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Author Topic: Seattle to Ashland and Crescent City  (Read 739 times)

Bruce

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Seattle to Ashland and Crescent City
« on: April 08, 2022, 09:16:03 PM »

Planning an after-Memorial Day road trip down to see the Redwoods, Crater Lake, and Ashland's Shakespeare Festival for the first time with a non-roadgeek friend. Would love some advice on quirky things or scenic views that are worth a diversion away from the main highways in the area (but not too far, lest the friend complain). Also would love to hear opinions on which of routes I should take for the multi-choice options below.

The general plan:

Day 1: Make it down to Portland, clinch a few urban routes, then overnight in Salem or Eugene

Day 2: Travel west via OR 22 or OR 18 to the coast and drive south on US 101 to Coos Bay, then east via OR 42 or OR 38/138 to overnight in Medford

Day 3: West on US 199 to Crescent City and south on US 101 to see Redwood National Park, Eureka, and some of the coastal beaches. East on CA 299 to Redding and back north to Medford

Day 4: Drive northeast to Crater Lake and south to Klamath Falls. Possible continuation on to Weed, returning to overnight in Ashland.

Day 5: Drive south on CA 89 to Lassen Peak and back north to Ashland. Shorter day needed so that we can watch a Shakespeare play.

Day 6: West on US 199 and north on US 101 all the way to Astoria

Day 7: Return to Seattle via WA 6

Max Rockatansky

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Re: Seattle to Ashland and Crescent City
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2022, 09:38:09 PM »

US 199 and CA 299 in the Coast Ranges would a lot to do in one day considering you want to see Redwood National Park.  299 in particular can be pretty draining given it is almost constant curves between Blue Lake and Weaverville.
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Bruce

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Re: Seattle to Ashland and Crescent City
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2022, 10:41:29 PM »

US 199 and CA 299 in the Coast Ranges would a lot to do in one day considering you want to see Redwood National Park.  299 in particular can be pretty draining given it is almost constant curves between Blue Lake and Weaverville.

Do you suggest just backtracking on 199? There weren't any suitable hotels on the CA side for our needs (mostly a Tesla charger for overnight drip charging).

Max Rockatansky

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Re: Seattle to Ashland and Crescent City
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2022, 10:52:20 PM »

US 199 and CA 299 in the Coast Ranges would a lot to do in one day considering you want to see Redwood National Park.  299 in particular can be pretty draining given it is almost constant curves between Blue Lake and Weaverville.

Do you suggest just backtracking on 199? There weren't any suitable hotels on the CA side for our needs (mostly a Tesla charger for overnight drip charging).

I don’t really think it’s a matter of 199 versus 299 being being “bad” per se.  I just saw what you had planned for the day and that sure seemed like a ton of driving to add on top of sight seeing.  If you are planning on any significant hikes you’ll likely be on 299 for quite a bit of time being tired or even at night. 
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paulthemapguy

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Re: Seattle to Ashland and Crescent City
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2022, 01:34:09 PM »

I made a trip out of Lassen, Crater Lake, and Redwoods National Parks back in early October 2017 (the last minute before snow would get in our way).  My wife and I made a goal of seeing as many National Parks as possible.  Wildfire damage closed 299, so I didn't get to take it.  I was forced to backtrack on 199 to get from Crescent City to Redding, and it added about 2 hours to the trip.  It ruined our plans to hike at Fern Canyon in the Redwoods area, which would have been really cool since they filmed a bunch of scenes from Jurassic Park there.  Scaling Mount Lassen is one of the proudest and most difficult hikes I've ever accomplished.  How keen are you on hiking?

Returning home on I-5 might give you an express route that affords you some more sightseeing hours, but that's probably not news to you.  I see you keep dancing back and forth between the coast and the I-5 corridor; is that because you have a bunch of east-west highways to clinch?  The US101 corridor and the east-west routes through the mountains move much more slowly than I-5.  Therefore, if you need more time to sightsee, I suggest doing all the inland stuff near the I-5 corridor consecutively.  That, of course, erases your ability to clinch some east-west routes though.  I spent two whole days and some change seeing the Redwoods area. 

Sightseeing stuff I can suggest:

  • At the northeast corner of the interchange between US 101 and CA-169, a big redwood sits there with a tunnel carved through it for cars.  You can live the gimmick of driving your car through a tree!
  • The Redwood National Park area also hosts two state parks, and those two state parks tend to have better hikes than those strictly on NPS lands.  One state park is Jedediah Smith Redwoods SP, right outside of Crescent City to the east.  The Stout Grove Trail is a nice, fairly short trail, that takes you through some redwoods to a nice mountain stream. The Boy Scout Tree Trail is a manageable distance too.
  • An hour south of Crescent City is Prairie Creek Redwoods SP, home to the Big Tree. A park road runs north-south with pullover points so you can get out of the car and see things.  I remember the park road being crowded and deciding to hike a circuitous trail instead. The Big Tree is easily reachable from a pullover point on the roadway though.
  • In Lassen National Park, I recommend checking out Bumpass Hell, an area of weird volcanic activity reminiscent of Yellowstone.  It has bubbling sulphurous vents, white mud, weird blue caustic water, and all that.
  • The Pinnacles Trail in Crater Lake National Park is a very short trail taking you to a bunch of interesting/odd gray-brown hoodoos.  It's a quick stop if you have time for it.
  • Good Harvest Cafe in Crescent City had really good food.
  • I stayed at the Hiouchi motel, several miles inland from Crescent City on US199.  If you stay there, you'll be right next to the Jedediah Smith Redwoods trailheads. Otherwise, Crescent City proper has a bunch of lodging options, too.
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nexus73

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Re: Seattle to Ashland and Crescent City
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2022, 10:13:07 AM »

Taking US 20 from Corvallis to Newport will let you see the Eddyville section that turned into one of ODOT's most expensive terrain taming highway projects.  Add in a nice long distance view of the ocean as you approach the Newport city limits.

Tokyo Bistro is on Newmark (SR 540)  in Coos Bay.  It is a very good Japanese restaurant.  Their bento box meals are amazing!  Consider it if a meal stop is part of being in Coos Bay.

Florence and Myrtle Point have classic A&W's still.  Might as well grab a mug of some their root beer and maybe even buy a mug.

Rick
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kkt

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Re: Seattle to Ashland and Crescent City
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2022, 09:42:55 PM »

I'm particularly fond of Patrick's Point in California, either for a day trip or campgrounds.  Try Agate Beach if you have just a couple of hours - the hike down the bluff trail is about 20 minutes down and 40 minutes up. 

Oh, I see Patrick's Point is being renamed Su-Meg State Park.  You'll see both names in use for a while.

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Bruce

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Re: Seattle to Ashland and Crescent City
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2022, 01:02:25 AM »

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. I've been slowly building up a revised itinerary, but due to the inflexible nature of some trip elements I will have to skip out on a lot of stuff. And yes, we will still try to do Medford-Redwoods-Medford in a single day, because I can't convince them that it might be too much in one go.

Besides the trailheads near Crescent City, are there any particular parts of Redwood National Park that are worth stopping by? I'm looking for some of the giants closer to the coast, preferably without a long hike from the parking lot.

Max Rockatansky

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Re: Seattle to Ashland and Crescent City
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2022, 01:05:34 AM »

Fern Canyon Trail and Lady Bird Johnson Trail are very direct to the Redwood groves.
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Bruce

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Re: Seattle to Ashland and Crescent City
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2022, 03:07:26 AM »

Fern Canyon Trail and Lady Bird Johnson Trail are very direct to the Redwood groves.

Thanks for those, we'll see if we can make it that far. Also grabbed a parking reservation, which seems to be required.

Now to hunt around for decent architecture to photograph.

Max Rockatansky

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Re: Seattle to Ashland and Crescent City
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2022, 08:25:59 AM »

Fern Canyon Trail and Lady Bird Johnson Trail are very direct to the Redwood groves.

Thanks for those, we'll see if we can make it that far. Also grabbed a parking reservation, which seems to be required.

Now to hunt around for decent architecture to photograph.

The ruins of the Douglas Memorial Bridge are pretty much a must see given the historic significance tied to US 101 and the 1964 Christmas Floods.  Blue Lake has some interesting structures off of CA 299 and the ghost town Helena comes to mind.  The Collier Tunnel on US 199 is neat to take photos of and there is decent vantage point at the Caltrans rest area.  There is a couple notable statues at Trees of Mystery and and Klamath Tour Thru Tree on CA 169. 
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