We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Coastal Drive San Fran to Washington

New England
Level Contributor
88 posts
278 reviews
Save Topic
Coastal Drive San Fran to Washington

We are planning a 6 day road trip for 2 adults who love hiking, photography and picturesque towns from San Francisco to Washington State, primarily along the coast. We really want to see Redwood National Forest (I know it's not in Oregon!), some part of the Oregon Coast and the Columbia River Gorge to watch (and photograph) the windsurfers.

What are the trade-offs in going over to Crater Lake National Park and giving up some of the coastal drive? If you recommend going over to Crater Lake would you come back to the coast near Brandon or Nye or go up to Portland elsewhere? If you would not recommend going over to Crater Lake on this particular trip what are your must sees along the coast (or elsewhere) that you would recommend instead?

thanks!

Eugene, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Eugene, Springfield
Level Contributor
8,498 posts
187 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Coastal Drive San Fran to Washington

A couple of key questions. How far into Washington are you planning to go? what time of year? Is the "6-day" road trip one-way or roundtrip?

Driving the coat north of SF and then spending some time to see/hike the redwoods will take you 2-3 days. The Oregon coast needs at least 2-3 days. That will get you to Portland, from which you can see the Gorge and the windsurfers at Hood River as a full daytrip, although most of us would recommend an overnight.

Crater Lake is too far out of the way to fit into your itinerary.

P.S. Redwoods National Park is actually more than one park location spread out over about 60 miles...so you should probably do some research regarding where the best hiking locations are and determine how many hours you want to drive in a day (including sightseeing stops, hikes, food, etc.). That will determine what town you would want to stay in overnight. If this is a winter or early spring trip, remember that the days are short and you do not want to drive through the redwoods or along the coast in the dark if you can avoid it...both for safety and sightseeing purposes.

New England
Level Contributor
88 posts
278 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Coastal Drive San Fran to Washington

Thanks oregonpoppa-- we are planning a one way trip in June with the longest days possible ;) and planning on driving all the way across the state south to north, We are roadtrippers, having driven from Arkansas to Minneapolis via Fargo in 6 days and got a good feel for the landscape checking out the enormous objects that are indigenous to the northern midwest. We get our hiking in during daylight, short stops for geocaching always offers insight into the local culture and driving in the evening. We manage our time by combining eating with hiking or photography--- picnics 2 meals a day generally.

I figure 2 nights with a full day in Redwood, so I think we'll take your suggestion and stick to the coast till we get to Portland for 1 or 2 nights and head over to the Hood River from there. Which leaves us 2 or 3 nights on the Oregon coast-- Maybe Bandon and/or Cannon Beach?

Eugene, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Eugene, Springfield
Level Contributor
8,498 posts
187 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Coastal Drive San Fran to Washington

From your night in the area of the redwoods (look at Eureka/Arcata/Trinidad), you can make it farther up the coast than Bandon the next day. Look at Yachats (and Cape Perpetua for great vistas and hiking). Cannon Beach might require multi-night minimum stays, so look at some of the other towns just short of Cannon Beach or even as far as Astoria (which is on the Columbia River). It would be a short drive from the northern coast to Portland. If you want to see whales, take some time in little Depoe Bay. Very picturesque, with a whale watching center and a good chance of seeing a whale right in the bay. The waves crash right on the rocks along the highway.

New England
Level Contributor
88 posts
278 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Coastal Drive San Fran to Washington

Thank you for the practical and fun suggestions! Spotting a whale in a bay would be very cool-- I've only spotted whales off the coast of New England on a whale watching boat.

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
Level Contributor
43,068 posts
1,080 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Coastal Drive San Fran to Washington

From SF to the Eureka area is about 5-6 hours via Hwy 101. That is not on the coast but is a pleasant fairly scenic drive. Many people take the time to drive Avenue of the Giants. As long as you realize that this is old 101 (prior to the freeway) and it's not a pristine wilderness area, you will probably enjoy taking the extra time to wind through the big trees.

As oregonpoppa said, Redwood Nat'l & State Parks stretch in a long narrow strip, so no matter where you stay, you'll be driving back and forth. Klamath is located sort of "mid-way" north and south but eateries are *very* limited in town, as is lodging.

One full day for hikers is not really enough IMO. I'm not a hiker but there are hundreds of miles in several different areas!

This website will give you lots of info about all the hiking opportunities:

http://www.redwoodhikes.com/

Post on the Redwood NP forum for more info. There are a couple of "regulars" there who do hike :-)

tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g2193168-i22777-Re…

Do be sure you drive Newton Drury as well as Howland Hill Road. More info in the post below.

--

Heading toward Oregon . . . I agree that you probably don't have time for Crater Lake. From Crescent City it's about 4 hours one way, then about 4½ hours back to the Oregon coast at Bandon.

Driving north from the Eureka area, it's about 6+ hours to Yachats, including a couple of quick stops. Yachats is such a pretty little town (pop 700) though, that I think it's worth the drive. Not good to do in the dark, by the way ;-)

Definitely drive the historic Columbia Hwy east from Troutdale. Some places to see and stop:

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g52104-d56…

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g52104-d11…

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g51815-d13…

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g51815-d25…

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g52024-d12…

tripadvisor.com/…REVIEWS

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g52024-d11…

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
Level Contributor
43,068 posts
1,080 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Coastal Drive San Fran to Washington

Some info and lists of things to do and see (including reviews) in the redwood 'empire'. Listed south to north:

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g32419-d64… (Richardson Grove area)

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g32419-d18…

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g28926-d27…

http://www.townofscotia.com/visit-scotia.html

tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g32378-Activitie…

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g32641-d64…

tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g2193168-Activit…

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g32363-c144314/Eureka…

tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g33188-Activitie…

tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g32830-Activitie…

tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g32564-Activitie…

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g60944-c139445/Cresce…

7. Re: Coastal Drive San Fran to Washington

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 19 February 2015, 05:18