Lassen volcanic/crater lake/redwoods

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Jun 14th, 2018, 08:13 AM
  #1
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Lassen volcanic/crater lake/redwoods

Hi! We have 7 days to see these 3 parks. We be flying into Oakland late Friday July 27 and flying back on Saturday Aug 4. This is our first trip to Northern California. My husband and I will be traveling with our daughter ages 14 and 12. Looking for any tips and suggestions, we plan on heading to Lassen then Crater then Redwood the Point Reyes. We are would like to do some hiking at the parks. How long do we need at each park? What should stop and see in-between the park? Should we hit Muir Woods and the Golden Gate Bridge?
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Jun 14th, 2018, 08:48 AM
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Your drives from park to park range from 4-6 hours. So I don't think you have that much flexibility - basically one day driving followed by a full day at each park more than takes up your seven days.
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Jun 14th, 2018, 09:28 AM
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That is a LOT of territory in very few days. I'd skip Crater Lake - You just don't have enough time unless you were merely box ticking. And it sounds like you want to hike and explore.

7 days from OAK > OAK including Lassen and the Redwoods would more than fill 7 days. About 4 hours getting to Lassen, 3 nights at Lassen (netting 2+ days) then a half day drive getting to the Redwood parks, 3 nights in the area (again netting just 2 days) then down the coast and stay the last night near Pt Reyes or Bodega Bay (unless your flight out is early AM (if so, you'd want to stay near oAK)
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Jun 14th, 2018, 09:44 AM
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A couple of things...

First, Redwoods National Park is not a typical national park. It was designated as a national park long after California had "cherry picked" the best redwood groves and declared state parks around them. So in planning your route to and through the redwoods, focus on the state parks, in particular Jedediah Smith and Humboldt state parks.

Second, accommodation is VERY limited around both Lassen and (especially) around Crater Lake, so plan you overnight stops carefully and expect to have visit these areas as "day trips" rather than as overnight destinations. In the redwood country, look at Crescent City, Klamath, Trinidad, Arcata, Eureka and Ferndale for accommodations.

Point Reyes can be visited as a day trip from San Francisco. If you want to experience the beautiful Hwy 1 coastline between Leggett and Point Reyes, you also need to look for accommodation in that area asap; it's extremely popular and some places require two night (or more) minimum stays. Yes, I'd cross the Golden Gate bridge; it's too beautiful to miss. I would pass on Muir Woods as it's much too congested, and you'll have seen more impressive groves of redwoods already.

Places of interest en route (google these) include the Oregon Caves along US 199, the "Trees of Mystery" (an old, kitschy, but fun stop) at Klamath, CA, and the Avenue of the Giants byway, which parallels US 101 south of Eureka. I'd especially suggest not missing the Avenue.

Here's a little map showing a possible route. https://goo.gl/maps/KNQ6GorJnrj Google's time estimates are notoriously inaccurate - I'd add a good 20% or more to their estimates.

Last edited by Gardyloo; Jun 14th, 2018 at 09:47 AM.
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Jun 14th, 2018, 11:51 AM
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Gardyloo's map is great, but would take a MINIMUM of 22 hours butts in seats and IRL probably more like 24 hours because summer is when they do construction on those mountain and coastal highways (it is the only time of year hey can). So basically THREE full days of your 7 will be in the car. Really, drop Crater Lake
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