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  1. Default San Fran to Seattle and back - late march early april

    Hi everyone! So, I was planning a solo roadtrip from San Francisco to Seattle for the end of the month, first few days of April. I'll be picking up the rental at the airport in San Fran, and my plan was to make it to Seattle by Saturday evening. I'd like to get the bulk of the driving done on Friday (I don't need to stop and see the sights, I just want to make time) so that my arriving in Seattle on Saturday is a reasonable goal. Then, I'll have Sunday evening, and all day Monday and Tuesday to make my way back to San Fran at a more leisurely pace (probably along the coast). I fly out of San Fran Wednesday afternoon.

    My question is - have any of your done this trip around this time of year? I know that there are two mountain passes that I have to be ready for - Grants Pass and Shasta - and I'm a little nervous about these. I don't love driving in the snow, I'm going to be in a cheap rental, and I'll be on my own. Do you all think it's a manageable drive? I'm getting a little worried by some of the other forums I've looked at. I know my other option would be to take 101 around the mountain passes, but that would add more than 3 hours to the trip probably...

    Any advice would be much appreciated! I'm a careful driver and I love driving long distances, taking solo trips, etc., but I don't want to mess with Weather in totally unfamiliar parts and be stupid about road-trip safety. I guess the specific question is: if I do Grants Pass et. al., what should I anticipate/prepare for and where do I get the most up-to-date weather info?

    Or, does my mountain driving timidity suggest I'd be better off taking the coastal route, even with the extra time?

    Finally - when I make my way back to San Fran over the course of 3 days (and I certainly want to do the coast) any suggestions for cheap places to stay? Towns that have nice areas to wander around in, read books, etc.?

    Thanks so much guys! Sorry for the long post.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO



    This late in the season, I wouldn't anticipate any major issues on I-5. I've done this in February with no issues. Being an Interstate highway, it gets first priority for keeping clear and open. From SFO, take 101 into the city and cross the Bay Bridge, take I-80 to I-505 to I-5. Another option is take 101 south to CA-92 and cross the San Mateo Bridge to I-880 to get to I-80.

    You are looking at over 800 miles, which is at least a day and a half, so going up the coast would add a third day. There is no good way to get across the coastal range from I-5 to 101 between SF and mid-Oregon, so you would really have to take the Golden Gate Bridge out of SF and 101 all the way north to somewhere in mid-Oregon to get back to I-5 without dealing with mountain roads.

    California road conditions

    Oregon road conditions

    Washington road conditions

    2.5 days to come back along the coast may be pushing it, especially if you want to take CA-1 from Leggett to SF.

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