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Old 01-24-2015, 10:17 PM   #1
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Best time of year for California, Pac NW trip?

Very early stages planning of trip to Pacific NW going up through California. Anyone have thoughts on best time of the year to do this?

D
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Old 01-24-2015, 10:37 PM   #2
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Very early stages planning of trip to Pacific NW going up through California. Anyone have thoughts on best time of the year to do this?

D

Hi, being from Southern California, you can travel there anytime of year that you want to. As for Oregon, show up after March 31st when they have to, by law, remove those noisy spiked tires.
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Old 01-24-2015, 10:51 PM   #3
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Fall for sure. Best weather of the year in the PNW. Fall color and the kids are back in school. I'd say right after Labor Day. Before October in Indian summer. It's our favorite time of year here.


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Old 01-24-2015, 11:17 PM   #4
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Very early stages planning of trip to Pacific NW going up through California. Anyone have thoughts on best time of the year to do this?

D
Conditions vary from North to South, but generally speaking, For coastal California, October is best weather-wise in my opinion...wind is generally calm and fog is less prevalent. Springtime is beautiful but can be windy and cool. Summer can be foggy. Because of the coastal influence, weather conditions vary widely from West to East.

If you are thinking about going to the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California, Yosemite, Giant Sequoias, etc, I would say late spring/early summer, after the snow melt, while lake water levels are high and creeks are flowing...best time for fishing too. Fall is nice too.

Crowds throughout California, especially during the summer, so plan ahead.
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Old 01-25-2015, 12:19 AM   #5
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As far as the PNW is concerned, come on up any time of year. We were just at the Oregon Coast last weekend and it was 59F and sunny. Of course in the winter you can run into monster storms with 30' seas, torrential rains and 80 mph winds, and that's a very dramatic experience you won't soon forget. It can be a lot of fun if you're prepared with wet-loving gear. As they say around here, it builds character.

The Willamette Valley and Central Oregon are beautiful in Spring, Summer and Fall. In Winter you want to mind the Cascade passes which get heavy snowfall, and the Siskyous north of Mt Shasta which can really get walloped. But deep cold is generally not long lasting.

The Eastern Oregon high desert is wonderful from late Spring to early Fall.

All in all, we hit the road year round in Oregon and Washington, but mindful of cold snaps Dec-Feb.
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Old 01-25-2015, 04:48 AM   #6
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Subscribed to this thread for future use. Good info!
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Old 01-25-2015, 07:28 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the great thoughts. I knew it would be a productive thread!
Dana


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Old 01-25-2015, 07:32 AM   #8
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As far as the PNW is concerned, come on up any time of year. We were just at the Oregon Coast last weekend and it was 59F and sunny. Of course in the winter you can run into monster storms with 30' seas, torrential rains and 80 mph winds, and that's a very dramatic experience you won't soon forget. It can be a lot of fun if you're prepared with wet-loving gear. As they say around here, it builds character.

The Willamette Valley and Central Oregon are beautiful in Spring, Summer and Fall. In Winter you want to mind the Cascade passes which get heavy snowfall, and the Siskyous north of Mt Shasta which can really get walloped. But deep cold is generally not long lasting.

The Eastern Oregon high desert is wonderful from late Spring to early Fall.

All in all, we hit the road year round in Oregon and Washington, but mindful of cold snaps Dec-Feb.

Thanks Climber. Monster storms sounds like fun, loved Nor'easters when I was growing up in New England! Now where did I put my slickah?

Dana


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Old 01-25-2015, 10:26 AM   #9
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we live in Sequim, WA. hands down, late September or early October. the coastal zones tend to be very foggy during August so you won''t see very much. don't count on less RV traffic after labor day as all retirees think everyone else will be someplace else, not so any longer.

also be aware that climate change has impacted the west coast in very real ways from way hotter during the summer months to monsoon rains up this way during the winter months. mountain snows are virtually non-existent at the present time so this summer could be a nail bitter with regard to water.

we will be headed down into CA this coming month as avoiding the summer temps is important to my enjoying the scenery. the Willamette valley of OR will be quite hot during the summer so again, stay on the coast. along that line of thought, the OR coast is much more scenic than anything you will find along the WA coast. that said, if time permits, visit the Hoh rain forest, primitive camp sites are up that road, for a real look at what a temperate rain forest looks like. the road out to cape flattery, furthest point W in the lower 48, is very twisty with lots of blind corners so think before you consider doing this. the Makah have a very nice new campground set up if you decide to do this, right on the beach. almost all WA state campgrounds are worth checking out as well.
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Old 01-25-2015, 10:47 AM   #10
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Summer begins in the PNW about July 4th and runs through September. October is nice, though it begins to cool off. Between Halloween and June, every sunny day is a blessed event. Not saying we don't get any, but they become infrequent. Sometimes we get a few bluebird days (or even a week or two!) in June, but usually at that time of year we're looking at the rest of the country wondering why summer hasn't started here yet.

As others have noted, thus far we're not getting enough snow in the mountains, so the summer may get thirsty and power may become more expensive (we have extensive hydro power in the PNW). Think snow!

Speaking of which, heading up here too early can nail you with snow and/or ice in the mountain passes, so check road conditions before hitching up to climb through them, and be prepared for weather surprises when doing so. You may find it's less intimidating to work your way right up the coast, avoiding that potential excitement...unless of course you run into the teeth of one of our patented "monster storms" - in that case, don't be parking under any trees that might decide to drop big limbs or just plain fall over.
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Old 01-25-2015, 12:01 PM   #11
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As others above have said - mid to late Spring, up thru Fall for best weather on Central & NoCal Coast & Inland + OR/WA.

But unless you have kids - you'll have far less crowds & better shoulder-season pricing in Spring & Fall when the kiddies are still in school.

For your TX to SoCal leg to/from, I'd suggest taking I-10/I-8 into San Diego one way & I-40 (or the US 2-laners along same) so you can see Carlsbad Caverns & other southerly sights on the former route, Grand Canyon, Meteor Crater, Petrified Forest, etc. on the latter .....

.... That is, unless you're planning a northerly route thru the Rockies for one leg (e.g.: I-80, I-70, US 40, etc.) for one leg - then plan that one for the warmest part of your trip - i.e.: home if Spring & to if Fall.

Geesh! I feel like I'm back in college 1971-74 working at Texaco again, filling in those trip requests on the 4x5 postcards from the gas stations!!

...... you remember, when you actually got service at a service station!

Safe Travels!
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Old 01-25-2015, 12:16 PM   #12
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Very early stages planning of trip to Pacific NW going up through California. Anyone have thoughts on best time of the year to do this?

D
We are doing the same as I am typing this now........ Headed out in mid April with our 1979 31' Landyacht From Farmington, New Mexico up through Utah or Nevad ( not sure which way yet ) and heading northwest to Washington state and down to San Diego down 101 South as much as possible........... any extra info and Experience with Sites, State or National parks would Really Really be helpful......... Not sure when you plan on going but will try to keep a Log but any help on any RV spots especially the secret hidden super cool ones would be appreciated........ Definitely a No Hurry No Worry trip as long as we save enough money to get home.......... ;0))
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Old 01-25-2015, 02:03 PM   #13
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And just remember that "the Pacific NW" at least in my mind includes ALL of Washington and ALL of Oregon, much of Idaho and even Western Montana. It is not limited to the area from the Cascades west, that is only the coastal parts. We have inland deserts, huge forests, great National Parks, wonderful Forest Service and State Campgrounds.

Best time to travel? Late April through mid October for all the Pacific NW. Coastal areas only.... anytime of year.
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Old 01-25-2015, 02:23 PM   #14
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Ah, great point, idroba - eastern WA and OR won't be as covered in clouds earlier in the year and may be perfect to enjoy before heading west across the cascades.

Oh, and as others have noted, expect federal, state, and county campgrounds to be jammed up for reservations, at least on the weekends, from July through September. If you don't have reservations, arrive early to get a spot and be prepared to jump from one campsite to the next each day as folks with reservations come and go.

One more thought - camping in WA state parks is at least as expensive as camping in any fully tricked out private RV park, and sometimes more. The parks are in amazingly good shape overall, but WA has been severely under-funding that system for years, and one way they help make up for that is via increased "user fees" for camping. Check this link for more details if you're planning to enjoy WA state parks on your trip. They're definitely worthwhile, just a bit spendy: Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission | Official Website
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