Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. Default One Week Road Trip to/from San Francisco - Help me choose!

    Dear members, can you please help me decide on and refine the itinerary for our road trip? I’d really appreciate your help!

    A bit of background: We will be traveling Oct 10 - 17. We plan to camp along the way (sleeping in the car at the side of the road is also fine, as our budget is quite limited). Main interests are nature and photography. Due to time constraints and luggage limitations, we’re not planning any serious hikes, but would love to do some few hours’ loops where it’s worth it.

    Must do for us: see the redwoods (both coastal and sequoias would be great), drive a part of a scenic coastal highway. Death Valley would be amazing too.

    Thought 1:
    San Fran -> Yosemite -> Death Valley -> up the coast back to San Fran

    Thought 2:
    San Fran -> Redwood National Park -> Lassen Volcanic Park -> Yosemite -> San Fran

    My attraction to the first route is Death Valley. The second route’s appeal is the giant redwoods.

    Below is my idea of the itinerary:

    N.B. We arrive in San Francisco on Oct 9

    Thought 1:

    Oct 10 – San Fran to Yosemite (4 hours)
    Oct 11 – Yosemite
    Oct 12 – Yosemite
    Oct 13-14 – Yosemite to Death Valley -> Any sightseeing along the way you would recommend? Where would be the space stop for the night?
    Oct 15 – Death Valley
    Oct 16-17 – Death Valley to San Francisco -> Would really love some advice with this portion of the trip. Is it worth it to go along the coast? (We’re not into big cities, but small quaint towns to stop in could be nice).

    Our flight out of San Francisco is on Oct 19, so the last few days are left for exploring the city and/or any unforeseen circumstances.

    Thought 2:

    Oct 10 – San Fran to Mendocino (Anderson Valley) to Humboldt Redwoods -> Are the wineries worth a look at this time of year?
    Oct 11 – Humboldt Redwoods or Redwoods National Park -> What would you recommend?
    Oct 12 – Humboldt to Lassen
    Oct 13 – Lassen Volcanic Park
    Oct 14-15 – Lassen to Yosemite -> Any nice stops along the way?
    Oct 16 – Yosemite
    Oct 17 – Yosemite to San Fran

    Google maps show both of these itineraries to be the same length. Is that true in practice? Am I missing anything? Which one would you recommend? We’re not likely to come back this way for a long time, so we’d love to see as much as possible, even if it does involve quite a bit of driving.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Heads or tails.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    There is no right or wrong option, just 2 great choices. If you were to take option 1 you could reverse the trip and head south down the coast to put the Oceanside pull outs on your side of the road. The other thing you have to consider is the possibility that the Tioga Pass linking Death valley and Yosemite could experience closures this time of year. I would probably go with option 1 as it allows more time for Yosemite and I love Yosemite !!

    The whole pulling up on the side of the road is not a great idea at all, not only will you not get a good nights sleep, you run the risk of being woken in the night by a Sheriff, or worse still an angry landowner.

  3. Default

    Thank you so much for taking the time to reply!

    "you could reverse the trip and head south down the coast to put the Oceanside pull outs on your side of the road"

    This is valuable advice!

    "The other thing you have to consider is the possibility that the Tioga Pass linking Death valley and Yosemite could experience closures this time of year"

    That's why I was originally planning to go in the direction from Yosemite to Death Valley. My thinking was, should the pass be closed, we'd have the option of heading north and doing my option 1 route in reverse. Unless... there're other options for traveling from DV to Yosemite? How likely are we to encounter a closure?

    "The whole pulling up on the side of the road is not a great idea at all"
    Noted. I'll make sure to pre-book for national parks. Here's a question: when traveling in Canada, we sometimes drove to a trail head, spent the night and left first thing in the morning without any hassle from park rangers or police. It wasn't for big provincial parks, but for something trails along the way. Is something like this possible in California?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mostrovs View Post
    "The whole pulling up on the side of the road is not a great idea at all"
    Noted. I'll make sure to pre-book for national parks. Here's a question: when traveling in Canada, we sometimes drove to a trail head, spent the night and left first thing in the morning without any hassle from park rangers or police. It wasn't for big provincial parks, but for something trails along the way. Is something like this possible in California?
    In national or state parks, doing something like that will almost certainly result in a rude awakening. If you tried doing that in a national forest, where dispersed camping is generally allowed, then you would probably be ok.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    You can book ahead for any state parks you may want to utilize for camping. Most of the California state parks take reservations. Of course, they are usually around $30 a night for a tent.

    I agree with Dave: sleeping in your car is a bad idea, you just can't get a restful night's sleep unless you have a big station wagon or SUV where you can stretch out. Going to the bathroom in the middle of the night would be inconvenient as well.

    You may get really cheap campsites in national forests, or you can disperse-camp in many of them as long as you are #X feet from a roadway or trail. National Forests usually have their rules about that online. Don't try that in most national parks, though, as they are a lot tighter and generally only allow it for those with long-distance backcountry hiking permits.


    Donna

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Tweaking the options.

    It is very difficult to stay flexible and book accommodation in the NPs. Flexibility at this time of the year is going to be your key.

    My thought was to make Yosemite the central focus. Should Tioga be closed, head up north to Lassen, etc. and take the opt6ion to come down the coast for a bit from the Redwoods. If Tioga is open, I would definitely head for Death Valley. For a photographer, it is amazing.

    Reversing option one would be a good idea, but I would keep a close looik at the long range weather forecast. I'd rather head north up the coast, than miss out on Tioga Pass.

    No matter what you choose, you are in for a great adventure.

    And no... definitely do not park just anywhere for the night. Far better to find a 24hr business in a nearby town, or follow one of the many suggestions above. Remember though, California is not Canada.

    Lifey

  7. Default

    Thank you for your replies, everyone. No camping by the side of the road, got it! No talking to strangers. No feeding the bears either :)

    I've decided to go with option one and go to Yosemite first. That way I can be certain of the dates I need to book there (and I know they have to be booked way in advance) and not get stuck should Tioga Pass be closed.

    Now I have some specific questions about the route. What would be best, to open a new thread, ask in comments, or edit the original post?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Keep all of your trip here.

    Just keep asking your questions in this thread. Whatever you do, do not edit the original post, as the responses will not make sense to others who will read it.

    Lifey

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Getting there.

    No camping by the side of the road, got it! No talking to strangers. No feeding the bears either :)
    You got two out of three right. ;-) A lot of strangers are purely friends you have yet to meet and if those strangers happen to be Locals they might just share a couple of the local secrets.

    As above, just follow up with any questions about this trip by posting right here.

Similar Threads

  1. Six Week Road Trip (Start: Seattle, End: San Francisco)
    By Sunray in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-13-2012, 03:41 AM
  2. ROAD TRIP - San Francisco to Las Vegas in 1 week
    By hellopsz in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 07-29-2010, 03:02 AM
  3. 2 week road trip North Jersey to San Francisco
    By mpktrip in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-17-2009, 08:26 AM
  4. San Francisco to Dallas next week trip
    By faisalmattoo in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-11-2008, 12:03 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES