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Old 01-10-2007, 02:31 PM   #1
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RV Parks on the Pacific Coast Hwy?

I am starting to plan a trip up Hwy 1, and would like to hear about RV Parks along the way.

I plan to start in Morro Bay and drive north up to Trinidad. I've planned a stop at Big Sur and Fort Bragg so far. I'd like to spend some time in the San Francisco area as well. That leaves a lot of space in between.

I'd rather not drive more than 150 miles per day considering that I'll probably only average 40-45 mph considering the traffic, scenic stops, and the highway itself. I've checked out some spots on rvparkreviews.com, but that's just eye-balling a map. What I've noticed is that my 34' Ltd eliinates a lot of RV parks and State parks.

I'd like to hear of the places y'all have stayed at along this route.

_________Tom
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Old 01-10-2007, 03:35 PM   #2
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Hi Tom,
You might want to check out Oceanmesa, a campground near El Capitain beach, just north of Santa Barbara. It's right off Hwy 101, new, and loaded with amenities. They'll easily take a rig your size, and the ocean views are great. (Hwy 1--Pacific Coast Hwy-- and 101 are merged that point...)
Their site is www.oceanmesa.com
A place we stayed at last weekend-Costanoa Campground-- can also handle larger RVs: www.coastanoa.com. The sites are close together and aren't as pretty, but the surroundings are. It's right off Hwy.1 about 25 mi. N of Santa Cruz, so it's on your route. The campground itself is very nice, with good hikes to the ocean (blustery, as a rule) and into the hills. Also some amenities but more "rustic" and includes a lodge, restaurant, store, cabins, and tent sites.
Happy trails!
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Old 01-10-2007, 04:21 PM   #3
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Great Trip

Tom,

That is gonna be one great trip.

You may want to check out Bodega Dunes or Wrights Beach. Great places right on the beach. Manchester Beach is another great stop.
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Old 01-10-2007, 04:30 PM   #4
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Morro Bay state park has been recently updated, has a few full hook-up pull-thru sites and is very nice. Close to the bay and open ocean. There are also some private CGs there. About 1 1/2 hours north at an easy pace is Plaskett Creek CG, no hook-ups but nice, lots of grass, beach access across Hwy-1. Just north of there is Big Sur, then you're getting close to Monterey area. I'm not much help north of there. Richarson grove (redwoods) is nice, but don't remember if RV length is restricted. Good luck in your planning.
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Old 01-10-2007, 04:47 PM   #5
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Ah yes Jerry -- I was going to strongly recommend Bodega Bay -- isn't it a state park out on the south spit? Can you say, "reservations"?

Tom, going north of S.F. do not take your 34' on US-1 down through Muir Beach and Stinson Beach. This stretch of US-1 edges the scenic cliffs with a 1940's barely 2 lane paved road with sharp turns. The Pacific is several hundred feet straight down. We were there for about the 3rd time last April -- this time rented a subcompact car and felt almost comfortable meeting an oncoming car. They'd had heavy spring rains take the downhill lane ... well, downhill in several spots. I tried to imagine any Airstream on that road and it gave me the shivers -- you'd almost need flagmen or the Marin sheriff to extract yourself. Instead take the Sir Francis Drake hwy through Fairfax down to Olema. Olema is right at Point Reyes seashore -- which is where the San Andreas fault goes out to sea. I recall a small private campground in Olema about a block north of where the Drake Hwy hits US-1 again -- it looked like tight maneuvering.

On a day trip with just your tow vehicle I could recommend Stinson Beach -- from there you can make a circle to include Muir Woods, the scenic cliff stretch of US-1 -- at the top of the ridge before descending to Mill Valley there is a northward turn toward Mt. Tam that takes you back down (steeply) to Stinson Beach. I hope it's hot and the eucalyptus trees are most fragrant!
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Old 01-10-2007, 06:52 PM   #6
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wow Well I live out here in Northern CA. And hwy 1 is something else. I'ld plan on 10 to 15 miles an hour in some places. No place to pull over and change your undies either- if you get my drift. I'm not saying it can't be done just be on your toes. fuel cost expensive also. Show us your pics as you will be seeing some FABULOUS country, yup FABULOUS.
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Old 01-10-2007, 07:19 PM   #7
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Road Warnings...

Another strong recommendation NOT to try and take your 34' out State Hwy 1 north of Golden Gate Bridge towards Muir Beach.. The road suffered slides and damage last year in heavy rains, and is in poor shape for a car, and too tight for a 34' Airstream.. If you feel need to see Point Reyes, there are several other poor roads that head over there from Petaluma. Easiest option is to go out River Road from Santa Rosa to Jenner along Russian River, and then south to Bodega Bay, and back north on 1. You may be tempted to take the trailer in and have lunch or dinner at the Sea Ranch (we did..) but you may not get back out again...

The road from Ft Bragg to Leggett is awful (a friend wisely explained there are lots of corners where you'll see your own tailpipe exiting the corners) and averaging 15 mph is about right, including all the necessary stops at turnouts to let faster cars honk their way by.. DO NOT consider driving out to Shelter Cove with trailer, unless you want to experience being hit by a drug-impaired yahoo in a jacked up pickup truck...

As for campgrounds, there is very nice Pomo RV Park in Ft. Bragg, Cassini Ranch on Russian River just east of Jenner, and Bodega Bay RV Park in Bodega Bay. The state/county parks just north and south of Bodega Bay are nicer than the the commercial RV park in the harbor area. Finally, in addition to nice Patrick's Point State Park, you could get trailer into Emerald Forest of Trinidad RV park, which is along highway but very much a redwood tree shaded experience...

We did the trip north last year with a 25' Excella, and really didn't enjoy the two lane portions of Highway 1 all that much north of Bodega Bay.. Hwy 101 north of Trinidad to Gold Beach Oregon is actually a pretty good road, and lots of thing to see as well. If you get to Eureak, see downtown and have a meal at the Samoa Cafe. Best of luck with your trip!

John McG
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Old 01-10-2007, 08:44 PM   #8
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A 34 SO on Highway 1 north of the Golden Gate Bridge!!!???!!! Heck, it's tough enough in a car. The stretch at the north end between the coast and Legget is without a doubt one of the most challenging stretches of road in CA. I drove it once in our little BMW and wouldn't do it again.

Not wise IMHO. Bodega Bay is a possibility, in and out via the roads from Petaluma/Sebastapol. Route 128 from Cloverdale, thru Boonville, to Albion is a possibility but be prepared for very tight curves between Cloverdale and Boonville. Wouldn't chance Route 20 from Willits to Fort Bragg.

Why not enjoy 101 going north rather than 1? Your ultimate destination, Trinadad, is on 101. You'll want to see the Avenue of the Giants anyway, so go the direct route and spare yourself white knuckles and agony and fright.
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Old 01-11-2007, 09:21 AM   #9
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Great advice

Thanks to all of y'all for the advice and sugestions. I drove hwy 1 south from Oregon 20 years ago, in a 300ZX, all the way to San Luis Obesbo. Your posts helped me to remember the switchbacks I encountered north of San Francisco. Not to mention the state highways getting to hwy 1, and getting off of hwy 1. After reading the posts, I also remember driving on Bear Tooth Hwy just north of Cody, WY. Another road I'd never tow on, but a beautiful scenic drive not to pass up.

We might go over to Bodega Bay, but now will go back to 101 for the trip to Trinidad. We'll use Trinidad for our base camp, and make day trips on 1 to see the vistas. I just hope diesel hasn't made it past $5 p/gal by the time we get there.

Thanks again to all of y'all. Local knowledge is a woderful resource.

_________Tom
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Old 01-11-2007, 10:06 AM   #10
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If you get to Crescent City area, Jedidiah Smith State Park is spectacular. Agree with Samoa Cafe Eureka, not a place to miss and lots of fun.
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Old 01-11-2007, 10:09 AM   #11
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Half Moon Bay State Park in Half Moon Bay judt south of San Francisco is a nice place they can now accomodate vehicles up to 40' so should be plenty big enough for the 34. It's off the hwy and right on the beach. A beautiful spot. You can make reservations through Reserve America.

Half Moon Bay SB

There is a photo of the park on the above website but it's old and does'nt show how the campground is set up now. Use Google Earth to see how it looks now. Have Fun, Tom!
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Old 01-11-2007, 10:53 AM   #12
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I would agree.. beware of HWY 1 around the Shelter Cove area to Ferndale/ Petrolia-- awesome country, but way too hectic to tow anything I would say.

Santa Cruz has Seacliff State beach where you can camp, but I don't know if it's open year-round- but worth a try!

Patricks Point is awesome! Benbow (101) has an RV place with hook-ups, golf, pool, and playground (I hear). It's less than 2 hours from Eureka, so about 3 hours +/- from Trinidad.

Have a great trip!! Honk as you enter Eureka, I may hear you !!
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Old 01-11-2007, 11:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stream 1529
We'll use Trinidad for our base camp, and make day trips on 1 to see the vistas. I just hope diesel hasn't made it past $5 p/gal by the time we get there.



_________Tom
$2.99...and holding.....

While in Trinidad... The Trinidad Eatery, yummy breakfast, Katies Smokehouse to buy crab, tuna, whatever.... Larrupin (707)677-0230- for a semi-fancy dinner (they have seasonal closures- I'd check first).... lots of fav.s in Eureka... Cocina Michoacana (mexican/ casual/ on 101 as you leave Eureka to Arcata)---

If it's going, you must take a tour on the Madaket, it's an awesome little old boat ride around the bay with history and scenery! Headwaters Forest is a loooong hike-- better to go to Arcata and visit redwood park behind HSU- beautiful HUGE redwoods...
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Old 01-11-2007, 12:07 PM   #14
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State Parks

I'm glad to hear about Half Moon Bay SP. State parks were going to be the next part of my search. I'd looked before, and noticed that a great deal of them were not large enough for my 34'. Plus it's close to San Francisco, but is it close enough to visit? I was thinking that I would have to get nearer, say Pacifica, to be able to take BART into the city. My best half has never been to California, and I really want her to see San Francisco. That's really the only city I've targeted to visit. Being a Texas girl, she will be amazed at the ocean vistas, Redwoods, and the SF Bay area. Now y'all have added Muir Woods and Avenue of the Giants. Wow! She's gonna owe me, big time.

So far our plans are to spend about 7 weeks on the road. I had planned to take 3 weeks to visit California, but reading y'alls posts have reminded me just what a wonderful part of the country it is. I may need to plan 5 weeks in California, and a leisurly 2 week return leg to Texas - and the heat . I'm looking at returning through northern Nevada, Utah, and Colorado. I need to check my Mountain Roads book to make sure I can handle the northern Nevada highways through the Rockies.

__________Tom
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