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.

Redwoods to San Fran - coast drive?

Which Crescent City hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Level Contributor
47 posts
17 reviews
Save Topic
Redwoods to San Fran - coast drive?

Not sure which forum to put this in, so I will try a couple. Bascially I am toying with the idea of landing in Portland and spending a couple of days at Crater Lake then a few in Redwoods. Finally, drive the coast on down to San Francisco. Any ideas how long it will take to drive the Coast to SF from Redwoods? Mapquest keeps diverting me to 101 and that is still about 6 hours. I am sure the coast drive will take longer, but not sure how much or if it is worth it.

I may try to break it into two days, perhaps stop half way for the night. I did not want to drive forever only to have a long flight back to the East Coast - I want to enjoy myself without feeling like we are constantly feeling like we are trying to get somewhere.


Level Contributor
4,398 posts
1 review
Save Reply
1. Re: Redwoods to San Fran - coast drive?

I would suggest stopping in Mendocino for the night, because if you take Rt. 1 down the coast instead of 101, it takes a lot longer than 6 hours to drive to SF. It took me nearly 6 hours just from Mendocino to SF, in fact since I stayed on 1 all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge (but you can cut over sooner if you'd like to shorten the drive).

It's a gorgeous drive--I loved Rt. 1.

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
Level Contributor
42,734 posts
1,029 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Redwoods to San Fran - coast drive?

I recognize your name, PoohRules, but don't remember reading your other posts, so don't know when you are visiting?

Crater Lake is snowbound about 8 months of the year, and the north entrance/exit is open only from about late June to early Oct.

Crater Lake to Crescent City is about 4 hours drive.

The drive from Crescent City to Eureka will take 1.5 hours via the main road Hwy 101 and the freeway section. If you want to take the scenic parkway (old 101) it will take an hour or so longer.

Eureka to SF via 101 is 5-6 hours.

Kapiti Coast
Level Contributor
624 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Redwoods to San Fran - coast drive?

We drove the coast route and then headed inland at what was basically the end of 1 towards Garberville. It really is a pretty drive and well worth it.

Level Contributor
47 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Redwoods to San Fran - coast drive?

Hello Half-Brit. I am the nut that went to Death Valley in December and thought it would be a 70 degree average tempature. It turned out we got hit with a snow storm and high winds. It was the week they had 4 inches of snow in Vegas. We still had a blast and have pictures of Death Valley in the snow.

I am going to Crater Lake/Redwoods in September - I think fly to Portland the 17th. I was worried about the snow, but since it won't yet be October, I figure we are good - but expect it to be cold. Then again, we have tough luck on snow (as shown above so you never know).

Now I am looking at staying in Little River, a lighthouse, as a half way point. Maybe then we can decide which way we want to go. I wonder if by Little River we will have seen enough of the coast drive to decide or will we have gone through mostly inland before we get there. The map somewhat looks like Fort Bragg is where the coast drive begins when heading South.

Thanks, everyone, for your help. Oh and definately go to Death Valley if you have never been. I even recommend December - snow or no snow - it is very unique.

Houston, TX
Level Contributor
119 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Redwoods to San Fran - coast drive?

Just finished our coastal trip. I, too, would highly recommend stopping somewhere between Crescent City and San Fran. Between two trips, I've now done the 1 / 101 from Crescent City to the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Big Sur. We tried going from Mendocino to Redding in one day and that just didn't work since we liked to stop and take pictures. Granted, that's about an hour and a half shorter trip, but you'll have less daylight. We found that for *our* touring style, we couldn't plan more than 4 hours of driving or we wouldn't get to our destination before close to midnight (but it got dark at 8:30). So factor in how much you expect / want to stop.

The coast is gorgeous, though, as is most of the 101 that we took. I recommend the historic 101 through the northern Redwoods, and Avenue of the Giants through Humboldt if you go through Humboldt.

I also second the recommendation for Mendocino. Mom and I stayed at the Mendocino Hotel and that was fantastic. The town was a lot cleaner than Eureka was but still has the charm. Can't compare to Ferndale as we didn't make it to that part.

If you're stopping near Fort Bragg, I'd continue on the other half hour to Mendocino.

Also, between Mendocino and Fort Bragg is a botanical garden that was very lovely. Of course, not sure what would be blooming in September, but when we were there the rhododendrons were in full bloom. They have other sections of the gardens that I'm sure would be gorgeous in September.

6. Re: Redwoods to San Fran - coast drive?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 2:20 am, December 01, 2009