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  1. Default Portland to San Francisco - nervous driving in North America!

    Hi All,

    I'm planning on driving down the coast from Portland to San Francisco. I'm Irish, have been living in Canada for a year but haven't driven on North American roads yet.

    I know I'll be fine once I get on the road but just looking for some general advice on the easiest route. I'm not in a rush so was thinking of taking 4 days and doing maybe 250km a day. Does this sound ok for someone who's a bit nervous?! Guess it would be about 3 hours a day?

    Any other advice greatly appreciated, nice places to stop - love scenery, forests, quirky attractions. Really want to see the redwoods.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    On US interstate highways such as I-5, the speed limits range from 55 to 75. To drive 155 mi/250 km per day, it would take you roughly 3 hours. If you decide to go down US-101 (the preferred route if you want to see Redwoods National Park), it will be about 4 hours. Or you could do a little combination. If this were me, I might take I-5 south from Portland, then in Grants Pass, get off on US-199.

    Not far from that junction is Oregon Caves National Monument, about 16 miles down OR-46 from US-199 at Cave Junction. Near Cave Junction is Illinois River State Park. The road from Cave Junction to Crescent City is scenic and forested. You pass through the Smith River National Recreation Area.

    Redwoods National Park is just south of Crescent City. Beautiful place. These are the windblown, thick forests of redwoods. (The older ones are in Sequoia National Park and the southern end of Yosemite National Park.) Nearby Redwoods NP is Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park. US-101 continues to be scenic all the way to Leggett. There, if you turn south on CA-1,, you can drive quite aways along the coast. Going south, all the turnouts and beaches will be on your side of the road. There are too many to name.


  3. Default

    Hi Donna,

    Thanks so much for that, I really appreciate it! Sounds good to me.


  4. #4


    Keith, if you can drive in Canada, you can drive Oregon to California. You will be doing short trips, so you will have lots of time to look around.

    Let me know the type of places you like, and I can help you find some of the sites in Oregon.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default The Avenue of Giants.

    Driving down 101 from Eureka to SF, will take you through the Humboldt Redwoods State Park with the Avenue of Giants. A spectacular place. Stop to have lunch under the trees thousand year old trees. It is an amazing place. Drive your car through the drive-thru tree...... and take a photo of it.


  6. Default

    Thanks for the replies. Really helpful site.

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