L.A to Portland Roadtrip
Replies: 27 - Last Post: Apr 21, 2013 7:38 AM Last Post By: veronicaantal
Feb 16, 2013 1:28 AM
L.A to Portland RoadtripIm trying to find the best sequence for a summer road trip. The itinerary includes Yosemite (got reservations, will have to be at end of trip), Napa, Redwoods, Eureka (dunno bout this one), Crescent City (another dunno), Crater Lake, Portland, and Astoria.
Is there any significant museum along the coast of Northern California or Oregon?
I'm into camping, nature, and history. Anyone have suggestions on where to stop, particularly with NorCal and Oregon Coast? Planning to mix camping with B&Bs.
Feb 16, 2013 1:54 AM
1I can recommend the Trees of Mystery Native American roadside museum, near the river crossing in Klamath Northern California. There is a huge carving of John Runyan in a blue jacket outside - you really can't miss it. The front part is a regular commercial tourist emporium, but the museum display further back is very good indeed.
In terms of exceptional redwoods, we really liked the Humboldt Redwoods SP, the Stout Grove in the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park (outstanding, and just outside Crescent City), and a few SPs right on the beach too, between Fort Bragg and Crescent City.
Perversely - we didn't particularly like Redwood National Park - sort of ordinary compared to the more compact state parks.
Feb 16, 2013 6:19 AM
3You're looking for the best "sequence" to do a trip from Los Angeles to Portland Oregon, but also say you have reservations for Yosemite which will have to be at the end of the trip. Geogrpahically, that will be way out of sequence as you will have to backtrack from Portland to central California to reach Yosemite.
Shouldn't the Yosemite stay be in the middle of the trip?
Feb 16, 2013 6:35 AM
4There are many opportunities for camping in State Parks along Highway #1, as you drive north. Especially at Big Sur and Point Reyes National Seashore, Bodega Bay, just before the town of Mendocino where there is abalone diving across the highway, and in the redwood groves further north. You do not say what month you will be driving. Yosemite Valley is just one day's drive north of Los Angeles if you take Interstate-5. Are you flying out of LAX? It is 4 hours' drive from SFO.
Feb 16, 2013 6:45 AM
5To clarify, you are driving LA-Portland-LA right?
What have you done already? Have you been up Hwy 1? Have you driven route 395? Mono Lake, etc?
Crater Lake is well worth the stop. I would continue from Crater through Bend to The Dalles and then drive along the Columbia River Gorge, with the obvious stop at Multnomah Falls (or the other way around of course).
Astoria is good. Crescent City too but perhaps not worth a multi-hour-long detour... Mendocino is great. Point Reyes is great. If you have the time, by all means drive along the coast since it's very scenic, just keep in mind it will make your trip much longer!
If you're going to Yosemite in the end, one idea would be to take the coastal route up, then inland (ending with 395) on the way back.
Feb 16, 2013 6:46 AM
Feb 16, 2013 6:54 AM
7Crater Lake is a good suggestion, but in early summer there will still be lots of snow there. The Columbia River Gorge is also a good suggestion and the loop Crater Lake/Bend/Columbia Gorge is a very nice trip (again, snow may be an issue at Crater Lake in early summer). Also, the High Desert Museum in Bend is pretty good.
Feb 16, 2013 7:20 AM
8I have about two weeks for this trip. I've already done LA to SF via the 1 with Big Sur, Hearst, and all the others.
Interesting comment I read about Redwood National Park, the camp on the beach looked cool. I'd be interested in hiking amongst redwoods, maybe to something that led to scenic views. I've been looking at this website, http://redwoods.info/showrecord.asp?id=3507
No comments on Oregon Coast? A friend said skip it and head straight to Astoria where Columbia River comes out.
Yes, I'll be starting from LA. Right now I may need to go...
1. LA to Sacramento and see Sutters Fort (are there better 49er type sights up north, and maybe closer to Crater?)
2. Sacramento to Crater Lake
3. Crater to Portland
4. Whatever to come down the coast - eventually stop in Redwoods
5. Maybe Point Reyes
6. San Francisco
7. Bicycle tour in Napa
9. Back home
Feb 16, 2013 7:23 AM
Feb 16, 2013 7:45 AM
10I was also going to recommend the Trees of Mystery. Although it looks like the world's worst tourist trap, the American Indian Museum is one of the finest there is.
There are other wine regions you can visit in addition to the better-known Napa Valley, but Napa is good for cycling.
The drive up the Central Valley is not the most exciting in the world. It will give you an idea of why agriculture is California's number 1 industry. You can do LA to SAcramento in one very long day in hot weather. If you decide you want to do this, I can suggest some stops.
You could also do something like this route, which takes you through a lot of the Gold Rush Country. But it also takes you right past Yosemite, so you'd be going past a place you'll be hitting later. It's Highway 49, which was deliberately named after the Gold Rush. There are a number of wine regions along this route.
You could just fly to Sacramento.
You can also visit Sacramento as a day trip or an overnight from San Francisco. You can get there by car or easily by train.
There is a lot of Gold Rush things in Sacramento, mostly centered in Old Sacramento. Part of the area is a historic state park, with several small (and free) museums.
The HIstoric Old Sacramento Foundation has a History Museum that has a lot about the Gold Rush. The foundation also does living history and may have characters wandering around the streets. The Underground Tours are pretty amazing.
The Railroad Museum is justly famous. On summer weekends they run steam excursion trains down the river.
Feb 16, 2013 7:49 AM
11Come to think of it, this might work better, in terms of cost and logistics:
Fly to SF, pick up car (get the car in the city, not the airport, which will save you several hundred dollars)
Head north up highway 101.
Drive back south from Crater Lake to Sacramento.
Drive to Yosemite
Back to SF, get rid of car and fly back to LA.
Feb 16, 2013 7:49 AM
12#8: Yes, that would be a good route. Alternatively, reverse it and do the coast on the way up and the inland on the way down. Whatever fits your plans best, it's about the same distance either way.
I'd strongly suggest crossing Yosemite on Tioga and driving 395 down to LA.
Other things to consider along the way: Bodie, Lassen, Kings Canyon, Sequoia, Death Valley, White Mountain. And Olympic/Mt Rainier if you wanted to go north of Portland.
Feb 16, 2013 2:30 PM
13It's Paul Bunyan, an American folklore character. He was a lumberjack who had a giant blue ox named Babe.
Hahaha ...thanks nutrax - I did know that .. but I'm on summer holidays, and a couple of Chardonnays can cause a sip of the brain. Anyway - it is a lovely Native American museum.
I'd be interested in hiking amongst redwoods, maybe to something that led to scenic views.
As I noted above, some of the state parks have extremely good hikes (either deep in the hills or right on the coast), but I concede that Redwood National Park does have some expansive views if not the most outstanding redwood forests. There is a pleasant beach right near the entrance and the highway - I recall it had some large herbivores living there (deer or elk or buffalo - can't quite remember).
Feb 16, 2013 2:40 PM
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