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Red Rock Canyon to San Jose - prettiest route?

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tokyo
posts: 89
Red Rock Canyon to San Jose - prettiest route?

Got 2 days to get from Red Rock Canyon Sate Park to San Jose. Any recommendations of the most scenic route and nice places to spend the night?

Some route ideas I have are:

1- Red Rock Canyon to Ventura, then up R.1/101 to Santa Cruz, then up R.17 to San Jose

2- Red Rock to Bakersfield via R.178, onto R.58 to San Luis Obispo, then up R.1/101 and R.17

3- Red Rock Canyon to Bakersfield, then up R.99 onto R.46 for Paso Robles, then R.101 and R.17

4- Red Rock to Bakersfield, then all the way up through the middle of San Joaquin valley to R.152.

Also, would people recommend R1 or R.101? I assumed R.1 was the really beautiful one, but I've since read several comments about the stretch from Paso Roble to Salinas along R.101 being gorgeous.

We'll be going middle of October.

Sunnyvale...
Destination Expert
for San Jose
posts: 5,838
reviews: 101
1. Re: Red Rock Canyon to San Jose - prettiest route?

Both R1 and Hwy 101 are nice. R1 is the nicest south of Monterrey.

After getting to Monterrey, consider getting to Hwy 101. You can then see the Pinnacles National Monument just outside of Salinas. It's half of a volcano that blew up a long time ago right along the San Andreas fault line. The other half of the volcano got left behind on the other side of the fault line over a hundred miles to the south.

At the Pinnacles, you'll see spectacular rock formations, caves, eagles, crazy rock climbers, etc. Bring boots, gloves and a headlamp into the caves/tunnels. They can be wet, a bit steep and slippery. You'll need your hands free.

October can be hot. It can be rainy. But we'll never know until October shows up. It's an El Nino year.

San Jose, California
posts: 1,205
reviews: 8
2. Re: Red Rock Canyon to San Jose - prettiest route?

It think a better route would be:

Red Rock to Santa Barbara, it's a nice town worth spending some time there. Ventura not so much to see.

Then north to Monterey/Carmel, or Santa Cruz.

FYI Santa Cruz is only about a 30-40 min drive to San Jose.

Bakersfield should be avoided at all costs. The armpit of California

San Luis Obispo is a nice town, worth a quick stop.

Hi 1 is beautiful, but it is a very twisty road, and takes a long time to drive it. Especially the part between Cambria & Big Sur, once you are on it there is only one way to go. And ther are fires in Big Sur now and the road is closed there, or it was recently.

Hi 101 is OK, not bad, but much faster than 1. I don't think you have time to take Hi 1, unless you want to drive straight through for 10 hrs without stopping, except for gas.

Sunnyvale...
Destination Expert
for San Jose
posts: 5,838
reviews: 101
3. Re: Red Rock Canyon to San Jose - prettiest route?

>Bakersfield should be avoided at all costs. The armpit of California

Some people think Bakersfield is a bit boring, but to put it in perspective, people in Bakersfield typically think Berkeley is not just an armpit, but a cesspool.

Santa Clarita...
posts: 1,214
reviews: 4
4. Re: Red Rock Canyon to San Jose - prettiest route?

My first thought was that you must be driving a recreational vehicle if you are spending the night or starting from Red Rock Canyon. It is primitive camping and used primarily on weekends for bikers, ATV's, etc. The campsites are very far back off the road. You make want to consider going by way of Lake Isabella, or Tehachapi where there are hotels or campgrounds.

As lovely as the coast is along Ventura and Santa Barbara, it will involve an additional 150 + miles because it is further south than where you intend to go.

Maybe take (if you stay at Red Rock) Hwy 14 to Hwy 58 just before the town of Mojave (not a nice place to stay), through Bakersfield to Interstate 5.

Interstate 5 to Hwy 46 (Lost Hills) and follow Hwy 46 to Paso Robles and on to Cambria for overnight.

Then Cambria to San Jose - Hwy 1, etc...

Also, during the middle of October, the sunset will be about 6:15 p.m., and sunrise about 7 a.m.

San Jose, California
posts: 1,205
reviews: 8
5. Re: Red Rock Canyon to San Jose - prettiest route?

I don't live in Berkeley, I work here (I'm at work now). I was concerned about it before I started, since I'd worked my entire career in Silicon Valley. But now that I work here, I kind of like it. I wouldn't want to live here though. I wouldn't call it a cesspool though. The liberal bumper stickers are sometimes funny.

tokyo
posts: 89
6. Re: Red Rock Canyon to San Jose - prettiest route?

Mere,

I agree with your comments about going via Ventura adding an extra 150 miles...that is quite a lot considering we're already covering a huge distance...

Also very interested to hear your comments about Red Rock Canyon, didn't realise the campsite was so off the beaten track. What's Red Rock like? It looks beautiful from the photos and seemed a nice place to stop off (we're actually coming from Death Valley NP)

Santa Clarita...
posts: 1,214
reviews: 4
7. Re: Red Rock Canyon to San Jose - prettiest route?

For about a mile, the rock formations are beautiful and the road curves around and it's nice to see from the road. I've never been off-road and into the back roads. My daughter camped there once, and the only water was out of a pipe (springs). During the week, it will be quite isolated and a unique camping experience under the stars (unless the wind blows).

tokyo
posts: 89
8. Re: Red Rock Canyon to San Jose - prettiest route?

Does sound great, but unfortunately, our schedule is VERY tight and it looks like it'd be a Saturday and bikes/ATVs roaring round the countryside is a pet hate of mine!! So might just have to think of somewhere else to stay and possibly just enjoy a quick drive-through.

9. Re: Red Rock Canyon to San Jose - prettiest route?

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