Two and half years ago I received a lot of great help from this forum when planning a cross country road trip. Mainly, some good advice that I needed to calm down- I was being way to ambitious trying to see everything. We pared it down to a fantastic trip and now I’m planning on seeing some of the sights we had to cut out. This time I only have a week to spend, so we’re flying to the PNW and renting a car.
We have eight days to get from San Francisco to Seattle. We’ve only booked a hotel for our first night, so the remainder of the trip is flexible. My rough plan is to see the redwoods, the Oregon coast, Columbia River Gorge, some of Olympic NP, and Seattle. Here’s what I’ve mapped out:
So we're planning on flying into Oakland on Friday from Atlanta, arriving at 2:00 pm. We'll pick up our rental and drive over to our hotel in San Francisco.
We're not planning on seeing a lot of San Francisco- maybe we'll see Fisherman's Warf or Chinatown, but I imagine the jet lag/time difference will have us turning in pretty early.
Saturday we'll get up and drive north on the 101 out of SF via the Golden Gate bridge, stop and take our pictures on the far side. Our goal is the Avenue of the Giants. So we'll grab lunch in Leggett and take our time among the redwoods.
I figured we'd stop for the night around Eureka.
Day three, Sunday, we'll begin on the Newton Drury Parkway as we head north. I planned to go as far as Bandon, stopping along the way whenever the view looks good.
Day four, Monday, we continue north along the coast, making our way to Waldport before taking Hwy 34 east to I-5. We'll try to get as close to Portland as possible. Maybe we’ll stop around Albany, depends on when and where we get tired.
Day five, Tuesday, was planned for the Columbia River Gorge. The wildfires have put a damper on that plan. It looks like the Historic Columbia River highway will be closed, along with many of the waterfall access trails. We plan to go east on I84 there, cross the river and come back to Portland on Hwy 14/Washington side. Hopefully, we'll still have some nice views that make the drive worthwhile. That evening we'll stay in Portland.
Wednesday we'll go north by I5, hit up the Johnson Ridge Observatory for a view of Mt St Helens, then head north again towards Olympic National Park. We'll go as far as the day allows- probably stopping at the least in Tacoma.
Day seven: we'll head to Olympic NP to Hurricane Ridge, drive up and hike around. We plan to head back towards the north side of Seattle that evening via the Kingston ferry.
Our last full day- Friday- will be spent in Seattle before we drop our car off and fly home Saturday morning.
Does this seem a doable itinerary for some of these PNW highlights?
Anything I should consider?
Oh, for reference's sake- we leave this Friday (woohoo!)