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Old 08-31-2014, 10:07 AM   #1
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CA Hwy 20

We are planning to travel from Grass Valley, Ca. to Trinidad, Ca. early Tuesday morning. We want to avoid I-80 and the Bay Area and are thinking of taking HWY 20 west thru Yuba City to the 101. We are driving a 30ft gasser pulling a jeep.

Has anyone driven that stretch of highway recently? Any reason we should or shouldn't take this route? Our 3yr old mountain directory lists some potential issues, our new digital version does not. So we're looking for some recent experience and opinions.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-31-2014, 05:45 PM   #2
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I drove that route last year from I 5 to 101. No big problems. I believe you have a pretty good grade initially. I have a 28 foot gasser pulling a wrangler unlimited. Nice drive around crystal lake.
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Old 09-01-2014, 05:57 PM   #3
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Ok, cool, thanks for your opinion. We asked our son in law who just took this route a couple months ago in a car and he suggested we avoid the 20 between the 49 and the 65, so we'll pick it up at the 65 and take it over to the 101.

You said no "big" problems. What are the small ones?
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Old 09-01-2014, 06:21 PM   #4
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we drive it every year from Salt Lake City to Orland Ca. hwy 32 is a nice drive (for the Passengers) do NOT take any RV except a TRUCK CAMPER!! really tight curve and Narrow Road.
20 is good, just took our 30' ft trailer over it in June.
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Old 09-01-2014, 06:47 PM   #5
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Hwy 20> I'm a native of the area. Yuba City. Have driven that route hundreds of times in forty years towing, pulling, hauling. No issues and it is a beautiful drive. We currently own a 40 footer pulling a toad and have gone over that route many times. Use your transmission to hold you back.

If you are going to 101 here is a description to help you along that route too.  
 
Take Highway 20 West out of Williams. 37.1 miles.
Watch for Highway 53 as you drop down a hill after a fairly long climb. Easy climb and multiple lanes.
Turn what would be South onto 53. You will go about 8 miles. Look for the sign to Highway 29 which leads to Kelseyville. This is a nice road and will become freeway in a few miles. Eventually you are back to two lane for a short distance and will come to a stop sign. You are back to Highway 20 again. This leg is about 30 miles. Turn left and enjoy the beautiful drive right to 101
This route will bypass the two lane twisting and winding on the North side of Clear lake. If you want a good view of the lake go ahead and stay on 20 all the way to 101.
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Old 09-02-2014, 10:59 AM   #6
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We ran from Trinidad to Lodi about two weeks ago, so we were traveling West to East. We decided to take to loop thru Redding, to avoid the traffic in the bay area. We found that while 299 had four good climbs, that it was a nice drive. Some construction still going on, as they do the 'realignment' effort reducing many of the hairpin turns that are mentioned in the Western Mountain Directory (Ours is probably 6-7 years old now.). But we were not impacted by more then 15 mins total, waiting for our turn to go signal file during one stretch.

A negative of going this way, is you miss the redwoods on 101 on the South side of Eureka.

We looked into 20 too for awhile, but with a 40' and CRV toad, we thought 299 was the way to go, based upon reading many posts by others on this and other boards.

Have fun which ever way you end up going. We stayed in the Emerald Forest, as we could not get into Patricks Point (we waited too long to decide to take 101 down from Oregon).
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Old 09-02-2014, 08:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YC1 View Post
Hwy 20>

If you are going to 101 here is a description to help you along that route too.  
 
Take Highway 20 West out of Williams. 37.1 miles.
Watch for Highway 53 as you drop down a hill after a fairly long climb. Easy climb and multiple lanes.
Turn what would be South onto 53. You will go about 8 miles. Look for the sign to Highway 29 which leads to Kelseyville. This is a nice road and will become freeway in a few miles. Eventually you are back to two lane for a short distance and will come to a stop sign. You are back to Highway 20 again. This leg is about 30 miles. Turn left and enjoy the beautiful drive right to 101
This route will bypass the two lane twisting and winding on the North side of Clear lake. If you want a good view of the lake go ahead and stay on 20 all the way to 101.

Thanks for the terrific directions. We took your suggestion and went south around the lake on the 53 and 29. It worked out just fine. Thanks again.
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:08 AM   #8
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My pleasure to help. This question comes up so often I have saved the information to copy and paste.

Forgot to mention there are a couple of Elk herds along the way you just might be lucky enough to see.

Another place of interest is before getting to Clear lake as you were going up a steep hill about half way where you had two lanes on the right and one coming down. There is an old mining camp. Not much left of interest. It was a mercury mine working into the late 60's. This mine is 1 mile before you came to the only surviving restaurant between Williams and Clear lake area. The Oasis. It was quite the place in its day.

We lived at the "Abbot Mine" as kids. Had the nicest house in the camp. Our out house was out of the rain. We did have to trudge along a wood path to the shower house though.

Enjoy your journey north. The reports on 299 have improved over the years. The one time we drove it we swore to never do it again but that was 25 years ago. Many good reports these days so it might be fun to traverse that way now.
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