Seattle to San Diego

Old May 27th, 2021, 02:47 PM
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Seattle to San Diego

We are headed home (via car) from the Seattle area to San Diego on July 5th, and have about a week to travel down. Would love ideas on how to make our way down that does not involve the coast, as we have done that trip a few times recently -- specifically I am wondering about inland Oregon (Hood River or Bend area? Sunriver?) or even Idaho? We are an active couple in our late 50's, looking for fun, relaxation, moderate hiking, and beautiful views! Thank you .
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Old May 27th, 2021, 03:36 PM
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I probably wouldn't go as far as Idaho -- but a reasonable drive would be something like down I-5 as far as say Eugene then 97 down through Klamath Falls, Tule Lake/Lava Beds Nat'l monument/Captain Jack's Stronghold. Then Susanville, Reno (hitting Tahoe or not). Down 395 with LOTS of options including Bodie, Yosemite high country, Mammoth, Mono Lake etc. Death Valley (bloody hot there though). Then on to San Diego.

Whole route has lots of scenery, mountains, lakes, small villages, etc
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Old May 28th, 2021, 07:44 AM
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We just drove part of the route the opposite direction going from Mammoth to Tahoe to Redding to Bend to Portland (along the Columbia river route) and on to Seattle. As janisj says the area is very scenic. Going from Seattle to the Columbia gorge road on the Washington side (highway 14) is lovely and you can cross over to The Dalles to Oregon and down to Bend from there. The Seattle Times just a had an article a few days back about foodie stops along the gorge If you search for "hungry-for-a-post-vaccine-road-trip-take-a-food-tour-of-the-columbia-river-gorge-area" it will come up. I think Fodors is getting fussy about posting links because I just tried to post the link for this along with the restaurant links below and it wouldn't post-sorry about that!

Be aware that there is an area between the river and the gorge that is quite hilly and twisty right around Maupin-it is the area very well known for river rafting. The views are beautiful and it is a cute little town for lunch or coffee.

From Bend you can do what we did and catch the I-5 back at Redding. It is also a pretty trip. You might also consider taking highway 99 from Red Bluff down to Bakersfield instead of the I-5. One of the best restaurants we tried on an extensive road trip was in in Chico called The Drunken Dumpling. It is a casual Asian Fusion place a bit off the main drag of the University area (which is good because they have parking!). The owner used to be a pastry chef at the Compton Place Hotel SF. They focus on small plates and local beers which are really nice

And in Bakersfield there are two places we thought were fun to stop. One is Cafe Smitten in downtown Bakersfield where we had excellent local espresso and breakfast.

The other places we had dinner at was right across the street from Cafe Smitten and is a "farm to fork" restaurant called dot x ott

In general we now always take the 99 instead of I-5 between Sacramento to Bakersfield since they have really improved that road so much-much of it is now 3 lane. And there are many more interesting places to stop along there than on that same stretch of I-5.
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Old May 28th, 2021, 08:01 AM
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I would modify Janis' route so as to start with I-90 to Snoqualmie Falls, then over Snoqualmie Pass to US 97 at Yakima. US 97 south through the Yakama reservation includes to terrific "old west" scenery, then you'd arrive at Maryhill for a visit to the marvelous Maryhill Museum and nearby weird replica of Stonehenge, then on to Hood River. After a short detour to some of the highlights of the Columbia Gorge just west of Hood River, I'd include a stop at Panorama Point in the beautiful Hood River Valley, then Timberline Lodge, before continuing south on US 97 to Smith Rock State Park and then Bend. I'd include overnights at Hood River and Bend.

After Bend, I'd swing up to Crater Lake before rejoining Janis' route at Klamath Falls thence south. Here's a map showing these waypoints. Google the places. https://goo.gl/maps/63k7vhExD25sRs5e8
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Old May 28th, 2021, 11:00 PM
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You could simply go down the eastern side of the Cascades and then eastern California including Lassen National Park, Lake Tahoe, Bodie State Historical Park and eventually taking I15 and I215 to San Diego.




https://flic.kr/s/aHsjrqmF64
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Old May 29th, 2021, 07:34 AM
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I also meant to add that if you do decide to take the route along the Columbia Gorge between Washington and OR the OR might be more scenic. Just east of Portland is an easy stop to see Multnomah Falls.

We did consider the route Michael suggested but ultimately decided that the road to Bodie was a bit too much of a detour and we were worried about the altitude for snow. As it turned out we did get pretty heavy snowfall at Lake Tahoe and that we on May 20th. So we were glad we had decided to go over to Redding rather than continue north on the inland road towards Klamath Falls since those roads turned out to be pretty snowy.
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Old May 29th, 2021, 09:58 AM
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"As it turned out we did get pretty heavy snowfall at Lake Tahoe and that we on May 20th. "

That isn't at all uncommon really. You can expect snow anytime up til the beginning of June. I'm in Incline Village around mid-May most years and often when it is 70 and I'm playing tennis or sailing one day, there's 3 inches of snow the next day.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2021, 01:48 PM
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Thank you all so much for this great information! We are leaning towards heading east in Washington and then down into Oregon as is suggested here, maybe 1 night in the Columbia Gorge area and then 2 in Bend... and then trying to drive all the way to Lake Tahoe from there so we can spend 3 nights there. We will have visited Crater Lake on the front end of the trip (our daughter is getting married in southern Oregon in late June, after which we head up to the vacation rental on Camano Island in Washington)... Excited to see all the beautiful scenery!!!
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Old Jun 2nd, 2021, 02:33 PM
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PS I am having trouble finding directions to Hood River via a Highway 14 in Washington! Any tips?
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Old Jun 2nd, 2021, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by LoveToTravel2008 View Post
PS I am having trouble finding directions to Hood River via a Highway 14 in Washington! Any tips?
WA 14 runs along the north shore of the Columbia eastbound from Vancouver WA. You can cross at Cascade Locks (OR) using the Bridge of the Gods, or at White Salmon (WA) using the Hood River bridge. Both carry tolls. https://goo.gl/maps/JJKXEFsRKrtPPkPw5
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