Pacific coast Highway – driving from Seattle to San Francisco

Story and words by @mikkosaurus

The Pacific coast highway is one of the legendary road trip routes that follows highway 101 through the states of California, Oregon, and Washington. I was excited to have the opportunity to follow this road for 6 days starting from Seattle and ending up in San Francisco.

Equipped with my Pixel 3 XL and the Black Eye Travel Kit I was ready to see and capture the beauty of the west coast, from its magnificent cliffs to rainforests and redwoods.

I started my journey from Seattle, and the day I left I had the opportunity to see some of the city’s most famous photospots. Now Seattle is not just a great city in itself, but also home to many great landmarks worth capturing!

The Salmon Bay Bridge in Seattle was built in 1914 and is still in active use! Shot with the Pro Portrait Tele G4 and Pixel XL.
seattle-gas-works-park-wide-g4
The Gas Works park is a former gasification centre which now serves as a recreation area. Shot with Wide G4.

Seattle is also known for its numerous hiking trails that are reachable even by bus!

The Coal Creek falls are super close to Seattle and feature a cute little waterfall. Shot with Pro Cinema Wide G4
The Coal Creek shot with a PIxel 3 XL and through a Wide G4

After leaving Seattle I quickly left the busy Interstate highways and got on the famous 101 Pacific Coast Highway, heading to my first stop at Seaside, OR. When driving down the pacific coast there’s loads of state parks to choose from, andwhile I had no time to stop at all of them I was able to visit few nice ones!

The Ecola State park just south of the little town of Seaside offers great day hiking possibilities both on the beach as well as in the great rainforests that sit on top of steep cliffs. When stopping here you should definitely walk the famous Clatsop look that starts at the beach and climbs all the way to the top of the coastal cliffs.

I was able to capture cool, rugged images of the coast while hiking up to the main viewpoint of the loop, check them out!

The rugged Oregon coast offers great scenery for photography. Shot with the Pro Cinema Wide G4
The Wide G4 lens offers enough width to the image to make superb cliffhanger shots.
The Clatsop Loop Trail in the Ecola State Park starts at the beach and climbs its way to the top of the cliffs. This image was shot using the Pro Portrait Tele G4 lens and my Pixel 3.

While there are numerous state parks along the entire 101 coastal highway, to me the drive itself was probably the highlight of my trip. Driving down some 1000 miles (or 1600km) allows for some magnificent scenery and a lot of natural variety.

The best part was definitely to grab lunch at a random diner in one of the little towns at the coast and drive to a quiet view point to listen to the ocean and just soak in the nice views.

The misty weather on the Oregon coast makes for great pictures with vibes straight out of Twin Peaks. Shot with the Pro Portrait Tele G4.
Somehow once I crossed the state border from Oregon to California the sun came out after days of rainfall - I guess they don't call it the sunshine state for nothing!

If you’re planning to do a road trip in the US I can definitely recommend driving the 101 coastal highway. There’s no shortage of places to see and photograph, especially if you’re up for occasional hikes and enjoy being out in the nature.

Check out the links below for further information!

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g28958-d146380-Reviews-Oregon_Coast_Highway_101-Oregon.html

https://justglobetrotting.com/ultimate-usa-west-coast-road-trip-itinerary-seattle-to-san-francisco/

“https://medium.com/@nmshah/photography-guide-to-driving-down-the-pacific-coast-highway-rt-1-38136a7867da

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