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Old 05-08-2018, 11:01 PM   #1
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The West is the Best - Best route northbound?

We are currently near San Rafael, CA (with an excellent view of San Quentin prison) and heading to Tofino on Vancouver Island. We would love to hear recommendations about routes, stops, and avoidances. We saw some recommendations to take Highway 1 but when we drove it with our TV from San Fran to Muir Woods it seemed a bit narrow and hairy (although great fun when not pulling 8,000 lbs.)
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Old 05-08-2018, 11:43 PM   #2
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I would take 101, avoiding 1, and take it all the way up. At Port Angeles, WA, take the Black Ball Ferry over to Vancouver Island and up you go.

A wonderful campground on the way is Bandon-by-the-Sea RV Park in central Oregon. We stayed there three days and left this morning. Now in Florence for two days.

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Old 05-08-2018, 11:53 PM   #3
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I would take 101, avoiding 1, and take it all the way up. At Port Angeles, WA, take the Black Ball Ferry over to Vancouver Island and up you go.

A wonderful campground on the way is Bandon-by-the-Sea RV Park in central Oregon. We stayed there three days and left this morning. Now in Florence for two days.

Stu


Thanks Stu. We will look at those for sure.

Cheers,

Doug
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Old 05-09-2018, 12:20 AM   #4
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Agree - HW101 is the ticket.

Do not miss the Avenue of the Giants. It is a beautiful drive through old growth redwoods. Stop and walk a bit. The ferns and redwoods are worth a closer look. Best to drop the trailer and do the drive solo as it's a bit tight. The entrance is above Garberville and/or below Scotia. We like to stay at the Benbow KOA, but it's a bit South. You may find one of the parks closer or on the North end more functional for a quick drive through.

You might check out the Somoa Cook House and the associated Lumber Museum in Eureka. http://www.samoacookhouse.net/index.html

Caution to the area around Portland. Many RVers spend their weekends on the coast. It's tight and pricy. A midweek stay is best. If that is not supported by your schedule, pick a spot about 50 miles North or South to buffer the crowd. There is also the option of a jog over on 84 to see some of the Columbia River.

Lots of very interesting places to visit. Search on Oregon Coast - there is a nice thread that was active a while back.

Good Luck with your trip. Pat
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Old 05-09-2018, 12:21 AM   #5
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The Kennedy Hill on the last leg of hwy 4 down into Tofino/Ucluelet will definitely hit your definition of narrow, hairy, and steep. There is also upgrade work planned on the hill to start this season, so check conditions before you head over from Nanaimo/Parksville.
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Old 05-09-2018, 12:26 AM   #6
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Agree - HW101 is the ticket.



Do not miss the Avenue of the Giants. It is a beautiful drive through old growth redwoods. Stop and walk a bit. The ferns and redwoods are worth a closer look. Best to drop the trailer and do the drive solo as it's a bit tight. The entrance is above Garberville and/or below Scotia. We like to stay at the Benbow KOA, but it's a bit South. You may find one of the parks closer or on the North end more functional for a quick drive through.



You might check out the Somoa Cook House and the associated Lumber Museum in Eureka. http://www.samoacookhouse.net/index.html



Caution to the area around Portland. Many RVers spend their weekends on the coast. It's tight and pricy. A midweek stay is best. If that is not supported by your schedule, pick a spot about 50 miles North or South to buffer the crowd. There is also the option of a jog over on 84 to see some of the Columbia River.



Lots of very interesting places to visit. Search on Oregon Coast - there is a nice thread that was active a while back.



Good Luck with your trip. Pat


Thanks Pat. I think we lucked out because our next stop tomorrow night is at Avenue of the Giants, by pure fluke (or RV Parky). We will take your recommendations to heart.

Safe travels.

Doug
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Old 05-09-2018, 10:37 AM   #7
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We drive Seattle to Orange County 4-6 tines/year, at least one round trip in our 23FB Airstream. I agree with others that avoiding 1 is a good idea when towing. 101 is a great option. The OR and WA Coast is fantastic. Consider Florence, OR. The Port of Siuslaw Campground (100 Harbor Street) is easily walkable to town. And definitely stop at Tillamook, OR. The Tillamook Dairy is delicious and very interesting.

Black Ball Ferry is a good choice (the only one!) unless you want to venture inland (US 395/97) and cross via the ferry from Vancouver. Tofino is fantastic. Nelson, Kelowna, and Revelstoke, BC are great inland options.

You will have a great trip on any of the routes!
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Old 05-09-2018, 11:41 AM   #8
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I've been doing this for close to 70 yrs now. If you would prefer not to tackle Route 1 (spectacular but narrow & windey (is that a word?)), then its Route 101 all the way. The State Parks along the (particularly southern) OR Coast are exceptional (but good luck getting in them during the summer without reservations).
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Old 05-09-2018, 11:58 AM   #9
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RV Parky can help a lot.

Brookings Oregon - http://www.atriversedge.com/photo-gallery/ Note, it's a steep driveway into the park - not on the ocean, but a nice quiet location - exception is when a loud car/truck travels the road on the opposite side of the river.

Cannon Beach - http://www.cbrvresort.com/sitemap.php Note, it's on the East side of 101, so you don't get a beach view. It is a family oriented park.
Big rigs, small rigs and all in between. Nice shade and well maintained.

We had to deal with very wet and foggy weather around the Olympic Pensula, so no recomendations there. Brother finds the area fantastic, but we would give it a miss.

If you get to the Westport area - http://www.americansunsetrv.com/ Note - it's a bit different - open grass with trees - you pull through the space behind, or back into your site - fire line separation between sites - nice folks.

Can't find a website for Camp Cushman - It is accessed from 119 out of Hoodsport. Be prepared for a narrow twisty road. The park is located in the tree filled area beside Lake Cushman. May be busy this time of year, so mid-week might be better.

Hope you enjoy the Giants. Good Luck with your trip. Pat
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Old 05-09-2018, 12:28 PM   #10
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We came up the coast from Eureka, CA to Astoria, OR last week with our 27' AS. A favorite of ours 6 miles shy of Port Orford, OR is Humbug Mountain SP. No reservations needed this time of year. The SP is sheltered from the winds and a very short walk under 101 to the nice beach.

We stayed next at the KOA in Waldport, OR rather than trying for an oceanside SP due to the winds being too strong and we felt the KOA gave more shelter though a great view of the bay.

The road to Tofino/Ucelet is a curvy up and down and around affair, heavily used by tourists. We did that road about 7 years ago in a heavily laden 1978 VW bus, and the pressure was on! A beautiful area and unless one has reservations during peak season, uh, there might be a problem of where to stay.

Hope your weather along the coast is good, as it is often either foggy or windy, but when great it is superb!
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Old 05-09-2018, 02:54 PM   #11
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101 is great. We have not been down yet this year so do know if Oregon has repaired from the winter storm(s) damage of 2016. Not as twisty up and down as 1, however does have twisty and up and downs. We love it. Great views and Oregon State parks are the best. One of our favorite, Fort Stevens, Northern tip of Oregon. Ocean on the front, the mouth of the Columbia River inland side.

Best regards and safe travels
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Old 05-09-2018, 06:36 PM   #12
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You should not miss Harris Beach State Park just north of Brookings, one or two nights on the Rogue River , and check out Floras Lake County Park just before Langlois (where I live ). A jet boat trip up the Rogue is exciting as well. Many nice parks on north, take your time and explore.I have answers if you have questions.
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Old 05-09-2018, 10:27 PM   #13
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In Central Organ try to stay at Jesse Honeyman State Park. Great campground
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Old 05-10-2018, 06:17 PM   #14
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Wow. My cup runneth over. Thanks everyone for the great advice! Once weve made it to Tofino, Ill post a quick update as to how it went. Were unhitched right now, enjoying Trinidad, CA. Great town!
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Old 05-11-2018, 01:51 AM   #15
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101 to Port Angeles would also be my vote. On Olympic Peninsula there is a very nice beach campground on Quinault reservation near Forks. Cape Flattery is worth a visit for the birds - walk to the view point with your binocs. Alcohol prohibited at Macah reservation so choose whether to camp there at Neah Bay. Port Angeles has a nice art museum in a great hilltop midcentury modern house. Crescent Beach is a nice private campground and Salt Creek a nice County one near Port Angeles. If you get all the way to Port Townsend (nice walking and shopping) there is a nice campground at Fort Worden State Park, and a bar called Taps at the Guardhouse in the park with a terrific menu.
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Old 05-11-2018, 07:38 AM   #16
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There are lots of good comments here. We've done the route southbound twice; I recommend Harris Beach S.P. in Brookings, Oregon as it's an easy day drive to Crescent City, CA. where you will find Jedediah Smith Redwoods S.P. It's one of the nicest redwood forests accessible via a narrow, winding dirt road through the redwoods with several hiking trails. You really can't go wrong along the Oregon coast and their state parks.

On Vancouver Island, Living Forest outside Nanaimo is one of the nicest private campgrounds we've stayed at. I also recommend Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park in Parksville just north of Nanaimo. It's typical of almost all provincial parks in B.C. in that the sites are unserviced (no electricity) but the sites are superb. Regarding Pacific Rim National Park; we've stayed at the Green Point campground at Long Beach. It's a very nice Parks Canada campground but I expect will be tough to score a reservation.
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Old 05-13-2018, 09:49 AM   #17
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We are currently near San Rafael, CA (with an excellent view of San Quentin prison) and heading to Tofino on Vancouver Island. We would love to hear recommendations about routes, stops, and avoidances. We saw some recommendations to take Highway 1 but when we drove it with our TV from San Fran to Muir Woods it seemed a bit narrow and hairy (although great fun when not pulling 8,000 lbs.)
Trying to cover miles take 5. Don't want a cliff, 101. Not in a hurry and want to see why some Californians won't leave, take 1. Hwy 1 North is less stressful than coming South on it.
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Old 05-14-2018, 02:50 PM   #18
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Correction - Quiliute Oceanside Resort at La Push, not Quinault.
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Old 06-05-2018, 01:35 AM   #19
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Closing the loop/thread

Thanks everyone for your recommendations. We ended up taking 101 pretty much all the way north. We had to skip Olympic National Park as we had some time constraints.

We stayed in Burnaby for three nights to explore Vancouver, crossed on the ferry from Tsawwassen to Victoria, stayed in Victoria for three nights (fantastic), split up the trip to Tofino by staying overnight in Coombs (very nice), then had a week in Tofino visiting our son.

We're on our way back to the mainland now.

We are towing a 30' Airstream with a small SUV (Cadillac SRX) and the only issues we had along the way were with bumpy roads where our weight distribution bars would occasionally bottom out. But we never had issues with a hill (either uphill or downhill) that we couldn't tackle. There were plenty of turnouts where we could let traffic pass, and we got plenty of waves (not the single finger type) when we pulled over to let people pass.

So 101 is definitely a nice route north from California to BC. There are many nice small towns along the way (Florence and Bandon at the top of the list).
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Old 06-06-2018, 01:32 AM   #20
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Humbug Mountain State park in Oregon off 101. Don't know what it's like today, but I remember staying there on a motorcycle adventure years ago. Always wanted to go back.
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