Quick Trip SF to Glacier via Redwoods

Old Apr 16th, 2017, 05:45 PM
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Quick Trip SF to Glacier via Redwoods

My husband and I are going from San Francisco to Kalispell MT for my nephews graduation. We're leaving SF on Sunday 5/28 and have to be in Kalispell by Friday night. I know this is an incredibly short time but we have years of experience driving 10 hours a day for multiple days in a row so that's not an issue. We would like to see the Redwoods, some Oregon coast, and Glacier NP.

On the way back we're taking the quickest, most direct route so won't be stopping for sight seeing while traveling south.

Obviously we don't have time to see things properly but want to hit some highlights and see about planning destination specific trips in the future when we have more time and can take our RV. I've always wondered how people visit national parks in a day when we always spend at least a week but now I'm going to try

Any route help and must see areas would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 08:14 PM
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Your car or a rental? Do you live in the SF area?
If you live in the SF area, just go to see the Coast Redwoods on another trip.
If you must start from SF, this is the route I would take.
North on US 101 to Eureka to see some Redwoods. Continue North on 101 to Coos Bay for night 1.
From Coos Bay up to Newport. Just south of the big bridge you might want to stop at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.
Go east on US 20 to get to I-5 North. Take I-205 off I-5 to get on I-84 East. See the beautiful waterfalls including Multnomah Falls. Spend night 2 in Hood River.
From Hood River go via Spokane to Coeur d'Alene Idaho.
Spend night 3 near the lake.
It is an easy drive from CDA to Kalispell or to West Glacier.
On the return trip go from Kalispell back to Redmond Oregon.
On the way back from Redmond you can decide when you are south of Chemult whether you want to detour to see Crater Lake NP. The north entrance will not be open until late June so you would have to go via the south entrance off Rt. 62.
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Old Apr 17th, 2017, 04:15 AM
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Thank you for your help. We live in Southern California and have already done the coastal drive from here to SF a few times so we're taking the 5 straight up and want to start a little bit of sight seeing from that point on.
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Old Apr 17th, 2017, 06:29 AM
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The Going to the Sun road in Glacier NP probably isn't going to be open; in fact it's been such a snowy winter in the Sierras, Cascades and northern Rockies that you might find your ability to get around Glacier NP is really badly hampered, more so than in previous years. Check out the park vendor's website - http://www.glacierparkinc.com/plan-y...p/dates-hours/ - for travel practicalities. Would it be possible to alter your schedule to let you visit Glacier (if it's accessible) on your way back?

If Glacier isn't a practical option, or if (as I suspect) the benefit/cost equation doesn't work out, then I'd reallocate those days to the Columbia River Gorge, which will be terrific at that time. The waterfalls will be full from the melting mountain snow, the Hood River Valley will be in bloom, and it's right on your way.

My usual route from southern California to Oregon/Washington through the redwoods involves US 101 north from SF, through the Avenue of the Giants and the southern 60 or 70 miles of the Oregon coast (IMO the most scenic part) then over to I-5 using OR 38, the prettiest and quickest way through the coast range. Then you'd go north on I-5 to Portland, and east using the Historic Columbia River Highway to the various vista points and waterfalls on the Gorge walls. Visit the Hood River Valley if time permits, then continue east through the Gorge.

Stop at Maryhill Museum and the nearby Stonehenge replica, then across SE Washington, with a stop at Palouse Falls, up to I-90, then east into Montana.

Even if Glacier is a no-go, this will still give you amazing variety and beauty in a fairly high speed trip.

Map - https://goo.gl/maps/KRfrHYBAScN2
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Old Apr 17th, 2017, 06:56 AM
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If you want to see Redwood NP and much of the Oregon Coast, US 101 across the GG bridge is the way to go.
For a quick look at some good Coast Redwoods, stop at the "Trees of Mystery" along 101.
I thought you were in a hurry to get back home from Kalispell.
The route I gave you is only 2 days on the return trip.
The Going to the Sun road in Glacier will not be open until at least mid June.
Taking I-5 to where? Ashland or Medford or to Weed and north on US 97 to Bend or Redmond?
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Old Apr 17th, 2017, 09:10 AM
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Unless you opt for the Columbia River and Gardyloo's suggestions -- I'd fly. This year the snow pack is so deep many areas will still be socked in.
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Old Apr 17th, 2017, 09:30 AM
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Thank you again for all the replies. The graduation is in Kalispell so seeing at least a bit of Glacier but I'm not counting on seeing much due to the weather. We've been trying to get up there for a camping / hiking trip for years and one thing or another happens and we never make it either due to our availability for travel being too early in the season or the fires which caused me to have to cancel reservations and we went to New Orleans instead lol

I'm really liking the idea of visiting Columbia River Gorge. It sounds like this is going to be doable even if we are a bit rushed. As long as I can get to the graduation on Saturday in Kalispell and back to work on Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest we can take the rest of the time up until then for traveling.
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