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ReneeEimerman

Hwy 101 Washington

Question

We are in Washington and going to visit mt St. Helens, mt Rainer and Olympic national park.

Any suggestions on driving down the coast to Oregon then on to California redwoods and Yosemite if it hasn't burned down yet.

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We drove from Olympic NP along the Oregon shore last fall. There are some great stops along the way, mostly pull-outs. Oregon is not tolerant of parking overnight in these spots in our experience. We spent almost a week in the Astoria, Oregon area. The area offers many attractions from the Fort Clatsop Visitors Center (Lewis and Clark Expedition winter quarters) to a fantastic Columbia River Maritime Museum, great beaches to walk, house tours, a tower that overlooks the area and much more.

The Tillamook Cheese Factory is worth a stop. They have a self guided tour, samples, cheese shop, gift shop and a lunch counter. We stayed at a park right across from the factory. The park was by the highway and noisy, wouldn't recommend it for a long stay.

We stayed at a park at Oregon Dunes for several nights. There are lots of people with four wheelers running the dunes but we were able to walk them and had no problem with the motorized crowd.

This is definitely a take your time kind of drive. Plan to travel a hundred miles or so a day with many stops along the way. Allow time for longer stays at places like Astoria. The Redwoods are worth spending time and hiking some of the forests. There are many places for hiking along the old Redwood Highway as well as many of the tourist areas popular in the 40's and 50's still worth a visit. Don't overlook Redwood State Park, the trails and information here is excellent. Walking among those trees is amazing as is Sequoia NP south of Yosemite.

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Whew! Did the redwoods today and Mother Nature knows her stuff. So awe inspiring it made me cry. Took our picture in a chimney tree. Leaving for Yosemite in the morning. Any route suggestions would be great. Can't decide on going down 101 or go back north to get 5.

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101 is 2 lane scenery route and I-5 is interstate highway with many lanes. 101 is a long way around and will take you all day just to drive from OR to Olympia, WA city. If you have the time go the long slow route, if you need to move quick then take I-5.

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We drove down Hwy 101 through Washington, Oregon, and northern California in July. In Washington, we loved Astoria, Aberdeen, and the rainforests. In Oregon, we would spend more time in Cannon Beach, and Bandon Beach. Once you get to Leggett, California, Hwy 101 goes inland and Hwy 1 stays on the coast. Both are great drives with lots to see. The coast road is a bit difficult in places of you have a large coach and toad, but the views are fabulous.

Have a great trip.

Tim

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If you take I-5 south through Northern California, you will pass right by Mt. Shasta, a beautiful volcano in the same group as Mt. St. Helens, the Cascade Range. In that same area is some great scenery, and lots of railroad history. You can see Castle Crags from the interstate highway but you can also drive to Castle Crags State Park and take a short hike to an impressive viewpoint. In Dunsmuir there is a hotel and restaurant which has caboose's for rooms and a railroad theme dining room. There are a number of engines and other railroad items on the grounds as well. In the town of Dunsmuir itself you can see a railroad turntable which was used for turning the engines around so they could travel in the opposite direction. There is a waterfall that you can hike to along a trail that is right next to the railroad tracks. During our two mile hike we had a train pass right by us.

From that area you will descend into the Central Valley of California crossing over the Shasta Reservoir just before reaching the valley floor. The Central Valley lies between the Coastal Mountain Range and the Sierra Nevada and is the vegetable garden for the US. There are interesting crops everywhere. In Sacramento I-5 passes right over Discovery Park which is at the junction of the American River and the Sacramento River. There is a great bike trail from that point upriver right through the City of Sacramento, along the American River. Discovery Park at the junction of the two rivers is where gold was discovered at Sutters Mill in 1849 starting the California Gold Rush. Look over the American River Bridge to the west as you travel south on I-5 and you are looking at the site of Sutters Mill! The City of Sacramento is home to the California State Railroad Museum, a really great place to visit.

None of these things are like the Redwoods. I submit this information to show that even when traveling the interstate highways you can find amazing and interesting things to see and do. It all depends on your interests.

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