West Coast in January - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-22-2011, 08:41 AM   #1
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West Coast in January

Well, my 22 year old daughter wants to do a road trip with her Dad before I'm too old, and she's on to other things. Key here is it would be mid-January to early February. Destinations she has in mind are, in no particular order: San Francisco, Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Death Valley, Las Vegas, Monument Valley, Crater Lake and Mount Rainier. We are considering taking the Fiber Stream, driving directly to Vancouver B.C. and then turning south dow the west Coast.

San Francisco and Las Vegas aside:

Question 1. Are all these places open or accessible in January/February?

Question 2. What is the typical January/February weather?

Question 3. Is trailer camping a realistic option?

Comments and suggestions would be very appreciated!

Vic
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:11 AM   #2
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I can comment on the weather in Vancouver in Jan/Feb....WET! Make sure you have a tarp and rain boots.
I'm thinking you might incounter snow at Crater Lake and Mount Rainier...not sure if they keep all the roads open all year round.
The plus side of having a trailer is you can camp all year round, it's just a matter of how comfortable you feel towing in possible snowy/wet weather.
Sounds like a fun trip!
Cheers! Emily
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Old 06-22-2011, 10:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victor Benz View Post
Well, my 22 year old daughter wants to do a road trip with her Dad before I'm too old, and she's on to other things. Key here is it would be mid-January to early February. Destinations she has in mind are, in no particular order: San Francisco, Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Death Valley, Las Vegas, Monument Valley, Crater Lake and Mount Rainier. We are considering taking the Fiber Stream, driving directly to Vancouver B.C. and then turning south dow the west Coast.

San Francisco and Las Vegas aside:

Question 1. Are all these places open or accessible in January/February?

Question 2. What is the typical January/February weather?

Question 3. Is trailer camping a realistic option?

Comments and suggestions would be very appreciated!

Vic
Crater Lake, Mt. Rainier, and at least most of Yosemite are snowed in that time of the year. The coastal areas of WA, OR, and northern CA are usually wet but camping is usually available. The last time I tried to stay in my trailer near San Francisco there just didn't seem to be anything around.
Monument Valley in Navajo-Hopi reservation is going to be really cold at 5,000+ ft.
Joshua Tree, Death Valley, Las Vegas, are great places to visit in January/February and lots of places to camp. On Lake Mead, near Las Vegas is Las Vegas Bay in the Lake Mead Recreational Area. Sun Set is the cheaper and centrally located in Death Valley near Furnace Creek. Joshua Tree the most centrally located is Jumbo Rock, the other good one is Cotton Wood Springs.
Sounds like a great trip. While you're in the southwest US keep an eye out for a 13' Scamp towed by a blue Dodge Dakota pickup, that would be us.
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Old 06-22-2011, 12:04 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
Crater Lake, Mt. Rainier, and at least most of Yosemite are snowed in that time of the year.
I expected there would be snow there. But are they snowed in like Yellowstone, which essentially has no vehicular access?

Vic
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Old 06-22-2011, 06:27 PM   #5
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January - February west coast

Victor:

My wife and I were camping this year in January and February in Washington state.

You will find pictures here:

Whidbey Island and Port Townsend - a set on Flickr

You will probably want to find a campsite that has power and water to make it comfortable. We stayed in Fort Ebey on Whidbey Island which had some nice views of Mount Rainier. We timed our trip around weather forecasts -- we prefer sun. We found information about the services available in the winter from the Washington State Parks website:

Washington State Parks Home Page

Brian
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Old 06-22-2011, 08:28 PM   #6
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See if you can find anything in this old posts which touches on the subject:
RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Roads and Routes: LA to Portland OR in April?

Fort Canby State Park when we were there, now: Cape Disappointment State Park is a 1,882-acre camping park on the Long Beach Peninsula, fronted by the Pacific Ocean. The park offers 27 miles of ocean beach, two lighthouses, an interpretive center and hiking trails. Visitors enjoy beachcombing and exploring the area's rich natural and cultural history. The nearby coastal towns of Ilwaco and Long Beach feature special events and festivals spring through fall. http://www.parks.wa.gov/parks/?selec...Disappointment

The campground was Walking distance to Cape Disappointment Lighthouse which began operating in 1856, and is now the oldest lighthouse still in use on the West Coast.

West Coast of Washington State: http://www.parks.wa.gov/parks/region...n=pacificcoast

Twice we have use Half Moon Bay to see San Francisco: Half Moon Bay to SF via BART

If you go farther south from San Francisco:
The Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey is really great. Monterey Bay Aquarium, California

North of Monterey at Moss Landing is a great sea food place over by the docks, called Phil's Fish Market & Eatery. Phil's Fish Market

On the Monterey Peninsula there is a very good scenic drive, 17 Mile Drive: http://gocalifornia.about.com/od/cam...mile_drive.htm

Info can be gotten at a nice visitor center in Monterey.

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park would be a nice campgound to see the area, but have never stopped there, being full. Big Sur

We looked at a private campground in Marina, but we were tent camping at the time and tent area not very good. RV Park.

"Hearst Castle", "Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument" is a must see. San Simeon State Park is just south of the Monument is a nice place for Camping Out. http://www.hearstcastle.org/
http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=590

Enroute Campsites in CA to over-night: Enroute Campsites

If you get down to Santa Barbara, it is a neat place to visit time allowing. A good visitor center by Harbor Drive, also a pier there, County Court House is neat, the old Mission, a drive into the wine country is neat. One of Many

A few CA State Park north of Santa Barbara:
El Capitan State Park - http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=601
Refugio State Park - http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=603
Gaviota State Park - http://www.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=606

Twelve miles south of Santa Barbara, Carpinteria State Beach offers a mile of beach for swimming, surf fishing, tidepool exploring and camping. Carp

In Santa Barbara, we had good seafood at the "FisHouse", close to the visitor information place near the wharf. Situated on Cabrillo Blvd across from East Beach and Stearns Wharf, the Santa Barbara FisHouse is a perfect destination for ocean-side dining, offering patio seating by an open fire pit. There is parking at the visitor center. The Wharf is in walking distance. SeaFood There are also places to eat on the wharf with higher prices.

Never been to Las Vegas, NV or Death Valley.

If going to Monument Valley, the Grand Canyon South Rim would be on the way: http://www.nps.gov/grca/index.htm and camp in the park: http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/cg-sr.htm

Not far from Flagstaff, Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument and on the same looping hwy, Wupatki National Monument, a neat drive. From Flagstaff, take U.S 89 north for 12 miles (19km), turn right on the Sunset Crater - Wupatki Loop road and continue 2 miles (3km) to the visitor center. Area Map ~ I have never been to Walnut Canyon National Monument, it should be neat as well.
Sunset Crater & Wupatki

Caution: the area around Flagstaff is at 7,000-foot elevation and can have snow. http://www.arizonasnowbowl.com/

More information for that part of AZ, UT, NM: RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Roads and Routes: Colorado to Grand Canyon

Monument Valley has camping in it and near by. We liked the one near the visitor center.....many years ago.
Mon't Valley Area Campgrounds

In Monument Valley Area: Goosenecks State Park near Mexican Hat.

If you happen to decide to go farther south in California, Los Angles Area Camping and Attractions.

Some ways to keep cost down while traveling:
Overnighting Sites

Free or Almost Free Campgrounds

Free Campsites

Boondocking Sites Map
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Old 06-22-2011, 10:03 PM   #7
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You can get into Crater Lake is during the winter but you would want to leave the trailer at lower elevation. I am pretty sure that the road is kept open to the lodge all winter. It is a big plowing job. You might consider a beautiful alternative that we have done a couple of time - join a snowmobile tour at Diamond Lake Lodge and ride up to the North rim. It is absolutely fabulous. Take ski clothing to keep warm.

One road through Mount Rainier Park (Highway 12) is is kept open during the winter. The road to Paradise lodge is not plowed. You could run into challenging conditions, especially for towing with snow and ice.

The suggestion ow Whidbey Island is a great one. I am a little biased since we live there, not too far from Fort Ebey SP. Yes it rains, but we are in the rain shadow from the Olympics and get half as much as Seattle. The climate is temperate compared to most areas and especially the mountains.

BTW, we have gone to Yellowstone in January riding in from West Yellowstone in a snow coach. Very spectacular but -30 degrees. Again, take those warm closes. I would be hesitant to pull the trailer there since on the way home on I90, we did a 360 in the middle of the freeway.
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Old 06-23-2011, 07:23 PM   #8
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Victor, yes we really do have winter here in California. Our high mountains are still snowed in, the east entrance to Yosemite finally opened last week. We had more snow than usual but we won't know until it happens how next year will be. All the desert locations should be nice but it can get pretty cold at night.

A run down the coast would be great but as people have said don't expect sunny warm weather!
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:52 PM   #9
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THnaks for all your comments. I'll let you know what we decide to do!

Vic
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Old 06-28-2011, 03:56 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Victor Benz View Post
THnaks for all your comments. I'll let you know what we decide to do!

Vic
I'm sure you'll have a great trip no matter where you decide to go and how long you stay. Look for us in Death Valley in late January, then Joshua Tree in February. 13' Scamp towed with a blue Dakota pickup.
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Old 06-28-2011, 04:14 PM   #11
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Linkletter Provincal Park

Just made reservations at Linkletter Prov Park in PEI as a prelude to the Vintage Fiberglass Rally.

We've made a list of things to do in see in PEI but always interested in other's input.

Thank you

Norm
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:18 AM   #12
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Costanoa KOA is about 1 hour and 20 minutes south of San Francisco, very nice place, great location. Half Moon Bay is closer but it's a parking lot. Laguna Seca raceway is an excellent Monterrey camping area. El Chorro county park in Morro bay area is also a nice place and location for the Central Coast ie, San Luis Obispo, Morro Bay, Pismo Beach. Faria county park in Ventura is also great, right on the water. Bass Lake outside of Oakhurst is a great option for Yosemite if you can't get a place in the park.
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