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Old 05-14-2012, 04:24 PM   #1
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Big Trip Planned for 2013 - Need Advice

Hey Folks,

I am planning a big trip next summer and am looking for some tips on places to camp and other sites to see along the way. The route we have planned is generally as follows (from Calgary, AB):
- Yellowstone
- Salt Lake City
- Las Vegas
- Grand Canyon
- Hoover Dam
- Pheonix
- Los Angeles
- Disneyland
- San Francisco
- Sacramento
- Portland
- Seattle
- Calgary

Some questions I need to resolve are:
- What about Mount Rushmore, is it worth detouring to see it? WOuld basically requrie driving from Yellowstoke to Denver nearly.
- Is it worth driving up the coast or should I stick to the I5 when heading north? Remember, I'll be pulling a 10,000# trailer.
- Are there any other national parks I should make a significant effort to see along the way?
- What areas/highways should I avoid like the plague?

Any and all suggestions welcome!

Cheers, JC
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:31 PM   #2
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Re: Big Trip Planned for 2013 - Need Advice

When you are in northern CA be sure to take time to see the redwoods and Sequoia's national parks.
If you take highway 101 just be patient.....lots of traffic, lots of little towns with lower speed limits....but still it's the most beautiful way to travel north. The Oregon coast is breathtaking.
You have to make up your own mind about Mt. Rushmore. It's a once in a lifetime thing to go see it....we've been twice though and enjoyed it each time. Take the time if you go to see the museum and displays there....lots of information.
There is an rv park on the Klamath river right at the northern edge of the redwoods....very nice place to stay and right on the river!

http://www.klamathriverrv.com

Is there email address...worth a weeks stay there! If you do stay there, go up the main road a little further (without the rv), and at the first bend, at the base of a steep hill, park and walk to the ocean beach.....you will have the beach and the ocean to yourself.
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:50 PM   #3
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Re: Big Trip Planned for 2013 - Need Advice

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and some of my favorite places to go are Napa for wine tasting, I enjoy Fisherman's wharf in SF, but don't like driving into the city. Also, standing while riding the cable cars is another one of my favorite novlety activities to do in SF. It's so cliche, but I love it! Muir Woods is also a nice place to visit, no camping but nice hikes. Depending on what time of the year you're in SF area, there's the Gilroy Garlic festival. If you like garlic, you must go. It's always the last weekend in July. Monterey Bay is also another favorite. It's about 2 hours south of SF. We always stop at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Cannery Row when we're in the area. (Monterey Bay Aquarium is on Cannery Row.) We go to Yosemite twice a year if we can get reservations. That's another must see place. It's 3-1/2 hours east of the SF Bay Area if you take HWY 120 in, an extra 30-40 minutes if you take HWY 140 into the park. A lot of people want to drive HWY 1, which is beautiful, but can be a "hairy" drive. It can get very narrow and windy. Our FW is 36-1/2' and we decided we'll try to avoid HWY 1 whenever possible. Unfortunately, one of our favorite campgrounds, Gualala River Redwood Park, is right off of HWY 1. Last time we went our spare tire carrier was bent and was literally parallel to the street. At some point the tire hit the road and bent it. We had to pull over and pound it out to make it flush again. Easy enough fix. In addition, the stress involved in passing another long trailer on a curve is way too much for me to bear. Glad I wasn't driving! Anyway, can't remember how long your trailer is, but if you're at least as long as us you might want to avoid most of HWY 1 or drive it for short periods. Mendocino and Ft. Bragg are safe areas to drive. I think HWY 20 goes into Ft. Bragg. Some nice locales noth of us are Redwood National Park, Lake Shasta and Mt. Lassen. Lake Tahoe is very nice, but they don't allow dogs on the beach, anywhere. Hope that gives you a place to start for the area. If you would like recommendations on campgrounds just post a thread or PM me.
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:26 AM   #4
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Re: Big Trip Planned for 2013 - Need Advice

Don't forget Havassu in AZ home of the London Bridge
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:55 PM   #5
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Re: Big Trip Planned for 2013 - Need Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by aapcon131
Don't forget Havassu in AZ home of the London Bridge
I know Havasu is supposed to be a "zoo" during spring break, how is it in the summer?
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Old 05-16-2012, 06:28 AM   #6
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Re: Big Trip Planned for 2013 - Need Advice

Thanks guys for the tips! I'll definitely try to hit up the Sequoia and Redwood parks. Not sure how much into the cities themselves we will go with the RV but I guess it isn't that bad as long as I avoid the major downtown areas and stick to freeways.

My trailer is a 31 footer, 35 with the hitch. And a bumper pull. So why 101 might be out of the question. But I also have heavy truck and am not a nervous driver or tower, so we'll see...

Definitely want to see Lake Tahoe, even I can only drive through it.

Rushmore might be too far out of the way for this trip - maybe next time.
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Old 05-16-2012, 04:51 PM   #7
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Re: Big Trip Planned for 2013 - Need Advice

You can definitley do HWY 101, it's HWY 1 along the coast that is questionable.
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:19 PM   #8
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Re: Big Trip Planned for 2013 - Need Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by lmsteck
You can definitley do HWY 101, it's HWY 1 along the coast that is questionable.
Ah, right, gotcha!
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Old 05-28-2012, 06:18 PM   #9
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Re: Big Trip Planned for 2013 - Need Advice

Yellowstone and Grand Canyon will be BUSY in summer. I would do a circle route around Salt Lake City as that freeway is absolutely insane, especially if you're towing! It does add miles but then you'll see better scenery than a smoggy city. It takes about a couple hours to drive through SL city.

One of my favs in south California is Joshua Tree NP.

Looks like a fun trip you're planning!
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Old 06-03-2012, 03:50 AM   #10
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Re: Big Trip Planned for 2013 - Need Advice

JC. You could pull my Trailer behind yours & save me gas money. Free Holiday " Yeh "
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