lassen volcanic and redwood national parks

Old Sep 12th, 2019, 09:48 AM
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lassen volcanic and redwood national parks

My college roommate (from 50 years ago!) are planning on meeting up and travelling to Lassen Volcanic and Redwood National Parks in August 2020. I know it will be crowded then; it is the only time we can go. We are flying in and out of Sacramento, going first to Lassen and then to Redwood. We have a total of 7 days, 6 nights and like to spend the last night close to the airport. We won't be camping but staying in hotels or lodges or B&Bś. Two questions - how should we split the number of nights between the two parks? We are walkers but not hikers, so would like to do shorter, mostly level trails. And it is looking like lodging is tricky, especially for two people looking for a room with two beds. Any recommendations on places to stay (including what areas of Redwood would be the best locations).

Thank you for your help!

Barbara
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Old Sep 12th, 2019, 10:29 AM
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Old Sep 12th, 2019, 11:04 AM
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Dad gummit!!!!!!! I wrote a long detail post and it vaporized

Here is the quick and dirty version: You will have a lot less then the seven usable days you mention. You have five nights before returning to Sacramento, So you'll have closer to four usable days. It is about a three hour drive to Lassen so unless you land very early AM you'll have at most half a day on arrival (BTW -- plan on it being bloody hot at Lassen in August - at least in the lower elevations). Then Lassen to the North coast is a long/twisty/turny drive -- at least 4 hours. And back to SMF is another long drive 4-5 hours depending on where you stay.

I'd plan 2 nights Lassen and 3 on the coast. BTW -- don't fixate on Redwoods Nat'l Park. The best redwoods are in the CA State Parks in the region. They were established well before the NP so contain the best of the best..

I'd maybe stay one night in Trinidad and 2 farther south in Ferndale or even farther south in Garberville. Bes ure to tour the Avenue of the Giants.
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Old Sep 12th, 2019, 12:13 PM
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I don't think Lassen is ever extremely crowded. There aren't a lot of level trails. Just a couple of short ones in the Manzanita Lake area and at the Devastated Area so one day would be plenty. You may want to add a side trip to Burney Falls. There's a lava tube you can see on the way. There are camping cabins at Manzanita Lake with multiple beds but these do not have private bathrooms. Or look for accommodations near Mineral south of the park. I would also look into cabins on airbnb.
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Old Sep 12th, 2019, 12:31 PM
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Oh -- yes -- meant to mention that none of the areas you will be visiting will be overly crowded - or crowded at all really

Burney Falls is absolutely wonderful. You could drive from Lassen to the Falls en route to say Trinidad - the short detour would add about an hour to the total drive (plus how much time you spend at the Falls) but well worth it.
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Old Sep 13th, 2019, 11:42 AM
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Thank you for your suggestions - they all sound good. I have a question about Burney Falls on the way from Lassen to Volcanic. Can we see the falls without having to take a long hike to it?
The Avenue of the Giants definitely sounds like something we shouldn't miss. So now I am thinking two nights (after the flight) outside of Lassen in Shingleville, taking the side trip to Burney Falls which google then routes us farther north and staying in Klamath for two nights visiting the parks, driving through the Avenue of the Giants and staying in Garberville one night and then on to an airport hotel for the last night and an early flight out the next morning.

What do you think of that itinerary?

Barbara
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Old Sep 13th, 2019, 11:54 AM
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>>I have a question about Burney Falls on the way from Lassen to Volcanic the coast Can we see the falls without having to take a long hike to it?
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Old Sep 13th, 2019, 11:55 AM
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Thanks for the proofreading and the information - that sounds great!
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Old Sep 18th, 2019, 05:07 PM
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A few friends and I did Lassen a few years back in a day. If I remember right we stayed at the Best Western Rose Quartz Inn in Chester and it worked fine for us. We did the Bumpass Hell hike which does have a moderately steep part at the end but it wasn’t too bad. We also did part of Kings Creek Falls Trail and walked around Manzanita Lake. Both of those were relatively easy. Bumpass Hell was definitely our favorite though.

Another few friends and I just came back from a trip to Oregon and the Northern California coast to see the Redwoods in August. We did some trails in Jedidiah Smith SP that we really liked, I think it was Stout Memorial Grove and Simpson-Reed. We also did Fern Canyon which is further south, and I would highly recommend it. Check with the ranger station about the creek crossing though that you’d have to drive across. We made it in a mini van and we saw smaller cars in the lot too. Two of us were pregnant on this trip, so all the trails we did were pretty easy.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2020, 03:44 PM
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Update - we were not able to take this trip in 2020 because of Covid and we are now in the process of rebooking the same trip for August 2021. We have all of our hotels rebooked except one and when I went back and read the reviews of staying at the Best Western in Garberville, the whole area sounds pretty sketchy. We will be coming from Klamath, CA and travelling to Sacramento for our flight home, wanted to drive through Avenue of the Giants and stay somewhere between Klamath and Sacramento - maybe about halfway. Anyone have any ideas for a good area to stay? We don't want longer than a 3 hr drive from there to Sacramento to be able to return the rental car and get to our airport hotel.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2020, 04:00 PM
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From Mendocino it would take 3.5 hours according to Google and 2.5 from Geyserville. Healdsburg is even closer, but a longer drive from the redwoods area. That's to the airport which is north of Sacramento, so if you plan it carefully, you could catch an afternoon flight on the same day as the drive there.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2020, 04:37 PM
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There are large parts of the NW coast the are 'sketchy' for lots of social and mj growing reasons. Garberville is no better no worse. That being said -- the Benbow Inn is my go to property in the area. I would not stay anywhere else. But it can be pricey.

Do not rely on googlemap for drive time calculations. Three hours from SMF makes this very difficult. Mendocino is great but simply not practical . . . It s nearly a five hour drive from Klamath with no stops . . . and with the Avenue of the Giants it would be a 6.5 - 7 hour drive. Then Mendocino to SMF is a minimum 4 hour drive. Garberville is a 4+ hour drive to SMF. Stay In Garberville at the Benbow or head farther down 101 to Geyserville or Healdsburg. But some properties in those two towns can be eye wateringly expensive.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2020, 05:08 PM
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Hmmm - well no vacancy at the Benbow for August 15. I did mean to say 3 or 4 hours to the airport the next day if that helps.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2020, 05:24 PM
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"I did mean to say 3 or 4 hours to the airport the next day if that helps."

I knew what you meant -- very little in that area will be within 3 hours (which you said in your prior post) of SMF. 4 hours helps a little but . . .

I am really surprised there are no vacancies at the Benbow a year out. But would this be a Fri or Sat night?? They may have a 2 night minimum on weekends so that would not let you book for just one night. Did you phone them or just look on line?

Ft Bragg or Mendocino might work but that is a lot of driving over 2 days.

If not Garberville -- like I mentioned check out Geyserville or Healdsburg
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Old Sep 23rd, 2020, 06:02 PM
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It is a Sunday night and I am surprised too that it would be booked this far ahead. I did not call however so I will try that tomorrow. In the meantime I saw the Miranda Garden Resort which is actually ON the avenue of the giants. It would be 4.5 hours (googled that is) that next day but look like cute little cottages if Benbow doesn't work out.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2020, 10:25 PM
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Well -- A sunday should not require a 2 night minimum.

I haven't stayed in Miranda but have driven past that location several times -- they are definitely 'country'

"It would be 4.5 hours (googled that is)"

Count on a little longer but definitely within 5 hours unless there is construction. The slow bit is on Hwy 20 from 101 around the north end of Clear Lakeand on to I-5 at Williams. But there is really no practical way to avoid that.
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Old Sep 24th, 2020, 12:52 AM
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"Country" meaning cute and rustic or "country" meaning "out in the middle of nowhere and sketchy"?
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Old Sep 24th, 2020, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by barbaralois View Post
"Country" meaning cute and rustic or "country" meaning "out in the middle of nowhere and sketchy"?
little bit of both

You'll understand more once you are in that neck of the woods (not meant as a pun ) Northwest CA is quite a mishmash with amazing scenery, lots of social problems/down and outers, off the grid 'hippies', retirees, cute towns and eyesores . . . all mixed in next to each other.
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Old Sep 24th, 2020, 12:17 PM
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It's also possible the Benbow Inn is not taking reservations a year in advance.Agree with Janis about calling them on the phone. I mean, even airlines normally do not book more than 330 days in advance.
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Old Sep 24th, 2020, 02:55 PM
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You know, I think you are right on not them taking reservations so far in advance. But after talking with my college roommate we decided to give Miranda Gardens a try, with the thinking that we are mostly staying at known quantity kinds of places and we always like at least one adventure - good to have something to talk about afterwards.

Thank you for all your suggestions!

Barbara
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