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Old 02-14-2016, 11:06 PM   #29
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395 is an option and parts are scenic but not in the same league as places like the redwoods avenue of the Giants. I would take 101 south till highway 20 and cut over towards Yosemite. You avoid the traffic congestion in the San Francisco Bay Area.


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Old 02-15-2016, 04:01 AM   #30
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After some reading and a little more thought... I think we would actually like 299 in an RV, providing the traffic isn't terrible. I'm a fan of mountain passes and windy roads, regardless of what vehicle I'm in. From there, we could head down I5 to 120 like larry suggested and head for Yosemite.
**Taking Hwy-299 from Arcata to I-5 Redding would be a nice scenic drive thru the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Traffic is lite during the week and slightly busier on weekends, with tourist travel. Not a large population this far north in Calif. The one issue is...it is 145 miles long, with windy road following the Trinity River canyon on eastern half. Note: the other route on Hwy-20 (Willits-Williams) is 84mi, with an easier drive.

**You would miss the "Ave of the Giants" section, but you would get to see redwoods at Prairie Creek and Redwood National & State Parks, prior to reaching Hwy-299 and some Calif. shoreline at Trinidad.

**When you get to Redding, you could visit Lake Shasta and Mount Shasta and I would recommend Lassen Volcanic National Park (time permitting) before making the boring trip to Yosemite NP on I-5/Hwy-99. There are a lot of nice RV parks in Redding/Red Bluff area i.e. Durango RV Resort.


But there's another option we're looking at...

What does anyone think about going down 395 on the east side of the Sierra Nevadas, instead of the more congested west side? Looking at the map, It looks like it might be pretty scenic... If we wanted, we could cut back west on 120 through Yosemite for a day trip just to take in some sights, and then head east again on 120 and make our way to Tucson. Thoughts?

-cheers

**Hwy-395 gets interesting when you leave Yosemite (Hwy-120) and connect at Lee Vining. Visit Bodie Ghost Town, June Lake, Mammoth Lake, Bishop, Mt. Whitney as you head south to Death Valley. Also, stop at Tuolumne Meadows on your way out of Yosemite Valley.

Safe Travels!
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Old 02-15-2016, 05:20 AM   #31
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Thanks for the great information Larry. There's just so much to see, and simply not enough time to see it! I'm torn between taking 299 east vs. 101 south through the avenue of the giants... but I suspect either route will be a great memory if we're fortunate enough to go. From the youtube videos I've seen, 299 would definitely be a slow ride in an RV, but certainly not impassible... so depending on our schedule, time might be the deciding factor to take 101 further south to 20 and cut across.

We're getting very close to having our old RV back on the road, and we're hopeful that everything falls in line for this trip to pan out. We might look a little silly with one new side and 3 old dilapidated sides on our rig, but we would be together having a great time.

-cheers
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Old 02-15-2016, 09:55 AM   #32
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I do realize this would omit the section of 101 called the "avenue of the giants..." which from what I've read is the best section of highway to see the redwoods.

-cheers

We traveled southbound on 101 last year. From Santa Rosa we chose the path that took us to the East Bay by way of the Richmond bridge (no toll southbound...don't know about northbound). DD graduated from Mills College so we were familiar with traffic on both sides of the bay. We rejoined the 101 in San Jose. Traffic. No one likes it. Some tolerate it better than others.

The Ave of the Giants drive was a must see for us. In fact after arriving, we spontaneously chose to relax for a few days in the park. I would...no, will drive this again. Haven't taken our MH to Yosemite yet, but will do so. Camped there in the mid 1970's in our VW hippy van. The place was (and hopefully is still) special.

Here is what DW took a picture of on my iPhone while I was driving in the Ave of the Giants:

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Old 02-15-2016, 11:22 AM   #33
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If you MUST visit S.F.....avoid the Bay Bridge and take GG Bridge. After toll booth, take second right turnoff (first is the Presidio). After second tunnel you come to Lake Street. Go right and keep going along California or Anza until you reach the ocean. Go left towards 280. There is a RV resort in Pacifica, CA. Decent. You can easily BART or rent a car to see sights.

Do not hit downtown S.F. or 19th Avenue....EVER
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Old 02-15-2016, 04:56 PM   #34
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Sorry I'm late to the party. I am born an raised I the foothills (goldrush area) of California, Placerville and Mariposa specifically, I can tell you I have been on all of these roads from small cars, to pickups pulling trailers to screaming through these hills in Fire engines including SR49, 120, 36, 299, 101 and 20! So, I agree with larry on his points. Please, do yourself a favor, AVOID 299! you will not be missing anything on this road. a good tour on a motorcycle or sportscar? absolutely! in an RV? nope! I don't think the benefits outweigh the pain on that route. I would stick with the 101 idea, and punch over to 5 on 20 or take 37 to hwy 80 and then head east. you can stop on 101 and jump over to the coast on a day trip and continue on with your trip. If you like the hwy 49 idea it will tax you but, if you take your time and take in the sights...no problem. lots of history, old gold rush towns and good restaurants. one excellent RV park is at Jackson Rancheria, which may be a good stopping point to explore, then you can take 49 south to 120 into the park. when you leave you can go 140 through mariposa to hwy 99 in merced, orrr, take 41 to Oakhurst then on to hwy 99 in fresno, 41 may be a little easier for MH or TT's. Lots of history here and plenty of places to stop, I'm sure I missed something, all questions welcomed or advice. we are actually doing this route up 101 in may to Ft. Bragg. Cheers!
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Old 02-15-2016, 11:19 PM   #35
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DW and I plan to visit the "Avenue of the Giants" next weekend taking the Hwy-20 route, from Roseville. Camping at the Benbow KOA RV Resort in Garberville. This is a great RV park with good access to the Ancient Redwoods and Lost Coast. Weather looks sunny and looking forward to our 2016 shakedown trip.
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Old 02-16-2016, 07:26 PM   #36
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Thanks again for all the help...

So we've decided we will take 101 to 20 to 5 to 120. I think we'll launch this portion of the trip from the KOA in Garberville and make a bee-line for the Lee Vining area.

Next question... camping towards the west end of 120... or near Lee Vining... Any suggestions? At this point on our trip, we will have been traveling for about 4 days and will probably need to spend 2 nights somewhere just to have a day of downtime to relax for a bit before heading for Tucson. We don't need a campground with a lot of "activities." Mostly we just want to camp some place with some nice scenery to stare at from our lawn chairs. Any thoughts?

When we leave California, I'd like to go through death valley... I am certain I can make the trip from somewhere near Lee Vining to Tucson in a single day, but we have a couple days to play with at this point in the trip, so if anyone has any suggestions on places to drive through on that leg of the trip, or perhaps places worth staying... I'd be grateful.

-cheers
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Old 02-16-2016, 10:44 PM   #37
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Good decision on the Hwy-101 trip thru the Giant Redwoods. Heading south, Garberville is a good place to camp after the Avenue of the Giants (AOG) drive. Before entering the AOG, take a detour thru the Victorian Village of Ferndale. A lot of Victorian!

When you get to Hwy-20/I-5 in Williams, stop for lunch at Granzella's Restaurant/Deli. Fun place!

When you get to Yosemite area, I would suggest camping at Yosemite Lakes RV Resort. It's a large RV park, full-hookups and 5 miles to the West entrance to Yosemite Valley. You could visit this incredible NP on a day trip, before heading over Tioga Pass to Hwy-395 (eastern Sierras). Depending on your schedule, June Lake, Mammoth Lakes, Bishop, Lone Pine are places to camp heading south.

Safe travels on your California adventure!
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Old 02-17-2016, 04:12 AM   #38
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Good decision on the Hwy-101 trip thru the Giant Redwoods. Heading south, Garberville is a good place to camp after the Avenue of the Giants (AOG) drive. Before entering the AOG, take a detour thru the Victorian Village of Ferndale. A lot of Victorian!

When you get to Hwy-20/I-5 in Williams, stop for lunch at Granzella's Restaurant/Deli. Fun place!

When you get to Yosemite area, I would suggest camping at Yosemite Lakes RV Resort. It's a large RV park, full-hookups and 5 miles to the West entrance to Yosemite Valley. You could visit this incredible NP on a day trip, before heading over Tioga Pass to Hwy-395 (eastern Sierras). Depending on your schedule, June Lake, Mammoth Lakes, Bishop, Lone Pine are places to camp heading south.

Safe travels on your California adventure!
Thanks a million Larry...

Question: Rt120... how much time do you think we should we alot to traveling through the area? From Groveland to Lee Vining is about 90 miles... I assume it would be worth our time to detour off of 120 and make the loop around Yosemite Valley so we can get a peek at El Capitan etc? I'm thinking a single day should be enough time to take in the sights and get some good pictures?

-cheers
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Old 02-17-2016, 11:44 AM   #39
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We wound up with a dangling passenger side mirror on 19th at Taraval, lol.

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Old 02-18-2016, 02:12 AM   #40
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Thanks a million Larry...

Question: Rt120... how much time do you think we should we alot to traveling through the area? From Groveland to Lee Vining is about 90 miles... I assume it would be worth our time to detour off of 120 and make the loop around Yosemite Valley so we can get a peek at El Capitan etc? I'm thinking a single day should be enough time to take in the sights and get some good pictures?

-cheers
A single day is enough time to drive the Yosemite Valley Loop (couple hours) and then head over the Tioga Pass to Hwy-395. The drive from the West is a gradual climb to the summit, then a fast decent to Lee Vining. Really spectacular views. Road is well maintained and safe, just take it easy on the brakes on the decent. I've driven it several times in a motorhome and it was an easy, enjoyable drive. Lee Vining is mostly a highway junction. Campgrounds start at June Lake. Mammoth Lakes is the big ski resort with a lot of accommodations. Try June Lakes RV Resort for camping at the end of day.
This is a better description...
3 Stops on Tioga Road in Yosemite

Enjoy the adventure!
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Old 02-18-2016, 02:39 AM   #41
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When we leave California, I'd like to go through death valley...
Death Valley in summer will be brutally hot. Temperatures at midnight in the 90's, daytime as high as 120. Not my idea of fun. Loved it in March though.
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Old 02-18-2016, 06:11 AM   #42
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Death Valley in summer will be brutally hot. Temperatures at midnight in the 90's, daytime as high as 120. Not my idea of fun. Loved it in March though.
Yes, we're aware of this. I love the heat... as long as the air conditioners hold up, we'll be fine. We've been in Phoenix and Tucson with the rv when it's been 105 to 115 and I can't get enough of it... that's why we're going again. The RV has a good cooling system (new radiator) for the engine, so as long as we take it easy going through and keep our speed down, we can hopefully avoid a blowout. If we do get a blowout, I have a 4' breaker bar and a 4' pipe with which to test my manhood in the blazing heat.

-cheers
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