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  1. Default San Jose to Crater Lake/Portland

    Hi guys, new to the forum and taking roadtrips here. Wandered in here on a whim and am surprised by the wealth of information here. Got a question that I hope some of the weekend warriors can help me answer. Im planning on a trip for July 4th weekend. Going to leave San Jose, CA on the 1st(sat) at around 7-8pm and hope to get to crater lake the morning of the 2nd. From there I plan on spending a day at the lake drive to Portland, Or. According to mapquest I the drive from the lake to Portland is about 5 hours. That means I will probably get into portland around midnight of July 3rd. I plan on resting a night and waking up early on the 3rd to shop(cant help it, the GF is intrigued by the idea of duty free lol)and head back to San jose in the evening. We are hoping to make it back to San Jose, CA on the 4th preferably before 9pm. What are some of the better scenic routes I can take for this trip? I looked at some of the previous posts that had similar routes and many reccommended the avenue of the giants. Id also like to visit Barney falls if that is possible. Hope some of you oldbies wouldnt mind helping out a newbie hehe.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Time and Tide (and Sleep?)

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum.

    Well, San Jose to Crater Lake is just about 450 miles, so a little over 8 hours when you factor in rest, food and fuel stops, so if you're planning on driving through the night, then you can easily get there by the morning of the 2nd. And yes, I would think that 5 hours is a reasonable amount of time to cover the 250 miles or so between the Lake and Portland. The drive home from Portland is going to take on the order of 12 hours. So while everything you propose is individually in the realm of the possible, I'm concerned that you are not going to be able to enjoy it, and may end up endangering yourself and others. There's just too much time shifting involved in this plan, driving at night and sightseeing during the day, and too little real sleep budgeted. I used to time shift all the time when I worked the graveyard shift in an emergency room, and it's not as easy as your description makes out. It is the essence of the problem behind jet lag. It's not the what of your plan, it's the when that I think you should reconsider.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default I agree with AZBuck!

    Gosh, when are you going to sleep? I think I'm glad I won't be in OR/CA during the 4th Weekend. Seriously, you need to rethink this a bit. Do you plan on actually getting out of the car and doing anything while at Crater Lake?

    It would make far more sense to me to do the following:
    * July 1: Leave San Jose at 7-8pm and drive no farther than Red Bluff, CA. (217 miles from San Jose). You should get there in about 3.5 hours give/take a few. This should give you enough time to get a decent night's sleep and then get up early to hit the road well-rested.
    * July 2: Leave Red Bluff and at Weed, CA, take Hwy 97 through the Klamath National Forest and get to Crater Lake in about 4.5 hours. This is a beautiful drive. It would be a real shame to drive it at night and miss it. If you get on the road early, you should be here by noon at the latest. This will give you the afternoon to explore and enjoy this lovely place. At about 7pm or so, head to Grant's Pass, OR, and spend the night. You'll get to Grant's Pass at about 9-9:30pm. This should give you time to get a good night's sleep and you will probably need it if you've done much hiking and exploring that day.
    * July 3: Get up early, after a good night's rest, and take Hwy 199, then wander over to the Oregon Caves NM. It's about 1.5 hours from Grant's Pass to the Oregon Caves. Take the tour. Enjoy. It's pretty cool. Head back over to 199 and go to Crescent City, CA. It's about another 1-1.5 hours from the caves to Crescent City. So, even if you spend 3 hours at the caves, you can be in Crescent City sometime in the early afternoon. About 1/2 way between the caves and Crescent City should be a Forest Service ranger station. Stop and check it out. You should be able to get some good information about exploring the redwoods there. You will be driving through a part of Jebediah Smith Redwood Forest on your way to Crescent City.
    Crescent City might make a good lunch stop then continue south on 101. You'll be going through lots of different redwood forests along this route, seeing beautiful vistas of both forests and beaches, and might enjoy getting out and taking a few short hikes either into the forests or down to the beaches along the way to stretch your legs.
    Depending on how much hiking and exploring you do, you should get into Eureka later in the afternoon. Eureka is amazing. Lots of wonderful architecture, good restaurants, interesting places to shop, etc. This would make an excellent place to plan some shopping, dinner, and then a stop for the night before heading to the Avenue of the Giants.
    * July 4: Just south of Eureka, CA, you'll be entering the "Avenue of the Giants". The printable map at the website should help you find what you want to see. It's about 350 miles from Eureka to San Jose. About 7-8 hours driving on this windy-twisty part of 101. If you get up bright and early, you will be able to enjoy stopping at the various sights to see along the Avenue of the Giants and get into San Jose in the early evening.

    This might not meet your needs but it's sure the way I'd do it. Save Portland for another time because I don't get the duty-free shopping thing. What kind of duty does one have to pay to shop in Oregon and bring it home to California? This makes no sense to me. If she likes to shop, Eureka should more than satisfy the shopping urge because some of the shops there are quite unique.

    And, this way, you'll actually get some decent sleep and will be able to enjoy the scenery and the trip itself without falling asleep at the wheel.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-25-2006 at 09:28 AM. Reason: Add link for the RTA article about the Giants

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