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Old 10-04-2010, 04:30 PM   #1
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Redwood National Park - California

I'd like to visit the Redwood National Park in the summer of 2011. We will leave from San Francisco and go to the park. The coach and toad are 63 feet long. For those of you who have been there:
1. What is the safest route to get to the park from San Francisco?
2. Is there a nice CG/ RV Resort close by the park?
3. When we leave the area we will travel to Mt. St Helen's. What is the preferred/safe route to travel north and get back to I5?

thanks
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Old 10-04-2010, 05:30 PM   #2
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You have choices but I'd suggest you take Hwy 101 and stay on it. I don't know about campgrounds in Redwood forest area but I'm sure you'll get recommendations from the readers. You might want to stay on highway 101 up to Tillamook, Oregon and cross over to I-5. You can stay on 101 up to Astoria and then go up the Columbia River to Portland or cross the river and go up to Vancouver WA. If time is a factor you can cross to I-5 from Crescent City, CA to Grants Pass, OR on hwy 199. I don't know your driving comfort factor but 199 does have some narrow spots and tight corners but it is used by semi tractors with trailers. It all very beautiful and there are many things to see so take your time and enjoy.
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:17 PM   #3
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I agree 101 is the route. Once you escape the Bay area and pass Santa Rosa 101 is mostly good. However in the Redwoods area the road is often two very narrow lanes winding through the trees. In many places the Redwood bark is missing from being hit by truck (motorhome?) mirrors so exercise extreme caution especially if it is dark and raining as it often is in that area.

The campgrounds in the Redwoods are very small from what I have seen and of course no power or sewer.

Just across the Oregon border the camping is far better in my opinion. For example, just passed Brookings OR on 101 is Harris Beach State Park. Half the rain, sites big enough for MH, power, sewer, Wi-Fi and even Cable TV in the sites with Ocean view.

The shortest and lowest altitude route to I-5 is going on 101 to Lincoln City then across the coast range to Portland.

It is a beautiful drive.
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:51 PM   #4
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There is a great RV Park in Benbow Redwood Coast RV park, Benbow hotel in Garberville CA, Humboldt County RV and Golf Course and a good one in Redcrest Ancient Redwoods Resort RV Park, on the Avenue of the Giants. The RV Park in Redcrest is closed in the Winter due to possible flooding.

I have driven 101 thru the Redwoods a number of time, we have a 39' MH and tow a CRV. As mentioned above, the road gets narrow in a few places. Watch the speed limit, it is 35 in most of the tightest places.

I have driven from 101 to 5 via 199 and also on Oregon 126. 199 is a very pretty drive but I prefer Oregon 126 as it a beautiful drive up the Oregon Coast to Florence.
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Old 10-04-2010, 08:38 PM   #5
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Just a tip if you take any of these routes.

Get gas at Santa Rosa and Florence on the Oregon coast. They are one tank, (500 Miles) apart. Especially avoid the N. California coast if you care about price.
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Old 10-05-2010, 12:49 PM   #6
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Gary, do you have an idea where you will stay in the SF area? If you can avoid driving your M/H and toad thru SF as there are only surface streets. If you must... use 19th Avenue to the GG Bridge. Use truck/Bus lane to cross as 4 wheeler lanes are too narrow. If you are interested in alternate routes PM me and I will provide suggestions.
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:32 PM   #7
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Thanks to everyone for their posts. The details are just what I needed. Ronnie, my initial thought is to stay at the ball park (Candlestick Park?). I haven't thought about the detail routing yet.
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Old 10-09-2010, 11:58 PM   #8
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I have stayed at Candlestick Park and whiole it's kinda handy,it's expensive,in a bad neighborhood and the management isn't too friendly.When we were there,there were races in the parking lot outside the rv park and all kinds of other doings. I would actually advise staying north of the bridge and commuting. You can do this by auto or park and ride the ferry to downtown S.F.
We have stayed at the park in Novato,which is a pretty nice place to stay several times.
Going north,if you have the time,I would suggest staying on the 101 all the way to Astoria and then take #30 to Longview and it's only a few miles up to the trunoff to Mt St. Helens.That way you'll miss Portland,unless you want to visit there.If so,I would suggest staying at the RV park of Portland in Tualitin..
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Old 10-10-2010, 02:03 AM   #9
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Additional info that may help.

Have been to the Avenue of the Giants area and Redwoods National Park numerous times over the years on a motorcycle....took the 40' DP and toad this past June (2010). I find this region one of the most awesome places on earth, and I suggest you allow whatever time you have available to explore this area. It is NOT a "drive by", believe me.

Re RV parks, only 2 that I know of can handle your rig. Benbow is nice, but it is somewhat cramped and VERY expensive....it is a golf resort after all. The Ancient Redwoods RV Park is right on the Avenue of the Giants and is an outstanding choice. Very roomy, GREAT staff, reasonable prices and convenient to the many things to see and do along and near the Avenue. The weather here, however, can be a bit cool and windy since it sometimes gets the fog and wind coming in off the ocean. You will not be disappointed here, however. This park is very big rig friendly with full hook ups.

A couple of things you really need to see if time allows. Visit the Rockefeller Redwood Park and gape at Giant Tree that soars to about 370' in height. It is 21' in diameter and 76' in circumference....amazing! Also, suggest you spend some walking time at several of the redwood groves along the Avenue. Most folks are spellbound by the serene beauty here. Also consider driving the route (in your toad) that goes out to the Lost Coast of Humboldt County, ending up in the quaint town of Ferndale, CA. Make sure you fill up before leaving. It is an adventure truly worth the time....pack a lunch and enjoy the incredible beauty.

The best times to go there is early June before schools let out or after Labor Day. Mid summer can get a bit "trafficky" along the Avenue. Also, Highway 101 can be a bit challenging at a few points, but it is not really all that bad. And the scenery here north of Willits, CA, all the way up is truly incredible. It is really a fun ride in a motorhome....and on a motorcycle as well. Good luck, and enjoy!
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Old 10-10-2010, 05:25 PM   #10
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This is great additional information, thank you.
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:35 AM   #11
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Gary....you are very welcome.

I would add that there is a very good publication available called "101 Things To Do In Humboldt County", or something like that. Most merchants up there have these for public distribution, but you might also contact the County Chamber of Commerce. They would probably send you one, and it would be good to have before your trip. The thing may appear at first to be a bit overwhelming, but it is an outstanding source of things to see and do in that area. It also contains useful maps, etc. Humboldt County is a goldmine of neat things to see and do....hope your trip allows you some time to enjoy it. If your time is limited, you must drive the Avenue of the Giants....if only while towing thru on your way north. It is absolutely amazing! I guess you might say I love the place....and that would be true. God willing and the creeks don't rise, we will be back there in early June, 2011. Take care.
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Old 10-19-2010, 09:48 AM   #12
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We've always taken 101 north to the Redwoods. Mt St Helens is great and there is more detail on that at RVcruzer.com - Traveling the Pacific Northwest by RV . Don't forget the Oregon coastline. There's so much to see and do from Crescent City to MSH.
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Old 10-19-2010, 10:47 AM   #13
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A nice place to stay, along 101 in Oregon, is Cape Lookout. It's on the beach, 11 miles South of Tillamook.

Here is some info on it: Cape Lookout, Oregon Coast

It's an Oregon State park, and they do have full hook ups for $24 a night. The area with the trees are cut high enough to not impead a big 5er or Coach.

I loved it enough that I will be spending a week there in 2011.

Sheila
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Old 10-19-2010, 01:47 PM   #14
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We're heading for Las Vegas for Thanksgiving and will be going down via I-5 26,97,31,395,thru Death Valley and are planning on coming home via I-15,210,134 to 101&1 or I-15, I-10 to 1 and up the coast as we did last January and spend a couple of days more on the way.Would like to stay another day at Santa barbara and then visit Firestone winery and brewery in Paso Robles,we drove right by it last time w/o realizing it,and then up the coast and spend some time in the northern section of the redwoods and also do some beer tasting as we go.I know that winter isn't always the best time to travel the coast,but who cares as long as we're not at home and we didn't have one day of rain last year except on a traveling day.We even had 80 degrees in Santa Barbara on the 4th of January and 65 thru Crescent City and Brookings-Gold Beach.
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