San Francisco to Portland

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 18, 2014 3:48 AM GMT
    Hey friens

    I am going to visit the West Coast (for the first time ever!) over Thanksgiving week. I am flying to SJ Nov 22 and will stay with a friend of mine while I am exploring the Bay Area.

    My return flight is from Portland and I plan on driving to Portland from there. I have heard 101 is scenic. icon_question.gif Have you ever done this or have any advice? icon_question.gif Is it better to do it over 2 days and stay on the way or it is doable and still fun in one day? icon_question.gif Where is a good place to stop at?

    Any advice will be appreciated. icon_smile.gif

    Also, who wants to hang out while I am in SF area and show me around? icon_smile.gif I am contemplating moving to somewhere in the west coast, soon. =)

    Thanks!
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    Nov 18, 2014 5:21 AM GMT
    Oh I l o v e SF and there is so much to do there.

    Go across the bridge to sausalito and then the muir woods. Huge trees and a great hike and adventure!!! A MUST SEE.

    nps177068764.jpg
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    Nov 18, 2014 5:39 AM GMT
    Thanks! What about the rest of the road? My biggest question is 1 day drive vs 2 days drive. I just found something called Zimride, is that legit?
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    Nov 18, 2014 5:46 AM GMT
    The entire coast line is great. I had a blast. I know the ride sharing is becoming more and more popular, however, I always rent a car.

    Check these guys out. They are making some big MOVES with https://www.uber.com/en-US/
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    Nov 18, 2014 5:52 AM GMT
    I've done it up to Seattle and 101 is definitely the way to go (took I-5 on the way back, nothing to see other than cars and pavement). I think we also took Route 1 part of the way up. However, the weather could dictate which route you take (I can't imagine driving along the coast in pouring rain - might go right off the cliff!). I'd also do it in 2 days instead of 1 especially since it's getting dark pretty early and you'd want to be able to see the scenery. I did the trip in the summer and we camped - probably not a good idea in Nov though.
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    Nov 18, 2014 6:35 AM GMT
    The coast road (Hwy 1 - Hwy 101)is beautiful. That route would take probably 18-20 hours of driving.
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    Nov 19, 2014 1:20 AM GMT
    Thank you guys. Do you know where is a good place to stay at on the road ?
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    Nov 19, 2014 2:04 AM GMT
    At least two days. Keep in mind that the 101 includes a lot of narrow winding two-lane highway, steep cliffs, and slow spots where it is the main drag of every coastal town. There are lots of places where it's worth stopping for an hour or two and alternate scenic routes that you might want to take. (E.g. the Three Capes Scenic Loop, although when I was over there this summer, there were some detours due to landslides.) And the daylight hours are very short, this time of year.

    Also, you can cut over to Portland on Hwy 18 from Lincoln City (or Hwy 6 from Tillamook) but there may be snow and ice in the pass. Or go all the way to Astoria and come back on Highway 30, which will take considerably more time.

    If you stop at only one place on the Oregon coast, I'd probably choose Newport: Oregon Coast Aquarium, Rogue Brewery, Scenic Bridge, Bayfront, Beaches, Yaquina Head Lighthouse (w/ tide pools and the cobble beach.)
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    Nov 19, 2014 4:30 AM GMT
    mindgarden saidAt least two days. Keep in mind that the 101 includes a lot of narrow winding two-lane highway, steep cliffs, and slow spots where it is the main drag of every coastal town. There are lots of places where it's worth stopping for an hour or two and alternate scenic routes that you might want to take. (E.g. the Three Capes Scenic Loop, although when I was over there this summer, there were some detours due to landslides.) And the daylight hours are very short, this time of year.

    Also, you can cut over to Portland on Hwy 18 from Lincoln City (or Hwy 6 from Tillamook) but there may be snow and ice in the pass. Or go all the way to Astoria and come back on Highway 30, which will take considerably more time.

    If you stop at only one place on the Oregon coast, I'd probably choose Newport: Oregon Coast Aquarium, Rogue Brewery, Scenic Bridge, Bayfront, Beaches, Yaquina Head Lighthouse (w/ tide pools and the cobble beach.)


    Thanks! This was really helpful.
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    Nov 19, 2014 11:47 AM GMT
    I did Portland to SF via the I5 and even that can get pretty narrow and winding in southern Oregon and northern California. I'd have loved to have gone via the 101, but I was in whistle-stop mode. I think even 2 days to do the 101 for that distance will be pretty demanding. Drive carefully!
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    Nov 19, 2014 5:18 PM GMT
    A good point. I5 from Redding to Ashland goes up and over the Siskiyou Mountains. In the winter time, it can mean a lot of driving on steep grades over packed snow and ice. Not something that I enjoy doing at night or without four-wheel drive - though I have done so, very slowly. This early in the season, it probably won't be too bad.

    (To get to where I live, I usually get off I5 at Weed and take US 97 up the East side of the Cascades - might save an hour or two, or not, but at least it's not as boring as I5.)
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    Nov 20, 2014 4:10 AM GMT
    Thanks!
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    Nov 20, 2014 4:35 AM GMT
    Yes! Man I love that drive! The 101 all the way up the coast. Ugh...want to go again. Sandboarding in Oregon, North California and the deserted sandy beaches...Jealous man, been 3 years since I've been out there.
  • captproton

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    Nov 20, 2014 8:46 AM GMT
    Having lived and worked in Oregon for several years, I can tell you right now that it would be foolish for you to try to drive from SF all the way to Portland on 101 in November. No one who lives in Oregon would attempt it or recommend it.

    On a good day in summer, it can take 4 or 5 hours to drive just from Florence to Cannon Beach (158 miles), west of Portland. At this time of year, coastal Oregon is subject to serious storms that bring lots of rain and even freezing rain.

    The coastal highway can be iced up or even flooded at several points. While the coast is beautiful at any time of year, you would be wise to drive I-5 and then cut over, if you have to see the coast.

    And you can still see a great deal of Oregon's beauty from the freeway. Corvallis is just off I-5... maybe a 15-minute drive. It's a cool little college town with a lot of bars and restaurants. I highly recommend it.

    From I-5 in Oregon, you can reach the coast from several cities in the Willamette Valley. Each is positioned about 60 miles east. From Roseburg, you will hit Reedsport. From Eugene you will cut across the Cascades to Florence (but not recommended in winter, due to icy conditions in the passes).

    From Corvallis you can reach Newport. The route is fairly level and the landscape wide open. I prefer this to the others.

    And then return by the same route. Don't drive north on 101 because the only way to get to Portland from there is to take State Route 6 near Tillamook and that stretch of road can be icy and dangerous. There are some steep hill climbs and you're sharing the road with 18-wheelers and logging trucks.

    You're talking about driving more than 600 miles. I recommend you divide it into two days of driving with an overnight stop in Medford, Oregon, not far north of the state line. There are plenty of motels and restaurants there. But I recommend making reservations ahead of time (now?) because a lot of people will be on the road for the holiday and the motels fill up fast. Best Western has an excellent reservation system and the prices are fairly reasonable.

    I don't mean to rain on your parade but the weather in the Pacific Northwest at this time of year can change in as little as an hour. I also recommend you pack a sleeping bag and some bottled water and snacks. If you hit black ice and spin out and need road assistance, it's always better to have provisions on hand.

    Yes, black ice is a serious hazard. Oregon doesn't get a lot of snow, but the highways, especially at night, can be icy and it's called "black ice" because at night it can look deceptively like a rainy sheen.

    You also should know that there are several areas of construction along 101 on the Oregon Coast right now. Delays are common. I just checked the map and it looks like 5 or 6 areas that are affected. A good resource is:

    http://tripcheck.com/Pages/RCMap.asp?curRegion=4.

    I-5 between Eugene and Portland is highly congested. It's the principal route of commerce linking California and Washington. And be prepared for a major slowdown in Tualatin, about 20 miles south of the Portland area. It doesn't seem to matter what time of day it is.

    Once you get to Portland, be sure to check out Powell's Book Store, one of the world's largest. It's in the city's historic Pearl District. A five-story building devoted to nothing but books. There's a cafe on the first floor, one of the reasons Powell's is a magnet for the hipster crowd.





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    Nov 20, 2014 4:39 PM GMT
    Thank you guys.

    Sounds like it's not a good time for driving up there. It seems the safest and cheapest way is flying now. I guess I should leave the coastal drive for another trip to west coast.
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    Nov 21, 2014 11:46 AM GMT
    Stay at Otter Rock Inn in Otter Rock, OR