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  1. Default Los Angeles to Vancouver and back to Los Angeles

    I'm planning a last minute road trip and would love some advice on my route!

    1. My main goal is having a scenic drive rather than hanging out in the cities (besides Portland, really looking forward to a weekend there). Looking to have a lot of alone time in a car to think about life lol. Don't mind long stretches of driving with relatively short stops along the way to rest and carry on.

    2. I've already done the PCH drive from LA to San Fran, so skipping it and taking the 5 so I can focus on the scenic routes from San Fran to Vancouver

    3. I've picked the city stops based on friends I have where I can stay the night. Trying to make the trip as inexpensive as possible!

    4. I have a couple extra days I could throw in if my timing is too tight, happy to camp somewhere along the way for a night here or there to break up long drives.

    DAY 1: Drive the 5 to San Fran
    NIGHT 1: Stay in San Fran

    DAY 2: Drive to Eugene, OR
    NIGHT 2: Stay in Eugene, OR

    DAY 3: Drive to Seattle, WA
    NIGHT 3: Stay in Seattle, WA

    DAY 4: Morning and early afternoon exploration of Seattle + Drive to Vancouver
    NIGHT 4: Stay in Vancouver

    DAY 5: Explore Vancouver + Drive to Portland
    NIGHT 5: Stay in Portland

    DAY 6/NIGHT 6: Explore Portland

    DAY 7: Drive to San Francisco
    NIGHT 7: Stay in SF

    DAY 8: Drive back to LA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    South of England.
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    Default A little confused.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    I am a little confused by your plan as there seems to be a conflict of interests. You say you want scenic drives and not to hang out in City's but your trip follows I5 and [albeit with friends] your time seems to be spent in the City. (?) If you had a couple of extra days you might at least find some time to do a couple of scenic drives and perhaps see a little of nature rather than just City's. There are many options both inland and along the coast but I'm not sure what it is you are looking for.

    If you have any specific questions just ask, but if you are happy with your itinerary and it's what you want to do, it's doable, although the trip from Portland to SF is a long day on the road. Maybe Sacramento would be a better option ?

  3. Default

    Thanks Dave! Only taking the 5 during the San Fran/LA stretch since speed is my goal there and I've already done the PCH route between those two cities a few times, otherwise I'll completely be taking the 101/Coastal route for the rest of the trip and just popping over to get to the cities to sleep and have a few hours of exploration and QT with friends.

    Would love any ideas on scenic places to stop along that route.

    Read Depoe Bay is gorgeous (but also just read there's a wildfire there right now) and Mt. Saint Helens (not sure how far out of the way it is)...


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

    I am a little confused by your plan as there seems to be a conflict of interests. You say you want scenic drives and not to hang out in City's but your trip follows I5 and [albeit with friends] your time seems to be spent in the City. (?) If you had a couple of extra days you might at least find some time to do a couple of scenic drives and perhaps see a little of nature rather than just City's. There are many options both inland and along the coast but I'm not sure what it is you are looking for.

    If you have any specific questions just ask, but if you are happy with your itinerary and it's what you want to do, it's doable, although the trip from Portland to SF is a long day on the road. Maybe Sacramento would be a better option ?

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

    Default

    If your plan is to use CA-1/US-101 north of San Francisco, then your plan really is unworkable. You are just trying to do far too much with the time you've got available.

    SF to Eugene is a full day on the road, if you stick to I-5. If you're going to head up CA-1 and then US-101 and really follow the coast, then you're talking about a 3 day drive, just for that one section.

    Roughly speaking, the coast highway takes about twice as much time as the Interstate, and then you should know it's also not fast to just jump from the coast back over to I-5. Just driving from the coast to Eugene, is going to take you at least and hour and a half.

    I don't see how the plan you laid out is going to work, while also including the coast as the main highway for your trip. As it is, you're already close to the limits of what you can do even if you stuck to the freeway.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
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    Default

    Time is where the problems are, you really don't have enough of it for the journey's you have planned. From SF to Eugene by the most direct route on I5 would take 9-10 hours with basic stops, to drive via 101 could take anything from 12 to 14 hours without time to stop at the Redwoods or much else other than a quick photo opportunity from a viewpoint. If you wanted to take the coast north of SF on CA1 it would take even longer and either option is far too much for a days travel. [2 days 101 or 3 days on Ca1/101] You can make the trip work but scenic detours and coast roads add time that you don't have unless you add those days or cut back a little.

    Mt St Helens is great, but even that detour would add 4 hours to enjoy the place. Mt Rainier is a spectacular place and while in Portland the Historic Columbia River Gorge is a wonderful drive and if you exited Portland heading east through it you could then head south on US97 to Crater Lake, but again you need to have the time or cut back on other places. Is Vancouver a must for example ?

  6. Default

    Awesome, that's great advice- much appreciated! I'll split up that leg and camp one night- I have some extra days so will work them in there :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    If your plan is to use CA-1/US-101 north of San Francisco, then your plan really is unworkable. You are just trying to do far too much with the time you've got available.

    SF to Eugene is a full day on the road, if you stick to I-5. If you're going to head up CA-1 and then US-101 and really follow the coast, then you're talking about a 3 day drive, just for that one section.

    Roughly speaking, the coast highway takes about twice as much time as the Interstate, and then you should know it's also not fast to just jump from the coast back over to I-5. Just driving from the coast to Eugene, is going to take you at least and hour and a half.

    I don't see how the plan you laid out is going to work, while also including the coast as the main highway for your trip. As it is, you're already close to the limits of what you can do even if you stuck to the freeway.

  7. Default

    Awesome, thank you for the advice! Was using google maps for drive times and I guess they weren't too accurate :/ Will add in a night between SF and Eugene!

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    Time is where the problems are, you really don't have enough of it for the journey's you have planned. From SF to Eugene by the most direct route on I5 would take 9-10 hours with basic stops, to drive via 101 could take anything from 12 to 14 hours without time to stop at the Redwoods or much else other than a quick photo opportunity from a viewpoint. If you wanted to take the coast north of SF on CA1 it would take even longer and either option is far too much for a days travel. [2 days 101 or 3 days on Ca1/101] You can make the trip work but scenic detours and coast roads add time that you don't have unless you add those days or cut back a little.

    Vancouver isn't a must, just figured while I was up in Seattle it was too close to miss it

    Mt St Helens is great, but even that detour would add 4 hours to enjoy the place. Mt Rainier is a spectacular place and while in Portland the Historic Columbia River Gorge is a wonderful drive and if you exited Portland heading east through it you could then head south on US97 to Crater Lake, but again you need to have the time or cut back on other places. Is Vancouver a must for example ?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Google maps, or any other electronic mapping programs, assume that you will:

    * Drive the speed limit at all times,
    * Never have to slow down for a convoy,
    * Never run into a construction zone where you have to reduce your speed,
    * Never get behind someone that insists on going 10 mph under the speed limit and you can't get around,
    * Never have to go to the bathroom,
    * Never have to stop and change drivers,
    * Never have to stop for food for you or your vehicle,
    * Never get slowed down or stopped because of an accident ahead of you.

    Take Google map's mileages as pretty accurate. For interstate driving, divide by 60 or 65 to get the number of hours it will take you to travel somewhere. For two lanes, divide by 50 or 55 to get your travel time. For towing, go with 50 or 55 for either type of driving. For national parks, realize that you don't travel fast and you stop. A LOT!


    Donna

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by stephaniegold View Post
    Awesome, thank you for the advice! Was using google maps for drive times and I guess they weren't too accurate :/ Will add in a night between SF and Eugene!
    I would look at making that stop around Orick CA. That may give you time to drive the 'Avenue of the Giants' through Humboldt SP and the Newton B. Drury scenic parkway through Prairie Creek Redwoods the following morning, both amazing drives through giant Redwoods.

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