 5 - <haven't decided yet> to San Francisco

    We will stay in San Francisco for a couple of days and then make our way back. We've flown to San Francisco numerous times but this will be our first time driving there.

    Thank you in advance for any suggestions or help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    7,786

    Default Mix and Match

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There's simply no way to have a bad trip on your route, particularly for a photographer. Some time back I gathered up some of the best recommendations for this general neck of the woods. On a more general note for your trip, I would try to alternate between the coast and the Cascades both southbound and northbound. If you were a little more pressed for time, I would suggest taking the coast one way and the mountains the other. But since you can, mix them up. This makes for a more varied and enjoyable trip and increases your chances of getting good weather for at least a portion of each scenery type. The other thing I think you'd really like is a drive up the old Columbia River Gorge Highway. There are about a dozen waterfalls just a short hike from this road as well as the vistas of the Columbia River itself.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    7,262

    Default

    Would the Redwood National National Park be worth the stop?
    If you are going to be on 101, you will be going right through it. I would also look at the Avenue of the Giants. It parallels 101 through Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Vancouver,BC
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Thanks for the information AZBuck! I will definitely look into the recommendations and see what waterfalls are along the route. :-)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Vancouver,BC
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    If you are going to be on 101, you will be going right through it. I would also look at the Avenue of the Giants. It parallels 101 through Humboldt Redwoods State Park.
    Good to know. Thanks glc!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Vancouver,BC
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There's simply no way to have a bad trip on your route, particularly for a photographer. Some time back I gathered up some of the best recommendations for this general neck of the woods. On a more general note for your trip, I would try to alternate between the coast and the Cascades both southbound and northbound. If you were a little more pressed for time, I would suggest taking the coast one way and the mountains the other. But since you can, mix them up. This makes for a more varied and enjoyable trip and increases your chances of getting good weather for at least a portion of each scenery type. The other thing I think you'd really like is a drive up the old Columbia River Gorge Highway. There are about a dozen waterfalls just a short hike from this road as well as the vistas of the Columbia River itself.

    AZBuck
    Based on your recommendation, we decided that we are definitely going to be taking coast on the way down :-) and then go through the Cascades on the way back up. We would like to make Crater Lake a stop. Would you recommend a stop in between San Francisco and Crater Lake (I'm thinking it will be about a 9/10 hour drive) or drive straight through and stay in Crater Lake and then enjoy a night there? Besides the lodges/cabins are there any other accomodations close by that you would recommend? I read that Crater Lake access isn't available until late May or early June and we would really like to be able to explore a bit if we can.

    Thanks again!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    776

    Default Various thoughts

    On your way down, somewhere on the Mendocino coast would be a likely stop (if you choose to continue down the coast, leaving 101 where CA1 splits off somewhere around Legett).

    Lots of lodging options ranging from motels in Fort Bragg to lots and lots of (expensive but nice) Bed and Breakfasts in Mendocino and towns south.

    For the trip back up, you may want to consider a night or two in the Ashland/Medford area, rather than Crater Lake (getting lodging inside the park can be tough). Ashland offers the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for those who like live theater. They perform around a dozen plays each year, including offerings beyond those of the Bard; on our last trip (2010) we took in a musical and a play based on "Pride and Prejudice", as well as "Merchant". From here, you could visit Crater Lake as you continue heading north. A note here: you can choose to continue up either the east or west side of the Cascades; both options have things to recommend them.

    The Medford area has some interesting options for foodies: Rogue Creamery in Central Point (arguably the best blue cheese on the coast), Harry and David south of town, and the old Butte Creek Mill in Eagle point (stone ground grains), which is a working water-powered mill. There's also a small covered bridge just down the street from the mill for the photographer in the crowd.

    Also in the Medford area is the old goldrush town of Jacksonville:


    Photo: Don Casey

    and a number of wineries:


    Photo: Don Casey

    Crater lake is spectacular, but has a very short season. The road around the lake usually doesn't open until July, although the road TO the rim is open much earlier. The Lodge is a fun place to spend a night or two, if you can get a reservation.

    Here's what the lake looks like in June (first one is mid-June 2005, when only the Lodge area was accessible, second is from late June 2010 when 2/3rds of the rim road was open... we spent two nights at the lodge that trip).


    Photo: Don Casey


    Photo: Don Casey

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