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West Coast hiway 101


Hello all, My wife and I are recently retired from the automotive repair industry after 40 years. We are Colorado natives and seen most of the attractions here. Now that we have time to ourselves, we are going to start exploring the wonderful country that we live in. we have a trip this summer to California, from Seqouia, Kings canyon, Yosemite, Monterey bay, San Fransisco, NAPA Wine Country,  to hiway 101 up to Seattle. Any thing we "have" to see between San Fran and Astoria ? Any precautions with a 40ft Motor Home with a trailer/car ?



Explorer II
Explorer II

If you like cold, fog, and wind- do the north coast. If you like the most beautiful areas, goto tahoe, but get reservations far in advance!

Explorer III
Explorer III

The Redwoods!

The Redwood National Park is commingled with several state parks, and are managed collectively.  So stopping at a state park visitor center is about the same as the National Park visitor center and vice versa.  They all share information.  

Highway 101 goes through the Avenue of the Giants, with the giant tree groves right along the highway.  A side trip to Fern Canyon is well worth it.  It was used in a scene in Jurassic Park.  There is no 'trail' per se, as it follows the creek bottom and floods annually.  The 'trail' involves stepping over logs, crossing sandbars, and wading the creek in places -- but the canyon is spectacular with vertical walls of different fern species.  Getting a motorhome to the trailhead may be problematic, but your car will have no problem.  

The Forest Moon of Endor in the Star Wars saga was filmed at several locations in redwood groves.  One of the main ones is directly across the Smith River from the Jedediah Smith campground on highway 199, a short distance off 101.  

The Oregon Coast is scenic the entire way.  The state has done a good job with oceanside state parks and catering to RVs.  Tillamook has the cheese and ice cream factory open for tours (and free samples).  

In WA, don't forget Olympic National Park.  The Hoh Rain Forest is beautiful.  Highlights include the Hall of Mosses trail (old growth forest draped in many different moss species).  It rains a lot there, even in summer.  Forks is reputedly the rainiest town in the US with over 200 days per year of measurable rain.  


So many campsites, so little time...


The most beautiful coastline that you will ever see is from Bodega Bay, CA North.  I would highly recommend that you head west from Napa to Petaluma and then over to the coast at Bodega Bay.  The Pacific Coast Highway ( 1 ) hugs the coast with lots of curves and mountains but it is easily passible.  I would recommend taking it all of the way to Rockport where it bends back East and connects to 101 to finish your trip North.  I would also recommend an overnight stop in Ft Bragg to give you time for a little exploring - Mendocino has great restaurants and shops and the Skunk Train through the redwoods in Ft Bragg is well worth the time.  

Explorer III
Explorer III

We went Point Reyes to Eureka last summer. 

There are some very narrow and curvey sections. I recall one construction area that was pretty tough, even though only one way. 


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If you can do 101 heading south, it is easier to pull in and out of view points without having cross traffic.

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We drove 101 from Crescent City, CA to Cannon Beach, OR in May. We have a 26 ft travel trailer pulled with a truck. We didn't encounter any issues, but we did our exploring in our truck with the trailer parked at various parks along the route. I would not plan on detouring to sites along 101 while in your motorhome. Most scenic sidetrips off of 101 are not conducive to big rigs from what we saw. 101 itself was great. The roadway was in good shape and so many great views and beautiful things to see along the way.


Well I would definitely stay on the 101 over the 5 going north. The scenery is much better. I was up there 20 years ago so my mind is fuzzy. But I was going wine tasting west of Geyserville and I stumbled on a fish hatchery. It will only burn an hour or two but I remember it was kind of interesting.


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