Originally Posted by 4x4sporty
I am planning a trip for the spring from Sequoia to Jedediah Smith in the Redwood forest. I am from a farm family so I would like to take in the valley where all the produce is grown as well as the citrus groves and vineyards. We are looking for some scenic drives that aren't at interstate speeds. Our plan is to leave Sequoia thru Visalia and catch Golden State Hwy (99) north to Hwy 12 west to Hwy 29 north thru Napa to Hwy 128 follow it over to 101 and on up to Redwoods.
My concerns is Hwy 99 will be much like interstate driving. Is this a major Hwy with a million cars running 80 Mph and a prius in the fast lane (No offense but it seems like every time I go out west there is always a prius that has to be in front of me)?
My time frame is 2 days so I could use some suggestions on a good place to stay that is about half way. We were thinking somewhere around Napa.
I am sure I will have more Questions as the trip comes together but THANKS for now
So you're going straight from Visalia to Napa? That's a pretty long haul. I'd suggest 198 west out of Visalia to I-5 then a short hop to highway 33. Highway 33 is a old highway that was replaced by I-5 and although it's slower due to stops in some of the valley's smaller towns it runs through, you can still clip along at 55MPH and make some time. You can also leave 198 at 269 and go north to 145. Then take S Colorado to San Joaquin and over to Mendota. Once back on 33 you travel north to Dos Palos. Once you go through Dos Palos you hit 152 to Los Banos and 165. If you want to take a scenic drive through the wetlands, just north of Los Banos on 165 is Santa Fe Grade road. It's not paved but a very nice drive (just stay on the road) and take it until it hits highway 140. From there you can go west a short distance and pick up 33 again. You can skip SF grade road and pick up 33 just w/o Los Banos. Ignomar Grade road to the town of Volta out of Los Banos is a reasonable road back to 33 as well. From there 33 will take you to Tracy. The delta area kind of stops you a bit but J-4 is a ok hop to 160 to 12 or just hit 4.
There are more scenic drives e/o 99 but you'd be running all over the place picking up small roads to zig zag your way towards highway 12.
Highway 49 is a cool route but it's in the foothills and windy. You'll also eat up a lot of fuel.
BTW if your looking for a OK spot to eat, in Los Banos the Wool Growers
is a... well unique place to eat. Read the reviews cause it might not be for all.
Like Jack said, I-5 isn't bad but if you want to feel like you're more out in the sticks 33 is the way to go.