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  1. #1

    Default Portland, OR to San Fran return

    Hi all,

    Great forum you have here.

    I will be in the pacific Northwest for a few weeks this fall staying with friends (live in southern WA) and have a 6 day gap where they will be out of town and suggested a trip to San Francisco via the coast.

    General plan is to pick up a rental at Portland airport, drive out to the coast and then down to San Francisco, spending a day in San Francisco (hopefully get to a 49ers game), and then 2 days backup via I-5.

    Day 1 Portland to Tillamook to Gold Beach or thereabouts
    Day 2 Gold Beach to ?? - Redwoods NP & Ave of Giants
    Day 3 to San Fran - Bodega & Napa Valley
    Day 4 San Fran - 49ers game
    Day 5 San Fran to ??
    Day 6 return to Portland - Vineyards around Eugene

    Normally only comfortably driving around 400 miles. After that I just don't want to be in a car. I am hoping this is not too ambitious?
    Any suggestions on National Parks along this route that I have missed?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Nicely Paced....But

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    First, before you rent your car from the airport location, check around to see where else in town you can rent from. There is absolutely no reason to pay all the extra fees and taxes that are tacked on to airport rental locations if you don't have to. As a case in point, my wife and I are doing a fly/drive trip later this month, and we are saving over $100 by renting our car from an off-airport location. Yes we will have to pay about $20 for the cab ride to get to the car, but we still save quite a bit. In your case an off-airport rental franchise might be even more convenient.

    On your drive down the coast to San Francisco, there will be no shortage of great ocean side parks and trails to take advantage of. I would suggest that you look at both the Oregon and California state park websites to see what's available in addition to Redwood National Park. (actually some of the best redwood groves are in Del Norte Coast and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Parks. Multiple stops during the day also helps to break up the driving into manageable chunks and, counter-intuitively, actually lets you get farther down the road on some days. Generally, you should be looking to spend your two nights on the coast around Gold Beach and Fort Bragg. That would make your third day a little shorter mileage-wise, and either let you get into San Francisco before rush hour or give you some extra time to deal with it. On the way back, a good half-way stopping point would be Yreka CA.


  3. #3


    Point taken on the car rental. It was for convenience as friends are flying out of Portland at the same time. I will look to see what options are in Portland itself as I can get the light rail from the airport.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Crater Lake. [?]

    Returning to Portland I would be [very] tempted to get off of I5 and detour to Crater Lake, stopping close by overnight. You don't say exactly when your trip is so you would have to check on conditions as they see a lot of snow there during Fall and Winter.

    While in SF you should consider an Alcatraz tour ! The tours are extremely popular and to save the posiibility of long waits in queues, you could book tickets in advance. This is the only official booking office to buy tickets, without the need for agents fees or having to book other tours.

    If you had had another day for the return journey [?] I would have certainly suggested a trip from SF to Yosemite NP, a true natural wonder !

  5. #5


    This trip will be in October and would certainly love to see Crater Lake minus the snow, having been to Crater Lake several years ago in mid-January.

    So something along the lines of:

    Day 1 Portland to Gold Beach
    Day 2 Gold Beach to Fort Bragg
    Day 3 Fort Bragg to San Francisco via Napa Valley
    Day 4 San Francisco - Alcatraz AM, 49ers v Giants game PM
    Day 5 San Francisco - Yreka
    Day 6 Yreka - Portland via Crater Lake (depending on weather conditions)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    You can certainly get farther that day than Yreka - it's only about 5 hours or so from SF. If you are going to Crater Lake take 97 and stop in Klamath Falls, or stay on 5 to Medford or Grants Pass. Either one will still keep you under your 400 mile limit. This would give you more time in Crater Lake or Eugene, whichever you decide to do.

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