The Pacific Coast Highway (or PCH) is customary, and it is one of the best road trip highways in the US, and for a good reason. The highway transits all the way from the Mexican border in San Diego to the Canadian border.
This stretch of highway is home to some of the most stunning shores and ocean vistas you will ever see. There are some of the most adorable beach villages with excellent meals along the way. This journey has it all, that’s why here is the ideal Pacific Coast Highway road expedition.
101 is quite RV friendly and will be no trouble for any RV, but for traffic jams. You should clarify what regions of California you’re having in mind. The majority of native Californians have driven the full lengths of Highway 1(PCH) and CA101. So, they perfectly know the routes.
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Where Should You Start
The first thing you need to think about for your Pacific Coast Highway road trip is which direction you like to travel. Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter, yet if you want the best ocean views and access to the most pullouts try trekking north to south.
Now, if you go from the Los Angeles region, check out the full California National Park Road Trip.
Before mapping out the route, bear in mind that this road is extremely windy, particularly in the north. There are also a lot of vertical climbs and declines. If you have a bigger RV, please be sure you are quite comfy in these conditions before starting your journey.
Tip: It is vitally important to understand how to cover an RV in the rain, to be sure it lasts vastly longer.
The Pacific Coast Highway Route
The Pacific coast is mostly wild, open, and incredibly beautiful. You can drive for miles and miles enjoying the breathtaking scenery of America’s coastal nature. This is truly an amazing route and taking this trip in your RV is something you will never regret.
It starts in San Diego, California, and goes through Seattle, Washington, almost the entire length of the country from the southern border with Mexico to the northern border with Canada.
If you want your route to be closest to the ocean, then better start from north to the south, although this is not often the case. Many more travelers start their journey in Los Angeles and head north from there.
If you’re starting from the north, in Washington, Oregon, the Pacific Coast Route follows US Highway 101. US-101 merges onto Highway 1, near the tiny place called Leggett. And this is where the most popular part of The Pacific Coast Highway route begins.
Note: Maybe you have been wondering if well water is bad for RV. It may be indeed. It is best to check it.
West Coast Road Trip Driving in your RV
The Pacific Coast route begins at the northwest tip of the United States at Port Townsend near Olympic National Park and is 1,650-mile (2,655 km) long. Using this route, you will see various landscapes from temperate rainforests to real deserts. Most of the Pacific coast is protected by law.
There are many national and local parks that provide habitat for rare animal species such as mountain lions, condors, and gray whales.
Heading south, you cross the mouth of the Columbia River and follow the relatively calm and peaceful Oregon Coast. Here, fortunately, recreation and tourism almost completely replaced industry.
When you find yourself somewhere in the middle of this route, you will encounter the great redwood forests of Northern California, home to the tallest trees on our planet.
After you pass this beautiful coast of Northern California, you come further south to the incredible coast of Big Sur, beyond which is the coast of Southern California. This is where the land of palm trees and surfers begins.
Tip: What about survivalist camping? There are many points about survivalist camping that you should know.
Historical Sites of the West Coast
The West Coast is also famous for its historical sites, most of which are well preserved. Such places give you a glimpse of what life was like on the farthest frontier of the American West. Here you can visit a variety of locations, such as the Spanish colonial missions of California, Russian and English fur-trading outposts, and the place where Lewis and Clark first sighted the Pacific after their long journey across the continent.
Then there are the great cities – Seattle and Portland in the north, San Francisco in the middle, and Los Angeles and San Diego to the south. Between them are dozens of small and not-so-small towns along the coast, where you have some great RV-friendly campsites.
10 Best Pacific Coast Highway Stops
Here are the top ten sights along the Pacific Coast Highway that you have to visit:
- Olympic National Park, Washington – Here, we have a mix of the snowy peaks of the Rocky Mountains and the beautiful rainforests of the Pacific Northwest, as well as, Maine’s rocky coast.
- Astoria & Fort Clatsop, Oregon – This is a historic site, part of the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, Fort Clatsop is one of the oldest American cities west of the Rocky Mountains
- “Dune Country,” Oregon – Here, you can hop on a dune buggy to travel through some of the highest sand dunes in the world
- Redwood National Park, California – Walk through Lady Bird Johnson Grove, a beautiful redwood forest.
- Mendocino, California – Astonishing little town on the California coast,
- San Francisco, California – Amazing city that offers you plenty of fun and joy, where you can spend a weekend along the Pacific Coast Highway
- Monterey, California – Here, we have to visit Monterey Bay Aquarium and the worldwide famous Monterey Jazz Festival
- San Simeon, California (Hearst Castle) –This castle with its 115 rooms is one of the inevitable attractions to see,
- San Luis Obispo, California – A small town with an old, 18th-century Spanish mission to tour,
- Los Angeles, California – Hollywood, Sunset Boulevard,
- San Diego, California – San Diego Zoo, one of the largest in the world, has huge sandy beaches.
Redwood National Park
Relying on how far north you begin, it is 60 miles south from the border to Redwood National Park.
Redwood National Park is a stopping spot. This part of the route is home to the loftiest trees on the earth. From Crescent City to the National Park, there is some of the finest hiking experience you will ever encounter.
The redwood trees tower over you with the scene of the ocean ridges. You can’t make a bad decision with any hike in this location.
Tip: Many would love to know if it is possible to put the air conditioner on the roof of an RV. You can install it in a couple of straightforward steps.
The following stopping point on your Pacific Coast Highway road trip is 177 miles south of Fort Bragg. This is an attractive fishing townlet with lots of narratives. Apart from the tiny downtown with stores and restaurants, you need to see Glass Beach. Those are small pieces of glass that have been leveled by the waves.
It makes for a memorable adventure. While touring, you will also like to check out Point Cabrillo Lighthouse. This beacon poses on the edge of panoramic ridges and is ideal for observing sunsets.
The routes to get to Fort Bragg are breezy and thin and bound to those who have motorhomes below 40 feet. If you have a large RV, miss this spot and go to San Francisco via the 101.
You should always take certain safety measures to confirm your RV slide-out supports are working adequately.
After Fort Bragg, persist in moving south on the PCH for 164 miles to San Francisco. There are so many things to do in San Francisco.
Well-known for the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, the municipality also has amazing architecture and world-class meals. When moving along the PCH you have to travel through the Golden Gate Bridge. This is the best way to enter the municipality.
Once you get there you have to see Fisherman’s Wharf for excellent seafood. Then go over to Alcatraz for an excursion of the entire jail.
Once done in San Francisco, go south 76 miles to Santa Cruz. When staying in this seaside city, it’s difficult not to feel comfortable. Santa Cruz has a remarkably laid-back feeling due to its oceanfront path.
Along the path, there are tons of shopping, cafes, and theme parks. It’s a fun adventure for all generations. You likewise must see the Mystery Spot. This lure fights gravity and how physics works, by all means. You truly need to see it for yourself.
Tip: For safety causes, you should know if it is viable to park your RV on the gravel. Will it harm the vehicle? You should always balance the gravel.
After Santa Cruz, the following stopping spot on this Pacific Coast Highway highway is 43 miles to Monterey. This mixed town with waterfront sights everywhere is nothing but peaceful.
Time appears to move a tiny bit slower around here. There is a world-class aquarium that you must take a look at. This enormous aquarium immerses you into the world underwater.
You also need to take the 17-mile drive that ends at Pebble Beach. That drive has some of the most breathtaking ocean ridges.
Tip: Make sure you understand why your hammock isn’t comfortable! This will save your back.