drive time with stops Portland to Bend

Mar 14th, 2009, 07:43 PM
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drive time with stops Portland to Bend

I was looking at starting in Portland and then going on to Hood River or Government Camp the first day but I am having difficulty finding availability. I had planned to spend one night there and then go on to Sisters or Bend for a couple of nights. I had hoped to stop and see the various waterfalls and other things in the gorge.

If we went straight to Bend instead, would that be too long a day? We would probably start out of Portland about 9 or so. How much driving would that be to get to Bend in one day?

mpkp is offline  
Mar 14th, 2009, 09:16 PM
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We went the other way on our last day there. Started out of Bend around 9 went up to Hood River for lunch then through thet Columbia River Gorge and saw the waterfalls, Vista House, Bonnieville Dam, etc.

Had no problems. Nice and easy. Weren't rushed.

I don't think you're going to have any problems UNLESS you want to spend a couple hours taking pictures/hiking at each site.
travelinandgolfin is offline  
Mar 14th, 2009, 10:20 PM
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Portland to Bend is close to four hours on Hwy 26, going straight over Mt. Hood. If you stopped a couple of hours at Timberline Lodge, that's what you would add to the trip. The Warm Springs Indian Reservation has a good museum you can vist just off of Hwy 26:

If you went through the gorge and visited water falls and then over Mt. Hood to Timberline, it would take a lot longer. If you took the scenic hwy and visited a few falls, it could take a few hours. Going over Mt. Hood and to Timberline Lodge and seeing the Lodge area would take a couple more, and then it would be about 2 1/2 more to Bend. That would be a long day, but doable. You'd just have to be conscious of how much time you spent in each place to make sure you gauged it properly.

People do the Mt Hood loop, which includes the Gorge and Timberline in one long day. Ending in Bend instead of back in Portland would add about one hour. Summer days are long.

Any chance you could go down one way and back the other (eg, do Mt Hood on the way to Bend and the Gorge on the way back)?

Sisters is different from Bend. What are you looking for?
Orcas is offline  
Mar 14th, 2009, 11:25 PM
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I have gone around and around with trying to figure out what to do and where to go. I kept thinking that if I wanted to do the gorge and Crater Lake and the Redwoods and the coast that it would end up being 2 weeks in the car -- and I didn't really want that. But I realized that I if I cut out part of the coast, I can maybe tdo most of this. -- use 5 for some of it. So here's the thought and maybe an itinerary:

Fri fly to Portland. Stay for 2 nights. Take the day to go to Mt St Helens.
Sunday take the day to drive the gorge and stop at some waterfalls and do some hikes. End in Hood River where there are places to stay on Sunday (Saturday was the problem)
Monday - Tues and Wed ? -- should we spend 2 or 3 nights? in either Bend or Sisters -- I really need to understand what the difference is between these cities. I would like to do Lava Lands interpretive center and Newlands. Some hiking. Shopping for hand made items -- not trinkets -- good restaurants. Read -- stay for either 2 or 3 nights
Then Thurs to Crater Lake for 1 night -- take the boat ride and do the rim drive.
After that I was thinking of Grants Pass for Fri - Sat -Sun 2 or 3 days. We could use one of those days to drive to the Redwoods. Then a jet boat tour would be fun and maybe the Caves. Depending on how we feel when we go to the redwoods, we could maybe see some of the lower coast that day. If not, we will skip it. I understand that it is beautiful -- but the whole coast is beautiful. I am concerned that, after a while we will just be tired of driving it all. So from Grants Pass go up Highway 5 and cross over to the coast around Reedsport and up to Yachats for a couple of days.- Mon and Tues We could go to the Dunes and Heceta Head. Then drive up north to Netarts or Wheeler or Cannon Beach -- somewhere there to spend a couple of days - Wed and Thurs. And then the last night= Fri - back to Portland to catch a flight in the morning.

Places I am considering staying are The White House in Portland; Villa Christina in Hood River; Cabin Creek in Bend or Blue Spruce in Sisters; Restful Nest in Grants Pass, Seacrest Inn in Yachats; Thyme & Tide in Netarts, Many of these places accept the B&B gift certificates sold by Costco so I get a bit of a break there. And I already have several of them that I can use.

So any feedback on this itinerary and the places to stay is much appreciated.
mpkp is offline  
Mar 15th, 2009, 07:19 AM
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I think that looks good. The difference between Sisters and Bend is that Sisters is a very small town while Bend is enormous by comparison. Sisters is fine for half a day, but that is all unless you are talking about hiking Black Butte and heading to Camp Sherman, that sort of thing. Bend has the Old Mill District, High Desert Museum, Lava Butte, lava caves, etc. We always stay at Sunriver which is just south of all this by a couple miles. I would recommend staying in Bend over Sisters.
mms is offline  
Mar 15th, 2009, 10:49 AM
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I also would recommend staying in Bend over Sisters. I'm not sure about Grants Pass. What about staying in Ashland? It's a very cute town with great shops, a wonderful park designed by the man who designed Golden Gate Park, and is home to the Oregon Shakespeare Fest, with lots of plays. It's a university/theater type of town. I love the Oregon Caves. There is a national pk lodge at the caves. If you stay there, you can be there for the first tour of the morning and won't have to wait in line. Your itinerary is really good, overall.
Orcas is offline  
Mar 15th, 2009, 02:37 PM
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Ashland seems like a much further drive to get to the redwoods and that day seemed like it would be long.

I wanted to do something in the Rogue River area and Grants Pass seemed like the best location on the map -- but then what do maps know?? We would be coming from Crater Lake so maybe I could consider Medford area -- what additional time would that add to going to see the Redwoods and, later. when we go up 5 to the coast?

I am glad you like the itinerary -- I have spent a lot of time thinking about it and researching it.When I finally realized that I did not have to drive the whole coast and could use 5 to shave some time off -- that was freeing.

One thing I did today was check car rental prices for the 15 days -- wow there is large difference between renting at the airport and renting in town so I am going to rent in town -- the cost difference was over $150 -- take a taxi to the hotel -- easy.

I will look at Ashland but need to consider how much time it would add to the day trips. If you know. please let me know.

mpkp is offline  
Mar 16th, 2009, 07:18 AM
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To see any redwoods, you'll have to drive almost to Crescent City, so I don't know why you wouldn't just head up the coast from there. And you could do the Rogue River trip from Gold Beach. The other thing is, you really shouldn't miss the south coast; I think it's more scenic than either the central or northern sections. And except for Gold Beach, which is popular for the jetboat trips, you won't feel so much the tourist. So, I'm not sure why Grants Pass either; maybe one night tops, but even that....

Hate to say it, but I agree about Bend vs. Sisters. Aside from the size difference, Bend has remained relatively authentic. On the other hand, over the last five years or so, Sisters has become a disneyfied version of its former self; very cutesy, and looking like a movie set.
beachbum is offline  
Mar 17th, 2009, 03:30 AM
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the reason for Grants Pass as a place to stay instead of Brookings was to eliminate driving all of the coast. Looking at the map, it seems to me there is more to stop and do further up the coast. Grants Pass was on Hwy 5 which made it easier to get further up north. And I thought it would be possible to do a day trip to the redwoods from there as well as an activity on the Rogue River., see the Caves and maybe go to Jacksonville and Ashland from there.

I keep trying to balance between drive time vs activities vs how often we pack and move. It seems to me that I don't need to see every beautiful spot on the coast -- I want to see some of it and be able to stop and enjoy it. I want to see the waves crashing on the rocks and I want to be able to walk along the beach. I want to see the wildlife that is there. I want to enjoy some good restaurants and look for something hand made to bring home. I would like to do some hikes -- anywhere from 2-4 miles at a time -- along the gorge, at crater lake, along the shore. I looked at crossing over to 5 part way up and then back again but that does not appear to save any time.

An alternative to what I have is to spend 2 nights Portland, i night Hood River or Timberline; 2 nights Bend, one night Crater Lake, 2 nights Jacksonville or Grants Pass -- the day we drive from Crater Lake we could visit Ashland and Jacksonville; whole day there to do the Caves and Rogue River area; then a day to drive to the Redwoods and up the coast to Gold Beach. Spend 2 nights here and do the jet boat up the Rogue River. Then 2 nights Yachats and 2 nights Netarts or Cannon Beach and one night back in Portland before we fly out. Basically the difference between this one and the last one is that I do not spend 3 nights anywhere -- by making those two night stays I gain two nights to stay another place -- Gold Beach area seems best for that. This itinerary might work -- So I would appreciate feedback on which one to consider.

I have found a place I like on Bend so we will stay there. It also seems more convenient to stay in Bend from a location perspective.
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