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San Francisco - Crater Lake - Yosemite

Milan, Italy
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San Francisco - Crater Lake - Yosemite

I am planning my 3-week trip to the West Coast for next June, I'll be travelling from Italy with my husband and 7-year-old daughter.

We'll be landing in San Francisco and, before heading to Yosemite and other national parks in Utah and Arizona, I would like to travel to Crater Lake (always been a dream of mine, never made it to CL in my 2 previous trips to Oregon).

My question: which are the best places to visit on the way to CL and back? We enjoy parks, landscapes, historic places. We are not particularly fond of hiking.

How much time should we consider, including the visit to the Park? We are not planning to sleep in the park itself and we don't mind driving long hours.

Thank you!

Klamath Falls, OR
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1. Re: San Francisco - Crater Lake - Yosemite

We are glad to hear that you are planning a trip to Klamath County and Crater Lake National Park! We have a number of places that would fit your criteria of interests. You will definitely want to visit Collier State Park and Logging Museum near the town of Chiloquin on Highway 97. You would probably also enjoy Jackson F. Kimball State Recreation Site, which features the turquoise headwaters of the Wood River. Futher south in the Klamath Basin there are amazing WWII historical sites. The Mitchell Monument is the site of the only deaths on the continental U.S. due to direct enemy action during WWII. We also have the amazing, chilling, Tule Lake Camp which housed Japanese Americans that were deemed "disloyal" and that later became the home of Italian and German prisoners of war.

Whatever you enjoy, we encourage you to check out www.DiscoverKlamath.com and www.ThingsToDoNearCraterLake.com for a fantastic overview of what can be experienced. We hope you enjoy our trip through what we call 'Oregon Unexpected'!

Warmly,

Discover Klamath VCB

2. Re: San Francisco - Crater Lake - Yosemite

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Removed on: 17 February 2014, 17:35
Portland, Oregon
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3. Re: San Francisco - Crater Lake - Yosemite

CL is quite a bit out of the way for Utah and Arizona... One thing to keep in mind is that June is a transition month-meaning the southern entrance may be the only route to the Lake due to snow. It will just depend on plowing schedule and how much snow there is. You will probably have a better chance of being able to drive the rim road later in the month. If the road is closed and you aren't spending the night there or interested in hiking, I would say a few hours is all you need- it will really be just viewing the lake and perhaps a stop to the visitors center/Crater Lake Lodge.

Im assuming you have already visited Redwoods area; if not I would suggest detouring here if you have the time. I took hwy 395 down the eastern side of the Sierra; beautiful drive and suggest this route as an alternative to I-5. Lassen Volcanic monument may be a good detour between CL and Yosemite.

Collier Logging Museum is interesting, but not directly on your route. Tule Lake is interesting and I might stop at Lava Beds National Monument also between CL and Yosemite. Particularly if you are interested in caving , but there is some interesting history about the Modoc War there.

Oregon Coast
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4. Re: San Francisco - Crater Lake - Yosemite

Hello, how much time are you planning for seeing Crater Lake? The lake itself can be seen in a few hours. Much depends upon the snow conditions! Do you have a few extra days for your north section?

I'd probably plan to drive north on Hwy 101 from San Francisco. The beautiful redwoods stretch from about Eureka to Crescent City. Be sure to drive Newton Drury scenic parkway. Then take Hwy 199 inland to I-5 then Hwy 62 to Crater Lake.

Southbound from Klamath Falls you could take Oregon 39 which becomes Calif 139, detour through Lava Beds and maybe Lassen. Hwy 139 is a good road. Then join 395 south, maybe seeing Lake Tahoe?

June is tricky around Yosemite. Tioga Pass may or may not be open, although they do try to open it by the end of May. If not yet open, you'd have to enter Yosemite from the west side. If you had an extra day, the California Gold Country is interesting - it's along historic Hwy 49:

http://www.historichwy49.com/mainmap.html

Oregon
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5. Re: San Francisco - Crater Lake - Yosemite

You are adding a lot of miles to include Crater Lake. but if it is a dream of yours may be worth it, though access may be limited. May not be only limit, Lassen may be open by then, Tioga Pass to Yosemite may not. If Tioga not open and you are heading for Utah an Arizona you have some difficult choices to make. Go south around Sierra or east through Nev to Las Vegas.

Edited: 18 February 2014, 21:24
Milan, Italy
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6. Re: San Francisco - Crater Lake - Yosemite

Thank you all for your advice! I actually didn't think that snow could still represent a big problem in June...

Anyway, I tried to add Lessen Volcanic NP going up and Redwood on the way back, they both seem to be great places.

I also had the impression that 3 hours are probably enough to visit CL itself.

is the boat tour worth going?

Thank you again!

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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7. Re: San Francisco - Crater Lake - Yosemite

They usually start the boat tour in late June or even July. Here is the website to check this year's dates, but they probably won't know until nearly summer, as it depends on how much snow they have and how long it takes to clear it away in early summer.

craterlakelodges.com/activities/…

Scroll down on this page... http://www.craterlakelodges.com/webcam/

Milan, Italy
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8. Re: San Francisco - Crater Lake - Yosemite

OK thanks I'll check that. We'll most likely tour CL end of June.

9. Re: San Francisco - Crater Lake - Yosemite

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10. Re: San Francisco - Crater Lake - Yosemite

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