SF Bay Area to Vancouver (+whistler) camping + bnb

Discussion in 'Americas' started by foxton, May 5, 2020.

  1. foxton

    foxton Adventurer

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    Hey all! My name's Phuc, y'all can try to guess the last name. It's actually a super easy guess...

    Prior to COVID-19 I planned a trip from here (SF Bay Area) to Seattle, as a part of a 2 week journey. The original plan was to spend 5-6 days up, hang out for a few days then 5-6 days back. The route was going to be take the Coast up to Seattle, hit crater lake, reno, north lake tahoe rim and back on the way back.

    Well now that my plans have been pushed 2 months back and with everything still locked down, I'm estimating it's going to be another 2 months before I can fully enjoy everything along the way. In the boredom of lockdown I've been deciding to take a few more days and head all the way up to vancouver and whistler. My trip now will last 16-17 days.

    I still would like to see all the cool sites, some of which I've jotted down. Avenue of Giants, crater lake, mt hood, mt rainer, the cascades, reno, lake tahoe, mt shasta, etc...

    I've never been to canada and this would be a perfect opportunity to. While I originally booked a bunch of campsites and reserved a few airbnbs for the trip, a lot of things have changed. I originally was going to convert my fz07 to be more touring capable but looking at dirt roads of the PNW made me reconsider.

    I've since picked up a 1996 DR650 and am working to get her adv ready, doing all the must do mods such as the NSU screws, airbox snorkel, drills, etc etc.

    Now I'm a fairly novice adv rider, my experiences on dirt living in the bay area have been private roads and dirt tracks leading off of the santa cruz mountains and big sur. While I'm not totally inexperienced off road I find being 5'6 with a 29 inch inseam a little difficult when the terrain gets extra gnarly.

    I have here the GENERAL route and direction I would like to take, but if there are must see sights along the way please let me know and I will change my trip to accommodate those destinations. I have been lurking here for years drooling over many of your adventures and while there is a slight setback to mine, I feel like it has granted me a chance to really do things right.

    While many of you can make the ride up in 2-3 days I prefer to take my time to enjoy the little coastal towns along the way, and also I wanted to do some dirt riding and photography. I also like setting up camp a little early and hiking around to explore the woods.

    Leg Up:
    link
    Leg Down:
    link

    And lastly, if anyone is interested in this trip please let me know, it would be awesome to meet new folks and embark on this journey. While I am prepared to embark on this adventure alone (I've always done solo adventures), if this sparks the slightest of interest from anyone, let me know and if possible we could work some things around.

    I have no real start day yet, still have to wait for shutdown restrictions to be lifted and the canadian border to open up to dirtbags like me.

    Attached Files:

    #1
  2. foxton

    foxton Adventurer

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    I realize that I made the mistake of not posting this in the Americas subforum. I thought I did, but I didn't. Already off to a bad start haha
    #2
  3. Mark Manley

    Mark Manley Long timer

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    Having done pretty much all of that route I can say it is a great trip you have planned, a couple of suggestions though. Instead of turning off of the 101 at Newport follow it all of the way up to Port Angeles and get the ferry to Vancouver Island then the ferry to the mainland from there.
    If you have time on the way back head a little further east from Vancouver and take the 97 south and meet up with the 90 that way.
    #3
  4. foxton

    foxton Adventurer

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    you make a great point! I think due to the time constraint I'm going to make the decision of not visiting Whistler...
    Leg Up:
    link
    Left Down:
    link
    #4
  5. foxton

    foxton Adventurer

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    I'm skipping portland and seattle on my way up to vancouver and will hit them on the leg back!
    #5
  6. HotChilliColdBeer

    HotChilliColdBeer Human Swizzle Stick

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    Your maps show a lot of travel on the Interstate Highways - Is that your plan?





    Charlie
    #6
  7. foxton

    foxton Adventurer

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    nope! this is just the general route (where I intend to end up at the end of each day), I'm still doing a ton of research on alltrails and this forum for dirt roads and backroads. If you know of alternate routes and mountain passes let me know please!
    #7
  8. HotChilliColdBeer

    HotChilliColdBeer Human Swizzle Stick

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    I'd take Highway 20 to cross to the Eastern side of Washington. Jump on 97 at Okanogan, and head South from there. I5 up here is the worst, avoid it whenever possible.




    Charlie
    #8
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  9. SpudMonkey

    SpudMonkey Adventurer

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    Another route to consider if you're already planning to stop in Seattle to get to Portland is Seattle-> Enumclaw -> Randle (via WA 410 -> WA 123 -> US12). That takes you through part of Mt. Rainier NP.
    Then from Randle take NF25 south to Northwoods. Take the NF-99 cutoff to its end to get a view of Mt. St. Helens & Spirit Lake if you've got time.
    Once at Northwoods, take NF90 south to Carson, then on west on to Portland.

    Only downside is that unless they re-paved it in the last couple of years, NF-25 and NF-99 can have some spots with pretty rough pavement.
    #9
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  10. foxton

    foxton Adventurer

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    both of your routes are so beautiful, @HotChilliColdBeer the northern cascades are so cool but that route will dump me on the other side of the state. I wanted to visit portland (never been, BEND is the only city in oregon ive ever visited).
    @SpudMonkey did you mean 410 to 123 to 12? WA 520 is far up north according to the map for me. I will for sure check out some of the campgrounds around NF-99, I would to wake up early and ride that road to see Spirit lake and mount saint helen also. I think that route is brilliant and will plan to arrive in Portland following that route. While I would like to visit tahoe, I feel like I should allocate more time to the PNW seeing as it is much rarer for me to have a chance to be up there on a bike, so I might take out the ride to reno/tahoe in exchange for exploring both the northern cascades, mt rainer, and mt st helen.
    #10
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  11. bcbullet

    bcbullet From eh to zed

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    South Vancouver Island is a waste of time unless you head over to Port Renfrew/Cowichan. I would skip the Island, head up to Pemberton past Whistler, over to Lillooet and then back to Vancouver via Lytton or Cache Creek to Lytton...
    Of course if you want to see Victoria, your route might make sense. If you want to see a little of what BC has to offer, the above might serve you better.
    Dig deep enough and you can do most of the BC portion I suggested on back roads. But even still, the paved sections will offer plenty of fun.
    #11
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  12. SpudMonkey

    SpudMonkey Adventurer

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    Hmm, yeah, it should be 410 - fixed that in my original post.
    #12
  13. ADV Wanderer

    ADV Wanderer Been here awhile

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    I would recommend picking up the Butler Motorcycle Maps for Northern California, Oregon, and Washington. Then plot your route maximizing the most "Yellow" and "Red" roads along the way.

    Crater Lake is worth a detour to see on a blue sky day. I thought Truckee and Tahoe were overcrowded, but the Sierras are wonderful for motorcycling.

    I personally avoid cities as much as I can when wandering about.
    #13
  14. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way... Supporter

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    Thats a really good idea.

    If you are thinking of using an app on your phone to navigate . . . I recommend REVER. I have no affiliation, just a happy customer. I paid the $50/yr to become PRO and think it's one of the best spends. You'll have all the Butler Routes right on the map on the app. It will be super easy for you to use whether you decide you need to make good time one day, and have time the next day to explore awesome roads, gravel, lost highways, gas/motels/restaurants and backcountry discovery routes.
    #14
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  15. rickj

    rickj Been here awhile Supporter

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    On your way north just past Van Damme state park to Eureka, I recommend that you get off the 101 and ride the Avenue of the Giants, and then turn west and cross the Humboldt Redwoods state park. It's a great road and absolutely stunning. Stop at Honeydew and if you have time, and also check out the Mattole Campground for beautiful views of the ocean. Then ride the Lost Coast Highway to Ferndale and Eureka where you reconnect with your original route.

    Here's a LINK.

    Here's a link to a Pashnit pictorial of Mattole Road and the Lost Coast Highway. LINK

    This gem of a route is so good that I'm almost reluctant to post it online!

    Have a great ride.

    Rick
    #15
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  16. Metalcarver

    Metalcarver Geezer Berserker Supporter

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    The ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria is not running due to the pandemic. I believe that the border with Canada is closed except for essential travel only and even if you got in it would be a two week quarantine. The US is the worst place in the world for Covid 19 so I guess we better get used to it.

    Government of Canada web page.
    #16
  17. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    #17
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  18. GR8ADV

    GR8ADV Safety Second!

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    Good on them.

    A12AF9EC-DCEC-48D0-86A7-390AF2AEE1FC.jpeg
    #18