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  1. Default San Diego to Crater Lake and Back

    Hey folks,

    This looks like a great plance to ask for some advice. I know my way around CA as far north as Tahoe to the East and San Fran to the West the wife and I want to stretch it this year. The kids are older and ready to take on a bigger adventure.

    The major milestones of the trip are Crater Lake and Redwood Nat Forest. So, roughly, the plan is to make a big loop from San Diego (home) up through the central valley to Crater Lake then west to Redwood and then back down.

    I'm planning on leaving early in the am on 7/15 and making it to Sac in the first day. We'll spend one full day there and then be ready to head out. I have two weeks but prefer to be home by 7/20 or 7/21 to work the kinks out of my back before work on Monday.

    Any suggestions of things to see along the way, things not to do, challenge my plan, etc?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO



    So - it looks like you have 5 days to get from Sac back home? I'm assuming that you probably want to make it home from SF in one day - you have already driven the PCH between SF and LA?

    How many places you want to see will be determined by how much time you want to spend in each place.

    Sac to Crater Lake via I-80/US-97/OR-62 is 360 miles, figure 6 to 7 hours. If you have time, you could go through Lassen first. Via I-80/CA-36/CA-89 it's 200 miles from Sac, figure about 4 hours. Lassen to Crater Lake via CA-89/I-5/US-97/OR-62 is 250 miles, figure 5 to 6 hours.

    Crater Lake to Redwood National Park is 200 miles via OR-62/OR-234/I-5/US-199/US-101, figure 4.5 to 5 hours.

    On the way south, I'd highly recommend taking the Avenue of the Giants through Humboldt Redwoods SP, that's 100 miles from the NP and could take as much as 3 hours to get there.

    From there to SF via 101 is 225 miles, about 5.5 to 6 hours. If you want to take CA-1 down the north coast, you pick that up in Leggett, and it would add about another 3 hours.

    My predicted times are based on "normal" road trip driving, pretty much keeping to the speed limit and allowing for "normal" stops and delays.

  3. #3


    I would echo glc's recommendation of the Avenue Of The Giants. Although it does have several stops which would be considered by some to be "tourist traps," it a great drive nonetheless and we enjoyed some of the "traps." By far our favorite stop was the Richardson Grove between Garberville and Legget - the serenity was amazing.

    We first visited Redwood Nat'l Park in 1978 and returned last year. We were somewhat disappointed in '78 but very disappointed in '11. We found that apparently due to lack of funds, some of the roads we drove in '78 have been allowed to deteriorate to the extent that they can no longer be driven and have been re-designated as "trails." I'm not suggesting you skip the Nat'l Park just that you manage your time so that you do not shortchange the section from Rio Dell to Legget.

    If time allows, you might consider a visit to Ferndale, an interesting little town south and a little west of Eureka.

    Have A Great Trip!!

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