We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Road trip from Portland to LA in June

Lytham St Anne's...
Level Contributor
15 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
Road trip from Portland to LA in June

Hi all,

I'd be really grateful for any advice/tips you can give me.

My partner and I are planning our trip for June 2013. We'll be flying out to Portland to visit my cousin and stay with him for a couple of nights, which leaves us 12 or 13 nights for the journey down to LA.

The problem is we don't have much of an idea about an itinerary yet. Is this a sufficient amount of time without having to spend too long driving each day?

Places we would definitely like to spend 2 or 3 nights are San Francisco, Yosemite, Monterey/Carmel and LA. Places we would like to visit along the way are Crater Lake, Redwood, Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara.

If anyone has any suggestions about interesting places we could visit/stay I'd really appreciate it as we're from Scotland and have never been to this part of the world, so are unfamiliar with it.

I'd like the trip to be quite structured so that we have all hotels booked in advance to avoid the possibility of having to sleep in the car! So an itinerary would be great.

Thanks :)

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
Level Contributor
42,892 posts
1,048 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Road trip from Portland to LA in June

Hi and welcome to the forums. I'm surprised you haven't gotten any replies yet, but this will bump up your post!

I would strongly recommend you also post on the Oregon forum. Click on the blue link here... tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g28958-i237-Oregon…

Crater Lake will still be snowbound in June, and most likely the north entrance closed. You can still visit using the south entrance, but be prepared for snow. If it is cloudy, it's not nearly as nice to see.

Most visitors to Oregon spend time on the coast as it's quite lovely. Are you interested in seeing the coast? If you like wine, Oregon has several wine areas with hundreds of wineries. Will you be visiting Columbia Gorge whilst in Portland?

Yosemite lodging booking must be made far in advance, so you should be concentrating on that now!

Napa, CA
Destination Expert
for Napa
Level Contributor
7,414 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Road trip from Portland to LA in June

Usually June is before the major tourist season. We have successfully traveled without hotel reservations then. I wouldn't worry too much about it except for bookings in the national parks which require advance planning.

Lytham St Anne's...
Level Contributor
15 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Road trip from Portland to LA in June

Thank you very much for your responses. I will take your advice and post in the Oregon forum also.

Yes, we're keen on spending most of our drive going down the coast. Do you think 12 or 13 days is enough time to allow for the journey whilst being able to see most of the sights?

I haven't heard of Columbia Gorge actually. Do you recommend it?

We'll be booking flights, a car and some accomodation in the next couple of days or so. At the moment there seems to be availability for Yosemite, which is a relief.

Again, thanks for your comments :)

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
58,849 posts
113 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Road trip from Portland to LA in June

Your California piece is likely to end up looking something like ...

Redwood NP - rugged Northern CA coast - San Francisco - Yosemite NP - Monterey - Cambria / Pismo Beach - Santa Barbara - L.A.

Most of the city / destination forums have lodging suggestions in their Top Questions. You'll find this in the upper right. The Top Q on this page has info about the coastal drive between SF and L.A. (really between Santa Cruz & Santa Barbara.) Read the Top Q and maybe the Itineraries on each city page before asking for help with your lodging, activities, and dining.

If you can arrange your itinerary to be in Yosemite during the week, you'll be happier. June weekends are very crowded.

Lytham St Anne's...
Level Contributor
15 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Road trip from Portland to LA in June

Thanks again for your comments.

My itenerary at the moment is looking something like this:

Nights 1 & 2 - Portland

Night 3 - Grant's Pass

Night 4 - Crater Lake

Night 5 - Redding

Nights 6 & 7 - San Francisco

Night 8 - South Lake Tahoe

Nights 9 & 10 - Yosemite

Nights 11 & 12 - Monterey/Carmel

Night 13 - Santa Barbara

Nights 14 & 15 - Los Angeles (flying home the following evening)

I realise the drive from Yosemite to Monterey will be a pretty long one (about 7 hours) but that's why I've allowed two nights at each location to break it up a bit.

Does this look realistic?

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
58,849 posts
113 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Road trip from Portland to LA in June

Yosemite Valley to Monterey is only 4 hours. But allowing two nights in Yosemite (probably Yosemite Valley) and two nights in Monterey is a great idea.

Level Contributor
133 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Road trip from Portland to LA in June

For night 5 you have a choice if you want to see Redwoods as mentioned inyour original post. You can skip Redding & drive to Crecscent City or Klamath where Redwood NP is, then Rt 101 to SF.

Or stick with your original plan with Redding and visit the sundial bridge, lassen volcano and then visit redwood groves near Big Sur on your way to LA.

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Road trip from Portland to LA in June

Monterey to Santa Barbara is a 6 hours drive without stops (hw1) and there's a lot to see on the way. I'd also add Redwood NP and maybe skip Lake Tahoe this time.

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
3,979 posts
155 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Road trip from Portland to LA in June

Agree with Tet14: Skip Lake Tahoe -- especially if you're already visiting Crater Lake. I love Tahoe -- but that's a lot of additional driving.

Roseville...
Level Contributor
1,102 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Road trip from Portland to LA in June

Suggested revisions:

1-2: Portland (See Columbia Riv Hist Pkwy 7 waterfalls)

3: Crater Lake

4: Ashland (just south of Grants Pass; see a play)

5: Eureka, Ca. 199 to 101; this takes you through heart of redwoods. Stop in Jedidiah Smith SP; Stout Grove.

6-7: SF

8-10: Yosemite

11: Monterey

12: Cambria/Santa Barbara

13-15: LA

Drop Lake Tahoe; it just adds to many miles. Route above takes you down 101 from Crescent City (instead of I 5 which is a bore). 101 is one of prettiest drives anywhere.

Above will give you much more time to really experience the areas rather than looking through a windshield.

Edited: 3:16 pm, November 08, 2012