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Visiting Redwood National Park

Discussion in 'California' started by dohmer, Jul 15, 2016.

  1. dohmer

    dohmer Member

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    Hi,

    I just got my Tesla so I'm new to the whole roadtrip with Tesla thing. I've tried to figure out if it's possible for me to get from a supercharger to Redwood national park and back to a supercharger but not sure if it's possible. I'm ok if I need to charge for a couple hours along the way (since we have to eat anyways) but I'm hoping I don't have to sit in a parking lot for 5 hours waiting for more charge. I have kids at the back so sitting idle for that long probably won't be fun for them.

    Is this possible? I'm coming from Vancouver Canada and going to San Francisco so I thought it would be good to stop by Redwood National Park. But if there's no easy way to do it, I might just skip it.

    Has anyone made a trip (e.g. day trip) to Redwood national park? Would be good to know what route you took.
     
  2. cpa

    cpa Member

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    Redwood National Park and the various units of the State Parks lie along US101 south of Crescent City. I would think that with the imminent completion of the Eureka Supercharger, you could make this trip worthwhile. It is 170 miles from Grants Pass to Eureka via US199 and US101. Most of the route from Grants Pass to Crescent City is downhill.

    The parks are not contiguous; there are gaps among the various locations. Some have auto access. This might be a little tricky to calculate range. You could arrange to spend the night in Crescent City and charge up there (check PlugShare) to ensure leisurely exploration to reach Eureka. There are a few more State Parks south of Eureka where I suggest you depart US101 and take the "old road" SR254 that parallels 101. I think this parallel highway starts around Redcrest.

    From Eureka to Ukiah is about 160 undulating miles. A range charge at Eureka probably would allow for some side roads and tourist traps before Supercharging at Ukiah.

    Then the Petaluma SC and across the Golden Gate!

    A couple of the north coasters could enlighten you more accurately that I, who lives in the hot interior Valley.

    Safe journey!
     
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  3. mblakele

    mblakele radial cross member

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    The Eureka supercharger would make this trip easier, but even without that I think it's possible. I trust the evtripplanner numbers: I did something similar recently from the Fresno SuC to Kings Canyon and back. The projections were very accurate. Looking at EV Trip Planner a range charge at Grants Pass should get you to Orick and then back to Grants Pass, using about 230 RM for the round trip. That would give you a little bit of buffer, which is good. It's a total of about 5 hours driving time, without any stops.

    Personally I'd prefer not to go back to Grants Pass, so I'd try to arrange an overnight charge somewhere around Eureka even if the Eureka SuC isn't open yet. Arriving with a low charge you'd need about 160 RM from Eureka to the Ukiah SuC. Without a SuC that's a little much for a lunch or dinner break, but easily done overnight with as little as 240V/30A. There are a number of destination charger options near Eureka: Find Us | Tesla Motors — or see plugshare and chargepoint for other ideas. For example there seems to at least one 14-50 plug at Elk Meadows Cabins, which might be a nice stop. But I'd call ahead to confirm anything like that. You wouldn't want to arrive and find that it isn't working.
     
  4. ProphetM

    ProphetM Member

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    #4 ProphetM, Jul 16, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2016
    The date of your trip could make a large difference to your planning. When will you be going? The Eureka supercharger could be open by the end of July if all goes well, and the Crescent City supercharger (which will be located directly across from Redwood NP headquarters) possibly by September as the Eureka crew will be heading there next. There are a couple of RV parks in Crescent City with NEMA 14-50s, and a car dealer with a J1772, so a stop there to add some charge shouldn't be too much of a problem if you need a little to get you to Eureka. There's also a NEMA 14-50 in Hiouchi (high-OO-chee) before you get to CC. Check out plugshare for details.

    I used to live in Crescent City, and even worked on the trail crew for Redwood National Park one summer during high school, so pardon me if this is more detailed that you might be interested in! Redwood National and State Parks are a slightly odd combination of federal and state lands managed together, and as mentioned by cpa, is not the type of park where you go in and then back out again. A drive from Grants Pass south on 199 to Crescent City, then south on 101 towards SF will take you in and out of the park several times. There are many in-out type of drives, as well as several through routes that will keep you moving towards your destination, while taking your charge down more slowly as you won't be driving highway speeds.

    Highly recommended through route:
    Howland Hill Road & Stout Grove - you might want to head into Hiouchi before this drive - add some charge from a Nema 14-50 at Hiouchi Hamlet RV Resort if needed, while grabbing a bite across the street at the Hiouchi Cafe (since 1931!). Even if you don't need a charge, there is a park information center just west of town where you can get a park map and any needed info - like confirming that Howland Hill Road is open. Then, head back east (it's only 2 miles back to the turnoff.) Just east of Hiouchi, turn south onto South Fork Road. Cross two bridges, then right onto Douglas Park Drive (there are signs directing you to Stout Grove for both). This becomes Howland Hill Road and is gated at night. It is an unpaved, AMAZING drive through massive redwoods. Don't worry about the lack of pavement; it's good quality gravel. I believe motor homes and trailers are prohibited but it's a piece of cake for any car, and you'll be driving it quite slowly. Don't miss the turnoff for Stout Grove. It's extremely short and has parking at the end (often close to full). Stout Grove is one of the standout spots of the park. The little loop trail is fantastic but even if you don't have time to take it, you'll be surrounded by old growth redwoods just parking your car and looking around. After Stout Grove, continuing on Howland Hill Road will eventually lead you out of the park and onto the plain east of Crescent City. You will have missed a beautiful 3-mile section of US 199 west of Hiouchi, but the drive on Howland Hill Road far surpasses it. Howland Hill Rd. ends at Elk Valley Road, where you can turn left 1 mile to US 101 at Crescent City. Turn right onto 101 North to head just a few blocks into town for any supplies you might need. Shoreline RV Park is off Sunset Circle just before 'the split' with a Nema 14-50, and Redwood National Park Headquarters is at 2nd and K Streets. A new supercharger is slated to arrive by the end of summer in the parking lot across the street.

    Recommended side trip (short):
    If you have the time, check out the 1856 Battery Point Lighthouse in Crescent City. It's a straight shot west on Front Street to the ocean, then left a couple of blocks. Opening hours depend on the tides but it's an absolutely beautiful view even if you can't go over to the island, or take a tour.

    Recommended side trip (short-ish):
    South of Crescent City on US 101, the last turn before heading up the hill is Enderts Beach Road. Turn right and follow it a couple miles to the end, up the mountainside and into the trees. At the very end there is a trailhead for a longer walking trip down to the ocean, but just before that, at the crest of the road, there are a couple more parking spots and a picnic area, and an octagonal deck with a commanding view of the coast and of Crescent City.

    Once you travel up into the trees on 101 South you will be inside the park again. As you descend back down to the ocean approaching Klamath, there is a parking area for beach access, and shortly after that is parking for Lagoon Creek and the Yurok Loop Trail. After that is a break in park property for the Trees of Mystery tourist attraction, which is at least worth a short stop for the giant Paul Bunyon & Babe and the gift shop. They have a gondola ride that takes you up a mountain as well as their original trails past unusual redwood formations.

    Recommended side trip:
    Coastal Drive - South of Klamath, after crossing the Klamath bridge whose approaches are topped by bear statues, take the Klamath Beach Road exit. It's a U-shaped exit so you will turn left to head towards the coast. You will soon arrive at an intersection with bridge ruins on your right and parking to your left. This is the previous Klamath bridge, destroyed by the flood of 1964. The western end, with bear statues, remains with interpretive signs. The intersection here is the start of a loop, but there is a one-way section at the far end. So, turn left at the intersection to head directly to the coast. Once you approach the coast you can turn north along a one-way section of Coastal Drive, passing the mouth of the Klamath River and then looping back around to the old bridge for a return to the highway. (The way south on Coastal Drive was once a through route down the coast but is now closed to cars due to erosion. :( ) One attraction along this route is a radar station built during World War II, facing the ocean and disguised as a farm house.

    Highly Recommended through route:
    Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway - this is an excellent alternate route that was US 101 until the 1990s. The exit is prominently signed from US 101 South, a few miles south of Klamath. This route is well-paved and well-traveled, with many pulloffs including a full parking area & very short walk to 'Big Tree', and near the south end of the drive is the Prairie Creek Visitor Center, and Elk Prairie Campground, so named because the prairie is frequented by Roosevelt Elk - if you see a bunch of cars stopped along the road through the prairie, this is why. This route is also highly recommended because it will be much easier on your battery - it's mostly level and an easy 2-lane drive (35-45 MPH if I recall), whereas the new highway is 4 lanes but also goes up and down a mountain or two. Newton B. Drury Parkway reconnects to 101 south of the elk prairie.

    Recommended side trip:
    Lady Bird Johnson Grove - one of the earliest attractions in the federal portion of the park, and a very nice 1-mile level walk through old-growth redwoods. North of Orick, turn left at Bald Hills Road and drive about 3 miles to the parking area. It's well signed from the highway.

    South of Orick as the highway approaches the ocean again you will find the last major stop of the park along 101, the Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center. This is also the place to get the gate code for the Tall Trees Trail, which is located much further along Bald Hills Road than Lady Bird Johnson Grove. I am not recommending it, only due to time - it is not a through route, and parking is limited which is why you need a gate code. Once they give it out so many times in a day, they stop. The Tall Trees Grove contains some of the tallest trees in the world, and is at the bottom of a nice but steep trail, taking about 30 minutes to get down but around 90 to get back up! The alternative is to take the Redwood Creek Trail from a parking area much closer to US 101. A shuttle is provided between, but this is a much longer walk, an all-day excursion even when taking a shuttle back to your car. (My wife and I did it once; 10 miles one-way I believe!)

    Once you get past Orick the RV park charging becomes more frequent, as do destination chargers in Humboldt County in and around Eureka. Once the supercharger opens at the Bayshore Mall you should be all set.

    So, that was even longer than I expected it to be! I hope some of that is helpful to you. :)
     
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  5. sammyfan711

    sammyfan711 Member

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    #5 sammyfan711, Jul 16, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2016
    We just got back from Acadia today. We had checked beforehand on the NPS website and it said that most parks have or are working to have "electric vehicle stations" for charging. When we got there, the information desk was not aware of this and referred us to the headquarters, which we did. We were able to charge for free once we registered the car. This was probably because the stations (2) at Acadia are in the maintenance area. The charging averaged 30amps. We could leave the car and go exploring for long periods. The pass they gave us was for 5 days based on how long we were visiting From the NPS website, looks like most larger parks or more frequently visited parks have charging stations (Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Zion, Muir Woods etc). I would recommend calling the park and speaking with someone at the headquarters. No one working at any of the visitor centers knew about the charging stations. For your purpose, I noticed that the city of Redwoods has charging stations that you may want to look into. Good luck!

    https://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/13101600/GreeningNatlParks-brief1.pdf
     
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  6. dohmer

    dohmer Member

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    Wow! Thanks for the valuable information everyone. My trip will be towards the end of August so I'm hoping the Eureka SuC will be up online. That will definitely make things simple. I'm going to carefully plot the places that ProphetM metioned. I think that would make the trip down 101 be more exciting.

    Is the 101 flattish or is there an incline? If there's an incline, I would rather go through it on the way down.
     
  7. ProphetM

    ProphetM Member

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    The 101 south of Crescent City varies quite a bit. There are low plains around Crescent City and Eureka, but then it turns inland through coastal mountains, which are not really high (never exceeding 2,000 feet), but do climb and fall several times, punctuated by a few small valleys here and there. It flattens out more into a larger valley around Healdsburg and down into Santa Rosa but then skirts mountains once more before getting to San Francisco. I wouldn't really consider one direction to be primarily up or down.
     
  8. dohmer

    dohmer Member

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    Thanks again ProphetM.
     
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  9. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    It goes without saying (or maybe it doesn't) - when you finally proceed from Eureka to San Francisco, and you get to Humboldt Redwoods State Park on the 101, take the "Avenue of the Giants" detour.

    I don't think it's any longer than the 101 - it's just a lower speed limit, but it's well worth it.


    Last time I visited the 101 (Jan 2014) it was a comedy of errors. There were no Superchargers on the 101, so I planned an overnight charge-stay in Eureka, and then a picnic in Humboldt State Park at Burlington campground while it was charging.

    Eureka overnight charge we only got up to 140 miles before someone cut off and stole the charge cable from the charger while the car was plugged in (picture below). And then when we got to Humboldt, the campgrounds were all closed due to the California drought. Ugh.

    Found another campground for the picnic, and stayed overnight at a Super 8 Motel in Ukiah where the owner was one of the first guys in California to offer public EV charging. So even when things go bad, it's California. You'll be fine.


    Humboldt.jpg
     
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  10. ProphetM

    ProphetM Member

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    Ah yes, Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt Redwoods State Park is outside my area of knowledge (and south of Redwood National Park) but it's definitely a fantastic alternate route. It's another one of those old through roads that used to be the main highway, so you can see the amazing scenery while still making progress southwards.
     
  11. e-FTW

    e-FTW New electron smell

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    Definitely recommend avenue of the Giants. Plenty of informative stops, 7-8 IIRC, and short 5-10 minute loop hikes.
    Drive slowly, or you'll miss the small signposts. Park where other cars are, go for a walk between the redwoods, and so on. Pretty neat for families.
     
  12. dohmer

    dohmer Member

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    Thanks for the tip deonb. If you didn't mention it, I wouldn't know about it :) Will definitely look for that.
     
  13. Zextraterrestrial

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    wow, it was you that got cut! That really sucks, at least your car was ok? they upgraded with shielded cables but that wont be necessary once the SC is turned on. it looks pretty done as of today.

    \Always take the Prairie creek bypass if you aren't in a hurry. Beautiful! I once drove S with a heard of female Elk and could have practically pet some of them
     
  14. ZachsDad

    ZachsDad Member

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    As ProphetM stated you'll want to head to the Coast at Grants Pass to take advantage of SuperChargers. If you have a CHAdeMO adapter you can cut across to 101 anywhere in Oregon (126 out of Eugene or 38 at Drain, e.g.) as there are CHAdeMO stations in every town down 101. Wouldn't want to miss the Oregon Coast if you don't have to...
     
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