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San Francisco to Seattle road trip

Rio de Janeiro, RJ
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San Francisco to Seattle road trip

Hi,

We are taking a trip from San Francisco Bay Area all the way to Seattle and then flying back this next June.

I have put together a rough itinerary but still have a bunch of doubts, especially concerning lodging options. We are thinking of a 100 dollars/night kind of acommodation.

This is what it looks like so far:

DAY 1 (06/17): Drake's bay oyster farm - Point Reyes/Marin - Stinson Beach - Mendocino in the late afternoon

DAY 2 (06/18): Lost Coast - Redwood NP

DAY 3 (06/19): Redwood - Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor/Secret Beach hike and Pistol River State Scenic Viewpoint - Gold Beach?

DAY 4 (06/20): Crater Lake

DAY 5 (06/21): Bandon - Florence/Heceta Lighthouse - Newport? - Portland

DAY 6 (06/22): Portland

DAY 7 (06/23): Mount Rainier

DAY 8 (06/24): Mout St. Helens?

DAY 9 (06/25): Olympic NP - Seattle - glaciers and alpine meadows.

DAY 10 (06/26): Seattle

DAY 11 (06/27): Seattle

The questions marks stand for the places we are not sure if we are really visiting.

I would love to hear what you guys think about this. Is it too tight? Do we have enough time? Where should we stay?

Oh, and we are down for camping.

Thanks in advance.

Eugene, Oregon
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for Eugene, Springfield
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1. Re: San Francisco to Seattle road trip

To me, it doesn't make sense to go all the way from the coast to Crater Lake just for a quick overnight camping before heading back the next day to the coast. Not only is it a matter of distance and driving, but there might still be snow around the lake and the possibility of poor weather. If you do feel you have to do it, take #199 from Crescent City to Grants Pass. Then on your way back to the coast take #138/38 to Reedsport and up the coast to Newport. You'll get to see the Heceta Head lighthouse, but not tour it because it is undergoing construction work.

You can then cut back inland to the I-5 from Newport or Lincoln City on your way to Portland.

Mt. St. Helens is between Portland and Mt. Rainier. Allow yourself 3-4 hours to get to the Johnston Ridge Observatory and back to I-5 at Castle Rock.

You will NOT be able to see Olympic National Park in the time allowed. The park is huge and doesn't have a main entrance. The roads around it don't offer any of the glacier and alpine meadows you envision. Think more of mountains that will still be heavy with snow, huge rain forests and rough seascapes that will be too far away for you to reach in one day. Post your questions about ONP on the Washington State Forum and you'll get lots of responses on this subject.

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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2. Re: San Francisco to Seattle road trip

Hi and welcome to the forums.

Day 2 - You do not have enough time to drive the Lost Coast, in my opinion. That drive alone is about 4 hours. You'd be better off just taking Hwy 1 to Hwy 101 then going north on 101.

There is lots to do and see in the Redwood Empire! You're going to see so much beautiful coastal scenery that you won't miss not driving the Lost Coast - much of it is not along the ocean anyway.

Day 5 - Bandon to Portland through Newport is a very very long day.

You say about $100 per night lodging, but then mention camping? Were you thinking of camping some?

Rio de Janeiro, RJ
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3. Re: San Francisco to Seattle road trip

Thanks so much for getting back to me.

Yea, I guess I should have said UP TO around 100 bucks a night, some camping here and there to lower it a little bit.

I realize it's too much and that I need to make decision and maybe cut some places out of the list. :(

The smart thing to do would be to cut out Craker Lake and Olympic NP so I could spread out the rest of the itinerary. BUT those are the places that I was te most excited about so I don't know...

I'm going to read more about those and let you guys know what my new ideas are.

Thank you.

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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4. Re: San Francisco to Seattle road trip

Read some of the posts on Olympic NP - I think you'll find they all say the same thing oregonpoppa did in that you can't just drive in, look, and leave since it's not designed that way ;-)

Crater Lake will probably still have snow but the roads will be plowed and open, although there is no guarantee that the full rim drive will be open. The boat rides don't start until later in the summer.

Port Angeles, WA
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for Olympic National Park
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5. Re: San Francisco to Seattle road trip

I am one of the ONP experts. Both Oregonpoppa and Half-Brit are right. Your plans for ONP are impossible. You will see nothing at all. There are only two places to see glaciers in ONP. You can hike three days round trip starting from the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center. You won't catch a glimpse until you have hiked over 10 miles. You can also see the Blue Glacier from a great distance if you drive up to the summit of Hurricane Ridge. There will be no alpine meadows visible in June. The only place you can see alpine meadows without hard hiking is Hurricane Ridge, and that will be under snow in June.

ONP is gorgeous, but it is a hiker's park, not a driver's park. It is also far from Seattle. The summit of Hurricane Ridge is 3 hours and 45 minutes from Seattle, and the Hoh RF is 5 hours from Seattle. If you truly want to see glaciers and alpine meadows, come back in late July or later and prepare to spend at least two nights in the Olympic Peninsula.

Rio de Janeiro, RJ
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6. Re: San Francisco to Seattle road trip

Unfortunately ONP is already out of my route. I wish I had more time to visit it properly. Maybe in a future trip to Canada?

Thanks so much for all the info.

About Crater Lake...I either come up to Portland on the 5 and forget about the coast (which would allow me 1 and a half day in the park) or I forget about it at all.

Eugene, Oregon
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for Eugene, Springfield
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7. Re: San Francisco to Seattle road trip

If it's a matter of chosing between Crater Lake and the Oregon Coast, go with the coast. Not only is Crater Lake out of the way, but weather and road conditions could make that choice a very risky one. The lodge is probably already booked for your dates (and is way above your budget limit anyway) and camping will probably be on snow and hiking on snowshoes. No matter what the weather the coast will provide unforgettable scenery and experiences.

Newberg, Oregon
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8. Re: San Francisco to Seattle road trip

Ditto on bypassing Crater Lake in favor of the Oregon Coast. That time of year almost surely would not provide an enjoyable camping experience at Crater Lake.

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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9. Re: San Francisco to Seattle road trip

However, we can help you to get the most out of your visit along the coast, Portland and Seattle :-)

Rio de Janeiro, RJ
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10. Re: San Francisco to Seattle road trip

Thanks so much, I really appreciate you all being so helpful.

I think I have a new itinerary:

DAY 1 (06/17): Road trip (Stinson Beach - Drake's bay oyster farm - Point Reyes/Marin - Mendocino in the late afternoon)

DAY 2 (06/18): Lost Coast - Redwood NP

DAY 3 (06/19): Redwood - Crescent City

DAY 4 (06/20): Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor/Secret Beach hike and Pistol River State Scenic Viewpoint - Gold Beach? - Bandon - Coos Bay

DAY 5 (06/21): Florence/Heceta Lighthouse - Newport - Depoe Bay - Ecola SP

DAY 6 (06/22): Ecola State Park

DAY 7 (06/23): Ecola SP - Astoria - Portland

DAY 8 (06/24): Portland - Mount St. Helens - Mount Rainier

DAY 9 (06/25): Mount Rainier - Seattle

DAY 10 (06/26): Seattle

DAY 11 (06/27): Seattle

Sounds less rushed, right?

I still don't know much about Mount Rainier or Ecola SP. Still need to look more into them.

Any lodging tips at Coos Bay, Rainier, Portland and Redwood?