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West Coast suggestions

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Re: West Coast suggestions

Postby Kent McLemore » Sat Apr 20, 2013 5:56 am

Never been to the Pacific? 101 from Astoria, OR to Crescent City, CA is spectacular.
The suggestions for Humboldt County are good.
The Mendocino Coast is also worth exploring. Get off 101 and take 1 whenever possible.
When you reach Marin County check out Pt. Reyes and Mt. Tamalpais. The Coastal Trail leading south out of Muir Beach into the Golden Gate National Recreation Area wraps along the coastline steep and high with incomparable views.
In San Francisco, explore Land's End. Then go to North Beach, have a sandwich and Anchor Steam at Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store, and watch the people in Washington Square.
Of course, Big Sur and Monterrey should be on your coastal tour as well.
"Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." - John Muir

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Re: West Coast suggestions

Postby cougar » Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:14 pm

all great stuff listed - here's more:

- Idaho: Craters of the Moon, Thousand Springs, Sawtooth, Coeur D'Alene (from the Sawtooth you can go up to Montana through Missoula and on to Glacier, then back across northern Idaho).
- WA: Olympic (Hoh rainforest and coast especially), Rainier, Seattle
- OR: Fort Stevens (mouth of Columbia River), Lewis + Clark Ft Clatsop is right near there, Cannon Beach and the coast. Mt Hood. Crater Lake. Bend area if you have time.
- CA: Tons of stuff - Redwoods, Pt Reyes, desert. And cities like San Francisco and Monterrey are cool too. Go down the coast and up the Sierras and head to Nevada via Tahoe.
- UT: 5 main parks and many more. Arches, Bryce and Capitol Reef can take a day each, I'd recommend longer stops in Zion and Canyonlands. Much more off the beaten path.
- Montana: Glacier.

since you are in CO, most of the high mountainous areas will look similar, so you may focus on the coast and different landscapes (desert, rainforest, sea, volcanoes, historical/archaelogical sites, truly spectacular sites) and cities with culture. And of course sample all the local brews.

And if you have extra time, I recommend going into western Canada too (Banff/Jasper, Vancouver Island)

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Re: West Coast suggestions

Postby RenoBob » Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:22 pm

Ditto pretty much what everyone has said. I highly recommend Tahoe and Great Basin NP, but the real hidden jewel is our newest Nat'l Park in California; Pinnacles NP. Its an amazing collection of rock formations, very cool hikes, you might see some condors and if you're there mid week I guarantee you'll have the place to your self.
Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.

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Re: West Coast suggestions

Postby summit co kc » Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:51 pm

Beach Bouldering at Pirates cove in Orange County.
White Rasta J tree
In N Out burger

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Re: West Coast suggestions

Postby Dex » Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:31 am

Seattle China town for some great food - try Dim Sum - just eat it all

There is also a great airplane museum south of Seattle.

Calistoga, Ca for a mud bath.
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Re: West Coast suggestions

Postby Dave B » Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:32 am

Dex wrote:Seattle China town for some great food - try Dim Sum - just eat it all


Great suggestion! Although, I greatly prefer the dim sum at House of Louie (yes, that name makes no sense for a Chinese restaurant) in Portland to anything I've had in Seattle.

Get the shrimp ball.
"There is no cheating in climbing, only lying." - Semi-Rad

Re: West Coast suggestions

Postby zephyr_pelicante » Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:56 am

WOW!!

These are all great suggestions, and although there's no way I'll get to all these places, you sure have got me thinking about some cool spots to go see!!!


Here's a better question:

Where do I sleep? Sleeping in a tent or a walmart / gas station parking lot would get old quickly, especially if I'm hiking all over the place and not showering. I also don't want to blow $3000 on 30 nights of hotel rooms.

Any suggestions? Should I do a combination of camping and hotels?

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Re: West Coast suggestions

Postby Brian Thomas » Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:06 am

Zephyr-

Most commercial campgrounds sell showers for around $10 without having to pay the full overnight fee. Truck stops (and some laundromats) sell showers too.

Camp in the National Forests for free whenever possible. Save your money for the gastank and all those delicious west coast beers!

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Re: West Coast suggestions

Postby Dave B » Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:14 am

Brian Thomas wrote:Camp in the National Forests for free whenever possible. Save your money for the gastank and all those delicious west coast beers!


+1

I camped the entire way except for one night on the Coast of CA when I couldn't find any camp spots not under water from a recent storm. 30 days of camping may sound a bit sucky, but trust me after it, sleeping indoors feels a bit odd.

Also, it's shady and a bit dishonest, but pulling into camp grounds after dark and leaving before 7 am can usually be done without having to pay. This is especially helpful in CA where campgrounds sometimes charge $15-20 per night...

A small cloth towel and running water at a rest stop or campground bathroom is all you need to bathe. Going swimming as much as possible also helps.
"There is no cheating in climbing, only lying." - Semi-Rad

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Re: West Coast suggestions

Postby TravelingMatt » Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:25 am

zephyr_pelicante wrote:Here's a better question:

Where do I sleep? Sleeping in a tent or a walmart / gas station parking lot would get old quickly, especially if I'm hiking all over the place and not showering. I also don't want to blow $3000 on 30 nights of hotel rooms.

Any suggestions? Should I do a combination of camping and hotels?


A couple summers back I spent about three weeks in Montana and had to address this. BTW, that's my suggestion on where to spend your time. If you just stay in Montana the whole time you won't regret it, and won't run out of things to do.

Anyway, I alternated between sleeping in my car at THs and/or in the National Forest and frontcountry and backcountry camping. I spent exactly ONE night in a hotel, which I still didn't really need to do, and slept in one Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart and other large parking lots are less than ideal due to noise and light. Wal-Mart will of course sell you a tarp but you'll need to find some rocks to keep it on top of your car.

Privately run campgrounds usually have laundry, wifi, showers and electrical outlets, with nicer ones having hot tubs, pools and cooking areas. They generally run $20/night with nicer ones (KOAs) inching up towards $30. Usually the owner will let you shower for $5 if you're not camping there or use the laundry for whatever it costs.

Also look into public pools and rec centers, or even natural hot springs. For the occasional hotel night, pick up the coupon booklets that are available at gas stations/fast food joints/rest stops along Interstates. Always ask if the first rate they give you is as low as they can go, especially if it's not a major chain.

Frontcountry camping in Glacier NP was $20 in 2011. I think that was recently raised from $15 so probably still costs that much. If you plan to backcountry camp in Glacier, study up on the permit process and bring about 25 feet of rope (it can be the cheap stuff). There's a hour or so window in the mid-afternoon when all the walkup/unclaimed permits get released. I think procedures in North Cascades NP are pretty lax but the Enchantments and Mt St Helens follow a specific premitting process, as do the more crowded NPs.

Consider investing in this year's Woodall's guide. It's nice to have a book to consult when you're in the middle of nowhere, and some RV campgrounds don't do tenting, which Woodall's will tell you but the Internet might not. Also consider getting the relevant Benchmark Atlases (much better than the DeLorme atlases) for identifying backroads and public lands. In a pinch you can always head for the nearest USFS or BLM land and sleep there.

If you're doing a strenuous hike the next day the best way to go is just to sleep at the TH.
So pleas'd at first the towering Alps we try,
Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky,
Th' increasing prospects tire our wand'ring eyes,
Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise!
-- Alexander Pope

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Re: West Coast suggestions

Postby summit2sea » Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:47 am

Just moved back from California a year ago so I'll just address that part, I'll try not to repeat but really a lot of the good ideas have been stated.

- King's Canyon is an awesome National Park that isn't as crowded as Yosemite or Sequoia.

- HWY 1 from San Francisco to Morro Bay is about a six hour drive but so worth it if you want to see the best of the California coast.

- Taking 395 up the east side of the Sierra's up towards Bishop and Mammoth is the best way to access 14ers.

- 14ers: from personal experience, the beta on these peaks is not what you get here in Colorado. A lot of them are tougher to get to as well, I tried Split Mountain and ended up having to bushwack several miles because there wasn't much of a trail. Whitney is obviously there but you need a permit to climb that on the standard route and those go pretty quick. You might be able to access some from the west if you follow the Muir trail or PCT but that will involve some backpacking. Not trying to dissuade you just giving you a heads up.

- Muir and/or PCT...do it

- San Diego, if you get that far south, Torrey Pines beach/reserve is awesome. South Beach Bar and Grille in Ocean Beach has the best fish tacos you will ever have.

- Joshua Tree, if you can make it in May. Most plants are blooming then and it is not too hot yet.

Have fun!

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Re: West Coast suggestions

Postby robby40 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:07 am

A few years ago drove from western Colorado-->Rainier-->Seattle-->Vancouver-->Banff-->Montana (GNP, Bozeman, Big Sky area/Gallatin River)-->Wyoming (Yellowstone/Tetons/Snake River/Jackson). Wonderful loop, easy to do without a set time schedule. Plenty of great camping except for the cities. [And if you like to fly fish, some wonderful water along the way.]

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