Itinerary troubles: Canadian Rockies->Pacific Northwest->Northern CA
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Aug 21, 2012 3:51 PM Last Post By: CascadeBob
Aug 21, 2012 7:16 AM
I'm trying to sort out at itinerary for a trip this September, starting in Vancouver, BC and finishing in Davis, CA (where I'll be starting a university course). We'll be travelling by hire-car, for the most part. The flights below are already booked - it would have been nice to spend longer, but unfortunately that isn't an option. Haven't booked the hire cars yet, but hope to do so soon.
Provisionally, I'd come up with the following:
4th - Arrive Vancouver International Airport at 14:55. Wander around town, recover from flight etc.
5th - Pick up hire car in the morning, set off for the Rockies.
6th-9th - in the rockies (aiming for Banff NP - I'll work out this period in more detail later, but was thinking of broadly following the itinerary Griffsinmex suggests in http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=2197179)
10th - return hire car to Vancouver in late afternoon
11th - day in Vancouver, catching a bus/train to Seattle in time for bed.
12th - in Seattle
13th - Pick up hire car in the Morning, spend the day and night somewhere in the cascades (see Mt Rainer / St. Helens)
14th - to Portland
15th - driving along Oregon coast, trying to cover some miles (where would be a practical place to head for the night?)
16th - Redwoods NP
17th - drive to Davis
(my father will then be continuing on his own, spending a week or so on the coast before returning the car and flying home)
My dad and I are both eager to fit as much as possible into this trip, and should have plenty of time to recuperate afterwards. Even so, however, I'm aware that this itinerary's probably trying to see too much. I'd like to know what would people recommend we cut out, and any other recommendations / feedback.
Cross-posted to the Canadian branch at http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=2240913
Aug 21, 2012 8:16 AM
1For the Vancouver leg I suggest one of the shuttle services that would hopefully, drop you and your luggage at the "off airport' car rental agency of choice... I suggest you get into Portland on day 14. Next AM, Take the I-5 down to the 34 that connects to the US 20 at Corvallis. It will be slow going down the 101 keep on until a good sunset view presents. On the final day depart the 101 for the CA.20 inland to Davis ... happy trails... Carracar
Aug 21, 2012 8:43 AM
2Highway 20 to Davis wouldn't be my first choice. It does take you past Clear Lake, but then you get to drive down I-5 to Davis.
I'd go as far south as Petaluma, then take this route (The Google instructions make it seem more complicated than it really is.) I've done the drive between the Redwood NP and the Davis area many times & tis is my preferred route.
You'll pass though some pleasant agricultural areas as well as wineries, if you want to stop (and if you are over 21).
If you are staying in the Eureka, CA area, the drive to Davis, is little over half a day, nonstop.
Aug 21, 2012 10:06 AM
Aug 21, 2012 10:27 AM
4For the Vancouver section, plan to spend the night in Revelstoke before the steep switchbacks up to Lake Louise. Spend at least 1/2-day around Lake Louise, then take the frontage road to Banff NP so that you will not have to drive fast, you will see the beautiful, towering peaks, and wildlife. Jasper NP is not as spectacular as Banff NP, but the Icefields Highway is worth it. From Mt. Robson, it is not clear in the instructions whether you are to drive west to Prince George, then south on Highway #97 to Vancouver. The distance is deceiving on the drive to Prince George -- my car almost ran out of gas -- fortunately, a lodge did have gasoline because there were no towns in the forest. Allow at least 2 days to return to Vancouver from Mt. Robson.
I agree with nutrax -- follow the Northern California coast until you reach Petaluma or Bodega Bay, then turn east to catch Interstate-80 toward Sacramento and Davis.
Aug 21, 2012 3:51 PM
5For the Seattle - Portland - Oregon Coast leg:
You have one day in Seattle. If you've never been there Pike Street Market is probably a must. Nearby is trendy Belltown with some very good restaurants and clubs with live music. After Belltown is the Seattle Center witht the Space Needle, Experience music center and Chihully glass house. Seattle Center is surrounded by the Queen Anne area with more good restaurants and a nice area in it's own right. This is all easily walkable or short bus rides.
Next day you plan staying "somewhere in the Cascades." Are you planning on camping? If not, I'd recommend just driving on into Portland (only 3 1/2 hour drive from Seattle) and spending your time exploring th ecolumbia Gorge Scenic Area outside of Portland. Lots of day hikes up mossy canyons with waterfalls and a 50-mile long hike n bike trail.
Portland: Besides the Columbia Gorge Scenic Area see if Saturday Market under the Burnside Bridge is on (if you are there on a weekend). Most folks like to at least nose around Powell's Bookstore some.
Oregon Coast. You say you want to drive along the Oregon Coast and "cover some miles." The coast is a slow road with slow traffic. You'll be hard pressed to "cover some miles" along the Oregon Coast. Either borrow a day from Portland, or save it for another time.
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