Seattle to LA Road rip

Started Jun 1, 2013 | Discussions thread
nevada5 Forum Pro • Posts: 12,234
Re: Seattle to LA Road rip

Craig's suggestions are pretty right on. I've driven the entire I-5 and coastal routes, much of the routes several times (travel photographer living in Napa, Calif for 15 years.) Crater Lake is certainly unique but you'll spend a lot of time getting to scenery similar to the Mount Rainier scenery.

If I were doing this I'd head SW from Portland to the coast just N of Newport Oregon. I'd take in all the coast down to Eureka, California which will get you into the Redwoods as well, like Craig said. Portland to Eureka is a 10 hour drive, but you might figure a day and a half with stops??? I can take 10 days doing this drive, so YMMV.

Getting back to I-5 in N Calif is not easy. Avoid Hwy 299 to Redding - it can be a 4-hour drive. Better to go S on 101 and take Hwy 20 on the N side of Clear Lake. But, Hwy 101 down to the North SF Bay area is a good highway, much of it 4 lane and you move along well - through some very scenic wine country.

Then at Petaluma you can go SE to Hwy 37, go through Vallejo and Benicia. I love the Golden Gate area but you can get really hung up there (photography and traffic.)

I-5 down to LA is definitely boring, but Hwy 1 from Monterey S through Big Sur is fantastic. So I might work my way down the East Bay to Monterey. You can drive Monterey to LA on Hwy 1 in 7-8 hours, but plan on lots of stops.

I hope this helps. Have fun.

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