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Another USA west coast road trip qn

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Another USA west coast road trip qn

Hi guys,

Just wanted to get some opinions here, So me and my girlfriend will be headed to the US on the 12th of april and we're planning to do a road trip.

From the 12th to 14th we'll be in sf and without the car, but on the 14th onwards we intend to get the car in the morning and drive up to Crater lake national park and then go make it to portland to sleep the night. Spend the day in portland and leave portland on the 16th for seattle. We'll be at seattle for 3 days then drive to salt lake to see the flats sleep the night and then go to vegas next. 3 days in vegas and then on to LA for another 4 days after which we go to yosemite for a day and then back to sf just one day before out flight out.

We know that it is alot of driving and we are prepared for it but just wanted some opinions from the people that may have done something like this before..

Thanks in advance

Fairfield...
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1. Re: Another USA west coast road trip qn

Hi Bervinm,

The drive to Crater Lake will be 7-8 hours depending on traffic, so I wouldn't plan on anything more than driving there and finding nearby accommodation for the night and enjoying the park the next day. Perhaps you can skip Portland? If not, cut days elsewhere to give yourself time to enjoy the park on the 15th in the morning and then head to Portland in the afternoon.

I know you said you are aware that it is a lot of driving, but it can get to the point that you feel like every minute of your vacation is spent behind the wheel, so make sure to keep the driving on most days minimal. Ideally, shoot for no more than 4 hours of driving a day.

For some help with any of the driving you do that's over 4 hours in a row, here's a link to a page that might help: planning-fun-road-trips.com/road-trip-planni…

Looking over your itinerary, it seems like you're trying to fit in too much. It can get genuinely painful to drive that much in my experience. IMHO, I'd cut one of your destinations out of your itinerary to make it more doable....

Hope this helps-

Tara

Lewes, United...
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for Road Trips
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2. Re: Another USA west coast road trip qn

Hi

I really think this needs a total rethink!

Sorry, did I understand that correctly: In the one same day, you plan to drive from SF to Crater Lake NP, visit the park and then by that night reach Portland? If so, totally bonkers. Far too far to drive, plus in April, Crater Lake will likely be snowbound. That's probably a 12 hour drive with no stops what so ever! What's the point?! With the gazillion possible interesting things to see or do, you want to go see some salt flats? Each to their own, I guess.

Then you plan to drive from Seattle to SLC in one day? That's 14 hrs straight in the saddle, and don't forget, days are still short in April. The salt flats aren't on the direct route, either, so then you need a detour, adding more hours to see salt flats in the dark, I assume.

While to drive to Vegas from SLC area is at least possible, after the day before you'll not be in any fit state for a 6 hour drive.

Later on you say you go from LA to Yosemite for a day. Given your previous comments, is this a single night stop, or do you have 2 nights there to actually see any of Yosemite? Again, while so far this has been a dry winter, actually a drought, you can encounter winter conditions within Yosemite NP and not be allowed to use the roads unless you have chains, and, as I'm guessing your won't be in your own car as you mention flights, rental cars aren't allowed to use chains for the most part.

You ask for opinions only from folk who have done this, I note. I don't think you're likely to find too many candidates who have done that kind of a route at that pace. Certainly not me, and I'd never recommend it to anybody at all. Apart from anything else, driving those crazy long days is dangerous. In April with the risk of poor weather, not something anybody ought to be recommending.

SWT

Edited: 05 February 2014, 18:55
Uden, The...
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3. Re: Another USA west coast road trip qn

We just drove between Seattle and Salt lake City, Also I84 can have snow on the way and it certainly is not a one days drive. North of SLC is a side road to Antelope Island with great views on the salt lake and bison roaming the area

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4. Re: Another USA west coast road trip qn

Alright, thanks for the reply guys!

I think i'll be cutting out Portland and seattle then..

Doing just SF (4 days) -> LA (4 days) -> LV (3 days) -> SLC(2days) then back to SF for the flight..

Antelope island sounds like a great idea. I may do that. Any other opinions will be great. Thanks guys!

Houston, TX
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5. Re: Another USA west coast road trip qn

Many people, myself included, would take two days for the drive between San Francisco and LA along the coast. After you leave SF, stop at Half Moon Bay. Visit Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park near Santa Cruz for a walk among the giant trees. On to Monterey for time at the Aquarium and an overnight stop there or at Carmel. Next morning, a couple of hours at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve--at least three great trails for walking, beautiful scenery. Then drive the Big Sur Coast (Carmel to Cambria takes about 2.5 hours with no stops for anything) and the fantastic scenery. You shouldn't, and indeed can't really rush through these 90 miles or so. Stop at the Bixby Bridge overlook, Nepenthe for lunch, Julia Burns Pfeiffer State Park for the short walk to McWay Falls, see the elephant seal rookery on the beach at Piedras Blancas just north of San Simeon. Overnight at Cambria or Pismo Beach. Next day into LA, with a stop at Santa Barbara along the way.

If your only interest in SLC is for Antelope Island and salt flats, that's a lot of driving for very little. Antelope Island will take about an hour. Perhaps after LV head back to SF via Death Valley National Park--a very interesting place which may well tick your box for salt flat like things.

Washington State
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6. Re: Another USA west coast road trip qn

Note that TxOffWeGo's excellent itinerary for driving between SF and L.A. is two nights / three days. The Top Questions on the California state forum has more ideas for this popular drive.

Uden, The...
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7. Re: Another USA west coast road trip qn

No I also would not make the detour just for Antelope islands although it took us a little longer than 1 hour. Instead SLC consider to visit Zion and Bryce an drive back to SF via Death Valley

8. Re: Another USA west coast road trip qn

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