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  1. Default just another seattle to san fran post

    OK, I have spent some quality time researching these forums, and it seems the more I read, the more overwhelmed I become...
    So, its Seattle to San Fran. Its over the course of a week, but the tail end days are flying/travel days. We would like to spend at least one full day in each city (Seattle and San Fran) which leaves the driving portion to 4 days. We had planned on staying in Portland in between, but I am not sure we have time, or if it is worth it! I am most looking forward to the Redwoods.

    This is what I have so far:
    fri-arrive late eve
    sat- seattle
    sun- take ferry to -->Port Angeles (or should we go to Bremerton) -->and drive to Olympic State Park (3 hrs)then after the State Park drive to Mt. St. Helens via I-5 (5 hrs) .Stay the night. Now, here is my issue with this. Is it too much to do in one day? Or is this section really a two day trip? It looks like on the map if we do to Port Angeles, then we are going to be backtracking when we drive down 101 towards I-5.

    mon- see Mt. St. Helens and drive to Portland via I-5 (). Stay the night in Portland or scratch Portland and drive to Crater Lake (6hrs) and stay the night.

    tues- drive to Redwood National Park (4hrs) then drive 3hrs to Mendocino CA. (we do not have to stay or stop in this place- i was just taking it as advice from another thread- someone said there is a nice Inn there)

    weds- drive along 101 to san fran

    thus - see san fran

    fri- home

    Now, have we bitten off more than we can chew? I do not have to keep it the way it is, nothing is set in stone. So, any advice from the experts would be great. Other places to stop to make it easier or other reccomendations I would welcome with open arms. I am so stressed about this, and I dont want to be because I want it to be a great time! I feel an ulcer coming on! HA!

  2. Default just wondering

    should i throw crecent city or Florence OR in there somewhere?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    Don't fret! Roadtrips are supposed to be fun, not ulcer-inducing!

    If the times on the first day are accurate, you are putting quite a bit in there. Going to and fro Port Angeles looks to be about 6 hours, not including the time you plan to spend in the Park. If you stay a scant 3 hours, that's 9 hours of the day right there. To Mount St. Helens is about 1.5 hours - so that would be about 10.5 hours or more there. There's really no way to not backtrack from Port Angeles to points South since it is further North than where you are going to heading to.

    Not being familiar with the area, all I can say is that it looks like this is feasbile, but a fairly long day.

  4. Default

    Thank you for your reply! I appreciate ANY and ALL input!

    would you guys suggest staying in the Olympic Park? Or take the ferry over and skip the park and just enjoy the drive down to Mt. St. Helens?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default Do the Park

    Not a tough choice, in my book.

    Quote Originally Posted by RT novice View Post
    Thank you for your reply! I appreciate ANY and ALL input!

    would you guys suggest staying in the Olympic Park? Or take the ferry over and skip the park and just enjoy the drive down to Mt. St. Helens?
    A visit to Hurricane Ridge and a short hike in the Hoh Rainforest are well worth your time. I'd suggest taking the ferry to Bremerton for two reasons, the view back to Seattle is great, and you want to spend as little time on the east side of the sound as possible...traffic!

    As you can see on the map, the drive south from the west side of Olympic National Park is anything but direct, and it isn't very fast either, so maybe you can stay in Olympia or Centralia, then drive to the volcano, then on to Portland in one day. That shouldn't be hard to do.

    Portland is a very nice town. Depending on your interests, there is a lovely Japanese Garden, Zoo, Rose Garden, Chinese House/Garden (downtown) and riverfront area.

    However, if you're not that much into big cities, you could head toward Crater Lake and stay in Salem, Eugene or Roseburg on the way. If you have time for the boat ride to Wizard Island, it is a fun thing to do and an interesting climb to the top of the cone.

    Then from there, over to the coast (the road from Grants Pass to Crescent City isn't fast either, but I can't think of a better way), Eureka and on south through the redwoods. You have several groves to choose from, but you might as well drive through Prairie Creek and Avenue of the Giants, at least. You'll get a good dose of big trees, especially if you get out and walk among them for a while. They are majestic!

    Have a great time and don't get yourself too worked up. It is only a roadtrip.

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years

  6. Default Another Opinion....

    I'm going to chime in for another opinion as well..

    Just remember, its your road trip, and while we all have opinions -- its up to you what you want to do. And don't let us suggest too many things that you feel rushed to get somewhere.

    *Grins* and now, having said that.. another opinion..

    I'd skip Mt St Helens, and probably skip Crater Lake -- you don't have the time unless you really want to spend all day in the car.

    I'd fly into Seattle, then head up around to Olympic National Park. Don't kill yourself, but there are some really amazing places to visit this way. You have 3 basic options to go here.. First is to drive south to Olympia, and then back up the west side of the Sound. Or you can take one of the ferries from downtown Seattle over to Bremerton or Bainbridge Island (which is connected to the east side of the sound via bridge). Or you can go north of Seattle to Edmonds, and then across to Kingston. The first two will take you about the same amount of time -- figuring in ferry lines. The last will be the longest, but takes you within range of doing the tour of the BIG Boeing plant in Everett where they make the 747 and 777 and the like.

    Stop at Hurricane Ridge, and Lake Crescent and at the Hoh Rain Forest. Depending upon your driving speed and preference, staying at Forks or down around Aberden would be doable.

    Second day I would travel south, and head for Portland. You *might* be able to catch Mt St Helens on the way, but I do have to confess while its a very interesting place to see the site of the erruption -- its about 2 hours from the time you get off the road to get back on. You might want to spend this time having lunch in Portland, trying some of the local microbreweries for which they are famed, or heading south of Portland to try one of the wineries along the upper Williamette Valley, just south of Portland. I would spend that night somethere down I-5 -- a possibility is in Eugene (nice place), or as far south as Grants Pass.

    From Grants Pass I would head over to the coast at Crescent City -- possibly making the detour to Oregon Caves (again, this wil be about a 2-3 hour trip off the route). At Crescent City you can start to see the Redwoods. Howland Hill road (unpaved, but in very good condition when I last drove it, about 2 years ago) takes you through some old growth forest just east of Crescent City.

    Depending upon your start, and where you stop along the way -- I'd spend at least a day working my way down from Crescent City to Eureka. I'd highly recommend the Lady Bird Grove (get out of the car and take the short trail through the grove), Gold Beach/ Fern Gully, and the Newton Drury Scenic Parkway). Patricks Point State Park, heading to Eureka is noted for its scenic views of the coast.

    From Eureka you can make it to SF in a day, with the possibility of taking Coast 1 farther down along the coast -- the area around Fort Bragg is highly scenic along the coast route, but the road south along the coast is windy and slow, compared to the 101. There are numerous scenic areas along here -- in my personal opinion this is more scenic than the Big Sur section -- plus there is the old Russian settlement near Fort Ross, and some very nice areas near Bodega Bay, as well as the Muir Woods just north of the SF Bay. But again -- Coast 1 is a slower, more winding route along the coast and you will not make high speeds through it.

  7. Default wow!

    WOW! Those are some great suggestions! Thank You!
    They are both completely on different spectrums, so now we really need to decide what to do and where to go. With just a few days before we leave, the pressure is on!
    We are really having trouble deciding on weather to cut out the Olympic Park or cut out Crater Lake. Both seem very interesting and beautiful. We have decided that we would like to see Mount St. Helens.

    If we did the Olympic Park, I would say that is a whole day in of itself, and later in the afternoon make the drive down closer to Mount St. Helens? Or should we skip the park, take the ferry over and then start the drive down to Mount St. Helens?

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