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Old 04-12-2016, 11:24 AM   #1
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Favorite spots CA-1 SFO to Eureka

Putting together a last minute trip leaving in 5 days, the last two weeks of April. We rented a Thor Ace (30' mini class A gasser, towing nothing) from Road Bear RV and plan to spendthe first 5 days in KOA Petaluma with my sister's family joining us in a rented cabin. Then we head north for 6 days between Petaluma and up to Eureka at the most. (returning the MH to Oakland area on day 6). No known construction along CA-1, so we are thinking of to taking that northbound, then 101 southbound. We are finding many SP already full for the weekend days, but available weekdays. Any recommendations of campsites (dry camping is just fine, full hookups ok too) or other 'gems' to not pass-up along the way? Scenic places to pull over for lunch, short hikes, good eats, etc. Thanks
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Old 04-12-2016, 12:13 PM   #2
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The private FHU parks should have availability this time of year. From north to south, here's a few we've used recently that I can highly recommend. Azaela Glen in Arcata, just north of Eureka. Riverwalk in Fortuna. Ancient Redwoods near Redcrest. The fairgrounds in Ukiah is fine for an overnighter. It's been too long since we've been along 1 south of Fort Bragg, but Pomo RV was very nice (& very popular) in the past. Perhaps others can suggest SP's that are available on a first come first serve basis along 1. There are a lot as I remember. I also remember a nice facility in the general area of Fort Ross, but not much more than that.
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Old 04-13-2016, 12:41 PM   #3
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Did a similar trip with Monaco Trek motorhome, we started at Leggett and went south. Definitely recommend driving from north to south. Better views of the ocean. Co-pilot can tell you how near you are to the edge of the road. Head north on 101 through the redwoods to Eureka if you plan to go that far and then south on CA 1. 6 days seems too short a time.

Have stayed several times at the KOA in Petaluma. Ukiah has an interesting museum of a lady that built a Redwood house and was an artist.

We have stayed several times (once w/o rain) at Humboldt Redwoods State Park (Burlington State Park) next to the visitor center in the redwoods. KOAs at Willits and Benbow. Richardson State Park near Garberville worked for us, but wouldn't for a longer coach. Don't bother to drive out to Shelter Cove.

Have heard good things about Ancient Redwoods and Redcrest. Some OK spots along the Klamath also.

Mackerricher State Park – 4 miles N of Fort Bragg was a nice one. Lots to do in Fort Bragg - ride the Skunk Train, visit the glass beach, nice harbor with seafood restaurants, etc.

If you can get into Doran Regional Park that's good, if not Bodega Bay RV Park was OK but not near water. Don't forget Point Reyes and Fort Ross.

Have a nice trip.
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Old 04-13-2016, 08:30 PM   #4
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Exactly the type of info I was hoping for, thank you. It sounds like we're planning it right. 6 days is indeed insufficient, but it's what we have to work with. We cut down the miles and are not going up to Eureka. From KOA Petaluma, we plan to go 101 north only as far as 'Ave Of The Giants', and have reservations for 2 nights in Burlington CG Humboldt Redwoods SP. Then we plan to make our way to the coast (probably via 101 South then west on 20 through Jackson State forest, because I have been advised to avoid CA-1 between Legget and Hardy.) We have a 2 nights reserved at MacKerricher SP, then 2 more reservation-free days to make our way south on CA-1. Thank you for the attraction tidbits.
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Old 04-14-2016, 01:31 AM   #5
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If your coach is under 32 feet, don't be afraid to do CA-1 from Leggett down to the coast. But be prepared for lots of hair-pin turns with suggested 10 mph. We did fine.

Still laugh at the 40 - 45 foot coach we met by Bodega Bay. I stopped so he could come around the turn. He stopped and looked at me and motioned for me to make the turn first. Not a problem - I went around the turn. I think he was wondering what he got into.
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Old 04-15-2016, 11:37 AM   #6
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[QUOTE=zekegb;3021125]

Don't bother to drive out to Shelter Cove.

There used to be an absolutely fabulous magazine called 'Trailer Boats'. It did an article on fishing & boating Shelter Cove. Talked about the road shoulder being littered with transmissions that had failed, etc. Basically it suggested that your tow vehicle had to be in top notch shape & you better be very experienced with seriously steep conditions. When finally in the area with a full size Ford van 16 years ago, we took the van down. I am very experienced with towing boats all over California's mountains, but I was truly in awe of this trail. Loved the famous markings on the road. Fish & chips alone was worth the drive. Even an RV park there. I seem to remember signs warning of RV fatalities. Mountain Guide suggests it is a steep narrow winding road with short stretches of 6-10% grades and 2.5 miles of 12-15% grades.
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Old 04-15-2016, 05:50 PM   #7
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We've done the entire length of CA1 in a 40 footer with toad. It's curvy at the far north end but quite doable.
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Old 04-15-2016, 05:56 PM   #8
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Doran County Beach campground near Bodega Bay is also quite nice. On the far right side of one of the big seafood restaurants in Bodega Bay (the one farthest north) is a small stand with outdoor seating. It has excellent seafood at half the price of the two big restaurants. It's also fun to take in "The Birds" memorabilia in the town of Bodega, southeast of Bodega Bay.
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Old 04-25-2016, 05:01 PM   #9
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Going great

We're in our adventure. Drove CA-1 south from Leggit yesterday. There were some moments of full concentration, but very doable even for this novice. Maneuvering freeway traffic and tree-lined campground trails has been more difficult than the mountain curves. No scratches on the rental rig yet, thank God (and the DW who has been a great co-pilot).
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