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SuzieMac Apr 18th, 2017 06:45 PM

From Crater Lake to Portland - Eugene or Corvallis
Hi! First time posting on fodors but have found y'all to be super knowledgeable/

Am doing a quick trip to Oregon and unfortunately do not have time to drive the coastal route on the way from Crater Lake to Portland. If anything I'll have time to do a single overnight somewhere near Cannon at the end of my trip.

That being the case, I'll take I-5 back towards Portland but would like an overnight on the way. In the morning I'll head from Bend to Crater Lake, and am thinking of passing through Eugene and/or Corvallis.

Can you recommend any stops on this route?
Do you recommend staying in Corvallis over Eugene or somewhere else? Corvallis looked charming from the pics and Eugene could be fun with the University of Oregon. Will be hiked-out/car crazy by this point in the trip and will love to explore a new town by foot, have a couple drinks, and relax.

Also, for my quick trip to the beach, can you recommend anywhere to stay that is a little lower cost than Cannon (that will accept a single night stay). Wanting to do Cape Disappointment, Ecola, Cannon...


Gardyloo Apr 19th, 2017 05:40 AM

Welcome to Fodor's!

Can you clarify some things? First, what month will this be? Second, where are you coming from (before Crater Lake) and where will you be going after Oregon? There might be some ways to include some destinations in a more sensible order.

Absent answers to those questions, I'd actually suggest neither Corvallis nor Eugene. Instead, I'd head north from Crater Lake on US 97/US 26 to Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood and spend the night in Hood River along the Columbia.

The drive is spectacular, and Hood River is a terrific place to hang out - big craft brewing and wine area, lots of places to eat, and terrific walking. Then the next day it's a super easy and scenic drive through the Columbia Gorge into Portland.

If you're adamant about spending the night in the Willamette Vallay, then either Eugene or Corvallis is fine. To me, Eugene has a bigger-city feel than Corvallis. Both the UO and OSU campuses are attractive enough, but not earth-shattering. The museum on the UO campus is quite nice, but is it worth a detour? Dunno. If you want to see a <i>really</i> interesting museum, then take US 97 all the way to the Columbia from Crater Lake, and visit the Maryhill Museum (and adjacent Stonehenge replica) for a real taste of high art in unexpected places.

sunbum1944 Apr 19th, 2017 08:59 AM

Gardyloo, as usual, has a good plan.

Eugene has some nice areas but the downtown has a problem with "travelers" and their dogs. Cleaning up the downtown is a continuous work in progress although if you are here on a Sat, the Sat Market is interesting.

There are some areas of Eugene that are fine. The Blair area has several great brewpubs if you are into beer.

If you decide on Eugene, I can make some hotel and restaurant suggestions.

Hood River is vibrant little community.

SuzieMac Apr 19th, 2017 10:16 AM

I'll out there the 3rd week of July for 6 days, including a 9am arrival on day 1 and 9pm departure on day 6.

Was planning on the following:

Day 1: PDX -> Falls -> Gorge -> Vista House -> Overnight in Hood River. Hiking, exploring, tasting some craft beer.

Day 2: Hood River -> Mt Hood, possible short hike -> Bend. Explore Bend / hiking.

Day 3: Early start to Crater Lake. Begin Drive back towards Portland afterwards. Taking suggestions on route, where to stop, etc. Overnight somewhere...

Did not have 3 extra nights otherwise would have loved to go from CL-Rosenberg-Newport-Cannon-Portland but will have to save it for my next trip so I am not in the car that long... my back has a tendency to cramp up.

Day 4: Wherever overnight was -> Portland. Explore Portland and relax.

Day 5: Drive out to Cape Disappointment, Ecola, Cannon. Overnight somewhere along coast.

Day 6: Coast-> Portland for relaxing/exploring East Portland perhaps, prior to 9pm flight.

tomfuller Apr 19th, 2017 12:21 PM

How many hours do you plan for Crater Lake NP? If you stay longer than you planned, stay at the Diamond Lake Resort north of Crater Lake along Rt. 138.
If you go north on I-5 from Roseburg, take the western part of 138 over to Elkton and 38 west to Reedsport. About 5 miles before Reedsport, stop to see the elk at Dean's Creek.
Stay in Reedsport or Winchester Bay and then drive up US 101 to avoid the long boring trip up I-5 to Portland.
If you rent in downtown Portland, you can take the TriMet red line out to PDX.

suze Apr 19th, 2017 12:41 PM

<<In the morning I'll head from Bend to Crater Lake, and am thinking of passing through Eugene and/or Corvallis.>>

OK I'm confused. Because neither of those places are anywhere near the route between Bend and Crater Lake.

tomfuller Apr 19th, 2017 12:50 PM

Bend to Crater Lake north entrance (in July-August). US 97 south through Chemult to Rt. 138 west about 15 miles.
It is 90 miles from the south end of Bend to the north entrance of Crater Lake NP.
Right now the north entrance is closed because of snow on the road.

mms Apr 19th, 2017 02:33 PM

suze--I think she is talking about hitting Eugene or Corvallis on the way back to Portland after Bend and Crater Lake.

As for whether to do Eugene or Corvallis, I much prefer Corvallis. I do have a bit of a bias as that is where I went to college, but overall I just prefer the town. I have family in Eugene, so have spent time there as well to compare, FWIW. Summer in Corvallis is absolutely glorious!!! Fantastic farmers market along the river, a small but really nice downtown with lots of good restaurants and unique shops, of course Oregon State University which has a beautiful campus, and then Mary's Peak just outside of town.

If you like wine at all, you could take highway 99w from Corvallis up towards Portland (but get back onto I-5 around Wilsonville as that saves a ton of time) which is the heart of our wine country. We have over 400 wineries in this region alone. Also, McMinnville is home to the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum if that interests you.

Looking at your itinerary, you could change it a bit. After hitting say Corvallis, you could cut over to the coast and do that before heading back to Portland. Less back and forth that way, so allows more time for checking things out vs driving.

SuzieMac Apr 19th, 2017 02:34 PM

@suze, those towns were mentioned for on the way from CL back to Portland, if I were to go via OR-58 to I-5

Thanks for the insight tomfuller.
I was thinking of 101 but google maps makes it seems it's almost 2x the drive-time as I-5? Only asking b/c I was hoping to get a day in Portland and the coastal drive should be broken up it seems.

Do these drive times seem accurate? Of course, I'll have to factor in stopping for sights, exploring etc. Just want to get a feel to help me pick the route.

Day 3: 3.5 hours CL to Winchester, overnight
Day 4: 5 hours Winchester to Disappointment, overnight
Day 5: 2.5 hours to Portland. Evening to explore Portland
Day 6: Half day to explore Portland. Fly home

SuzieMac Apr 19th, 2017 02:38 PM

Thank you mms! Diverting to the coast from a stopover on I-5 may be an option.

I'll look into that route and may be back with follow up questions.

Thanks to everyone's insight so far.

suze Apr 19th, 2017 03:40 PM

OK sorry I was lost.

My family lives in Corvallis, I love that town!! I agree with the suggestion of then using 99 heading up to Portland and hit some of the Willamette Valley wine country.

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