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cmstraf May 22nd, 2017 08:22 PM

A pleasant day on the road in Oregon?
We are going to be spending 3 days driving from Glacier National Park back to San Francisco.
The first day we will drive to Yakima, Washington.

Our second day we would like to be as pleasant and beautiful as possible 6 hour plus of driving. We thought of the Oregon coast which we have never seen, but are afraid it would take too long.

Our last day we will drive home through California taking route 5 and 80 as efficiently as possible.

Can people help create us a lovely charming driving day in Oregon (if that's not an oxymoron)? And where to stop at the end of the day to sleep? We are talking about Monday July 9 (or whatever date that Monday is.

Thanks much.

marvelousmouse May 22nd, 2017 11:47 PM

Well, I'd skip Yakima to begin with. Unless you have family there?

If it's just a pit stop, stay in Spokane or drop down to the Dalles. That way you can drive Columbia gorge in the daylight. See the water falls. Then Do drive the coast. It's beautiful, and essentially your options are:
Central OR: ok but other than bend the cool stuff is time consuming.
i5: just shoot me. Most boring section of I5. And the most painfully endless section, I swear. I've driven every section and I'd honestly rather be stuck in the gridlock in Seattle or California than drive that section.
The coast: doesn't much longer than i5, not fast but great pullouts, great lunch options.

The gorge and the coast are seriously the best drives in this whole region.

marvelousmouse May 22nd, 2017 11:53 PM

And it's July 10. I suspect that drive is more time consuming than I remember (it's been a while since I drove the whole coast.) But you could just drive half and then cut over to i5 when you want to speed up.

Gardyloo May 23rd, 2017 06:23 AM

I would try to get as far the first day as possible; remember you'll also be picking up an hour as the time zone will change between Glacier and OR/WA/CA.

I agree that Yakima wouldn't be my first choice. Instead, consider this rough route -

I'd stop the first night somewhere around the Tri-Cities in eastern Washington, or maybe Umatilla or Pendleton, Oregon. If you could make The Dalles, so much the better. Regardless, this is going to be a long day.

The second day I'd drive along the Historic Columbia Gorge Highway past waterfalls and vista points, then south on I-205/I-5 to Oregon Hwy 38 (just south of Cottage Grove) and out to the coast at Reedsport. Spend that night in Bandon, the nicest town on the southern Oregon coast.

The third day, drive along the southernmost 60 miles or so of the Oregon coast, which IMO is the most scenic portion, then through the redwoods and down US 101 to SF. This will also be a very long day, but a very beautiful one.

From Portland to SF, the I-5 > SR 38 > US 101 route takes around 2 to 2 1/2 hours longer than I-5 all the way to I-505 and I-80 into the city from the east. But it's a far, far more enjoyable drive; I-5 through Rogue Valley, the Siskiyous and the Sacramento Valley is quite boring by comparison.

cmstraf May 24th, 2017 06:54 PM

Thanks, I'm looking all this up

cmstraf Jun 7th, 2017 07:53 PM

Hi Gardyloo,
Thank you (and everyone) for your post. I followed your suggestions about staying in Pendleton and Bandon, then decided to treat us to an extra night at the Requa Inn near the Redwood National Parks, a B and B we went to in 1992 just two weeks before getting engaged.

I've gotten so much Fodor's help in planning this virgin road trip--will be sure to
write a trip report to tell you all about it upon our return.

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