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  1. Default Planning Trip From Edmonton to San Francisco


    Me and my girlfriend are planning a trip from Edmonton, Alberta to San Francisco, California this upcoming August. The route which we have chosen is to go down through Washington, stopping at Seattle, then down through Portland and all the way South to San Francisco. Coming back we were planning on crossing over to Yosemite and Lake Tahoe and then going up North through Nevada, Idaho, and Montana.

    Our given time frame is anywhere in the realm of 14-18 days; however, with our current plan we have it pegged at about 17 days. Presently we plan to stop in a few national parks in each state on the way South and then just heading back up North in 3 days.

    As for interests we mostly hike and do outdoor-type activities and would be interested in things like kayaking or canoeing, but we do also plan on spending a few days in the cities and like to see the sights.

    Here is a list of our present plan, which is not set in stone.

    The national parks we have chosen are ones which did not extend our route to much whilst also being appealing, as we are inexperienced at planning road trips and are worried that we may be being too ambitious. If someone has suggestions for nicer/ more worth-while stops we are open to suggestions. Thoughts on the time of the trip are also very appreciated.

    A rough schedule going down the list would be

    Drive to Jasper after work on the Friday
    Saturday drive to Sisters place in Oliver, BC and sleep there
    Sunday drive to Boulder River Hike in Washington and camp near Seattle
    Monday sightsee in Seattle (Activity suggestions in Seattle are well welcomed) Drive to campsite just outside seattle
    Tuesday drive to Portland spend day in Portland (Activities to do within Portland also welcomed) and then camp just outside Portland
    Wednesday spend day hiking in Columbia river gorge then camp nearby
    Thursday drive to Crater Lake and do a short evening excursion and camp in park
    Friday spend the day in Crater Lake
    Saturday drive to Redwood Park spend day
    Sunday drive to Point Reyes and camp there
    Monday at Point Reyes/ San Francisco (Activities within San Francisco are also very appreciated)
    Tuesday Drive to yosemite and camp there
    Wednesday at Yosemite
    Thursday Drive to Lake Tahoe, day at Lake Tahoe
    Friday day at Lake Tahoe
    And Sat, Sun, Mon would comprise the drive back home

    Presently we were only really planning to do hikes and possibly paddleboard/ kayak; however, any recommendations for other activities to do in each park would be very helpful. Also if people have hikes in each place which they really love if they could share those as well that would be great!

    Sorry if this post was too long or detailed I just wanted to ensure that everyone could critique any errors I've made as I'm sure there are some hahaha. Thanks for any help given!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default More time heading home. [?]

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    With detours, your trip will probably equate to over 4000 miles, or close to 250 miles per day. Where as you can divide that into shorter and longer days to suit, we wouldn't recommend doing over 500-550 miles in a single day. The average is doable, but it will be a trip that keeps you on the move when considering the slower pace through the parks and coast etc. What I would have considered doing is splitting your trip differently so that you don't feel your trip has finished in Tahoe when you have 3 hard days driving home ahead. I would be considering visiting Crater Lake on the way back from Tahoe, possibly via Lassen Volcanic NP and possibly the Columbia river Gorge and keep more to the coast on the way south.

    Canary Wharf and the Piers are fun and vibrant in San Fran and if you want a real treat book yourselves a boat ticket to Alcatraz via the NP website.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default First, the Bad News

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Your return trip isn't really doable as currently outlined. Even if you were fresh, going by the shortest possible route, and were willing to forego any and all stops at the major attractions, you would need a full three days to make the trip back. As it is, you will be at the end of a two week RoadTrip, you're adding 150 miles to your drive, and you're going past some spectacular scenery that begs for a 'quick' visit. If you want to continue to enjoy your trip all the way to the end and not turn its final few days into an unrelenting slog, you should add at least a day to this last leg home.

    Similarly, your first couple of days southbound have a few minor problems as well. Unless you pre-pack your car, hit the road directly from work, and everything goes exactly right, you're going to be arriving in Jasper very late at night, quite possibly even in the early hours of Saturday morning given summer weekend traffic. I would suggest that you pull up for the night in Edson or Hinton instead. Both should have lodging options and be close enough to Oliver that you can arrive at your sister's house the next day after a good night's sleep and a relaxed drive to enjoy a pleasant evening with her. Wherever you decide to stop, make sure that you have reservations so that you're not wasting time looking for a place with a vacancy or worse, not finding one late a Friday night in summer.

    There is plenty of time later in you trip so that you could add at least half a day to your return drive by leaving Lake Tahoe earlier than planned, or add some time at your sister's in the morning by taking a slightly shorter hike on your way to Seattle.

    I'm not that familiar with Seattle, but I have visited Portland, which is known for its many show gardens, including the International Rose Test Garden, the Portland Japanese Garden, the Lan Su Chinese Garden and others. Also worthwhile are the Museum of Science and Industry and the Oregon Historical Society Museum. If you are interested in history, I'd also recommend that you take the time to travel to Astoria and visit the Fort Clatsop National Memorial and other Lewis and Clark sites in the area. These sites are why this area is in the United States and not Canada.

    A bit of general advice - with as many national parks and monuments as yo plan on seeing, it will it for you to purchase an annual parks pass at the first one you come to that charges an entry fee. The pass will be good for both you and your girlfriend for entry to all parks in the system. It does not, however, cover camping or any other concession fees.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Seattle.

    A couple of things I enjoyed in Seattle, besides the obvious, the Needle and Boeing, are Pike Street Market, especially the Fish Market. Another is the Library, although it has now been there for 12 years, it was brand new when I was there, and a brand new idea. At the time they were running tours to explain its design and the way it is laid out. I'd imagine if you asked some knowledgable person would be able to allow you to enjoy that too (if it interests you).

    And lastly, and I cannot let this go by, on the waterfront they have a Melbourne tram running. They call it a trolley, or something like that, but it is an authentic tram, just like the one I ride all the time from my home to the city.


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