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Old 07-28-2022, 06:37 PM   #1
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101 Coast to Hiway 299 in CA

Taking a trip down from Oregon to CA. Suggested route is Hiway 299. I always am cautious when I see a road is a Scenic Byway. Any traveled 299 with a travel trailer?
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Old 07-28-2022, 08:47 PM   #2
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Taking a trip down from Oregon to CA. Suggested route is Hiway 299. I always am cautious when I see a road is a Scenic Byway. Any traveled 299 with a travel trailer?
Are you sure you have you highway numbers correct? 299 is an east west highway, not north south.
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Old 07-28-2022, 08:50 PM   #3
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PCH is the north south and is a winding route for RVs. It can be done but is slow and tedious.
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Old 07-28-2022, 09:37 PM   #4
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Sounds like you are coming down the coast, then need to cross over to I-5. Whether 299 is the best choice or not somewhat depends on what your final destination is.

299 can be a bit of a challenge, but not a horrid one. Most of my trips across were in a Class A pulling a toad, but as a trailer newbie I made the trip across in late June. Bought the trailer in Anderson, and I live in Eureka. Wasn't difficult, but I did it early in the day to beat the heat.

299 is about 136 miles from Arcata to Redding, and crosses 4 "mountain passes." I put that in quotes because anybody from the Rockies would smirk, while anybody from east of the Mississippi would say "Whoa!"

From Arcata at sea level you climb to Lord Ellis summit at around 2260 feet. Then drop to Redwood Creek at 900 feet and immediately climb to Berry summit at 2871 feet. Next is a drop to the Trinity River at Willow Creek, elevation 600. A long stretch with mild up/downs along the Trinity, then climb to Oregon Mountain summit at 2888; down to Weaverville at 900 and finally Buckhorn summit at 3215. Redding is roughly 670 feet.

There are a couple of 8% grades, and West to East those will be uphill. The drop from Buckhorn is 5 miles at 6% and used to be very curvy. Now its only curvy. Some 15mph curves in the past are generally 25mph curves for the past couple of years.

So, tell us where you are coming from/going to and we can say if it is the best, or not.
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Old 07-28-2022, 11:53 PM   #5
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We travel Highway 299 from I-5 to the coast and back 8 or 10 times a year, so I can tell you from memory just about every mile. Where 299 hits Highway 101, you can go north or south and we make the trip north up the Cali and Oregon coast frequently as well.

Short answer: If you are pulling the 23MRB in your sig, you will have no problem unless you are a total newb at towing and freaked by two-lane highways. Weíve been from Glacier Park to the Grand Canyon in the last few years and Highway 299 is as good as any of the highways weíve encountered. Far better than some, particularly Arizona. Much of the pavement has been replaced and parts straightened with a lot of pullouts and passing lanes. Watch for them and let others pass and youíre fine.

There are four passes as mentioned. They are not long grinding hills like you find in some places but they rise quickly and require smart use of lower gears and/or engine brakes. In summer, watch your gauges as itís hotter than hades as soon as you leave the coast. It hit 116 in Redding today.

As for 101 north from 299, itís winding, two-lane and narrow in places. But lots of RVs and semi-trucks use it. There are some 3 and even 4-lane stretches but not many. Itís narrowest and steepest in the redwoods south of Crescent City. Into Oregon, the highway is no problem. Itís scenic, do take your time and enjoy without letting traffic pile up behind you.

If you have more specific questions about exactly what route youíre planning, feel free to PM me. Weíre heading back over 299 in a couple of days!
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Old 07-29-2022, 09:06 AM   #6
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Drove 299 from the coast to Redding without any problems. Weaverwille Josh House is an interesting place to visit.
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Old 07-29-2022, 09:34 AM   #7
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One heart stopper is from north to south is the 101 to the 1 at leggett, Ca. Google Maps is your friend on this one. If you plan on seeing Mendocino - Fort Bragg area I suggest that you turn west from the 101 to the 1 at Willits.
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Old 07-29-2022, 10:49 AM   #8
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One heart stopper is from north to south is the 101 to the 1 at leggett, Ca. Google Maps is your friend on this one. If you plan on seeing Mendocino - Fort Bragg area I suggest that you turn west from the 101 to the 1 at Willits.
Agreed. Hwy 101 from Fortuna south is beautiful in a car, but I’d avoid it with a trailer unless you want to check your trailer’s rear end when making a hairpin curve.

From I-5, DO NOT take highway 36 to the coast. It is bad in a car let alone a trailer. Highway 199 from Grants Pass, Oregon, to the coast is very good with just one tight stretch.
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Old 07-29-2022, 08:23 PM   #9
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I have yet to travel south with the trailer, but I don't see the difficulty with 101. Been through there many, many times with a 40-footer towing. Richardson's grove is tight, but the low speed limit makes it bearable. Agreed to never take 36, which GPS will sometimes route you. I don't think Tunce was talking about 101; taken in context the point was to not head down to the coast from Legget. That is not 101 to 1, that IS 1. Legget is the northern terminus of Highway 1.

I drove that one time in a motorhome in 2002. Never again. Agreed that crossing down from Willits on 20 is the proper way to get to Mendocino/Ft Bragg.

When we head north and need to cross over from 101 to I-5 our preferred crossing is Oregon 38 from Reedsport. Both easy, and short.

Just came down from Brookings to Eureka today; last chance grade was its usual mess.

Unrelated, the Fred Meyer's in Brookings was self-serve. You never saw so many people who did not have a clue about how to operate a pump! Apparently it was a heat-wave emergency order effective for 4 days only.
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Old 07-29-2022, 08:38 PM   #10
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I have yet to travel south with the trailer, but I don't see the difficulty with 101. Been through there many, many times with a 40-footer towing. Richardson's grove is tight, but the low speed limit makes it bearable. Agreed to never take 36, which GPS will sometimes route you. I don't think Tunce was talking about 101; taken in context the point was to not head down to the coast from Legget. That is not 101 to 1, that IS 1. Legget is the northern terminus of Highway 1.
Yes, I stand corrected ó that actually is U.S. 1, not 101 in that stretch. South of Leggett on 1 is what i was thinking and it is like an arthritic snake in places.

Willits to Ft. Bragg on 20 is the way to go, but it is full of hairpin curves as well. The locals take it pretty fast but for an RV it can be a challenge. I hope the OP hasnít decided to cancel his trip!
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Old 07-30-2022, 06:25 PM   #11
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Thanks to all of you. I guess I wasn't clear. We are traveling 101 south and will cross to the East on 299 to get to Interstate 5.
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Old 07-30-2022, 06:59 PM   #12
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Thanks to all of you. I guess I wasn't clear. We are traveling 101 south and will cross to the East on 299 to get to Interstate 5.
Youíll have no problem. If you have a choice, travel it on a Sunday. Every other day, they are doing work in four places on the highway, causing stoppages for 15-20minutes. Not fun in the heat.
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Old 07-30-2022, 07:06 PM   #13
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Thank for the information on the construction, that is why I asked this question on the forum. The last time we traveled "this route" we took 199. It is a bit longer but sounds as if it might be a better decision than 299 if we are going to hit the contstruction.
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Old 07-30-2022, 07:29 PM   #14
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Thank for the information on the construction, that is why I asked this question on the forum. The last time we traveled "this route" we took 199. It is a bit longer but sounds as if it might be a better decision than 299 if we are going to hit the contstruction.
On a Sunday, itís a 3 1/2-hour trip. The delays add up to another 30-40 minutes unless you are lucky and hit the flagger just as they wave you through, assuming they still are working. All but one spot was tree removal on the shoulders. The Caltrans Quickmap will tell you. On 199 there is one stretch along the Smith River that is very narrow with sheer rock cliff on one side and a drop off to the river and no guardrail on the other. Itís not super long, but itís not much fun.
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Old 07-30-2022, 07:52 PM   #15
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Brookings to Redding via 199 is 273 miles. Via 299 it is 237 miles. The former is actually faster (if that matters) because of the 175 or so miles of freeway vs about 25 miles of freeway on the 299 route
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Old 07-30-2022, 07:54 PM   #16
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On the other hand - do you have some reason to go over to I-5? Your location is listed as Milpitas, so if that was the destination and it were me I would continue down 101 all the way to San Rafael/Richmond.
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