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  1. Default California, North to South

    I've read as much as possible about West coast road trips on this site as well as others and my questions still aren't answered so I'll try with this and see where it leads me....

    I will be coming down the Oregon coast in June, 2009 and entering California on Highway 101 through Crescent City traveling down to Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park where I will camp with my ultimate destination being San Diego.

    My next must-see is Yosemite which leads me off the coast north of Eureka and toward Sacramento through the central valley of the state.

    My main question(s) and parameters are this:

    Car camping w/ dog
    No schedule (I have one but it's really flexible)
    No budget (I have one but it's really not an issue for this post)
    I'm into natural and historic sights, not so much cities
    I will be living in San Diego at the end of the trip, so California day trips are a constant option.

    Big question - once I commit to going inland to see Yosemite, should I abandon the coast for the rest of my trip? I'm really wanting to drive Highway 1 all the way down the coast, or as much as possible. Is it feasible to see Yosemite and cut back to the coast around Salinas or should I stay inland and go through Sequoia NP and the other sights and forget the coast for now and save it for the next road trip?

    Oh, by the way, San Francisco holds no interest for me on this trip. I would like to see the city and tour Alcatraz but will have the dog in the car and can't do the ferry ride w/ Rover stuck in the car for the day....that is going to have to be another road trip when doggie stays home.

    So, do I stay in the heart of the state or cut back over to the coast? My next stop after Yosemite is the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, than on through LA to San Diego....

    Thanks in advance for your input!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Why not just dedicate the whole trip to CA-1 all the way down the coast, and do Yosemite and the inland stuff on another trip? Combine that with Death Valley and the Sequoias, for example.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ


    More Than 'Just' Yosemite
    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    If you're going to be turning inland north of Eureka and want nature more than cities, there are a string of great parks running the length of the Sierra Nevada. To name just a few: Whiskeyton-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area, Lassen Volcanic National Park, Lake Oroville State Recreation Area, Lassen National Forest, and Lake Tahoe/Eldorado National Forest - all before you reach Yosemite. It might be a challenge to find roads that connect them all efficiently, but then it doesn't sound like your trip is about efficiency. Similarly, it would be distinctly possible to go from Yosemite to Monterey to pick up the Pacific Coast Highway by heading west on CA-140 through Merced, jogging south on I-5 and then taking CA-152.


  4. Default Thanks for advice

    Thanks for the advice, I think AZ hit the nail on the's not about efficiency at all...I planned this trip efficiently until I got to the California portion and then all of that went out the window. There is just so much to see and do in the state that it will take many, many trips to cover it all.

    I will look into the sites that you mentioned, I wasn't aware that there was so much between Eureka and Yosemite.

    Also, glc has a good point that it really is 2 trips to cover both the coast and inland destinations with any amount of thoroughness. I will plan accordingly and may have to cut Yosemite out of this one...or not, I'll keep you updated once I get a better idea of what the map will look like and then we can talk about sites that I am driving right by without even knowing it...

    Thanks again!

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

    Default A short trip back to the coast.


    As Yosemite seemed high on your priority list and San Fran is not of interest to you [at the moment] then it shouldn't be too much of a problem having a nice run to Yosemite taking in some of the highlights already mentioned and then it's just roughly a four hour drive back to Monterey.
    On the way to Yosemite you will go past some of the old gold rush towns.
    Calaveras county
    has the lovely little town of Murphy's and Big tree State park just a little way on the 4. Railtown is also on route with the nice little shops of Jamestown.

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