Australian family of five plan a trip from Seattle to San Francisco with a detour to Yosemite December (From ~Dec6) returning to Seattle by Dec 20. Any suggestions re route?
Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !
You will find a lot of info by searching the forums and gathering ideas, once we know a little more about what things appeal to you we can offer some meaningful advice. You haven't really given us much to go on with regards to you interests, age group and how long you plan to be travelling and how long you intend to stay in the places that you have listed.
What makes most sense would be to take a more coastal route South through the Redwoods etc and on leaving Yosemite take a more inland route North, perhaps Lake Tahoe to Mt Shasta or Klamath Falls.
Take a look around and let us know what you come up with, enjoy the planning !
We are a family of five, boy=15, girls = 13,10; we live in the south west of Western Australia. Our plan is to spend two weeks (6-20 December) travelling from Seattle to San Francisco and my plan is to return along the Pacific Coast Highway. We would like to see the mountains, forests, visit Mt St, Helens - we know we don't have enough time to see the Grand Canyon but would like to see canyons too ( I have read that there are great geological features in Oregon.) We want to visit Yosemite and spend about three days in San Francisco. My concern is getting the timing right- I have read that Seattle is a great city to visit too- if we allocate 3 days each for San Francisco and Seattle do we have enough time to drive and see some sights in WA, OR and CA?
A point to keep in mind - December is winter here. You will be required to have tire chains to visit Yosemite and not all mountain roads will be open.
With 6 day's spent in Seattle and San Fran combined, plus approx 4 full day's of driving, you have 4 day's to do a little exploring. As mentioned, December is a time that is well and truly into winter mode and you will face certain limitations around Mt St Helens and Yosemite. By late October a lot of the access roads to Mt St Helen's are closed due to snowfall and in Yosemite the high ground will be out of bounds, however the valley floor can be visited and is quite spectacular, snow chains are required and you will need to check conditions as you go.
The coastal route should offer less challenges and if you spent a couple of your day's in and around Mt St Helens and Yosemite and a couple extra meandering up the coast and through the Redwoods, it should be a fairly relaxed affair. You can find lot's of info searching around the RTA pages but this thread and this one has some cool ideas for Seattle.
San Fran is a lovely City and getting around is quite easy, some of the main attractions are as follows; China town, Coit tower, Union Square, Fisherman's Wharf [Pier 39], Ghirardelli square and just riding the Cable cars. Of course no trip would be complete without a visit to Alcatraz Island and depart by driving over Golden gate bridge.
Thank you Southwest Dave. I appreciate your response- we are keen to see the countryside and knowing that we can do such a trip makes the planning easier. I have been reading the forums and am finding them very helpful as well.