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Old 02-20-2015, 10:06 AM   #1
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Default Roads to avoid

If you can, avoid Highway 175 in California. I don't know if the newer RV-specific GPS systems tell you about this road but I had a rather loud "discussion" with my old Garmin about it. It thought that Highway 175 was a normal highway. I disagreed. It seemed like a paved goat trail to me.

Anyway, this road goes from the Clear Lake area to Hopland, CA and Highway 101 (Highway 101 is the major north-south highway in California). It's also called the Hopland Grade or the Hopland Pass. On a map, it looks like a regular road that appears to be the most direct route from a great recreational area to the major highway. It begins normally on either end. In the middle, however, it gets ridiculously narrow and is full of hairpin turns. In some places, the lanes get so small that two normal size cars going in opposite directions have difficulty passing each other—one will have to pull over onto the shoulder. Wikipedia says:

"Originally constructed in the early 1920s, it is one of the steepest and most difficult to drive of any California state highway. Indeed, until recently it was called the "crookedest road in California". Vehicles more than 39 feet (12 m) in length are banned from the Hopland Grade, due to its many tight hairpin turns and curves."

Even in my minivan, this road was nearly impossible to navigate. After a few miles going westbound, I carefully made a U-turn, went back to Clear Lake and took Highway 20 to Highway 101. Highway 20 is a regular, normal highway. Even though it was a much longer route, I was able to drive it without my blood pressure being sky-high.

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Old 03-20-2015, 02:21 AM   #2
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Default Re: Roads to avoid

I've made that mistake too. The road reminded me of the uphill switchbacks in the National Forest north of Clear lake, from the lower campground to the top of the mountain. By the way, if you take that road in the NF, there are some positively incredible boondocking sites overlooking the valley and lake and you have them all to yourself.

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Old 03-21-2015, 10:50 PM   #3
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Default Re: Roads to avoid

Just the reason why I bought my class b. Now I've got to try it. The road from Mammoth resort to The Devil's Post Pile is virtually one lane for a couple miles. We drive down it in our 33' Bounder with no problem but when we got to tge bottom where the road goes to 2 lanes there was a logging truck about to drive up it. If we had been 1 minute later it would have been very interesting to say the least.
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Old 04-17-2015, 11:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: Roads to avoid

I've only been to Cali once in '09, but it was one of those trips where we seemed to always pick the twisty, up and down, hairpin turn, roads over the easy ones. Maybe California has a higher percentage of challenging roads because of the wide variety of terrain they had to work with when they first mapped them out and built them.
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