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  1. Default Round trip from San Fran to Seattle advice needed.

    Hi Folks.

    I'm from New Zealand and know nothing about U.S driving routes. I plan to drive a two week round trip from San Fran up to Seattle at the start of September and would want to do some sort of loop so as not to backtrack so effectively need two itineraries of interest. The only things that I need to work in are Portland for three nights and Seattle for three nights, the rest is flexible so I have 4 nights roughly in each direction to fill.

    What would be a good way to achieve this?

    Thanks for your help.

    Shane.

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

    Default A few pointers.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    A really good place to start would be check out some maps and do a little research to see what would appeal to your tastes. I would recommend heading inland on the trip north and the coast heading south, that way the scenic Ocean pull outs [and Ocean] will be on your side of the road. Heading North to Portland you could visit Lassen National Volcanic park, Burney Falls, Crater Lake NP and through Mount Hood and drive through the Columbia River Gorge into Portland. Between Portland and Seattle you have options such as Mt St Helens and Mt Rainier NP to check out.

    From Seattle you could then cut across to Aberdeen and the 101 south through Astoria towards Depoe Bay and continue heading south down the coast to check out the Californian Redwoods before continuing towards SF. When you get to Leggett you will have to choose, or rather the clock will decide, if you take CA1 down the coast or stay on 101 which would be quicker. Lots of great seaside towns and scenic coves to admire as well as a couple of great drives through the Redwoods, the Newton B Drury scenic parkway in Prairie creek and the 'Avenue of the Giants' in Humboldt State park. Before heading over the Golden Gate bridge back into SF it's worth taking an hour or two to drive up the Marin Headlands on Conzelman road where you will get great views of the bridge and Bay area, weather permitting.

    Two great National parks, Yosemite [from SF] and Olympic [from Seattle] would be on the radar, but both would eat up time to properly explore and would make the drives a bit rushed.

    Have a look and see what you think, once you have a plan coming together and have more questions, just ask.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default More, Much More

    Although this list of discussions was compiled some time ago, its recommendations are still valid and will give you a number of ideas for places you might want to add to your itinerary.

    AZBuck

  4. Default

    Thank you both. This is very helpful.

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    A really good place to start would be check out some maps and do a little research to see what would appeal to your tastes. I would recommend heading inland on the trip north and the coast heading south, that way the scenic Ocean pull outs [and Ocean] will be on your side of the road. Heading North to Portland you could visit Lassen National Volcanic park, Burney Falls, Crater Lake NP and through Mount Hood and drive through the Columbia River Gorge into Portland. Between Portland and Seattle you have options such as Mt St Helens and Mt Rainier NP to check out.

    From Seattle you could then cut across to Aberdeen and the 101 south through Astoria towards Depoe Bay and continue heading south down the coast to check out the Californian Redwoods before continuing towards SF. When you get to Leggett you will have to choose, or rather the clock will decide, if you take CA1 down the coast or stay on 101 which would be quicker. Lots of great seaside towns and scenic coves to admire as well as a couple of great drives through the Redwoods, the Newton B Drury scenic parkway in Prairie creek and the 'Avenue of the Giants' in Humboldt State park. Before heading over the Golden Gate bridge back into SF it's worth taking an hour or two to drive up the Marin Headlands on Conzelman road where you will get great views of the bridge and Bay area, weather permitting.

    Two great National parks, Yosemite [from SF] and Olympic [from Seattle] would be on the radar, but both would eat up time to properly explore and would make the drives a bit rushed.

    Have a look and see what you think, once you have a plan coming together and have more questions, just ask.

    I've looked the maps and going with your suggested route have come up with the following itinerary for overnight stops. I need the 3 nights each in Portland and Seattle so that's fixed (though not in dates). Can you tell me if my overnight stops are in ok destinations?

    1st night. Redding
    2nd night. Crater lake or Klamath falls?
    3rd night. Bend
    4th, 5th and 6th nights Portland
    7,th 8th and 9th nights. Seattle
    10th night Astoria
    11th night Florence
    12th night Crescent city
    13th night Mendocino
    14th night Sonoma.

    How does that look?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default

    Does your first night include your flight across the Pacific?

    If so, then Redding is way too far to try to drive after traveling halfway around the world. You should plan to spend at least 1 night around SF to recover from your flights and to adjust to the major time change.

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Does your first night include your flight across the Pacific?

    If so, then Redding is way too far to try to drive after traveling halfway around the world. You should plan to spend at least 1 night around SF to recover from your flights and to adjust to the major time change.
    No, I'll have arrived in SF 3 days prior to my first drive so no worries there.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Possible tweaks.

    It looks as though it would work quite well. If you are looking to visit Lassen NP on day one then Redding would work, or head north from the park towards Burney if you can find suitable lodgings along the way. Burney Falls is a pleasant visit. Then you could continue on US89 [Volcanic legacy scenic Byway] up through McCloud to Mt Shasta and on to Crater Lake. [McCloud is a nice little town and worth a stop. On the north edge of town you will find some good views of Mt Shasta.] Bend would be fine to give you plenty of time at Crater lake during the day and then enough to drive through Columbia river gorge and view the waterfalls.

    From Seattle I would head a little further to Seaside or Cannon beach for my first stop on the coast. I would then look at getting at least to Klamath CA from Florence [or Gardiner area] so that you have time to enjoy the Redwood drives on route to Mendocino and possibly a walk in the 'Ladybird Johnson grove' of giant Redwoods on Bald hills road.

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