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SShprints Apr 24th, 2018 11:06 AM

3 days in Portland, OR - whats a great day trip out?
Hello, arriving Friday at noon and departing Monday at noon. I would like to spend Friday and Saturday in Portland itself but would love to rent a car for the day and get out of town on Sunday. Crater Lake seems too far for a day trip..but Columbia Gorge or Astoria/Coast are closer. Which is the best choice? I can also potentially drive down to Crater Lake on sunday, spend the night and drive back Monday morning to catch my flight...but that still sounds like a long drive.
Any suggestions?

Gardyloo Apr 24th, 2018 12:13 PM

Is that this coming Friday? If so, or if it's any Friday before the middle of July, forget about Crater Lake as much/most of the rim road is closed by snow.

At this time of year, in my view the Columbia Gorge and Hood River Valley are a far better option than the coast. The waterfalls along the Gorge walls are full of water from melting mountain snows, and the orchards and vineyards in the Hood River Valley will be leafing out and glorious.

Head east from Portland to Troutdale, then follow the "historic" Columbia Gorge Highway east as far as you can; stop at the Portland Women's Forum, Crown Point, and Latourell Falls at a minimum. When required (by the road closure following last year's fires) follow I-84 east to Multnomah Falls, which are accessible from an I-84 pulloff, then continue east to the Bonneville hatchery, just before Cascade Locks. Visit Herman the Sturgeon and maybe feed the baby trout, then back onto I-84 and east to Hood River. Depending on the time, have a meal or a snack in Hood River (lots of cool places including a number of brewpubs etc.) then head south on OR 35 into the Hood River Valley.

Stop at Panorama Point just outside of town for spectacular views of the valley and Mount Hood, then continue winding up the valley through orchards and vineyards toward Mount Hood. Head up to Timberline Lodge, where they'll probably still be skiing, for a look at this grand old building, used in The Shining. Don't go near the red rum. Return to Portland via US 26.

If you have a surplus of time, or if the weather's crummy and neither Mt. Hood nor Mt. Adams (on the Washington side of the Columbia, viewed from Trout Lake) are visible, explore the Hood River Valley, but then cross the Columbia and continue east on WA 14 to Maryhill (around 45 min.) Visit the Maryhill Museum (eclectic and fun) and/or continue a couple of miles to the Stonehenge replica that sits above the Columbia. (The museum and Stonehenge have very interesting histories, well worth reading about.) Then cross the river on US 97 and head back to Portland along I-84.

Either variants on this make for a superb day trip, at an ideal time of year.

Map showing the various places -

marvelousmouse Apr 24th, 2018 02:25 PM

Silver falls state park.

but I also enjoy the gorge and hood river, so itís a toss up.

SShprints Apr 24th, 2018 02:51 PM

should have mentioned that its May next weekend.

edjim Apr 24th, 2018 04:59 PM

A vote for Gardyloo's route. Don't miss the vineyards/orchards. We liked Marchesi winery and the laid-back atmosphere. We sat in big easy chairs outside and they brought the wine to us.

tomfuller Apr 24th, 2018 06:21 PM

If you choose to go to the coast instead of Gardyloo's excellent route, take US 26 west (NOT US 30) to hit US 101 north of Cannon Beach. In Cannon Beach see Haystack Rock and Ecola State Park.
Going south on US 101 stop at the Tillamook Cheese factory before detouring over to see Cape Meares.
If you have the time and interest, go to the Oregon Coast Aquarium just south of Newport. Another thing that you might want to see is the Evergreen Air and Space Museum just southeast of McMinnville along Rt. 18.
They have 2 very large buildings. The Air museum has the Spruce Goose as the main attraction. They also have a few interesting planes outside for viewing including a former Air Force 2 and a Mig 18 trainer plane.
The south entrance off Rt. 62 is the only entrance to Crater Lake NP until early July.

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