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  1. #1
    stacy14 Guest

    Default from grand canyon to San Francisco

    We are planning to drive from the Grand Canyon to San Francisco. whats the best route? I would rather take the scenic route through pacific coast highway (and not the road through Fresno). Any suggestions? Also any suggestions about pretty places to visit on the way?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default It is somewhat dependent upon the weather

    Quote Originally Posted by stacy14
    We are planning to drive from the Grand Canyon to San Francisco. whats the best route? I would rather take the scenic route through pacific coast highway (and not the road through Fresno). Any suggestions? Also any suggestions about pretty places to visit on the way?
    Welcome to the Forum,

    It all comes down to -- what is the weather doing? There are several back-road byways that you can follow from the Grand Canyon to the coast, but if the weather turns stormy -- the ones through the Sierra Nevadas are impassable to anyone beyond professional drivers (with jet-packed vehicles).

    I am not sure where in the Grand Canyon you are starting from, nor do I know long a time span you have envisioned for this adventure -- but here is one such route (it not the most direct -- but it is incredibly scenic):

    SR-64 east to US-89 north to US-ALt 89 across Marble Canyon and then rejoin US-89 north to SR-9 traveling west through Zion National Park and then out to I-15 south towards St. George, Utah.

    As far as the route over the Sierras -- Amazingly enough, Tioga Pass Road (SR-120) is stilll open today. I just checked with the rangers and it will open today at 1:00 pm (but I wouldn't count on it much longer). The voice-mail for road conditions is updated every couple of hours: 1-209-372-0200

    But I digress...

    Since you mentioned a preference to reach the PCH -- I am going to assume that you don't mind taking a huge detour to enjoy the scenic route...

    Bypassing some of the most scenic roads in Nevada, if you make a beeline for the coast, you would follow I-15 to SR-58 at Barstow, California and then north on I-5 to Lost Hills where you will exit the Interstate highway and travel west on SR-46 to Paso Robles and then south a short distance on US-101 to pick up SR-46 again to the coast reaching Cambria.

    From Cambria you would head north on the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) on SR-1, along the famous and incomparable Big Sur to Santa Cruz where you can take SR-17 to San Jose and north to San Francisco (or continue the entire way north on SR-1).

    If you were to follow this route, it would take two long days of driving. Do you have that much time?

    Mark

  3. #3
    stacy14 Guest

    Default Thanks

    Thank you for the detailed response.
    We have two days for the ride. leaving the southern part of the grand canyon on saturday morning and planning to arrive at SF by Sunday night.
    Any suggestions on where to stay on the way?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    The 1/2 way point is roughly Mojave, CA. Most folks seem to like stopping at bit before that in Barstow or pushing on a bit farther to Bakersfield for the night as there is more selection in lodging. I don't have any recommendations for particular motels though.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy
    The 1/2 way point is roughly Mojave, CA. Most folks seem to like stopping at bit before that in Barstow or pushing on a bit farther to Bakersfield for the night as there is more selection in lodging. I don't have any recommendations for particular motels though.
    How about staying in Tehachapi? Tehachapi is between Barstow and
    Bakersfield off of Hwy 58.

    We had stopped in Barstow on our return leg (to SF) from Arizona
    and we didn't enjoy staying there.

    We left Barstow early the next morning and stopped in Tehachapi
    for breakfast. I'm sure we would have enjoyed staying in the town of
    Tehachapi. Tehachapi is a small town and seemed very quiet.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Lots of Options

    Quote Originally Posted by stacy14
    Thank you for the detailed response.
    We have two days for the ride. leaving the southern part of the grand canyon on saturday morning and planning to arrive at SF by Sunday night.
    Any suggestions on where to stay on the way?
    I stayed in Barstow last night -- I actually really like Barstow, but it is a town with definite edges -- a Route 66 town that has managed to stay alive and thrive by embracing non-genteel employers and points of view. If you like quiet, there is no place you will not hear the trains working bumping their way along at night. It is a town that can be hard to love on a one-night's visit.

    All that said, Tehachapi has long been a fun place to stay -- there are a number of lodging choices and if you are doing the direct route -- I would concur with Roadie's suggestion.

    But, since you started this thread by saying you wanted to see & travel the pacific coast highway AND you only have two days -- here is my new suggestion:

    Depart south rim and travel the fastest route (Interstate 40) to the west all the way to Santa Maria on US-101 before you pause for the night. Saturday will be a long day in the saddle (10 hours) but is the only way you will have sufficient time to drive the coast on Sunday and still reach San Francisco on Sunday evening. On Sunday, you make your way north on US-101 and then SR-1 (depending on what you do along the way, it will take a minimum of eight hour to travel along coast from Santa Maria to San Francisco).

    Mark

  7. #7
    stacy14 Guest

    Default Thank u

    Thanks for all your help :)

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