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  1. Default Olympia,WA to Redwood Forest and Back

    Hi, I am planning a roadtrip from March 30 through April 8. My husband and I, as well as my two boys that are 4 & 11, just moved to Olympia,WA area and we want to take in some sights. We already seen some things here and have plans for other areas such as the Olympia National Park. We want to head south into Portland and then hit along the Oregon Coast to the Redwoods. We are open to taking an alternative route as long as it hits back through Portland at some point. My question is what are the must-see sights or overnight stops along this route. My boys are laid back so not every stop as to action packed as long as they get to see some things they are easy to please. Any other suggestions on places to stay or eat are appreciated as well!!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    I'm going to stick my neck out here and make an assumption that you're looking at the northern California redwoods as opposed to the ones in Sequoia National Park.

    You could take US 101 from Olympic National Park all the way south into California, and then return via I-5. The trip down could take 2-3 days, depending on how much you want to drive and how many times you need to stop. The return home would be either 2 not-so-long days or a long day and a very short day, via I-5 (assuming no weather issues).

    If you live in the Olympia area, you can always make the national park a separate trip. When I was younger we spent 2 days there and wished we'd had one more!

    One stop on the way down might be Fort Clatsop and the Lewis and Clark National Historic Park. I think there's a junior ranger program that would interest your boys there (as there are in many National parks and historic parks). Also of interest could be the Sea Lion Caves and a ton of state parks.

    As for the redwoods in Northern California: Jedediah Smith Redwoods SP, Redwood National Park (junior ranger program!), Del Norte Coast Redwoods SP, Humboldt, all are absolutely beautiful. My only complaint these days is about the cost of the state parks in CA -- not very well state supported, and some are even facing closure (if they aren't already closed).

    You could go as far south as Arcata, then head east on CA-299 (beautiful route). Take that to Redding, then shoot north on I-5. You'll pass Shasta Lake and Mt Shasta on the way up I-5. The terrain through northern California on I-5 isn't as green as other areas, but turns green again in OR.

    Those are just some thoughts --


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Links.

    Hello and welcome to RTA !

    We don't actually do 'Must See's' here as the road trip is a very individual and unique experience, so you and your family need to sit down together and discuss what yours are. Involve the Kid's in that and with a vested interest in the trip it will be more fun for everyone.

    You don't say how long you have for the trip so suggesting places to stop overnight is also a tough ask. Again, this should be based on where you find to be interesting. What I would suggest you do is to get a good map and use RTA as a research tool and when you have the basics sorted and some dots on the map, members here can help fill in any blanks and 'fine tune' your plan.

    You can scroll down this page and you will find 'Similar threads' full of useful info. Repeat as many times as you wish. To get you started take a look at the links here and for a couple of field reports from Peter Thody, click here and here.

    I'm going to stick my neck out here and make an assumption that you're looking at the northern California redwoods as opposed to the ones in Sequoia National Park
    Donna. Although similarities can be drawn between the Redwoods and Sequoia's, they are two different 'beasts' altogether.

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