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Multnomah or great drives from Portland - plse help my trip research

Multnomah or great drives from Portland - plse help my trip research

Mar 10th, 2013, 01:27 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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Multnomah or great drives from Portland - plse help my trip research

Hi Fodorites

Lovener2 & I are in the early stages of some trip planning & would love your help to direct our research a little & make sure we haven't missed a great opportunity.

We'll arrive in Portland at 4.30pm on Wednesday 3rd July and will need to be back in downtown Portland by the evening of Friday 5th July.

We'd like to see a little of Oregon's great natural beauty. We thought we would get a rental and drive somewhere for 1 or 2 nights. We are both outdoorsy, love hiking and photography and great food. We are in our mid-thirties and have a good level of fitness.

Our initial research has led us to the Multnomah Falls area but we are in the early stages of planning and have not made any bookings.

Do you recommend any other great Oregon beauty outdoors spots?

Many thanks

Loveners
NZ
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Mar 10th, 2013, 02:21 PM
  #2  
mms
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,121
The gorge is a beautiful area and would be a good fit for both of you. LOTS of outdoor activities and very scenic. As for places to stay, check out the Edgefield, in Troutdale, which is sort of the gateway to the gorge. You could also stay in or around Hood River. If you stay around Troutdale, head to Corbett for the 4th. They have a wonderful all day event. An old time parade through town, and then lots of activities at the school, and then a really good fireworks show in the evening. The fireworks are very good and it draws people from all over the metro area, not just the nearby residents.

The gorge has tons of hiking trails for all abilities/desires. What are you looking for in terms of miles and elevation gain? Dog Mountain is one of my favorites and has a fantastic sweeping view of the gorge.
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Mar 10th, 2013, 02:52 PM
  #3  
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Hi MMS- thanks for the tips. We had wondered about the Hood River area as being a possible good fit.

I'm not sure if I'm googling the wrong place for the Edgefield - it looked quite busy with all the entertainment etc? If I have googled the right place, then this has been helpful for helping me realise that we probably want somewhere a bit more tranquil / less hustle & bustle

Ideally we'd love somewhere where was can enjoy nature / great scenery during the day (either by hiking, horseriding etc - probably up to a max of 4 hours 'active' hiking) and then be able to either stay at a nice lodge/b&B for dinner & chilling out or alternatively wander into the township for a yummy dinner.

ps - Dog Mountain view looks *amazing* oh, so little time for all the great places.
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Mar 10th, 2013, 03:04 PM
  #4  
mms
 
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loveners--Yes, the Edgefield can get busy, but it is a lot of fun and the grounds are huge so you can always get away from it all. The McMenamins buy old properties and turn each one into wonderful, unique destinations. All that said, if it isn't right for you then no worries. I can't help with personal recommendations in Hood River because we stay with friends there, or backpack nearby. But I would check the reviews on Trip Advisor and see what appeals to you.
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Mar 10th, 2013, 04:30 PM
  #5  
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Thanks again mms

Fellow Fodorites - one question nagging in my head... do you think with our time available, we might be able to do some coastal driving and then end up in Hood River on our first night (or early 2nd morning)?


I have consulted the map and obviously HR is inland eastwards from Portland - are there any nice driving loops that would make sense from Portland, take in the coast and then end up in HR (or a similar outdoorsy area)

Would love to hear your ideas (or whether you think I should ignore the nagging in my head for a subsequent visit).

Thans

Loveners
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Mar 10th, 2013, 04:42 PM
  #6  
 
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Hood River would indeed be a great spot for a base. In addition to the Columbia Gorge, you could also spend part (or all) of a day on Mount Hood. Timberline Lodge is around 90 minutes' drive from Hood River, up the beautiful Hood River Valley. In early July there will still be some snow nearby, but you might also have a great wildflower display. Mount Hood from the valley floor: http://gardyloo.us/20100509_85a.JPG

We actually like to stay at a more "official" hotel in Hood River, the (Best Western) Hood River Inn - http://www.hoodriverinn.com/ . It's right on the river, so many rooms have a view of the river and Gorge, e.g. http://gardyloo.us/20100509_96a.JPG

If you want a quick taste of some real "old west" country as well as vineyards etc., then you could head east for 45 min. through the Gorge to Maryhill, on the Washington side of the river, for a visit to Maryhill Museum - www.maryhillmuseum.org - a fascinating little explosion of art and history in the sagebrush country. By the time you get to Maryhill, the landscape has changed dramatically from Hood River and the "wet" side of the Cascades, well worth experiencing.

Hood River is full of nice cafes, brewpubs, etc., so it has all the necessities for a lovely couple of days.
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Mar 10th, 2013, 05:15 PM
  #7  
 
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This is the loop that I would make since time is so limited.
Rent the car at the airport and head north on I-205 over the Columbia River connecting with I-5 North. Get off I-5 at Kelso and cross the river again to Longview. Take US 30 west to Astoria and connect to US 101 south. Book a room for 1 night if you can in either Seaside or Cannon Beach. I hope you get there before the sun sets. Haystack Rock is worth the visit to Cannon Beach even if you can't stay there for a night. The next day take US 26 back through Portland, through Sandy and to Government Camp which is on the south side of Mt. Hood. Turn off onto Rt. 35 and make a stop at Timberline.
Leaving Timberline take Rt. 35 down to Hood River. There is a Mt. Hood Railroad which should be running in July. Take the old highway to get to Multnomah Falls on your way back to Portland. I-84 does have a parking area in the median to get to Multnomah Falls but you miss several other nice waterfalls if you stay on I-84.
If you didn't want to see the coast, you could go up I-5 to Castle Rock WA and head east to Johnson Ridge Visitor Center at Mt. St. Helens.
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