March weather, Northern Cal ?
I will visit the Bay Area during the last week of March.
Planning a few days on a rented bike, 1200 RT or a 1300GT with heated grips.
I don??t mind it being cold as long as the roads are not slippery.
I know the weather can be unpredictable riding on high altitudes but would this route normally be ok this time of the year? :
-San Francisco via CA 88 to Lake Tahoe
-Lake Tahoe via Truckee / Sierrville and on CA49 down o the valley
-Red Bluff via CA36 to Eureka
-Eureka along the coast to San Francisco
Appriciate your experience.
88 over 89 to Lake Tahoe is in snow country. This has been a very dry year, but a system just rolled through, so black ice is a very real possiblility. 88/89 is pretty high up there, I think 8000'+. Same with over to Truckee. Red Bluff over 36, I am not familiar with this time of year, but can tell you that the coast, especially between San Fran & San Luis Obispo (HWY 1 South) is absolutely gorgeous, winter is the time to see that road, was there a couple of weeks ago.
i would plan to avoid any road that has you going over a "pass"; which I believe was all of those you mentioned that are inland. stick to the coast. wehn you get tehre, you might find that the weather gods have smiled on you- but that can change in a hurry as well.
i tried going out the northern route from Crater Lake in southern Oregon a few years ago. got turned around by a half foot of snow. that was in early June. I doubt March will be better. US 1 should be lovely that time of year.
It has been a weird year here in California. Up to this week you could have crossed most of those Seirra passes at any time do to the lack of snow. Our State percipitation is below to way below normal. In fact the water resource people are saying our snow pack is at around 32% for this time of the year.
To answer your question, March can be a toss of the coin. In normal years storms and cold weather are a factor for all of the mountain pass Highways that you mentioned. They do a good job at keeping those roads open but you may have to sit and wait a day or two if snow becomes an issue. Every one of the Highways have their own beauty. I like them all.
As for the coast route from Eureka to San Francisco, your timing should be good. Nice and green and usually a lot less fog than in the summer. A beautiful ride. Could have some rain but once again, it is an odd year. Redbluff to Eureka, again a great ride could have rain.
With my luck, if I planned a trip over the Sierra on my motorcycle in March, I can garrantee it would snow!!! For you, if you decide to come, it will probably be nice! I can deal with the rain. I don't like the snow or ice on the road I'm on...
Thanks all for your info
You might think about reversing your ride.
Originally Posted by Taurus
SF to Eureka/Arcata/Ferndale 0n US 101/1
Eureka to Red Bluff via Hwy 36
During this section of the trip you can check weather (National Weather Service, etc.) and California Road Conditions 800-427-7623. If the Sierra roads (88/89) look risky, there are some two lane roads that you can take from Red Bluff to SF that will keep you off the freeways and will be at worse rainy. I hit unexpected ice in a turn on a US Forest Service Road, in Trinity County, about three weeks ago....not much fun along with added cost of BMW chrome parts!
I travel Hwy 36 all the time. Fantastic motorcycle road....probably not more than 10 miles of straight road from Red Bluff to the coast. Fantastic views, little to no traffic, almost no services, and very sparse cell phone service.....you are really out in the wilderness. March is iffy, the higher elevations of 36 can get snow as late as June. If you are not sure of the weather for 36, you can cross over on Hwy 299 (out of Arcata, just north of 36) This is a more traveled road and kept clear. At worse, you may have to wait a day for 299. I live half way between Hwy 299 and Hwy 36, off Hwy 3, which is about half way between the coast and Redding/Red Bluff.
If you are interested in having alternative routes to take back to SF through the Central Valley, let me know and I will put a suggested route together for you. These are fun and interesting roads with a lot of historical California "stuff", as the are some of the old two lane north / south highways.
Best of Luck to you!