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  1. Default Los Angeles to Seattle

    I will have 13 days off in September and planning to drive from Los Angeles to Seattle.
    I would like to spend 3-4 days in Seattle and drive back, any suggestions that will help to make the drive as scenic as possible.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    One suggestion would be to come down the Pacific Coast Highway (CA-1) between the SF Bay Area and LA, as you return south.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Along the way.

    Five days each way should give you time to do more than just fly up I-5. Get out a good map and look at the great NPs near you. If you have not already been there, you might like to check out Sequoia NP, Kings Canyon, Yosemite and a little further up, Crater Lake. Closer to Seattle you have the Columbia River Gorge, Mt St Helens and Mt Rainier.

    You cannot do all of these, but there's a choice to start with. I agree that the coast should be driven southbound, when the ocean is on your side. Be sure to allow two days for the SF to LA section. In Northern California you might consider diverting from the coast a little and checking out the Humboldt Redwood SP along with The Avenue of Giants.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Some Previous Recommendations

    Although a bit long in the tooth, these recommendations are still relevant to a trip like yours.


  5. Default

    Thanks for all the suggestions, my wife and I really appreciate it. We will definitely take your advice coming down south by the coast.Any suggestions for 1 night rest half way between Los Angeles and Seattle?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default With Only One Stop There Will Be No Others

    If you only plan to make only one overnight stop between Los Angeles and Seattle, then there is little point in worrying about scenic routes or attractions on the way north. You won't have time. At over 1100 miles, all you will have time for is a grinding two day drive up I-5 stopping only for food, fuel, bathroom breaks, and an occasional time out at a local park. Your halfway point would be Dunsmuir CA. Hopefully, that sacrifice will leave you more time for the Seattle to Los Angeles leg.


  7. Default

    We can take 3 days to go up and 3 days to come down, do you think that's better? Any suggestions? We would want to see mt st Helens, spend a day or two in Portland going up. Coming down south, we would like to see the Redwoods and the beautiful coast. Any advices?
    Thank you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Better but limiting.

    Three days is certainly better than two, but still doesn't leave you with a lot of free time. For example you can spend a day in Portland, but not two, and that is your 'extra' day gone going up. The Redwoods would be a good option on the way down where you might be able to enjoy part of the coast, but again that would be a choice for you to make in preference to others. I would do a little more research and decide what appeals to you the most, but it seems as though you are underestimating the time and distance it will take to get between LA and Seattle. As buck mentioned, it's the best part of 2 days one way. Two plus two in Portland = 4 and that's without Mt St Helens.

  9. #9


    As others have said, I've done the Seattle/LA drive many times. I stop in Redding, Ca. for the night. Outside of a food stop, fuel, and bathroom breaks, there is no time to sightsee. Portland is an interesting city. You could easily spend a day there. Be forwarned. Portland's afternoon traffic will rival LA's, as will Seattle's.

  10. Default

    Thanks to everyone here in this forum, with your suggestions we were able to make the most out of this trip which was almost three years ago.
    Sorry about the delay in our thanks and the update which was long overdue.

    Our Trip to Seattle (Sept 20, 2014 to Oct 1, 2014)
    Day 1( Sept 20) Drove from Los Angeles to Redding (about 8 hrs.) ,
    Night 1 Spend the night in Redding in Best Western

    Day 2 (Sept 21) From Redding drove to Portland (about 6.30 hrs.)
    In Portland, Went to Washington Park, saw the Portland Japanese garden and International Rose test garden (3 acres, more than 10,000 bushes of roses).
    Night 2, stayed in Portland in Hotel Deluxe

    Day 3 (Sept 22) From Portland drove to Mt St Helens (about 2 hrs.), take hwy 504 for views of the crater and Lava dome. Went hiking by the Johnston Ridge Observatory, went to Cold Water Lake and Spirit Lake
    From Mt St Helens, drove to Bainbridge Island, WA (about 3 hrs)
    Night3 at Bainbridge Island

    Day and night 4,5,6,and 7, stayed at Bainbridge Island. Took the ferry to Seattle, visited the Pike Place market, Seattle downtown, Pioneer Square Historic district, Seattle center, space needle, Chihuly garden and Glass, took the Monorail from the Seattle center to Pine Street.

    Day 8 (Sept 27), From Bainbridge Island, drove to Crescent City (about 8hrs.)
    Night 8, stayed at Best Western overnight

    Day 9 (Sept28) In Crescent City, Visited Jedediah Smith Redwood state Park, went through Beautiful Howland Hill Road (very narrow and unpaved), hiked the Stout Grove trail and Boy Scout Tree Trail, came back on 199 hwy. Hwy 199, Redwood Hwy, is the most beautiful road surrounded by the magnificent redwoods.
    In the afternoon, we drove to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. We drove the Newton B Druruy Scenic Pkwy, went to some short trails off the road.
    Night 9, From Prairie Creek, drove to Eureka (about 1 hr) and slept overnight at Best Western.

    Day 10 (Sept 29) From Eureka, drove to Humboldt redwoods State Park (about 1 hr) Drove on the Avenue of the giants, 31 miles of a 2 way highway of beautiful unimaginable wilderness of beautiful Redwoods towering over, taking the sunlight and taking you to another world. The ground beneath the redwoods is lash green carpeted with ferns.
    Hiked Founders Gove Trail, saw the Redwood that has been through many fired but still continuing to live, saw the Founders Tree, 346 ft tall and 13 ft in diameter. Saw many fallen giants and decaying giants. Saw the Dyerville Giant, which once stood here as long as 1600 yrs before it fell. It wa staller, larger and older than any other tree around it. Before it fell it was at least 362 Ft tall, 17 inch in diameter and 52 ft in circumference, probably weighing over 1,000,000 pounds.
    From Avenue of the Giants, drove to Armstrong Redwoods State Park.(about hrs) Saw the Jones Tree (named after Armstrong’s son-in-law) at 310 ft, the tallest on the grove. Saw the Colonel Armstrong Tree, more than 1,400 yrs old.
    Night 10, From Armstrong Redwoods, drove to Santa Rosa 9about 3 hrs). Slept overnight at Best Western.

    Day 11 (Sept 30) From Santa Rosa, drove to Big Basin Redwoods Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains (about 4 hrs with traffic in San Francisco) A long, narrow two way road, full of many sharp turns took us there. It was so long, we even thought we were lost.
    Hiked the Redwood Loop Trail where we saw Redwood Burl(it consists of masses of dormant buds), the Chimney Tree which is entirely hollow inside, like a chimney but is a living, growing redwood. We went inside, looked up and saw the sky. It is hollow. Saw a lot of Douglas Fur trees.
    Saw the “Father of the Forest”, estimated to be 2,000 yrs old. Saw “the Mother of the Forest” which was once the tallest at 329ft but lost its top in a storm reducing its height to 293 ft. It has 2 new trunks growing. Hiked the “Creeping Forest trail”, goes up to 500 ft and it took 2 hrs.
    From Big Basin we drove to Pebble Beach went to the 17 mile scenic drive, stopping at viewpoints, did sightseeing in Pebble Beach and then drove to Carmel watching the beautiful Pacific Coast.
    Night 11, Slept in Carmel at Comfort Inn

    Day 12 (Oct 1) Spent the morning in Carmel, sightseeing and then drove to Big Sur on PCH1
    We visited Julia Pfeiffer Burns State park and the beautiful McWay Falls. Stopped at many viewpoints on the pacific Coast and enjoyed the magnificent view of the coast.
    From Big Sur, we drove to Santa Barbara, had dinner at the beautiful pier and started heading home. We got home about 9 p.m.

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