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Author Topic: Trip from Joshua Tree, Ca to Estacada, Or.  (Read 984 times)

happytorvhere

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Trip from Joshua Tree, Ca to Estacada, Or.
« on: January 29, 2018, 03:19:31 PM »
   Hello everyone!
 
 We are new to the full time rv'ing world and have a question about driving north through California into Oregon. We are currently on the Colorado river on some BLM land in Cibola, AZ. Our plan is to check out Joshua Tree in the next couple weeks and then head north towards Portland, OR. We are currently towing a 32' 2012 Prime Time Crusader fifth wheel with a 2009 Chevy 3500 Duramax. We would love some info on what routes we should take, and what routes to stay away from(grades and weather are a big concern). Also looking for suggestions on camping spots along the way. Currently we have 2 dogs and 2 cats along for the journey. Animal friendly places are a must. We have been looking at I-5 and US-99. Our arrival into Estacada, OR is not till mid May, so we have plenty of time. US-99 seems like the best route to stop along the way and camp. Some people recommend going 5 to 97 to 58 back to 5. We are curious as to making it up to Bend, OR and cutting across at 20 to make it to Newport, OR for some beach time. Right now my ideal route would be 99 to 5 to 97 to 20 back to 5 and up to Estacada, OR. Any info is appreciated!

Thanks for your input!

Lou Schneider

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Re: Trip from Joshua Tree, Ca to Estacada, Or.
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2018, 05:26:47 PM »
Welcome to The RV Forum!

CA 99 from Bakersfield to Sacramento is a local freeway with lots of trucks and traffic getting on and off using old, short merging ramps.  I-5 is more of a through route between Los Angeles and the turnoff to San Francisco, with the majority of the traffic going from one end to the other except for rest breaks.

There are several RV parks along I-5, if your reason for taking 99 is just to find overnight stops.

To bypass the worst of the L.A traffic, take I-10 west to I-215, then go north on I-15 over Cajon Pass.  Just before you get to the summit is Hwy 138, you can take that west to CA 14.  Or to miss a couple of large grades, continue north on I-15 over the summit another 10 miles to Hwy 395.  Go north a mile or so past the Pilot truckstop to the stoplight at Phelan Rd. and take that west to 138.

From there on 138 is flat and straight, most of it divided 4 lane highway.  Turn north on the CA 14 freeway and take it north about 15 miles until 138 branches west.  A flat and straight, lightly traveled highway to I-5 at the top of the Grapevine.

As you travel along Hwy 14 you'll pass the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds.   They have a nice overnight RV park on the north side of the fairgrounds, to get there take the next exit (Avenue G), go west to the first cross street (30th St W), then left (south) towards the fairgrounds.   Turn left on Avenue G-8, which is at the north end of the Rite Aid distribution center and take it east towards the freeway.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2018, 06:06:41 PM by Lou Schneider »

happytorvhere

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Re: Trip from Joshua Tree, Ca to Estacada, Or.
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2018, 06:02:17 PM »
Thanks for the info Lou! Do you know anything about Northern California and what roads to take into Oregon with minimal grades? i have plenty of time to go around mountains and steep roads.

Lou Schneider

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Re: Trip from Joshua Tree, Ca to Estacada, Or.
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2018, 06:14:09 PM »
US 97 bypasses Siskiyou Summit and the up-and-down hills and valleys in Southern OR, so it's a good choice.  Likewise Highway 58 north of Chemault over Willamette Pass to Eugene.  It closely follows the railroad tracks over Willamette Summit, which is a clue the route doesn't have any significant grades.  North of Eugene I-5 is straight and flat.

If you use Google Maps, bring up the route you want to travel and click on the three bars on the left top of the "Directions" menu.  One of the choices is Terrain and you can zoom in and see the elevation contours as you follow the route you want to take.

For example, you'll see Highway 58 is mostly straight as it follows a couple of river valley to Eugene.  It starts at 4600 ft at Hwy 97, then only rises to about 5000 ft. before gradually descending into Eugene.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2018, 06:26:39 PM by Lou Schneider »

AStravelers

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Re: Trip from Joshua Tree, Ca to Estacada, Or.
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2018, 10:01:46 AM »
From Joshua Tree NP, head out the N end of the park. Go west on SR-62 to Yucca Valley and pick up SR-247 to Barstow.  It is a 2 lane highway, but should be fine for RV's.  Beats fighting the freeway traffic in LA area. 

Going north on US-395 is a wonderful scenic drive on the east side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Great mountain views.  There is one long 6-8 mile 7% grade north of Bishop.  The down side to this route is north of Bishop you climb to about 5000-6000 feet for 50-90 miles or so.  So watch the weather.  Also most of this route is pretty chilly in Jan/Feb.  High around 50 and lows around 25.  Colder if a winter storm comes though. 

Consider visiting more of the areas in southern AZ or CA until March and then go up US-395.  Death Valley is great this time of the year. 
Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado 4X4

http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/

AStravelers

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Re: Trip from Joshua Tree, Ca to Estacada, Or.
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2018, 10:13:51 AM »
If you like to hike, come to Anza Borrego Desert SP, headquarters at Borrego Springs, CA.  We have been here for 11 days.  Great weather and lots of places to hike.  Yesterday afternoon & evening I went on a guided sunset/moonlight hike. Fantastic. We hiked for about 2 hours in the moonlight. There is another Moonlight hike on an Feb 27, 2018. http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/638/files/ABDSPRevisedInterpActivitiesFebruary2018.pdf

For more info about the SP: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=638  http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=29304 

Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado 4X4

http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/

JudyJB

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Re: Trip from Joshua Tree, Ca to Estacada, Or.
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2018, 05:01:27 PM »
The problem with 99, other than heavy truck and other traffic, is that in some areas it is extremely rough--needs to be replaced.  The advantage to 99 is there are lots of places to stop for food and gas and lot of campgrounds.  Some of the exits, however, are very old and tight turns. 

I-5 is a lot newer (like quite a few decades) than 99, but has fewer service areas or campgrounds.  In spite of that, I much prefer it because of the traffic and rough road on 88. 

What I usually do is take 247 up to Barstow, and then take 58 north to Bakersfield.  This route keeps you away from LA traffic.  Also, 58 will take you across the Tehachapi Pass, which is nice and gradual with big curves-pretty drive, also.  (Californians will warn you against the "Grapevine" which is a steep section of I-5 north of LA.) 

Tehachapi is one of my favorite little towns because it has a fantastic bakery and a nice campground (water and electric only) right next to a glider airport, where you can watch gliders take off or even go for a ride.  (Get to bakery early because they run out of stuff.)  They also serve sandwiches and homemade soup at lunch.  Easy parking even for a big rig towing on main street or side street. Also, just north of Tehachapi is the Tehachapi Loop, which is where the long trains make a complete circle and go underneath themselves, but you cannot drive that road towing.  Stay at the glider airport campground two nights and drive your truck to see the loop.  Very busy tracks so you are guaranteed to see a train every few minutes.

At Bakersfield, I cut across to I-5 and take it all the way north to the north bay area. Lots of campgrounds and services north of Sacramento, so you could take it all the way to Portland.

Only thing in staying on freeway all the way to Portland is that you are missing some gorgeous, ocean-view scenery along 101 in Oregon. I would cut over to 101 once you get into Oregon--maybe 199 from Grants Pass to Brookings.  Slower that way, but you seem to have enough time. Oregon has lots of state parks along the coast and all are beautiful.  Also, some very nice small towns along the way.
Full-timing for over five years in a
2012 Fleetwood Tioga Ranger 31N

AStravelers

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Re: Trip from Joshua Tree, Ca to Estacada, Or.
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2018, 03:45:47 PM »

Only thing in staying on freeway all the way to Portland is that you are missing some gorgeous, ocean-view scenery along 101 in Oregon. I would cut over to 101 once you get into Oregon--maybe 199 from Grants Pass to Brookings.  Slower that way, but you seem to have enough time. Oregon has lots of state parks along the coast and all are beautiful.  Also, some very nice small towns along the way.
Ditto, on US-101 in Oregon.  Brookings is the "Banana Coast" of Oregon.  Typically it is 10-15 degrees warmer than the rest of the coast.  I am not sure when the winter storms and huge waves stop coming in on the OR coast.  Best to wait till they subside before coming up US-101.  Probably late April early May.
Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado 4X4

http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/

happytorvhere

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Re: Trip from Joshua Tree, Ca to Estacada, Or.
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2018, 10:04:00 AM »
What I usually do is take 247 up to Barstow, and then take 58 north to Bakersfield.  This route keeps you away from LA traffic.  Also, 58 will take you across the Tehachapi Pass, which is nice and gradual with big curves-pretty drive, also.  (Californians will warn you against the "Grapevine" which is a steep section of I-5 north of LA.)

We took your advice and took 247 up to Barstow. Now looking at 58 across Tehachapi Pass we are a little concerned with the grade. We are towing a 31' fifth wheel and would like to try and keep the grades to a minimum. Would we be better off going 138 to I-5 through Gorman and Lebec up to Bakersfield?

JudyJB

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Re: Trip from Joshua Tree, Ca to Estacada, Or.
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2018, 12:46:43 AM »
The problem is that north of Gorman, that route takes you up the Grapevine.  That chunk of I-5 is 3-5 lanes wide on both sides and tons of traffic.  Here is a YouTube o the Grapevine.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhIMtkYX1ew

You have to go over some grades no matter what, and the Tehachapi Pass is more gradual and has a lot less traffic than the Grapevine.  58 is 2-3 lanes wide on both sides of a divided freeway-type highway with nice, gentle curves.  I can see that looking at the map, it looks like a lot of mountains, but it really is not.  Pass is 4,000' from maybe 2,000'   Just pull over and follow the trucks in their lane.   

Here is another link comparing the two:  http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/27659941/page/2.cfm

And another one:  http://www.roadtripamerica.com/forum/showthread.php?19807-Calif-Desert-road-trip-Grapevine-vs-Hwy-58
« Last Edit: February 16, 2018, 01:06:25 AM by JudyJB »
Full-timing for over five years in a
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camperAL

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Re: Trip from Joshua Tree, Ca to Estacada, Or.
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2018, 07:58:28 AM »
Hi Happytorvhere,

Someone correct me if I am wrong, I believe that Oregon requires you to have chains on if the road has snow on it or is snowing. Not sure what the weather is right now but something to take into consideration.

One thing you can do is go to a les schwab tire center and pick up chains for your transportation. You have to pay for the chains I believe, if you don't use them, you can return for a full refund. Oregon can be pretty nasty to travel in this time of the year and no one wants to slide off a two thousand foot cliff. Don't forget to winterize before hand and have water on hand to use, on the inside.

One thing I would not do is take the secondary roads across Oregon as it could be very dangerous.
CamperAL (Indiana)
(2006 Coachmen Mirada 290 KS )

JudyJB

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Re: Trip from Joshua Tree, Ca to Estacada, Or.
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2018, 11:24:19 AM »
If he cuts over to the coast, he won't have any problems.  Temps are mostly in the 40s and 50s there right now, and I doubt if he will be driving at night. 
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donn

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Re: Trip from Joshua Tree, Ca to Estacada, Or.
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2018, 11:38:22 AM »
97 this time of year is not great for RVing.  Temps east of the Cascades can be cool to downright COLD.  Campgrounds that may be open will have limited amenities.  Your much better off coming north on 101.  At Lincoln City head east to Salem, I5 north to I205 and take 224 east to Estacada.  At least you will miss part of the horrible Portland traffic that way.

Lou Schneider

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Re: Trip from Joshua Tree, Ca to Estacada, Or.
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2018, 12:33:51 PM »
You'll have to carry chains for the tow vehicle and at least one axle of the trailer whenever Oregon posts "Carry Chains or Traction Tires" on roadside signs.

Current mile-by-mile conditions on Oregon highways (including chain restrictions) can be found here:

https://www.tripcheck.com/DynamicReports/Report/RoadConditions

« Last Edit: February 16, 2018, 12:35:56 PM by Lou Schneider »

happytorvhere

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Re: Trip from Joshua Tree, Ca to Estacada, Or.
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2018, 08:06:32 PM »
We are not going to be up into Oregon til at least April. Will we still need to be worried about that kind of weather by then?

SeilerBird

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Re: Trip from Joshua Tree, Ca to Estacada, Or.
« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2018, 09:21:58 PM »
Mount Hood has snow year round. This is the Cascade Mountain Range and it gets a lot of snow. Mt Hood gets 400 to 500 inches of snow per year. Yes snow is a real possibility.
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JudyJB

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Re: Trip from Joshua Tree, Ca to Estacada, Or.
« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2018, 11:42:51 PM »
Happytorvhere, it depends on where in Oregon you are going.  The coast is usually more mild in winter.  Obviously, there are mountain ranges so if you have to cross one, there might be snow on them.  Check with Oregon Department of Transportation before you leave.

I am driving to Eugene in early April, so I also am planning on checking the weather. 
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happytorvhere

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Re: Trip from Joshua Tree, Ca to Estacada, Or.
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2018, 09:50:08 AM »
Thank you JudyJB for the help! We took 58 across to Bakersfield and it was beautiful! We are currently in the Fresno area. I stopped by Les Schwab and grabbed some tire chains. Our plan is to hit Oregon in early April. I will keep an eye on the weather since we are traveling 97 to 58 in Oregon. Any other advice would be greatly appreciated!

donn

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Re: Trip from Joshua Tree, Ca to Estacada, Or.
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2018, 11:22:04 AM »
Since your in no hurry, from where you are, north of Sacramento cross over around Clear Lake to 101 north and enjoy the trip.  At Lincoln City head east toward Salem, I5 north about 40 miles to I205, follow it to the MtHood Estacada exit.  Yes you will get some traffic around south Portland, but if you take 58 across the cascades your stuck with the same mess.  If you really want avoid Portland traffic, and still decide to stsy east of the Cascades, then at Madras take 26 over Mt Hood.  At least that will drop you just north of Estacada, with a few miles cross country to 224.
This is not really hard to decide.  Central Oregon is currently getting snow, and temps in the teens.  It will be that way till at least June.  Your will be far better off heading to the coast IMHO.  This from a life long Oregonian.

JudyJB

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Re: Trip from Joshua Tree, Ca to Estacada, Or.
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2018, 03:09:01 PM »
Glad you liked one of my favorite routes.  If you spend more time in Fresno, one of my favorite places to stay is Hidden View Campground on Hensley Lake, but it is about 25 miles away from there in the foothills.

You are driving through Bend, which is my son's favorite place because of all the small breweries!  About 20 miles north of Bend is a neat state park, The Cove Palisades.  It is a wide canyon turned into a Y-shaped reservoir.  Great drive into the main Deschutes campground, although maybe a bit daunting to a new driver, but if you are up for an adventure, go for it!  There are two bridges which are also really neat.  Here is a link to my last trip to that area with photos.  http://grandmajjb.blogspot.com/2017/08/85-cove-palisades-state-park.html.  (I see you are towing a really big 5th wheel, but a lot of people do make it to the campground in that kind of rig. I have a 32' motorhome without a tow, which is easier.)

Also, about 15 miles south of Bend on 97 near LaPine is a place worth at least 2-3 hours--The High Desert Museum.  Lots of big vehicle parking in their parking lots so you could just stop on your way for a break.

Anyway, you can scan last summer for my blog to see other places in Oregon I visited last summer.
 
« Last Edit: February 26, 2018, 09:45:49 PM by JudyJB »
Full-timing for over five years in a
2012 Fleetwood Tioga Ranger 31N

happytorvhere

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Re: Trip from Joshua Tree, Ca to Estacada, Or.
« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2018, 03:44:19 PM »
Glad you liked one of my favorite routes.  If you spend more time in Fresno, one of my favorite places to stay is Hidden View Campground on Hensley Lake, but it is about 25 miles away from there in the foothills.

 Wow, what are the chances that we just pulled into Hidden View Campground! haha! This place is great! (and the showers are actually HOT!)

JudyJB

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Re: Trip from Joshua Tree, Ca to Estacada, Or.
« Reply #21 on: February 26, 2018, 04:22:00 PM »
Say Hi from Judy to the ranger for me!!!  Last time when he came to collect my money, he remembered my name!

My older son lives in Napa and the EXPO campground there is excellent but costs $45 per night, so I escape to Hidden View when I am looking for a quiet place to work online and relax.  I am a full-timer so a cheap, quiet, scenic place is what I look for and Hidden View is perfect.  I like sites 31 and 32 and have stayed there often for several days at a time over the last five years.  A couple of times, I was the only camper other than a camp host, which is just the way I like it. Extremely quiet when you can hear one or two camping groups way on the other side of the campground.

Two years ago, when the lake was almost dry, the then volunteer camp hosts walked the entire lake shore and picked up tons of trash over several months!  Glad you found one of my favorite places! 
« Last Edit: February 26, 2018, 04:24:00 PM by JudyJB »
Full-timing for over five years in a
2012 Fleetwood Tioga Ranger 31N

 

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