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101 North bound


rynosback
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I was thinking of taking 101 North from San Francisco to Washington state. I have a 40’ 5ver. I have never been on this section of road. What are your thoughts and experiences? I’ve heard I should be really careful through Napa Valley as there are a lot of drunk people on the road. 

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Ryan, we did that route only backwards 8 or 9 years ago. We came onto the 101 in Oregon and drove to Petaluma.  Absolutely beautiful ride!!  Take your time heading north, lots to see!  Lots of areas to pull off (with the RV) and take in the fantastic views!  We had NO issues with our old Montana (38’), you shouldn’t have any either.  Make sure you take in the “Avenue of the giants”, unbelievable!  The Redwoods are AWESOME!!!!

 

Dan

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We have traveled that route from Sequim, WA through Forks, WA and Crescent City, CA to Eureka,  and inland to Redding and from there on to SF. It is not a high speed route but is one of the most scenic routes in the country. At no point does that route pass through Napa or the Napa Valley. I have been through the Napa Valley several times and to my knowledge never encountered any drunk drivers, and while it has been quite some time since I was there, the only reason that I can think of for such advice is possibly because it is wine country. Unless you plan a side trip about 50 miles out of your planned line of travel, you will not be in the Napa Valley at all. 

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2 hours ago, rynosback said:

I was thinking of taking 101 North from San Francisco to Washington state. I have a 40’ 5ver. I have never been on this section of road. What are your thoughts and experiences? I’ve heard I should be really careful through Napa Valley as there are a lot of drunk people on the road. 

The 101 doesn't go through Napa Valley, it runs up Sonoma Valley (more wineries in  Sonoma Valley that are nicer, not as haughty as Napa).  Not really a problem.   We've run it Clear up - but while California and Oregon have 101 close to the coast or right on it most of the time, it it goes inland in Washington State.  Where in Washington do you want to end up?

As for getting through San Francisco, I have a route that will take you over the Golden Gate:

Take Highway 101 up to I-280, go north on I-280 until Highway 1 joins, stay on Highway 1 and take the Highway 1 - 19th Ave exit , get in the MIDDLE lane and stay there.  It will be stop and go for about 3 miles and then you go underneath the Presido and emerge on the other side and join Highway 101 again.  You will be on the far right, which is the bus/RV lane.  Stay there and across the Golden Gate you will go - there is no toll going north!

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We've driven 101 from San Francisco quite a few times with our 40' motorhome towing the Jeep.  Beautiful drive!  It's not at all like Hwy 1 which parallels it.  In Oregon you'll cross the Astoria bridge and 101 continues westward with many coast opportunities and Olympic Nat'l Park's beautiful rain forest side.  Then it continues around the Olympic Peninsula on the drier side to Sequim/Port Angeles before heading southward toward Olympia.

In Port Townsend/Chimacum is a great Escapees park!  That's a fun area in summer... festivals, Farmer's markets, sand sculpture contest on a beach, etc.  Fort Worden State Park is another good place to stay on the beach. There are noontime concerts on Fort Worden's lawn and many night concerts.  Plan a day to drive up to Hurricane Ridge at Olympic Nat'l Park . . awesome views of the San Juan's, mountains and lots of water.  Good hiking, also.

The whole drive from San Francisco is loaded with opportunities to explore and do some fun things.

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11 hours ago, 2gypsies said:

Plan a day to drive up to Hurricane Ridge at Olympic Nat'l Park . . awesome views of the San Juan's,

If up for some Olympic NP touring, take time as you pass through Forks to visit Ozette Lake on the coastal side of the park. Not only is it a beautiful and not heavily used area, but there is a hiking trail out to the coast that is spectacular.

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When I made a return trip from Oregon  around May 2018 on 101 through the Red Woods SP area the road was under heavy repair/construction in more than a few locations and it was down to single lane, very rough at times very narrow at other times. 

It was early Sunday morning in heavy fog so lucky for me no traffic or construction crews but lots of machinery on the shoulder.

This time I was only towing a 5X8 Uhaul so no great problem.  Being an experienced RVer I am sure you will get latest road condition report before heading out.  Happy Trails to some but not all.

Retired Acct & SEC CFP. Former legislative aide and pilot to two Texas Governors & 4 Honorable Discharges from Active Army, Guard, Reserves.

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Edited by NamMedevac 70
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On 4/26/2021 at 2:13 PM, Kirk W said:

We have traveled that route from Sequim, WA through Forks, WA and Crescent City, CA to Eureka,  and inland to Redding and from there on to SF. It is not a high speed route but is one of the most scenic routes in the country. At no point does that route pass through Napa or the Napa Valley. I have been through the Napa Valley several times and to my knowledge never encountered any drunk drivers, and while it has been quite some time since I was there, the only reason that I can think of for such advice is possibly because it is wine country. Unless you plan a side trip about 50 miles out of your planned line of travel, you will not be in the Napa Valley at all. 

So you took 299 inland? It looks pretty windy.

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12 hours ago, rynosback said:

So you took 299 inland? It looks pretty windy.

That was a mistake on my part. We didn't do that road with the RV but with our towed. With the motorhome we followed US101 to Santa Rosa, not Redding. I guess my memory got ahead of my map!  It was also 20+ years ago that we took 299.

Sorry for the mental slip! 

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16 hours ago, rynosback said:

So you took 299 inland? It looks pretty windy.

299 isn't bad.  The road you want to avoid is CA 36 from Fortuna to Red Bluff.  It's posted "RVs Not Advised".

CA 46.jpg

Edited by Lou Schneider
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10 hours ago, Kirk W said:

That was a mistake on my part. We didn't do that road with the RV but with our towed. With the motorhome we followed US101 to Santa Rosa, not Redding. I guess my memory got ahead of my map!  It was also 20+ years ago that we took 299.

Sorry for the mental slip! 

No problem, just wanted to get clarification. 

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