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  1. Default From south MS to north CA

    My wife and I would like to head out in a week or so on an epic road trip in search of cool weather, ha. I want to see the redwoods and other interesting sights. Any advice concerning the best routes, must-see locations, states that have restrictions regarding the virus, lodging that may not be open yet, etc., would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,967

    Default What Works Best

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There are any number of travel website out there that will give you generic lists of what they think are the main attractions in any given area or between two points. Those of us here at RTA pride ourselves on giving individualized advice. But in order to do that we need to know a bit more about you: Where in Mississippi are you starting and what's the target in California? Biloxi to San Francisco could be quite a bit different from Natchez to Redwood National Park. How long do you have for the trip? Is it one-way or round trip? what other interests besides trees and cool weather do you have? The more we know about what you're looking for in the way of help, the better help we can be.

    AZBuck

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There are any number of travel website out there that will give you generic lists of what they think are the main attractions in any given area or between two points. Those of us here at RTA pride ourselves on giving individualized advice. But in order to do that we need to know a bit more about you: Where in Mississippi are you starting and what's the target in California? Biloxi to San Francisco could be quite a bit different from Natchez to Redwood National Park. How long do you have for the trip? Is it one-way or round trip? what other interests besides trees and cool weather do you have? The more we know about what you're looking for in the way of help, the better help we can be.

    AZBuck
    Thanks for the prompt response. We will be leaving from Hattiesburg, MS, which is approximately mid-way between Biloxi and Jackson. We would be making a round trip, so a different route returning to MS would be nice. The general goal would be seeing as much as possible of our beautiful country from our car, so we would prefer natural sights over large cities. We're not interested in much activity or walking. We can take as much time as needed for the trip. I appreciate the help.

  4. Default

    I've been looking at the map, and I'm thinking I'd like to head north through Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and north California. Then on the return trip, catch some of Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kentucky, east Tennessee, then on down to MS.

  5. Default

    When you say that you’re not interested in walking, how much walking ARE you able or willing to do? Are you physically challenged? Is a 30 minute walk from the car out of the question? This can greatly affect my recommendations.

    Assuming you don’t want to walk at all and will be viewing the world through your windshield, or within sight of your car, here are some suggestions.

    Rocky Mountain National Park

    Grand Canyon

    Pacific Coast Highway

    Badlands (from overlooks)

    Capital Reef National Park

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,967

    Default That's a Route, Then

    Bear with me, because this is going to get a bit complicated. But if you have the time and your objective is to see the country as you drive along rather than visit cities or do a lot of hiking, then you might as well use the time to get a good mix of Interstate, US, State and even local highways that will bring you by serendipitous finds of local attractions that people just blowing down the Interstates intent on getting to 'Point B' miss. Just listing the states you want to go through pretty much defines your basic route. It's not the most direct, but it will certainly be scenic and interesting. I'll describe the basic loop in a clockwise manner, but you can do it in either direction, of course.

    You'd start by taking I-55 north along the Mississippi then I-555/US-63 up into southwestern Missouri. Near Willow Springs, switch over to US-60 west and just west of Springfield MO use MO-360 to connect to I-44 west for a bit to I-49 north and then County Road M west to MO/KS-171 north/west to US-400 west. At Wichita take KS-91 up to US-50 west and stay on that through most of Colorado where it follows a very scenic route through the Rockies. US-50 shares the road with I-70 into Utah, but stay with US-50 when they split again at Salina UT. Continue on US-50 to Ely NV where you'll pick up US-6 to Benton CA and CA-120 through Yosemite. South of Stockton CA get on CA-99 north, then I-5 at Sacramento. at Redding, exit onto CA-44 west and then take CA-299 west to US-101, the Pacific Coast Highway, north to the Redwood Parks (national and state). We'll call that your 'turn-around' point.

    For the return leg of your journey, get back on US-101 north to Crescent City and then take USW-199 north through the Pacific Coast Ranges and into Oregon. At Grant's Pass get on I-5 south to the town of Gold Hill and get on CA-99 south. When the road 'T's out take the left "To OR-62" and White City. Go to CA-62 in White City and turn left, taking OR-62 through Crater Lake NP and past Fort Klamath OR, then use OR-422 east to connect to US-97 north. At Silver Lake Junction (literally a wide spot in the road) take County Road 676, Silver Lake Road, towards Silver Lake. This will eventually change names to Bear Flat Road and become County Road 4-10, but it's basically just following the same well-paved two-lane road through to OR-31. If you're up for more of the same, watch for the left to Christmas Valley and take that onto Old Lake Road (No route number! This is where a good GPS would come in handy.) In the town of Christmas Valley, hang a right onto Christmas valley Wagontire Road and that will finally bring you out onto US-395 north. Now you're back on 'main' highways after a very scenic and relaxed two-lane jaunt through the Coastal ranges and forests and it's just US-395 north to US-20 east to I-84 east. You might want to use US-30 along the Snake River instead but it rejoins I-84 which in turn joins I-80 (Again, US-30 is an alternative and follows the old Oregon Trail route along the Platte River, but get back on I-80 at Grand Island NE if you do this.) which you'll take all the way to Nebraska City and I-29 down to Kansas City. from KC, it's I-70 west to St. Louis, then I-64 to Lexington KY and I-75 south to Chattanooga. A short 'jog' west on I-24 will bring you to I-59 south back to Hattiesburg.

    Yeah, I know that's a lot of 'navigating' - and there are even more byways if you want to avoid all the Interstates on the final run home from Nebraska - but that seems to be what you're after on this trip. the route above fulfills the state-by-state outline you gave and will give you the chance to experience some of the best of the west on slower two-lane 9but good0 roads. and it gets you within easy detour distance of a number of great national parks, many of which don't require a lot of walking and even have handicapped-accessible sites to visit. We can work out details as you continue to plan, but at lest map out what I've given you and let us know if it suits your needs.

    AZBuck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,971

    Default

    I-49 north and then County Road M west to MO/KS-171
    A little advice from a local - don't use County M. Get off I-49 at the MO-171/MO-96 exit (53), turn left, go to the first exit, take MO-96 west back to MO-171.

    If you need services, get off I-49 at the MO-571 Grand Av exit (49). The first light is Fir Rd (County HH). Right at and near that intersection is a Super 8, Quality Inn, Walmart, and plenty of food and gas. You can get back on I-49 from HH.

    As I write this, MO has no mask ordinance and restaurants are open with limited seating. However, that exit is in Carthage, which will probably pass a local mask ordinance any day now.

    Continue on US-50 to Ely NV where you'll pick up US-6 to Benton CA
    I recommend you fill your gas tank in Green River, Eagle, Ely, and Tonopah. There is no gas between Green River and Salina, the only gas between Eagle and Ely is a high priced station at the state line, and there is no gas between Ely and Tonopah. Tonopah is your last chance to get gas before CA, where the prices are sky high in the area you will be in.

    NOTE that you will be required to have a reservation to enter Yosemite, with limited services and facilities open. All other parks you visit will also be limited but I don't see where any others require reservations.

    at Redding, exit onto CA-44 west and then take CA-299 west to US-101
    I would get off I-5 at Williams and take CA-20 west to US-101. That way you can drive the Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, which is just north of Garberville.

    The Nelson B. Drury Scenic Pkwy
    through Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is also well worth the drive.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 07-04-2020 at 02:08 PM. Reason: added photos from one of my trips along the Drury Scenic Byway

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    Thanks, for the suggestions. I can walk, but have some back and hip issues that kick in after 15 or so minutes.

  9. Default

    Great info, thank you.

  10. Default

    Well, I may have to delay the trip for a while. My wife is afraid to try it until the virus has run it's course. I guess lodging would possibly be the highest risk.

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