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Old 05-10-2010
thudpilot1 thudpilot1 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Titusville
Posts: 332
Default advice?? - CA 299 - how tough is rte?

Planning to take our 37' MH w toad to coast 101 via 299 (Redding to Arcata) then up to Tillamook, Oregon next week. I get differing opinions re. the 140 mile stretch. Any real life experience greatly appreciated. Thanks
Ed N
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Old 05-10-2010
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Well, I've been across it in a car. it's crooked as a dog's hind leg. The road follows the river. However, if my memory serves me right, I did see a few semi trucks using it. If the cut across to 101 through Clear Lake is a viable alternative, I'd take it instead.
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Old 05-10-2010
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bwinter1946 bwinter1946 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Madera
Posts: 4,103

Sorry no experience on that road. I took the CA 20 that goes past Clear Lake between Williams and the 101 near Laughlin CA. Twisty but doable. Please share your experience if you go that way.
Brad Winter
Madera, California
1997, 37' BMC
1999, Jeep Cherokee, Toad
1970, VW Baja Bug, Alternate Toad
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Old 05-10-2010
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DonB DonB is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Eureka
Posts: 4,372

I've driven it many times, although in our Bird only West-to-East. I've done East-West a couple of times in an SOB. (I live in Eureka and my business is in Arcata)

In that 140 miles you cross four passes/summits. East to West the worst one is the first, which is Buckhorn. You have about 5 miles of intense uphill, about 6% grade average, with essentially not one piece of straight road in that entire run. Lots of tight turns that are marked between 20 and 30mph, although uphill that is not an issue. Going that direction you are on the hill side of the curves, so no dropoffs to make the copilot queasy.

The remaining 3, Oregon Mountain, Berry Summit, and Lord Ellis Summit are not so bad, but they are interesting.

Coming down from Oregon Mountain you will have some stretches that exceed 8%, but the curves are wide and often with extra lanes.

From Berry you drop hard down to Redwood Creek then immediately start the hard climb to Lord Ellis. In 11 miles you drop from 2871 feet to 900 feet and back up to 2263 feet. You drop to sea level from there in the last 20 miles of the trip.

When our destination is south or southeast we always use 20 through Clear Lake.

Bottom line is that 299 is quite doable, but you can't be in a hurry and you might as well enjoy the scenery. On the West-East runs I'm down to 18mph on that climb up Oregon Mountain - I could probably do it a bit faster, but have to back off for temperature as it is often 100+ outside when we make the passage. Downhill you won't have that problem.
Don Bradner
Current: No RV at this time
2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Prior: 2004 M380 Double Slide
Prior: 1990 WB40 "Blue Thunder"
My location: www.bbirdmaps.com/user2.cfm?user=1
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