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Seattle to Yosemite via redwood forests

(39 Posts)
ProfessorLayton1 Tue 30-May-17 21:39:49

We are planning to fly to Seattle ( see friends) and have two weeks to do road trip.
Thinking of Yosemite national park and redwood but no idea if this is possible
Haven't been on a long haul holiday for a long time and it is our only holiday this year as we need to save up for this trip.
Also what is the cheapest way to get to Seattle ?
Spent the entire evening researching this but not any wiser ..,

Teds77 Tue 30-May-17 22:50:20

Should be possible. There is the Redwoods National and State Parks and the Humboldt Redwoods National Park on your way south from Seattle. Probably about 8-10 hours south of Seattle. Yosemite would then be a similar distance further on.

Might be worth seeing if you could fly home from San Francisco.

We're flying to Seattle this summer. I think only BA flies direct. Sure there will be something affordable if you are flexible with dates and change flights.

If you are going to Yosemite you so need to look at accommodation options and see what's still available if you are looking at July and August.

ProfessorLayton1 Tue 30-May-17 23:25:11

Thank you.. we are planning end of October/ early November

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 31-May-17 06:58:11

You also need some good road maps along with checking weather conditions beforehand. Distances as well can be vast and you really do not want to spend all your holiday behind the wheel.
Redwoods National Park is in CA so you would have to drive from Washington state through Oregon to get there; the distance is about 500 miles.

Its nearly 900 miles total distance between Seattle and Yosemite (that's on a par with London to Edinburgh and back) so I would consider taking an internal flight between Seattle and Fresno. Its about 3 hours drive from there and as you only have two weeks this is what I would consider doing.

BA are the only UK based carrier that fly into Seattle directly.

Ocies Wed 31-May-17 07:05:17

My ds has spent the last ten days doing exactly this. He started in Vancouver on 21st May, got a bus to Seattle where they picked up their hire car. Drove south stopping at Redwoods and various other places. He is now in LA having gone as far south as San Diego.

bojorojo Thu 01-Jun-17 00:32:23

That's a whistle stop trip! Those distances would take me weeks - I like to see things, not just eat up the miles!

I just wouldn't bother with Yosemite. There is so much to see and do in Oregon and Washington you would be driving forever to get to Yosemite.

You could drive down the coast to SF and fly back from there. That's a great drive but could be wet in November!

ProfessorLayton1 Thu 01-Jun-17 05:15:04

Thanks everyone..
We fly to San Francisco(tickets not booked)
1.spend three to four days there
2.Yosemite 3/4days down to LA/San Diego ( not keen on LA/Disney) just want to take the scenic drive 4days
4. Fly to Seattle/ Portland - portland is closer to their home spend 2days before flying home

Alternatively we could fly into Seattle- spend a day with them. Fly to the sight seeing bit and fly back from LA
I don't think we could afford to go back again - would love to see GC but finding it hard to fit that in.

Butternutsqoosh Thu 01-Jun-17 05:53:22

Virgin now fly direct to Seattle too smile

BettyRooster Thu 01-Jun-17 06:18:20

Think about flying into Oakland, it's much easier to get out of that airport and may have cheaper fares.

ProfessorLayton1 Thu 01-Jun-17 18:03:34

So many nice places in that area..
Do you all think this would work
1. Fly to Seattle 1-2days
2.Fly to Oakland SF 3-4days
3.Drive down to Santa Barbara stay for 2days along the coastal route
4.Take a detour to Yosemite 3 days
5. Drive via Death Valley to LV 1day
6. GC 1-2
7.Fly back to London Heathrow
Alternatively leave Seattle and meet them in SF ( DH is very keen to meet)

Teds77 Thu 01-Jun-17 21:57:24

It sounds like you are trying to do a lot and might spend a long time on the road rather than seeing places.

I think if you really want to see Yosemite and also Grand Canyon and if you're not sure you'll ever make the trip again, I'd miss out the Santa Barbara and coastal drive you suggest below. Instead I'd head from San Francisco to Yosemite and then you can still cross Death Valley to get to Las Vegas and GC if that's what you fancy.

I think I'd more likely choose to do a few days in Seattle and then drive down the coast from Seattle to San Francisco and you could still manage a few days in Yosemite at the end of the trip.

But it is hard to fit everything in i know! We have young kids so our trip to the States last year and the one we have planned this year tend to be based on trying to only do drives of 3 hours in a day, though with an occasional longer drive thrown in, and then trying to do at least two night everywhere we stop. It's a nice balance for us but I know everyone is different!

ProfessorLayton1 Thu 01-Jun-17 22:10:51

Thanks Teds.. read the coastal highway is closed in big sur. your idea is very good and will look into this in detail. Do you hire a RV ( campervan) or stayed in hotels?

bojorojo Thu 01-Jun-17 23:51:20

Las Vegas is pretty average. Just a bit dirty and seedy and pointless. Not overly keen on San Diego either. Very disappointing we thought.

You really get more out of a trip like this by taking in a bit more culture. For example Monterey and Carmel are worth seeing on Highway 1 as is Santa Monica. Just 1 or 2 days in Seattle is hardly worth the effort. Your earlier itinerary looks slightly better! Alternatively, book a coach trip!

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 02-Jun-17 07:27:22


re your comment:-

"Do you all think this would work
1. Fly to Seattle 1-2days
2.Fly to Oakland SF 3-4days
3.Drive down to Santa Barbara stay for 2days along the coastal route
4.Take a detour to Yosemite 3 days
5. Drive via Death Valley to LV 1day
6. GC 1-2
7.Fly back to London Heathrow"

No, because you are trying to cram too much in and you will end up behind the wheel all the time. Also that amount of driving is very tiring, the distances are indeed vast. Many people do underestimate distances in the US; CA itself is about the size of the UK and should be savoured, not rushed. The driving distance between Seattle and SF is around 800 miles so I would fly between the two cities particularly if you only have two weeks.

I would do a two centre holiday instead and spend one week in each place e.g. Seattle and SF.

Bear in mind too that internal flights between US cities these days can be expensive (particularly when you start adding bag fees)

lljkk Sat 03-Jun-17 21:56:06

2.Fly to Oakland SF 3-4days
3.Drive down to Santa Barbara stay for 2days along the coastal route

Check out other thread about HIghway 101 closure. Or look here. I wouldn't plan any trip this fall that meant using that stretch of 101.

You don't detour from Santa Barbara to Yosemite! Yosemite is closer to Oakland. Also, a lot of Yosemite is closed in November; Tioga pass which I think is the main pass will be closed (it's still closed now, I believe, until mid-late June). Check your timings.

ProfessorLayton1 Sat 03-Jun-17 22:46:09

I have stopped thinking about driving down south of SF.
Today's plan
1. Fly to Portland via Seattle - stay there for 2 days
2.Drive down PCH to SF - 3 night stopover along the way
3.SF- 2days
4. Yosemite - 2 days
5. SF- 1 day
6. Fly to LV - 2 days ( includes one day stay in GC)
7. Fly to London from LV

lljkk Sat 03-Jun-17 23:46:22

LV is a cheap place to get over jetlag. Hotels+food are cheap in LV. Might want to consider trip in reverse is what I mean.

If you go to GC, consider hiking 1.5 hours down into the canyon, then hike back out again. You only need good trainers (good tread on soles) & lots of water (basically, plus suncream & snacks & right clothes etc.). I think it's a shame to just go look at the big hole in the ground. Try to experience it a bit, too.

ProfessorLayton1 Sun 04-Jun-17 06:45:58

It does make sense to do the trip in reverse.
1. Fly to LascVegas - stay 1 night
2. Go to GC - Stay overnight
3. Fly to Portland -stay 2 days
4. Drive to SF - 3 night stay during the trip
5, Enter Yosemite from north -stay in Yosemite 3 days
6. Drive to SF - 3-4 days fly to London from SF
Does this work?

ProfessorLayton1 Sun 04-Jun-17 07:51:56

Other option
1. Fly to Portland - 2 days( stay sorted - have opurtunity to visit coast )
2. Internal flight to LV - GC 3 days
3. Drive to Yosemite- 2 days stop over
4. Yosemite- 3 days
5. SF- 3-4 days and fly back to LHR

ProfessorLayton1 Sun 04-Jun-17 07:53:43

Drive via Death Valley vs driving down the coast.
We have travelled sand dunes of Morocco and has been into Sahara desert seen the sunset/ sunrise - would driving down the Death Valley trump that?

lljkk Sun 04-Jun-17 08:01:00

I can't make comparisons. My deserts are Anza Borrego & Joshua Tree.

What are you going to "do" in Yosemite? Serious question. Coz you've 2-3 days to fill up. Ditto Frisco.

As a child my parents drove us up & down the hills of Frisco just so they could look at houses. They did this kind of thing in many cities! As an adult myself, I never really found anything to do in San Francisco. Must book Alcatraz months or even a yr in advance. It sounds like you have big budget, but I should say that Yosemite accommodation is expensive & much of it is already booked up for your dates. Don't dither too long on plans.

ps: driving LV to Yosemite, look at Brodie as a stop over. Wild West Ghost town.

ProfessorLayton1 Sun 04-Jun-17 08:11:37

For a start I don't have a big budget - part of the reason going off season.
SF - go to Alcatraz, wander around Golden Gate Bridge, parks museums. Happy to reduce the stay to 2 days if it helps the budget.
Yosemite- children are 16 and 9 , just visit the park and do some hikes bearing in mind that DD is only 9.

ProfessorLayton1 Sun 04-Jun-17 08:15:22

Just checked Alcatraz trip is not available- well must make a decision soon.

squish07 Sun 04-Jun-17 08:21:29

Hi, this sounds very exciting. I did a road trip like this 4 years ago traveling from Vancouver, down to La via Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Grand Canyon and Joshua Tree. This took 3 weeks and I spent a lot of time on the road!

I think you need to look at your timings a bit more and alow for travel time. If your planning on driving to Yosemite from SF then it could take nearly a whole day, so bare that in mind.

I think your second option sounds best, staring in Portland and leaving from SF. Sounds like it will flow the best and gives decent amount of time in each place as well a travel time.

Makes me want to go back! The coast in Oregon is incredibly beautiful.

chemenger Sun 04-Jun-17 08:37:06

There is loads to do in San Francisco, even if you can't do Alcatraz. There are museums of all kinds, interesting districts to wander round and tourist things like Fisherman's Warf, you can easily fill a few days. It will be fairly cold at that time of year. It is a full day's drive from SF to Yosemite over very dull roads. In the mountains the weather could be bad at that time of year, we have seen snow in September in Bryce Canyon in Utah, for example. Check how much of Yosemite is open.

Personally I would stick to Seattle and Portland. Seattle is a great city with lots to see and do, the islands are lovely, you could spend a few days on a trip to Olympic National Park, then head down to Portland.

Nothing spoils a trip to the US more than trying to do too much, don't overestimate what you can do in the time you have. It's east to underestimate how long it takes to get from one place to another. Not every drive is scenic, 4 hours across central California where a bend in the road is an exciting highlight is not good use of a day's holiday.

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