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  1. Default Need Help in Planning RoadTrip from Seattle to Yosemite !!!


    We are planning for a five day RoadTrip from Seattle to CA. This would be our first road trip in US and we need lots of tips !!!!
    I live in Seattle area and two of friends are flying down from Minneapolis and South Carolina....3 of us are then planning to drive to CA along the costal pacific highway 101. We have heard great about the 101 drive and thought of experiencing it !!!!
    Here's our plan:
    1. Day 1 :
    ----Start from Seattle early in the morning and take 1-5 to reach Portland. We can pass through St Helens Mt on the way.
    We plan to take Hwy 101 a little ahead of Portland may be from Eugene. We are not sure not this. Can anybody share their experience from where can we start 101.Keeping in mind 101 will be slower and we want to reach SFO on the second day by noon.
    --Plan to see(Pass by) RedWood National Forest.
    -----Stay the night at Eureke ( Assuming it would be 10 hrs drive from Seattle)

    2. DAY 2:
    ---Start from eureka and enjoy 101 drive.
    ----Stop at Fort Bragg
    -----Reach SFO ( by early evening).... (Assuming 6 hrs drive from eureka
    -----Go to Golden Gate Bridge and enjoy the city at night.

    3. Day 3.
    ---Start from SFO and visit Yosomite National Park ( 3 hrs drive approx)
    ----Stay overnight at Yosomite

    4. Day 4
    ---- Take hwy 15 and visit Crater lake

    Day 5
    ---Reach Seattle.

    It would be great if anyone can help us planning this better.. Our main confusion is from where do we start our 101 joureny. Which part of the drive is more scenic ??? We dont want to miss it !!! Do we stay at Eureke the first night or can be head further???

    Please share you views and experience !!!!

    Thanks everyone

    Cheers !!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Expectations.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    I'm sorry to be the one with bad news, but your trip while seeing the things you want to see, isn't really possible. You have the best part of 4 days driving and that is by and large without travelling down the coast. Day 1 to Eureka will be close to a 11.5 hour day if you go as far as Grants Pass and then to Crescent City and that's without time at the Redwoods.

    US101 does not follow the coast all the way, that is CA1 to Fort Bragg and beyond, and taking it would take 8 hours to SF plus any time at Fort Bragg. You say both, that you want to be in SFO by Noon and then again by early evening. The latter is possible, if you mean SF and not SFO. [SFO is the International airport a few miles further south] You could get to SF in 6 hours if you returned to 101 after Fort Bragg.

    You can get to Yosemite in 4.5 hours, but no way will you make it in 3 hours. That will give you a half day at Yosemite, but remembering that would be with an early start and only a few hours in SF the night before, where there is a good chance you will be to tired to do much on arrival if you explore the coast.

    From Yosemite to Seattle is a two day drive and staying near Crater Lake and making a quick visit before continuing home would work well, again not much time and a lot of driving though.

    As long as you understand that you will be spending most of your trip in the car and are prepared to cut back on your expectations when needed, you can do the trip. In all honesty, I would try hard to find an extra couple of days and make it a more memorable trip, for all the right reasons.

    Another point is that the section of coast road that is commonly known as the PCH and most likely what you are referring to/read about is found South of SF. It's not to say the coast north of SF isn't wonderful but it's possible you are getting the confused.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I have to agree with Dave, you've really got a trip where things are going to take much longer than you are allowing, and its going to be tough to enjoy all the things you want to see. You might be able to drive by all these places, but saying you actually experienced them is really another matter.

    As Dave mentioned, all of your drive time estimates are way too low. Following the coast is one area that is especially bad. A good rule of thumb is that it take roughly twice as much time to drive the coast as it does to use I-5. Making it to Eureka, as Dave mentioned would be at least 11.5 hours, and that's if you're driving straight there via Grants Pass. That doesn't leave you time to detour to Mt. St. Helens or make any stops in Portland or in the redwoods, and cutting over to the Coast at Eugene certainly won't work. From Eureka, its a very full day to SF via the coast, and you'll have to get an early start just to get there by evening.

    Just to keep in mind the distances, even if you stick to I-5, its a day and a half to get from Seattle to SF, so if you want to get to SF by noon, then the coast isn't really a possibility at all.

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