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  1. Default Planning a Road trip fro Seattle to San Francisco and then Las Vegas

    Hi , I am new to this forum. My wife and two children (17 and 16) are planning to make a trip from Seattle to San Francisco in Dec 20.... I am planning to take I5 until Grants Pass, then take US199 to Cresnet City, pass Redwood National Park, Eurkeka, take US101 to San Francisco.
    - is that ok for one night somwhere in the middle? o do I need two nights?
    - What about snow? do I have to worry about that at December in the west cost?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    One night or two depends on the weather conditions you encounter, and how much you like to drive in one day. Towing a trailer straight up I-5 one year, we left the East Bay area, stayed near Medford one night, and made Olympia WA the next day, and got in early enough both days. You will travel slower on US 199 and US 101, though 101 has some four-lane in there.

    I will let someone more knowledgeable about weather in December up in that region, answer the snow question. We normally travel up there in the summer months.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    SF Bay Area

    Default Do you want to see anything or just drive through?

    Your routing is feasible for two days, but they'll be full driving days and not much time to do any sight-seeing along the way.

    By cutting over to the coast on 199 you avoid the most problematic area for weather; Siskiyou pass on I5 at the Oregon/California border.

    With one stopover I'd suggest Grants Pass. Cave Junction is closer to the halfway point, but the lodging options are limited and you should book ahead if this is your plan; esp as you are off-season.

    With three days I'd suggest doing some sightseeing on the second day, so still shoot for Grants Pass on day one and break the second day up with an overnight somewhere between Fort Bragg and Mendocino, and come down CA1 as far as Elk, cutting back to 101 on CA128.

    That would let you spend SOME time in the redwoods, and explore a bit of the California coast.

    In any event, given the time of year, stick to major roads... I5, 101, 199, 1. Do not wander off onto forest service roads.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you want to make it in 2 days via that route, I'd try to make it to Crescent City for the overnight.

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by CalOldBlue View Post
    Do not wander off onto forest service roads.
    Good advice.

    My mind is now tumbling on in this vain. I’ll start with a modern trend I see where more and more folk have an electronic device basically glued to their hand as if part of their DNA. They keep looking at it and tapping into it oblivious to what is going on around them. Feel as if I shout out a bus was about to run them down it would not register. Just hope our lives are not going to be ruled by zeros and ones.

    Where am I going – well our use of the GPS. Aware there are lots of drivers who rely on them 100% and you keep reading stories of drivers ending up in humorous as well as tragic circumstances.

    This July I did a trip along the NW Pacific coast and Oregon when I had an eye opener with my GPS.

    Leaving my hotel in Bandon I had looked at the map and saw two possible routes, the first via route 42/1-5 and the second via Gold Beach, Agness and along a forest road called Bear Camp Road. I was surprised when I switched on the GPS and selected a route to Grants Pass as it directed me to take the route via Bear Camp Road, the forest road. It was the more adventurous road for me so I went that way, but at the time it struck me as odd that this was the first selected route. Had it been winter time, and had I not been aware of the type of road, it could have proved very problematic. The Bear Camp Road, which goes through wilderness, has had its disasters with motorists who got it wrong over the years.

    When I returned the GPS to my son he explained the GPS had been put in a mode to avoid, where possible, interstate roads and was the reason it took me via the forest road to avoid the 1-5.

    I learned a big lesson from that experience. Don’t put all your eggs into a GPS

  6. Default Road trip from Seattle to San Francisco

    Thanks for your advise… with these suggestions, I am planning to spend a night at Grants Pass and then at Mendocino California…
    Do you think I should book hotels in advance?... I would like to keep the plan flexible…

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Flexibility

    Quote Originally Posted by lasp View Post
    ... I would like to keep the plan flexible…
    Why not do your research, as to what places there are within the range where you think you may be. Make a note of which hotels are open during the winter season, and which suit you. Then make sure you have all the details of those establishments with you.

    When you know where you will likely spend the night, get out your list, and call to see what vacancies there are.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    You shouldn't have too much of a problem remaining flexible, but you could research some options that suit your budget in places where you may end up for the night, note phone numbers and call ahead from the road.

    Edit] Basically what Lifemagician posted while I was typing ! lol
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 11-27-2011 at 02:03 AM. Reason: Added comment.

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