Seattle - LA October 2013
Replies: 15 - Last Post: Jul 14, 2013 10:15 PM Last Post By: stipim
Jul 9, 2013 1:04 PM
Seattle - LA October 2013Hello boys and girls
My girlfriend and I are planning a 3-week west coast trip startig in Seattle and the end point should be Los Angeles
this is the planned itinerary (at the moment:-))
Port Angeles - Olympic NP
Grand Canyon NP (helicopter flight)
Las Vegas - Los Angeles (by plane)
Los Angeles 19.10.
you can also have a closer look here:
we are going to get a car in Seattle and drive most of the way
we are both 28 years old
due to the long trip and many things we want to see we are not really interested in hiking
we just want to see and enjoy as many things as possible
ist this even possible in the period of time?
thank you for your help and input
Jul 9, 2013 4:59 PM
Jul 9, 2013 6:28 PM
2If you just want to tag items on a Bucket List, you'll do fine.
Keep in mind that the Grand Canyon helicopter flight will NOT take you to the 'real' Grand Canyon. You'll fly over, and land in the Colorado River Gorge, just east of Lake Meade. This is over 60 miles from the National Park. The place you visit will be pretty, but it is not remotely as impressive as the real thing. As someone around here likes to remark, "They put the National Park where it is for a reason."
If you're going to bother with GC, I'd really suggest an overnight bus tour, or a fixed-wing flight to Tusayan for a day. The one-day bus tours are miserable; you'll spend nearly 6 hours each way sitting on your butt, and will enjoy only a few hours at the rim. Not much of a value, IMO.
Jul 9, 2013 10:23 PM
3The closer rims of the GC, the ones that have the see through floor Skywalk are around 3 hours by car. Just rent from the Airport and drive there and back.
I went further a field, drove for around 4.5 hours. I was up at 06:00, left at 06:30 and there for around 11am. I spent about 5-6 hours wondering around and taking it in then set back off and back in Vegas for about 22:00 absolutely SHATTERED but worth every single minute.
There are actually lodges out there you can stay in but I'm sure they are pricey.
I would rent a nice vehicle, skip the flight and have a good wander around
Jul 9, 2013 11:33 PM
4In case the OP isn't another one-post wonder, s/he should read this link about the Grand Canyon.
Jul 10, 2013 3:13 AM
- we like regional food and are always trying to experince something new and interesting
- we would like to limit travel time as much as possible - so we can explore new places at a slower, more in depth pace
- It's our first trip to the US and I hope it won't be the last one
- we also would like to see some Basketball, Baseball and Football games
- no camping!!
- must see:
whats your opinion about the length of the trip?
if we follow the planned itinerary we are going to dirve about 3000 miles
I'm not sure if there would be enough time for sightseeing and unplanned stops
I'm not planning to become the next one-post wonder ;-)
thank you for the link - I'm already reading the USA branch FAQ but unfortunately I'm still at the beginning
what would you suggest to do in Seattle? we would stay there for 1,5 days
thx for the information regarding GC
Jul 10, 2013 4:53 AM
63-weeks = 21 days.
12 destinations in 21 days = 1.75 days at each destination.
Add in time to get to and from each destination = you ain't gonna make it.
And you say, "we would like to limit travel time as much as possible - so we can explore new places at a slower, more in depth pace."
Considering that and assuming that you are travelling by car and starting in Seattle I'd recommend the following:
-Drop Vancouver and Whistler entirely.
-Spend a day or two in Seattle then take the Edmonds/Kingston ferry to the Olympic Peninsula driving through Port Angeles and then south along highway 101 and the wild Pacific coast. Regain I-5 through the industrial twin city of Aberdeen/Hoquiam and then south in to Porltand.
In Portland allot at least a day or two to exploring the Columbia Gorge Scenic Area just outside of town along interstate 84.. From Portland to California three routes are possible: 1) just take I-5 south, 2) from the Columbia Gorge head south over Mt. Hood to Bend and then to Crater Lake National Park on highway 97 (eastern route), or 3) from Portland drive to tehe coast and follow highway 101 south (coastal route).
In any case, at Redding California head west to Eureka and then south along the coast (highway 1) into San Francisco. Visit Yosemite from San Francisco. Visit Las Vegas by flying from San francisco (there are deals available for this). Or allow about five or six days to drive to and from Las Vegas from San Francisco via Yosemite.
That should make a nice 3-week trip.
Jul 10, 2013 6:14 AM
7Things to do in Seattle (it appears for a day and a half by your post). Choose from the following:
-Pike Street Market (and hour or two).
-Harbor tour ( 3- 4 hours)
-Tour Boeing museum of flight in Tukwila (south of downtown - 1/2 day).
-Day trip to Mt. Rainier National Park (all day).
-visit Experience Music Project (rock n roll museum) and Chihully House of Glass in Seattle Center (by the Space needle).
Jul 10, 2013 7:23 AM
8As Bob points out, the math they teach you 'boys and girls' these days seems somewhat suspect.
No aspect of your trip could be considered to be 'slow and in depth.' 3 days in SF is a start, but even that is just enough time to scratch the surface.
Yosemite and GC both deserve more than a few hours of out-of-car time. If you're just going to drive up and take a few pot-shots, why bother?
The segment between Yosemite and Las Vegas, presumably along highway 395, is very pretty, particularly in the Fall. You could easily spend several days in the area. Bodie, Bristlecones, Mono Lake, Alabama Hills, any number of E. Sierra canyons, convict or June Lakes, maybe even a detour to Death Valley en-route to Vegas.
Jul 10, 2013 10:56 AM
9OP, I wrote a FAQ post about Seattle that you'll want to read.
Jul 10, 2013 12:30 PM
10A few comments and additions to CascadeBobs post.
From Portland to Eugene on Interstate 5 is all the Willamette Valley. As you travel south the Coast range will be on your right and the Cascades on your left. It is a huge valley and mostly farm land. It is pretty in its own way but personall I find it kind of a boring drive having done it countless times. I find it more scenic from Eugene to Ashland. If you want to see more of the coast, here are a couple options. You have to keep in mind Highway 101 has many tourists driving on it as well as recreational vehicles so it is slower driving and the posted speed limit is usually 55 miles per hour although at many places you will be driving less than that. 1) Drive south on I-5 from Portland and a) head west on HWY 34 through Corvallis and the Coast Range to Waldport on the coast. Head south. I really like the little town of Yachats. South of Yachats are two really pretty areas with cliffs called Cape Perpetua and Heceta Head. There is a classic lighthouse and also Sea Lion Caves. b) Go to the coast on HWY 126 from Eugene to Florence. South of Florence are the Oregon Dunes which are really nice. c) HWY 42 a bit souh of Roseburg over to Bandon. This route cuts inland to Port Orford and around Humbug Mountain but is equally as fast as using HWY 199. d) HWY 199 Grants Pass down to Crescent City in California. This route takes you along the Smith River - a wild undammed river and through the redwoods starting around Gasquet, CA. Along the way there is a scenic bypass to Jediah State Park where they filmed the Star Wars movie Return of the Jedi. 2) If you take I-84 west of Portland and south on HWY 197, I like to stop in Hood River and have lunch and a beer at Full Sail brewery and sit on the balcony overlooking the Columbia River. Along HWY 197 which turns into HWY 97 you are in high desert terrain. It is very different than west of the Cascades. South of Bend is the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. Crater Lake is an old volcano that blew up and filled to form the lake. As far as geology, Southern Oregon from around Klamath Falls and west is the oldest part of the state. So here is an alternate possible route for you. On HWY 97 at Redmond, head west on HWY 126 to Sisters then take HWY 242 Scenic Bypass and it will meet back up with HWY 126. This highway is only open in the summer and it is awesome. You stand in an old lava flow that looks like the Moon or some other planet and have views of The Three Sisters Mountains. Where HWY 242 meets HWY 126turn right (north) and go to Belknap Hot Springs to stay over night. They have hotel rooms and cabins. The hot spring is a swimming pool filled from nearby springs. There are sone beautiful and easy hikes along the McKenzie River. Continue on HWY 126 to Eugene. You can check on road conditions on the Oregon Department of Transportation web site. One last comment. ALL Oregon coast and beaches are public access. You can go anywhere. Once you cross into California there are immediately houses on the beach and it is private property. From Eureka to San Francisco is the wine grape growing area if you are into wine tasting.
Jul 10, 2013 4:29 PM
11A few additonal comments and additions to dashelriprock's comments:
His advice on the route out fo sisters Oregon is right on - route 242 over the Cascades is magnificent.
Also true, the Willamette Valley can get boring. It gets more interesting south of Eugene and on into Ashland because you leave the valley and cross over hte Siskyou Mountains As for the Oregon coast, it can get boring too and I think the nicest part is between Newport and Florence (although Newport itself is boring and trafficky).
Back to the Washington coast - Port Angeles is nice enough, but Port Townsend is much, much nicer (a mini-San Francisco - Victorian city by the sea). However, you could get your Canada fix by taking a day trip out of Port Angeles on the Black Ball ferry to Victoria BC and back same day (maybe seeing Butchart Gardens out ot Victoria).
The coastline north and south of La Push Washington outside of the nasty little town of Forks on the Olympic Peninsula encompasses the wildest coastline in the lower 48 United States and are designated wilderness areas. But, you can easily walk the mile and a half from Rialto Beach to the Hole-in-the-Wall (and beyond to see tidal pools full of starfish and anemones - at low tide of course). South of Forks there are long, open, sandy beaches like Ruby Beach, part of Olympic National Park and the huge old growth forests and clear waters at the Hoh River shouldn't be missed. After Lake Quinault set your cruise control for escape back to I-5 as there isn't much left to see except endless clearcuts and rundown logging towns.
Jul 10, 2013 10:51 PM
Jul 12, 2013 12:59 AM
13thank you all for your inputs
I think we are going to cut Vancouver, VI and Whistler
this would mean to start in Seattle and follow the highways to the south
I've already found some older posts discussing the best routes
Does anyone know when it is the best time to rent a car?
Is there a time where I don' have to pay one way fees from Seattle to Las Vegas?
Jul 12, 2013 12:01 PM
14Does anyone know when it is the best time to rent a car?
Plan your trip for the right time to travel (mid-April through mid-October in these parts), not the "best time to rent a car." The rates don't vary that much, or at least not very predictably. Your original posting didn't say when you're coming. Is this a serious plan, or are you just noodling around with a vague wish? I'm not sure how seriously to regard your inquiry here.
Is there a time where I don' have to pay one way fees from Seattle to Las Vegas?
Not that I know of. The only "repositioning" deals, i.e., waiving of dropoff fees because a lot of cars need to be shifted, involves Florida. I've never heard of that phenomenon anywhere else, but maybe someone else here has.
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