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  1. #1

    Default San Diego, CA to Portland, OR

    Looking to fly in to San Diego and drive up the coast to Portland, OR, then take the train home to MKE, stopping at Glacier Lake Natl Park. Need to figure out how much time we will need to see any "must see's". I have already been to San Francisco so really don't need much time there. Not much interest in the LA hoopla, so might spend limited time there. Would like to see Joshua Tree, Yosemite, Crater Lake, Cape Perpetua. Thinking about retiring to Oregon coast so would like to do as much driving there to check it out. Probably mid-May. Any suggestions?

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

    Default How long have you got ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You can have a wonderful trip with so much to see and do !

    Need to figure out how much time we will need to see any "must see's".
    A lifetime should do it ! Seriously though we all have to pick and choose based on our own interests and what appeals to us the most. I think you need to work out what would be a reasonable time frame for this trip and then see what fits and what needs to go on the 'For another trip' list. You can search the forums [Hint. Scroll down this page and you will find 'Similar threads'] and trip planning pages above to get some ideas. Here is one thread that might give you some ideas and you could take a look here.

    Travelling in mid May will mean you have to plan for possible road closures due to snow accumulation. Mainly that if you are going to Joshua Tree NP and then to Yosemite, it's possible the Tioga Pass [CA120] into Yosemite will be shut. [It usually opens between mid May and end of June]. It's not a big deal, but if closed you would have to keep to the west of the mountains to Yosemite via Bakersfield and Fresno. That would give you the chance to visit Sequoia NP as well, but if Tioga pass was open, it's very scenic as is the journey up 395 and you could include a detour through Death valley. Crater Lake could well have limited access as well. You will be able to get to the rim village and views of the lake but the rim drive could be closed.

    Lake Tahoe, Lassen volcanic NP, Mc Arthur-Burny Falls memorial state park, the Redwoods of the Californian coast and the Columbia River Gorge would be a few of the highlights that could also be considered.

    Enjoy the planning !

  3. #3

    Default Route

    Thanks for the info. I did read some of the other posts and have a question on one of the suggested routes - basically it said to go from Napa to Mt. Shasta to Crater Lake and then back down thru Grants Pass back to the Redwoods. I'm wondering why you wouldn't go from Napa to the coast, thru the Redwoods and up to Crater Lake?
    As far as time, I think it will be 2 weeks. However, 3 of those days I want to take the train back from Portland to MKE stopping to see Glacier Lake for a day. My travel partner has now thrown in the idea of flying into Phoenix, driving to see the Grand Canyon and skipping San Diego. To me, that is a lot of driving to see one thing (neither of us are interested in LV, I've been already)... but it's up for discussion.
    On our last trip, we ended up skipping Portland because we spent an extra day in Seattle and I don't want to miss it a 2nd time.
    Thanks for any advice!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    We usually recommend traveling the west coast in a north to south direction because the scenic pullouts will be on your side of the road, to avoid crossing traffic to enter and exit.

  5. #5

    Default South to North

    We did want to go North to South, however, we don't want to travel any later than May - there is too much to do in WI from Jun-Aug that we don't want to miss any of it! And, Glacier Park tours don't start until May 20th or 24th, something like that - which means we have to hit that on the way home, instead of the way out, which was our original plan. But, I do see your point, we did part of the Oregon coast last May (North to South) and did use those scenic pullovers a few times.
    But the part from Napa to Crater and then back down to the Redwoods - doesn't travel along the coast. So I'm wondering why you would go Napa - Crater - Redwoods instead of Napa - Redwoods - Crater?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Without knowing specifically which other threads you are referencing, its hard to say why that might have been the recommendation. Doing Crater Lake would make sense to do first, on a loop trip heading back to San Francisco, or possibly if the trip was being done in late fall where getting to Crater earlier would have some weather advantages.

    In your case, it would pretty clearly make more sense to do Redwoods then Crater.

    Going north to south does has some advantages, but its not that big of a deal, if other factors make it easier to head north, I wouldn't worry about it.

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