Hi, I'm planning a two-week-vacation for the first two weeks of October. The first week will be spent in San Francisco but the remaining six days will be on the road.
I'm having trouble figuring out how much we can take in during that time and what our loop could look like though. We'd start on Sunday the 7th October and would have to be back in SF for an evening flight Saturday the 13th.
What do we want to see? In short: the coast, the redwoods, mountains. Not doing any real hiking (as in strapping on hiking boots and walking for hours), but around one hour walks would be fine. It's about the scenery, stopping here and there for some photographs. Maybe spend a whole day for example walking around the redwoods, but mostly not planning on dwelling that long at various places. It's about seeing as much as possible, within a reason, while getting a taste of what Northern California has to offer.
I was thinking that we could start with going up along Highway 1 and get to the redwoods between Eureka and Crescent City (I read that Del Norte Coast Redwood State Park and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park are the best ones?).
This is where it gets tricky, as I'm not sure which route we should take when looping back in a south-east direction (or perhaps we should even continue north and then blast down on the I-5?). I'd love to see some mountain-scenery. Would Lassen Volcanic National Park be a good stop on the way back towards SF? Or is there a better route? I gather Yosemite is way too far south to make sense in this scenario.
Also, there's the weather. I understand there might even be snow on higher altitudes at this point?
So in short, how should we continue our loop after Crescent City? Or, is there an even better route for us to take if we want to get a nice combination of dramatic coast, gigantic redwoods and majestic mountains?
I'd appreciate any help, :).