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Old 05-11-2023, 12:17 PM   #1
Gubs
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up the western coast...HELP

We are leaving Phoenix, AZ and headed to Washington state, these are the only states west of the Mississippi we have not traveled too. We also pull a 35' 5ver, wonder if HWY 1 and 101 are easy to pull or should we stay on the I-5. We will take I-5 up to San Francisco and then would like to pick up HWY 1 and 101 as far as we can...safely. Your thoughts and advice is always welcome!!!!!!
 
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Old 05-11-2023, 01:05 PM   #2
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Hwy 101 is nice scenic drive slow going but very manageable . I don’t believe hwy 1 is good for pulling a trailer, I would probably stay away from it. But definitely hwy 101 well worth the drive.
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Old 05-11-2023, 05:35 PM   #3
Carl n Susan
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There are two distinct portions of this route. South of San Francisco and then north of it. South of San Francisco, Hwy-101 is not a problem with a RV. Hwy-1 is not a good choice and since it is currently closed to landslides, not an option to consider (but it is a beautiful drive in a car).

North of San Francisco, Hwy-101 all the way to WA is fine with a RV. There is a Hwy-1 route from just outside San Francisco (Manzanita) that runs along the CA coast up to Leggett where it ends and joins Hwy-101. I have driven portions of it around Bodega Bay and further north with the RV. It is a two lane, twisty road with a number of corners where you can check the RVs tire pressure as you come around (i.e. tight). It is right on the coast and very scenic.

Avoid going through San Francisco. It can be done with a RV but you will be in heavy city traffic. Definitely a challenge. Take a route through the East Bay (San Jose, Fremont, Oakland, Richmond, and San Rafael) on Hwy-880/Hwy-580 and avoid the white knuckle of downtown San Francisco.

Staying on I-5 all the way from southern CA to the San Francisco area is an option. I personally dislike I-5 and will do pretty much anything to avoid it, particularly south of Sacramento.

Be sure to check road conditions on Hwy-101 in northern CA and OR. It is not uncommon for road construction and slide repairs being worked on. Hwy-101 is my favorite route towing to OR and WA.
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Old 05-11-2023, 07:53 PM   #4
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I've driven 101 South of San Francisco from time to time in a semi pulling doubles. I-5 can be mind numbing, but some folks seem to prefer interstates.
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Old 05-11-2023, 08:18 PM   #5
Carl n Susan
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As I wrote above, I dislike I-5 and detest the traffic on it and I-10 in SoCal. I always return from AZ via back roads to Hwy-58W. Then off to Bakersfield where I jump over to Hwy-166 to Santa Maria and Hwy-101. No I-5 or I-10 (or variations) for this guy.
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Old 05-12-2023, 05:59 PM   #6
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IMHO 101 is much more scenic especially along the coast. If you take 101 and depending on where, avoid rush hour (Fri afternoon, Sat mid morning/early afternoon) near LA and Santa Barbara if possible.

You might come across some roadwork near King City on the 101. It's passable but the concrete barriers might be right on or adjacent the lane lines for about 1/2 mile or so. If it's still there you might want to slow down to whatever you're comfortable with.

Ditto on going around San Fran. If you take the 580 bridge going north bound, the booths on the right are a few feet wider. Toll payment info:

https://www.cityofsanrafael.org/question/pay-toll-richmond-san-rafael-golden-gate-bridges/#/city/answers/parking/pay-toll-richmond-san-rafael-golden-gate-bridges

North of Myers Flat, the 101 gets a little narrow in a few sections near the Humbolt redwoods where you might want to slow down. It's wide enough for semi's but feels tight as you pass a number of redwood trees near the roadside.

Safe travels!
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Old 05-13-2023, 07:03 PM   #7
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Not sure if you have to go to California on your route to Washington but I myself try to avoid going into California with our Montana or our cars. You might get the idea that I don’t like California and you would be correct. I travel from Eastern Washington to Phoenix/ Goodyear now twice a year. I go up the 60 to Wickienburg and on to Kingman. I don’t go up to Flagstaff on the 17 as it is higher elevation and a lot longer although it is freeway driving. The route I described is used by trucks, cars and RVs. Once I reach Kingman I drive to Vegas and then North towards Saltlake City. Just North of Vegas I turn off and take Highway-93 the Great Basin Highway towards Ely. You can take the alternative route Highway 318 and a very short stretch of Highway 6 and avoid Caliente and save an hour drive time. From Ely continue North to Wells which is where you cross I-80 and then on to Jackpot and into Twinfalls Idaho. At that point you get on I-84 heading towards Portland. Depending on where at in Washington you are going will determine when you exit I-84. The drive through Nevada is lots of long straight two lane highway. It is a scenic drive (in my opinion) but completely different scenery than going up the 101. One of my friends used to do almost the same route but he took the North South route on the West side of Area 51 as they winter in Yuma.
Good luck and safe driving.
Happy and safe roads to you.

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Old 05-14-2023, 07:23 AM   #8
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Several years ago I visited family south of San Francisco and then traveled north to Waldport. I chose I-5 and cut over to 101 just south of Florence, OR. 101 was a great drive but the tunnels made me cringe. Also, there was a recent landslide north of Newport that took out a portion of 101. Not sure if that has been fixed yet.
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Old 05-17-2023, 01:22 PM   #9
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Didn't say where in Washington you will be headed. If Oly Peninsula, I would take 101 outside after Olympia. Outside is slow and winding in spots but a very scenic route.
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Old 05-17-2023, 01:26 PM   #10
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Driven from Fort Bragg, CA, to Canada on Highway 1 and 101 with my 35 foot fifthwheel. A little curvy but a beautiful drive. BUT, don't take Highway 1 north of Fort Bragg...the road has too many sharp curves. Take Highway 20 from Fort Bragg to Willits and then head north on Highway 101.
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Old 05-17-2023, 03:01 PM   #11
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Coast highway

I have travel that route with a 33 foot 5th wheel. There are numerous place that are white knucklers. It is a beautiful drive but I would never do it again with a 5 er hat long. Not worth the stress or danger,
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Old 05-17-2023, 04:01 PM   #12
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Travel from Phoenix to WA state.

I also try to avoid CA due to diesel pricing and traffic. You can go up through Nevada to Idaho, then Oregon and into Wa via many different state highways and routes. Itís only a few hours difference than going the interstate route.
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Old 05-17-2023, 05:02 PM   #13
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Hwy 1 stay away. 101 is better.
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Old 05-17-2023, 07:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gubs View Post
We are leaving Phoenix, AZ and headed to Washington state, these are the only states west of the Mississippi we have not traveled too. We also pull a 35' 5ver, wonder if HWY 1 and 101 are easy to pull or should we stay on the I-5. We will take I-5 up to San Francisco and then would like to pick up HWY 1 and 101 as far as we can...safely. Your thoughts and advice is always welcome!!!!!!
From I5 North of Stockton, take hwy 12 over to Santa Rosa. Then hwy 101 north to Wa. Olympics are a great destination. We like Salt Creek rec area. Good luck.
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Old 05-18-2023, 09:46 AM   #15
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Just another 2 cents of info here. If you go Hwy 101 to Willits, North of Santa Rosa, try to take in the Skunk Train through the Redwoods. They have a half day route to Northspur and BBQ or a full day to Fort Bragg. The train has supported the area since the 1870's and lots of the fine redwoods ended up in the homes of San Francisco. The Steam trains are limited these days because of costs, but vintage locomotives are used. The multiple elevations, trestles and tunnels make the trip worthwhile. You will need to do some research on staging a night or two in the area, as time changed a lot about the area.
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Old 05-18-2023, 01:37 PM   #16
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RE;towing on Highway 1

I live on the Central Coast near Pismo Beach.
Thru the work that I did, I have driven Concrete trucks up Hy 1 many times from Morro Bay north. It is a good road until you get past Ragged point, about 40 miles north of Morro Bay. As of now, I understand that Hy 1 is closed at Ragged Point because of the winter storms. It could open before the next storms come thru.
That road has a wonderful view for the passenger, but the driver will be busy.
There are R V parks in Morro Bay, including a State park.
A few miles north San Simeon there is San Simeon State park. Hearst Castle is just north of that.
A few miles north of that is a Sea Lion viewing area. That is worth stopping for should you decide to.
I guess that I said all of this to say clearly, that there is no way I would tow my trailer up Hy 1 past Hearst Castle.It's a good road for a while, Then the curves start.
People have, but I have seen Steps and mirrors in the gutter.
Tour busses drive south, never have I seen one going north.
( South of San Simeon there is a road that will take you east to hy 101.pretty good climb for a while, but a good road.)
Enjoy the coast, Bill
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Old 05-19-2023, 07:30 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gubs View Post
We are leaving Phoenix, AZ and headed to Washington state, these are the only states west of the Mississippi we have not traveled too. We also pull a 35' 5ver, wonder if HWY 1 and 101 are easy to pull or should we stay on the I-5. We will take I-5 up to San Francisco and then would like to pick up HWY 1 and 101 as far as we can...safely. Your thoughts and advice is always welcome!!!!!!
Do Not take a trailer Iím Hwy 1. Lots of switch backs and very narrow in various places.
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Old 05-22-2023, 03:02 PM   #18
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not sure which hwy you are commenting about. 101 North of Olympia is narrow in some spots but doable with my 35ft Montana. lot of spots to pull off and rest if needed.
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Old 05-23-2023, 09:03 AM   #19
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not sure which hwy you are commenting about. 101 North of Olympia is narrow in some spots but doable with my 35ft Montana. lot of spots to pull off and rest if needed.
People or I am speaking about Hwy 1 in Northern California is not good.
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Old 05-26-2023, 11:41 PM   #20
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RE;Highway 1

Gubs, If you are still reading this, the local news reported today that Highway 1 has reopened .
To me, the first 6 or so miles past Ragged point is the worst going north. Bill
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