SEATTLE to SAN FRANCISCO by car

  • ShyGreekDude

    Posts: 3

    May 25, 2015 2:20 AM GMT
    Hey guys. Thinking of traveling from Seattle to San Francisco this summer and stopping by a few national parks on the way. Was wondering if there are any group tours that organize these trips or where I can meet people who might want to come along.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 25, 2015 2:26 AM GMT
    Sounds fun! I'm down to take Amtrak to Seattle and ride back here with you. There's a friend I've been wanting to see in Seattle anyway, so I could do that one day then ride back with you the next. icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 25, 2015 2:27 AM GMT
    Oh and I can find the national parks pretty easy. I love MTBing and would bring my bike to ride a few trails at each park.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14360

    May 25, 2015 12:44 PM GMT
    When you drive from Seattle to San Francisco, just avoid I-5 entirely. Pick up US Highway Route 101 and travel down the Pacific coastline of Washington, Oregon, and Northern California. Interstates are horrible roads because of the heavy truck traffic and you always feel under pressure to keep up with everyone else.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 25, 2015 9:37 PM GMT
    The only National Park in Oregon is Crater Lake and in Washington Mt. Raineer NP and Mt. St. Helens Nat. Monument all east of US 101 2+ hrs and 1+ hrs. east of I-5. Olympic NP is west of Seattle and US 101 laps it. It's a 9 hr trip to do it. I worked for USFS there for 7 years. Love the place but it's no place to live. The west side of the peninsula has some nice beaches on the Park Strip north of Queets, WA, and south of the Hoh River. Hood Channel (part of straight of San Juan Defuca (sp?) is scenic and many entrances to Olympic NP and Oly. Nat. Forest. Hurricane Ridge out of Port Angles is pretty much a must see/visit and the Lake Quinault entrance to the park is my favorite.

    Grays Harbor and Wilaupa Bay are scenic and quite rural.

    Watch your speed on US 101 all those Counties and towns rely on speeding ticket revenuess to help support their agencies.

    The Oregon and WA coast are quite rural and just recovering from the end of wholesale logging the national forests and the crash of fish stocks off the coast here. They are finally transitioning into a tourist economy and away from a rough and tumble logging, milling and fishing economy. The services and amenities wont be what you're used near the ocean in the warmer climates of the USA. More like Maine in that respect quite honestly.

    The Oregon Coast is beautiful but US 101 will be SLOW in tourist season especially.

    Northern Calif. coast is quite nice and also quite rural. Lotsa options for stopping off at the various State and Federal parks to check out the redwoods. Never been to see the Sequoias.

    No shortage of good beer and seafood on that trip for sure. Have a great time.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 25, 2015 9:41 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob saidWhen you drive from Seattle to San Francisco, just avoid I-5 entirely. Pick up US Highway Route 101 and travel down the Pacific coastline of Washington, Oregon, and Northern California. Interstates are horrible roads because of the heavy truck traffic and you always feel under pressure to keep up with everyone else.
    The 5 flows much faster than the 101. Last week I took the 5 down close to LA, and took the 101 back...just for the experience of both routes. I will admit, though, that the scenery along the 101 is much nicer; and there's way more places to stop for fuel/food/etc if needed.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 26, 2015 12:39 AM GMT
    If you drive, go out of your way and visit Mt. St. Helens (the volcano of 20 years ago). Incredible.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 26, 2015 2:19 AM GMT
    paulflexes said
    roadbikeRob saidWhen you drive from Seattle to San Francisco, just avoid I-5 entirely. Pick up US Highway Route 101 and travel down the Pacific coastline of Washington, Oregon, and Northern California. Interstates are horrible roads because of the heavy truck traffic and you always feel under pressure to keep up with everyone else.
    The 5 flows much faster than the 101. Last week I took the 5 down close to LA, and took the 101 back...just for the experience of both routes. I will admit, though, that the scenery along the 101 is much nicer; and there's way more places to stop for fuel/food/etc if needed.


    And the bugs on I-5 when you get down near the 99 junction. You have to stop every few exits to clean your windshield or you can't see.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 26, 2015 2:42 AM GMT
    freedomisntfree said
    paulflexes said
    roadbikeRob saidWhen you drive from Seattle to San Francisco, just avoid I-5 entirely. Pick up US Highway Route 101 and travel down the Pacific coastline of Washington, Oregon, and Northern California. Interstates are horrible roads because of the heavy truck traffic and you always feel under pressure to keep up with everyone else.
    The 5 flows much faster than the 101. Last week I took the 5 down close to LA, and took the 101 back...just for the experience of both routes. I will admit, though, that the scenery along the 101 is much nicer; and there's way more places to stop for fuel/food/etc if needed.


    And the bugs on I-5 when you get down near the 99 junction. You have to stop every few exits to clean your windshield or you can't see.
    Dinner! icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 26, 2015 2:43 AM GMT
    HikerSkier saidIf you drive, go out of your way and visit Mt. St. Helens (the volcano of 20 years ago). Incredible.
    I wanna ride it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 26, 2015 10:32 PM GMT
    TomSOCAL saidAn Alternative is to travel east of the Cascades into Eastern Washington

    Speaking of alternatives, this is also a good time to fly to Hawaii; prices go down in the summer.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 28, 2015 4:12 PM GMT
    I'd forego the group trip, but definitely connect with someone who's willing to travel w/ you. Get the Triple A guidebooks and maps for WA, OR & CA, as they contain A LOT of really useful info that will help you avoid problems and see the best there is to offer. Spend some time studying the maps and book to get an idea of where you'd like to go and what you'd like to see; there's plenty!

    From Seattle, take the ferry to Bainbridge Is. and then head NW to Port Angeles via US 101, a MUCH nicer, if much longer, drive than I-5. Check out Olympic National Park & Forest along the way, and don't try to drive more than 4-5 hrs a day, or you'll be exhausted and miss a lot. Make sure your windshield wipers are in good shape and use gasbuddy.com to avoid being gouged on gas prices, which can be high in the smaller towns, especially in CA.

    Stay on 101 as you cross into OR at Astoria, and check out the maritime museum there, just down the road from a KFC! If you want to see Portland, now's the time to cut over on US 30, and back on US 26, rejoining the 101 Cannon Beach. Savor the beautiful OR coast and make a stop in Tillamook to see the dairies and airplane museum nearby. As you work your way down OR's coast, take time to pull off and into the many state parks along the way for some really great views. An overnite in Coos Bay is nice and make sure you head out to the mouth of the bay to see the not-so-pacific Pacific; you'll never complain about high seafood prices again! Head down to Charleston and follow the coast road south before rejoining 101 near Bandon, OR; LOTS of great scenery along this detour. Or, before you get to Coos Bay, head east to Eugene, and then continue into the Cascades Loop to Mt. Bachelor and Bend, and then south to Crater Lake. Either way, get back onto the 5 and check out Ashland, where you can see some great theater if that interests you.

    I-5 is the only way to get to Mt. Shasta, and you can spend some time exploring Redding and its environs, especially the dam at Shasta Lake; its tour is a good one. Head west on Hwy. 299 to rejoin 101 at Eureka, which is another cool place to stay before you continue on into the redwoods. Cut west onto Hwy. 1 at Leggett and take it all the way down to Mill Valley, where you'll rejoin the 101 into SF. Or cut over to the 101 via Hwy. 128 just south of Albion, if you want to see the Anderson Valley wine region, or find yourself short of time. I've been doing variations on this route for several years and am still discovering new things on and off the trail. Have a great time!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 31, 2015 9:33 PM GMT
    Actually, the airplane museum is no longer in Tillamook. It has moved to Madras, on the other side of the mountains. The tourist things to do there are the creameries, some local brew pubs, and the Three Capes scenic loop (lighthouses, biking, hiking). Newport probably has the most attractions - lighthouses, tide pools, breweries, bayfront, aquarium.

    And I5 is certainly not the only way to get to Mt. Shasta. If you take the eastern route, down US97, (which will take you through Madras and Bend) you go right around the base of the mountain before dropping down to Weed and joining I5. That's the way I usually go - faster than the coast, not as boring as Die Five. It's also the best way to get to Crater Lake National Park.

    After that, you don't have to stay on I5- one can head up toward Lassen Peak and work your way south through the mountains, but it becomes a pretty indirect route from that point.

    Speaking of avoiding interstates, one nice route (esp. for mtn biking) is to take Highway 12 into the Cascades then take Forest Service road 23 from Randle down to the Columbia River Gorge, then either west to Portland or East to Hwy 97. (Or one could work out a route past Mt. St Helens and down the Wind River Hwy)

    Well, there's no help for it. You'll have to make the trip at least twice. Maybe three times.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 01, 2015 3:38 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidSounds fun! I'm down to take Amtrak to Seattle and ride back here with you. There's a friend I've been wanting to see in Seattle anyway, so I could do that one day then ride back with you the next. icon_biggrin.gif


    So I actually rode my bike from Port Angeles, WA to San Francisco before. You should do that instead icon_razz.gif It's a pretty incredible trip. I mostly stayed in hostels along the way, but there are also campgrounds with dirt-cheap camping for bicyclists all up and down the coast.

    In much of Washington, you're a ways off the coast, but you're still riding through lush forest the whole time. Until you get to Aberdeen, which is another experience entirely.

    Oregon is the best part. That's also where you get all the good hills (except for the big one coming out of Leggett). Southern Oregon, just wow. Sea stacks, sand dunes, cliffs dropping into the ocean, light traffic, and just enough places to stop and get ice cream.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 01, 2015 3:48 AM GMT
    The Northwest is a true gem of our nation. Good luck with this trip! What wonderful summer travel.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 01, 2015 4:47 AM GMT
    CFL_Oakland said
    paulflexes saidSounds fun! I'm down to take Amtrak to Seattle and ride back here with you. There's a friend I've been wanting to see in Seattle anyway, so I could do that one day then ride back with you the next. icon_biggrin.gif


    So I actually rode my bike from Port Angeles, WA to San Francisco before. You should do that instead icon_razz.gif It's a pretty incredible trip. I mostly stayed in hostels along the way, but there are also campgrounds with dirt-cheap camping for bicyclists all up and down the coast.

    In much of Washington, you're a ways off the coast, but you're still riding through lush forest the whole time. Until you get to Aberdeen, which is another experience entirely.

    Oregon is the best part. That's also where you get all the good hills (except for the big one coming out of Leggett). Southern Oregon, just wow. Sea stacks, sand dunes, cliffs dropping into the ocean, light traffic, and just enough places to stop and get ice cream.
    Now that I've finally experienced some "real" mountain biking, I'm hooked! Riding street with the BMX guys is fun, and cycle commuting can be funner than driving; but a long-distance road ride has totally lost its appeal for me. I'd rather save my energy to hit up all the downhill MTB parks in Cali. I'm headed to San Ysidro Trail in Santa Barbra again this week (getting shuttled to the top this time), and China Peak downhill bike park in Lakeshore next week. The week after that is still up for grabs...maybe Downieville? icon_wink.gif