Prescott to Seattle in an ARB Jeep Wrangler

MattScott

Approved Vendor
ARBJeep.jpg

When I think about it, it's actually quite odd that I've never been to the Pacific Northwest. I mean, it's kinda the only place in the Lower 48 that I haven't been to—and it's a place I'm told I'll enjoy very much. Reluctantly, we need to return ARB's Jeep Wrangler, and I've been bestowed with the horrible responsibility of driving it to Seattle. (That was sarcasm, if you have trouble with it.)

Anyways, I'm a firm believer in the power of local knowledge, I don't like to plan too much, I want to see the cool spots that I can't find on Google, so clearly I need the help of Expedition Portal. Help me plan the trip.

Here's the Lowdown:

  • Two weeks to get from Prescott to Seattle, February 15-March 2nd.
  • ARB's Jeep Wrangler
  • Photography
  • Epic camp sites
  • Great food
  • Stops in San Francisco, Bend, Portland, and Seattle

Prescott to Seattle is a considerable distance, snow and the fact that I'm traveling alone in someone else's (although capable) vehicle will prohibit me from trying to link the two cities by dirt. I think it would be great to meet up with some ExPo members along the way, grab a bite to eat, and hit a trail.

Currently, it looks like I'll be spending a day-or-two in San Francisco, Bend, Portland, and Seattle where I have some meetings, and I'll be linking them together with as many backroads and trails that is possible for the area during February. I'd like to stay off the super-slab as much as possible, but I'll probably take the interstate for a bit to cover some distance and get closer to the coast where it will be warmer to camp. I'll be staying with friends throughout the trip, in addition to hotels in the bigger cities, to compliment the camping.

Looking forward to suggestions.
 

Yulli

Yulli the Yeti
Looks like it'll be a fun trip. Unfortunately, I'm pretty new to the whole overland thing, so I can't recommend a lot of trails and what not.

But, when you are in the city, whether it's San Fran, Bend, OR, or Seattle, make sure to check out all the great breweries in each of the cities.
 

wldkgdm

Adventurer
North to Northwest

Matthew,

When you are passing through Seattle, be sure to stay in touch with me. I am now the helmsman at Northwest Overland. http://www.nwoverland.org

We should plan out monthly meet up when you are in town.

As for places to go, be sure to check out the Mount St. Helen's area. There are lava tubes you can go exploring in. Make sure to contact the St. Helen's area ranger district, as these may be closed for seasonal purposes.

Also, the Olympic Peninsula has lot's to offer as well. The Lake Crescent area is teeming with natural springs and other outcrops.

Taking a drive through the Columbia River Gorge is also a great drive both between Oregon and Washington and up through the central Washington inland empire. Also, there are great craft breweries up here as well.

If you need any specific data, shoot me a message back.

Dan Cronin
Northwest overland
 

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Yulli

Yulli the Yeti
I'd like to see the ARB Jeep up close again. I saw it at the Northridge 4x4 open house but I only took a picture of the front bumper since it was a prototype and wasn't available for sale yet. I wanted to get more pics of the whole thing and didn't even think about taking more pics.
 

MattScott

Approved Vendor
Matthew,

When you are passing through Seattle, be sure to stay in touch with me. I am now the helmsman at Northwest Overland. http://www.nwoverland.org

We should plan out monthly meet up when you are in town.
Dan,

I'm planning to be in Seattle between the 27th-2nd of March, perhaps a Friday night meet-up would be cool! I'll probably hang out downtown and check that out though.
 

Pacific Northwest yetti

Expedition Medic
You could string the washington and calafornia bcdr's togather with barlow road in the middle. I second the lava tubes. Ill post links when I'm not on my phone.
 

Yulli

Yulli the Yeti
I'd down for a Seattle meet the weekend you're in town. We need a place where we can all park our rigs and shoot the shi-poopy.
 

summerprophet

Adventurer
My hint/tips and tricks -South to North

Prescott to San Francisco
If your travels can take you anywhere near King City, the drive between King City and Highway 101 is pretty cool. It gets you off pavement and takes you up and over the Coastal Mountains. There is one point after you crest that you sit a mile away from and a mile above the Pacific. Very Very cool road. Access is through a military Helicopter base, so be prepared to show ID (I had to show a passport as I am Canadian). It shows up as a secondary road on most maps. And then Highway 101 of course is one of the most scenic drives in the States.

If you are coming through in a more Northerly route, the Toulumne Road through Yosemite National Park is also really really good. Likely not open until May, and chock full of visitors, so likely out for this trip, but thought I would throw it out there.

San Francisco
The drive out to the Point Bonita Lighthouse is incredible. While a sports car or street bike would be better, the drive will none the less be spectacular. Single lane twisty turny asphalt down this ridgeline way above the ocean.
Seeing as you are allready North of the city, Point Reyes is also very nice.

San Francisco to Bend
Shasta is nice if you end up on the I-5 (Boooo!)
Watch your speed North of the CA-OR Border..... OSP is sneaky right there.
Crater Lake - Paved but worth the drive
I think South of Bend there is the High Desert Museum, my wife likes it. They have Otters.

Bend
Bend and everything around it is just a really cool place. Cool friendly people, Good scenery, Great Beer. Ask a local what to do, they are a friendly bunch.
40 minutes North of Bend is Redmond, Go there, and eat at Diegos. It will be packed. You will need to wait. It is the best food I have ever had in my mouth..... and I am 250 lbs!
A bit north of there and you will be in Terra Bonne. Turn east and check out Smith Rocks, neat little spot. Good walking, climbing and Biking if you have the gear. Terra Bonne Diner is also Good eats, I suggest the Buffalo Burger. On the Patio. With a Down Jacket. Sunset over Smith Rocks. Good times.

Bend to Portland
Not done much travelling here..... scenic enough drive, but knowledge is limited. Through the mountains, so likely plenty of possibilities to get off road. As you have a pretty big window, if you find yourself with a extra few days, I would spend a day checking out the John Day Fossil beds (NE ish of Bend). If for some reason you end up driving the route from Bend to The Dalles through Central Oregon, DO NOT pass a gas station without filling up. I believe there is NO FUEL between Madras and The Dalles.

Portland
Good City, good beer. Make friends. It will likely start raining during this point of your trip.

Portland to Seattle
If you get sick of the rain, divert through Central Washington, otherwise, put the wipers on high and push on.
The drive through Mt. Rainier Nat. Park is worth it. Kind of off route, but its there if you want it.

Seattle
It will still be raining, possibly harder by now.
Seattle is known for great Coffee. after spending X days in the rain you will appreciate that. What people dont know about is Seattles Ice cream. Find a Molly Moon Ice Cream shop and taste away. Pretty awesome. Also asian foods are a high point here. Pho (vietnamese soup) is a good match for coffee to warm you up during inevitable rainstorms.
 
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wldkgdm

Adventurer
Generally, we have been meeting up at the Elliott Bay Brewing Company in Lake City.

I will make sure we keep in contact so we can dial in the Meet Up.

I'll post a thread on NWOL just to get folks rallied. Looking forward to meeting up with you, Matthew!

Dan
 

skibum315

Explorer
No real rhyme or reason to the info below ... apologies; and it's by no means inclusive, exclusive or otherwise ...

Point Reyes is awesome, however has hike-in only camping ... or boat-in to the Tomales Bay sites. Further north, Salt Point State Park had a decent campground when I went on a climbing trip up that way several years ago (highly recommend the bouldering at both Salt Point and Ft Ross Parks, if that's your thing). The whole two lane coast road (Hwy 1) going north out of the Bay Area is an awesome drive, even if it is pavement.

If you're going through Petaluma, hit Lagunitas Brewery for sure ... River's End Restaurant in Jenner is a top-notch spot to grab something on the nicer side, if you're needing that for any reason. Toronado in SF has one of the best beer selections of any place I've ever been, be sure to at least stop there, if no other place ... even if you're not a beer guy, you just might be after you leave (I'm not even kidding here).

Didn't really start getting into the offroading thing until after I moved out here to CO, so I don't know much about what's available out on the coast ... unfortunately; but I do need to get back out there for some of my own exploring, so I'll be watching this thread!
 

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MTDIRK

New member
If your going that far you should make a point to go to Cape Flattery. It is the furthest Northwest point of the continental U.S. It is also a great view. Takes about 3 hours or so from Seattle. On the way you can hit Olympic National Park and the Hoh rainforest. Pack a lunch or eat in Port Angeles as there isn't much to choose from.
 

MattScott

Approved Vendor
Lots of good suggestions! I apprechiate the clue-in on the places to get some good eats!

I'm thinking about shooting straight up to the PNW and not going to SF.
 
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