Help plan my trip Route 66 from Amarillo to California

Discussion in 'Let me tell you about my trip' started by Penny Logan, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. Penny Logan

    Penny Logan The traveling teepee in her Dreamcatcher

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    In the next 10 days will leave out for Amarillo, TX. We will go to Cadillac Ranch, then head on Route 66 to Albuquerque NM. Would like to see Sunset Crater, but need suggestions on other things to see in the area. We will go onto Flagstaff, AZ How far is Winslow from Flagstaff, and also Grand Canyon is on our list. Once we get to California I am totally open. I had thought of Route 1 along the coast, as I have never been to CA, but we also want to see Redwoods and Yosemite. I see there is a Kings Canyon and Rim of the World Scenic Byways that could be possibilities. We will be tent camping and staying in hotels, alternating. We are retired and on no time frame. I also notice several Route 66 museums that looking interesting and one is a RV museum. Those that have gone before me, lead me in the direction to make the most of this trip. I figured we would stay in TX, NM, AZ and then in CA and if some places would be best to hit on the way back that is fine. Thanks in advance for any advice and suggestions you can give me.
     
  2. NJGuy

    NJGuy Active Member

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    Wow, that is one heck of a trip. All National Parks in those areas are special.
     
  3. 4xMeteor

    4xMeteor Active Member

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    That sounds like a fun trip. I'm only an hour from Yosemite, both Yosemite and Kings Canyon Nation Parks are nice. Hwy 1 is a fun trip also, I've taken it from SF to San Simeon (Hearst Castle). Give yourself plenty of time if taking Hwy 1 - it's a beautiful drive but it's sloooow. If your coming across Hwy 40 though FlagStaff, once you hit Kingman, Az it's a long trip to get to the Central Valley in Ca. Needles to Barstow is loooooong and hoooooot - be prepared.

    Hope you enjoy the trip.
     
  4. Penny Logan

    Penny Logan The traveling teepee in her Dreamcatcher

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    4xmeteor from Bullhead City AZ should we go to Kings Canyon and then cut across to PCH Hwy 1 and head south? They say Hwy 1 is better north to south. Once I get to CA I am not as set in my plans as I am through NM and AZ. Thanks so much.
     
  5. 4xMeteor

    4xMeteor Active Member

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    Hello Penny,
    Yes, I would run Hwy 1 North to South, this puts you closer to the "edge" so oncoming traffic doesn't block the view - it is very beautiful. So I would go from AZ to Kings Canyon, then to Hwy 1 and head south. HWY 1 around the Santa Cruz area is a major hwy and gets packed during rush hour (grid lock), I've spent many hours sitting on the PCH parking lot. I've only done a small portion of hwy 1 north of SF, it was near Fort Bragg - also beautiful.

    Let me know if you have any questions, I'll do my best to answer.
     
  6. Penny Logan

    Penny Logan The traveling teepee in her Dreamcatcher

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    4xmeteor do you know how long it will take to drive Kings Canyon-Sequoia park, drive it, stop and take pictures, etc? Then if we want to stay in a hotel, what cities around there would have accomadations? Thanks. Other than Kings Canyon and Hwy 1, we are open for any others ideas while in CA.
     
  7. fmbhappycamper

    fmbhappycamper PuP Power

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    Been to Cadillac Ranch and have Polaroid pic of me on one of the tailgate's with the other Cadillacs, wish I had a scanner, went from there, it was sweat suit weather to Flagstaff and saw cars flipped over from ice/snow and 18 wheelers jack knifed, stayed at 1st place to slide into and drove thru the desert to San Diego! Great Trip. ps started in DC and 1st stop was Graceland [8D] Please post [CAM]
     
  8. Penny Logan

    Penny Logan The traveling teepee in her Dreamcatcher

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    fmbhappycamper, I have been reading that the weather changes quite alot due to higher elevations, so we will plan to wear layered clothing. We are planning on doing Sitgreaves Pass drive near Kingman and Topcock Az. We are not doing Yosemite because I was told they have a rodent visur goung around. Thinking about Kings Canyon, but then may want to see Redwoods, but I don't know how much further North that would be. Seems alot of the state parks have Redwood in the title, but I am sure some are better than others.
    I have been to Graceland before and loved it. We will be tenting it some, but I have never camped around bear and animals, so I am a little terrified [V] so we may be staying in hotels along the way. Just going to take our time and relax & enjoy [CP]
     
  9. canuckblues

    canuckblues Member

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    You might want to stop at the Big Texan steak ranch in Amarillo for a good meal to start the trip.
    Holbrook AZ has the Wigwam Motel.7 1/2 hour drive from Amarillo
    Winslow AZ has a statue of Jackson Browne(Cowriter)of Take it easy an eagles song.30 Minutes from Winslow.
    While in California you might consider traveling CA 49 from Oakhurst to Auburn(Interstate 80)
    Calaverus Big Trees State park is off of CA 49 and has a large stand of Giant Sequioais.
    I spent one week traveling up CA 49 several years ago and would do it again in a heartbeat.
    From Auburn you can take in the wine regions of Napa 1 1/2 hours from Auburn
    Then take a nice drive down the coast on PCH 1
    Good luck and take your time
    Wished I was going
     
  10. 4xMeteor

    4xMeteor Active Member

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    I’m a bit north of Kings Canyon, so I always take Hwy180 out of Fresno to get to Kings Canyon Park. You’ll be coming from the south, so not sure the “best” way to get to the park. It’s been several years sense I’ve been all the way into the Park, I usually visit friends in Squaw Valley. If I were planning a trip, I would plan for an all day event.

    So from Bullhead, if you take hwy40 to Barstow, hwy58 to Bakersfield then 99 north, your looking at 4-6 hours to the Tulare area. Tulare is the first “larger” town you’ll hit after Bakersfield.

    Depending on your comfort, you could take hwy198 east through Visalia, then north on rd196 and eventually you’ll end up on hwy245. This will take you to hwy180, which is heads into the park. Another option is to head to the Fresno area, then head to Kings Canyon. Again, there are several options.

    Unfortunately I do not have any recommendation for lodging south of Fresno, I’ve never stayed around there. Many of the towns up and down the 99 are small, so you may want to stick to a larger town/city for accommodations depending on your comfort level.

    Some thoughts:
    - Yosemite. One could spend hours there. You have mirror lake, the Falls, Half Dome, etc...
    - If you like Mountain Lakes, Shaver Lake, Huntington Lake and Base Lake are nice.
    - For Mountain Drives: Hwy 49 from Oakhurst north (Yes, this is really nice drive and lots to see: Moaning Caverns, Columbia State Park, etc... I use to live near Mariposa, ~35minutes north of Oakhurst on hwy49 - nice place.)
    - Napa Valley.
    - Fort Bragg (Mendocino Coast). We actually stayed in Mendocino - nice little town.
    - San Francisco: Pier 39, Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, ghirardelli Square etc...
    - Santa Cruz/Monterey area: Board walk, many Wharfs, several scenic spots, Monterey Aquarium, Missions, Train from Santa Cruz to the Redwoods (Roaring Camp), several beaches. I’ve camped at Sunset Beach, it’s our annual Mothers Day camp location.
    - Point Lobos State Reserve (Near Monterey)
    - Hearst Castle (Several Tours - My wife and I have done two so far)

    To give you some time references; From Fresno:
    1.5hrs to Yosemite Gate on hwy 41
    2.5-3hrs to Santa Cruz
    about 4Hrs to Napa (NOT via hwy49)

    Kind of a long post, sorry, got carried away, there is actually a lot to see in Ca. Hope this helps.
     
  11. blondedriver

    blondedriver Member

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    Shoot up from Flagstaff see the north rim of the grand canyon !!!
     
  12. Penny Logan

    Penny Logan The traveling teepee in her Dreamcatcher

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    How far is that from Flagstaff? Is the south rim closer or is there a south rim? Thanks for your help [8D]
     
  13. blondedriver

    blondedriver Member

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    south is MUCH closer However the south is more developed !!! and you can go the back way into Utah and then down I15 into Vegas!!!

    Also the the Metero crator is between Gallup and Flagstaff !!!

    DO NOT sleep along the highway between ABQ and Flagstaff. My mom an step dad did and they work up to a face's starring into the car !!!!
     
  14. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    Now you've seen Meteor Crater. Don't bother to stop. It's expensive and not really worth it.

    If you are in Flagstaff it is DEFINITELY closer to go to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. It's about 80 miles. It would be about 200 to the North Rim.
     
  15. Penny Logan

    Penny Logan The traveling teepee in her Dreamcatcher

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    Thanks everybody for all your help and suggestions. Now I think we will go from AZ to San Francisco, to Muir Woods to see redwoods and then down Hwy 1. So anything to see on this route headed south??? Thanks in advance [RTM]
     
  16. NJGuy

    NJGuy Active Member

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    Wine tasting is at its best in Cali. Remember the movie Bottle Shock?
     
  17. Steve A

    Steve A A bad day camping beats a great day at work!

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    I opened a restaurant for some friends, two sisters, on Rt 66 in Tucumcari, NM. It's called Rockin' Ys'. My friends own three restaurants in that town on Rt 66. They've been featured in several national magazines. They also won a Scovie Award. That's an award given to outstanding hot sauces.

    Look 'em up. Tell Yvonne or Yvette (the owners) Steve sent you.
     
  18. teejaywhy

    teejaywhy Active Member

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    You know that King's Canyon is adjacent to Sequoia NP, home of some very large trees. I suppose you could do a one day drive thru and see the main sights.

    Since you are not pulling a trailer, come in the south entrance (Hwy 198) and you can pass thru Sequoia on the way to Kings Canyon. I would overnight in Visalia, then take the whole day to drive thru. Or stay in the park, nice campgrounds there.

    I would agree, North Rim is great for solitude but a long way from everywhere. If you just want to see the Grand Canyon, the views are better at the South Rim. Only if you were going to spend several nights or were on your way to other Southern Utah destinations would i recommend the N Rim.

    You asked about distances and drive times, you can type start and end destinations into Google Maps and it will map the route, give you the distance and drive time. If the route doesn't suit you, you can drag to a different route and it will recalculate. Great for planning.

    Enjoy your trip.
     
  19. CaliPopup

    CaliPopup New Member

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    Muir Woods is definitely a great spot to stop and see redwoods. If you're there, you have to spend at least a couple of days in San Francisco, it's a great city - spent the first 20 years of my life there. If you're into ocean mammals, the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito is a great (and free) spot to see them up close. I'm partial to the center as I volunteer there on a weekly basis. There is also a nice beach in that area called Rodeo beach. I suggest doing the drive north up the coast. We just got back from a week doing this and it's beautiful. Besides the Napa Valley, a few of the many beautiful spots along Highway 1 and 101 are Santa Rosa (look up Safari West for an up close look at wild African animals), Jenner, Gualala (many beautiful places to stay in this town), Point Arena (must check out the Point Arena Lighthouse, it's where the last scenes of the movie Forever Young with Mel Gibson was filmed), Fort Bragg, Arcadia, there's the Avenue of the Giants along 101 to see more giant redwoods, Eureka, Crescent City (I suggest checking out the aquarium there). Once you're there, you're about 20 miles from the Oregon border and 9 hours from Seattle. I say just keep on going north up the coast. There are many other great places to go and things to see along this drive, especially if time is not a concern, I've mentioned just a few.
    Enjoy your trip!
     
  20. Penny Logan

    Penny Logan The traveling teepee in her Dreamcatcher

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    I appreciate all of you taking time to give me your suggestions. I believe we are going to go from Kingman AZ to San Francisco. We will by pass Kings Canyon and go to Muir Woods and see the sites in San Fran. Then we will do Hwy 1 south to Monterey, then hope over to 101 south to make our way back home coming back through Phoeniz and Las Cruces.
    So if anyone has suggestions for south of San Fran or the Phoeniz and Las Cruses area, I am open to that. Thanks so much [:D]
     

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