Need help with Oregon trip

Old Apr 22nd, 2012, 06:38 PM
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Need help with Oregon trip

Hello Fodorites; I love these boards, to me they are so much more valuable then reading some of the online guide books out there. After many years of having to postpone this trip for various reasons, we have finally purchased tickets for Oregon this summer. Time and money restraints mean we only have 6 1/2 days to make the most of our trip. I've run into a few bumps & I need help. Before I continue, let me mention that this trip includes my two kids 8&10, my mil, my sister & of course my dh. Here's what I've got so far:

Arrive PDx mid morning Friday pick up rental & head straight to Hood River stopping at Portland womens forum, Vista house, possibly stopping by any falls that are visible within a short walking distance. Check in Best Western Hood River.

Saturday head out early for hike to Multnomah falls/Wakheena falls. Allowing 4-5 hours for this with our group. Assuming mid afternoon arrival back at hotel, relax a bit, before heading out for drive to Mt. Hood and possible dinner at Timberline Lodge. Head back to Hood River.

Sunday head out to beach rental at Yachats. I'm a little worried here as I'd like to stop at Cannon Beach on the way. I calculate apx. 2 hours to Cannon Beach. Hang out a bit, then another 3 hours to Yachats. Don't know if we'll have time to stop at Tillamok or any other must see attractions.

Monday Yachats check out Cape Perpetua and the various hikes there.

Tuesday I had been planning to drive to Drift Creek Falls, but have just realized that it is apx. 3 hours from Yachats. Too far for a day trip. I'm researched out, and don't know what to plan for this day. We've visited most major Aquariums in the country with our kids, including the one in Stanley park/ Vancouver and while I love aquariums, I feel like we should concentrate on outdoor activities, so I'll only consider the Newport aquarium if it's a rainy day. As far as lighthouses, I've read that the Haceta lighthouse is closed for restoration.What else can we do within an hours drive? Is the sea lion cave worth it?

Wednesday - think it would be fun & different to try a dune buggey ride. Have found some close by @ Florence. Need more activities for rest of day.

Thursday - leave Yachats for Portland. Planning on stopping at one of the outfitters that offer 1/2 day rapid rides on the Clackamas. Finish drive to Portland to check into an as of yet undetermined hotel for early morning flight back home.

I'm really missing a somewhat major hike to do on Tuesday. While I love our rental in Yachats, I'm now wondering if I should look into something a little more north were we can have more acces to other state parks. I was looking forward to the drift creek falls hike, and can't believe I misjudged it's location. I need a hike, not too easy, but not to strenuous that gives us the wow factor. Any and all suggestions are welcome.

I know Ive already made this post too long, but I've already spent days on line trying to figure this out (though I must admit, this is part of the fun) but I'm at the point where I need help. Thank you in advance for you input.
mabella101 is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2012, 07:12 PM
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Horsetail Falls(I think anyway), is virtually right on the road, not far from Multnomah and takes no real effort to see and maybe 15-30 minutes of your time. Many many fantastic hikes right nearby ranging from easy to moderate and short to long.

What month is this trip?
Are you not going to see Rose Garden, Japanese Garden, Powell's Books in Portland? We really enjoyed Voodoo Doughnuts, Stumptown Roasters, and sweets at Papa Hadyn's.

There are some nice hikes at the top, bottom, and in between on Mt. Hood. Even the easy hike around Trillium Lake is nice.

Hood "Fruit Loop" might be something to consider.

If your kids are really into adventure check out http://www.cascade-canyoning.com/
About half of the photos on Cascade Creek tour are of myself and then 14 year old daughter. We have been with them twice and it is way over the top. You won't find this in any guidebook. They are super safe.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2012, 07:31 PM
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I've lived in Oregon for nearly 7 years now and have visited every county. This is the first time I've heard of Drift Creek Falls. The next time I visit Lincoln City, I will take the hike.
My idea would be to check out at Hood River BW. See the waterfalls including Multnomah Saturday morning and then head up Rt. 35 to see Timberline and maybe eat there. Continue up to US 26 and travel 26 all the way to US 101 just north of Cannon Beach. Hopefully you can hit CB at low tide and be able to get out to Haystack Rock.
Sunday stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory and then head out to see the Cape Meares lighthouse. If it is not rainy, do the hike at Drift Creek Falls east of Lincoln City before heading to Yachats.
Anyone want to see the Evergreen Aviation museum with the "Spruce Goose"? It is near McMinnville.
For a State Park not far from Salem, Portland and Newburg find Champoeg (sham-poo-ee) State Park. It is where the state charter was signed on February 14, 1859.
Hope this helps you with the north west corner of our beautiful state.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2012, 07:39 PM
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I have not done Silver Falls State Park, but it looks interesting.

I second visiting Tilamook Factory.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2012, 07:40 PM
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There is a nice hike that starts at Heceta Head behind the lighthouse which takes you to a secluded beach only accessible by walking in. Its a nice hike- ocean views, some hills and you could pack a lunch for some time at the beach. Also Devils Elbow State Park ( I think also called Heceta Head ) is my favorite beach so you could spend quite a bit of time there( this is where you would park to start the hike) Its a great beach for kids, some caves to explore, rocks to climb on and a small creek which the kids seem to have as much fun playing in as the they do the ocean.
The lighthouse may be closed for restoration, but I think the park is open - great beach, trail up to the lighthouse and beyond.

A harder hike in the area is the Amanda trail - starts outside of Yachats and takes you to the top of Cape Perpetua- but you really need to do that using 2 cars and a shuttle if you are going to do all of it- unless you want to just go part of the way and turn around and come back.

Some of the hikes at Cape Perpetua are good- you could start at the visitors center and walk up to a shelter at the top- you can drive to the top too but why drive when you can walk.
Another hike starting at the visitors center goes across the road and closer to the beach- takes you to the Devils Churn as well.

You can go horse back riding on the beach just north of Florence- M&M stables I think its called- kind of fun if you are into riding.

The dune buggy rides are very fun- go in the smaller one- you might have to rent 2- I think the small ones hold a driver and 4 people.
They have a driver that takes you just flying over the dunes.

Honeyman State Park outside of Florence is fun for the kids- huge sand dunes for climbing and playing on.
In Florence there is a sand boarding park- instead of snow boarding .

I think Yachats is a great place and where I usually stay when I am at the coast.

It can be cold and windy at the coast in the summer so bring some warm clothes
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Old Apr 22nd, 2012, 07:43 PM
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Silver Falls east of Salem is a great hike- 12 waterfalls in about a 7 miles hike- a couple have pools to swim in if you wanted - but you did not say you would be in that area.

It is one of my favorites hikes- and not too hard - some of the trails go behind the falls so the water is shooting out over your head.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2012, 07:53 PM
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And another PS-- I think the sea lion caves are worth it- some people say they are smelly, which they are, and in the summer there might not be a lot of sea lions in the cave but they will tell you how many are there when you buy your ticket to determine if you want to go in or not.

If no sea lions around, you might find them at the docks in Newport where they hang out too- sometimes in summer they kind of disappear - am told they go south for vacation.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2012, 08:23 PM
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Wow thanks for the quick replies....spirobulldog...after the rafting trip, we're only 30 minutes outside of Portland so hopefully we can visit either Powells or one of the gardens. Our trip is in July. Both the fruit loop & hiking on Mt. Hood, are on my list, but the only window I have is Saturday after the 4-5 hour hike and before our visit to Timberline, don't know if that would fit. Funny, I believe it was your posts I came across a couple of years back when I was planning our trip to Zion, I remember thinking how awesome the canyoneering looked. It's definitely on my bucket list.

Tomfuller..logistically do we have time do Cannon Beach, Tillamook, Cape Mearas & Drift creek on the way to Yachats? It's difficult to gauge the amount of time required for these stops. If its possible to do all this leaving Hood River early Sunday that would be great. If not, are any of these close enough to Yachats to attempt them on a day trip? Any ideas on other interesting hikes in the central coast?
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Old Apr 22nd, 2012, 08:42 PM
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There is also the 804 trail starting in Yachats - goes along the ocean through town- you can really make a nice walking day starting at the Overleaf Motel in Yachats, walk along the beach into town and walk all around town- place is small, interesting stops along the way- check out the old church with attached museum.
I think there is a botanical garden there as well with some trails- may be more of a walk than a hike
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Old Apr 22nd, 2012, 09:05 PM
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Sunbum, I read about SilverFalls, will have to leave on my to do list. Will check out the horseback riding, this is something we've done on the past with the kids, but never on the beach. Will look into Honeyman state park, hadn't heard about it before. And will look into other hikes @ devils elbow. I had always read that Yachats is a nice place to stay, but when you have so many choices out there, and they all look wonderful, you start to second guess your decisions!!
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Old Apr 22nd, 2012, 09:19 PM
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It's a shame to miss Mt. St. Helens, but I don't see how you can fit it in.

I don't think you have time for this either. But we really enjoyed Eagle Creek Trail. It is long, but easy. Takes the better part of a day though. It's a few miles from Multnomah Falls. You get to see Punch Bowl and Tunnel Falls. Probably two of the more famous falls, but not as famous as Multnomah.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2012, 09:24 PM
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I figured Silver Falls would be too far to drive- can't do it all for sure and there is plenty to do at the coast. Old Town Newport and Florence are both fun to visit- Newport is still a working seaport so you will see and smell fish of all kinds being processed, in the middle of all the tourist things. The lighthouse is Newport has tours and a great ghost story- I had some young relatives visiting and that was the highlight of the trip- the ghost story at the lighthouse.

In Florence I like to have lunch at the Travellers Cove- nice deck outback with river views and a menu that would likely please all ages.
Mo's of course is the famous place for great chowder but no outdoor dining.

In Oregon its OK to build fires on the beach so if you have beach access, your kids might enjoy- my daughter used to love collecting beach wood and then doing a fire at night with hot dogs and smores.

In Yachats a nice place to dine is the Adobe Motel- ocean view restaurant- not the greatest food in world but you can't beat the view.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 03:51 AM
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Great, this is exactly what I was looking for. Good to know there's plenty to do close enough to Yachats. Years ago, we rented a cabin in the Georgia mountains, and even though on paper it seemed like a centralized location, we ended up having to drive at least 1 hour each way, daily, just to get anywhere. It took away from what was otherwise a great trip, and I didn't want to make that mistake again.
Regarding the Yachats rental, silly question time, I just found out that it does not have a/c, I'm from Florida so I wouldn't even consider this rental if it was anywhere in Florida, but should I be concerned about this on the west coast? I know at night it gets chilly, but might we have a problem during the day?
Spiro... I've seen picture of punchbowl falls. It looks amazing, but will have to wait for a return trip as well.

Keep any suggestions coming. I know there are lots of previous posts regarding similiar questions, but it's always reassuring to hear updated reviews.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 07:19 AM
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Stay at Cannon Beach. Head south to Tillamook Cheese at the north end of town (great ice cream too). 20 minutes over to Cape Meares from there. Head south to Lincoln City.
How to get to Drift Creek Falls trail: Just south of Lincoln City turn left onto Rt. 229 for 2.5 miles, turn left onto NF 84 for 1.0 mi. Go straight onto NF 8493 to the end which is about 2.7 miles. If it is raining, continue on through Lincoln City and see the aquarium south of Newport.
You may want to have a couple of long sleeve shirts and a sweater in case you feel cold anywhere.
Wednesday I saw it snow near the north entrance of Crater Lake. Yesterday it hit 87* at my place 40 miles away.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 07:25 AM
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Forgot to mention the time and distance on the route: 4:40 and 165 miles. If you restrict your time out of the car to 3:20 you can do the trip from CB to Yachats in 8 hours.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 07:58 AM
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8 hours from Cannon Beach to Yachats? Oh oh I'm in trouble. We're leaving hood river Sunday morning on route to Yachats. I wanted to go via cannon beach. Are you saying I would have to add the 2 hours from hood river to cannon Beach ti your 8 hour calculation ?
Your directions to Drift Creek falls don't seem to put them that far out of the way. Maybe I can visit them as a day trip from yachats? My Google maps originally put me at 3 hours one-way to reach drift creek, but that may be because I can't find an exact location to input. Let me know if you think its doable.
Sorry for any typos, I'm answering you from my cell phone.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 08:08 AM
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Overall, your trip out here looks pretty good

Your Saturday hike looks good. It is a nice trail and not difficult. Not sure if you meant 4-5 hours for the hike or for the travel time as well, but just in case, you won't need anywhere near that amount of time for the hike. Just to give you another option for a hike near there, look at Triple Falls. It starts at Horsetail Falls, goes to Ponytail Falls and then up to Triple Falls. Even if you do the other hike, you may want to stop at Horsetail and go up a bit to Ponytail.

Cannon Beach is an excellent stop. Be sure to stop on the north side of town at Ecola State Park, and then of course to Haystack Rock. Both are must sees.

I personally do not think Tillamook Cheese Factory is worth a stop. You will likely spend more time trying to find a parking spot on a summer weekend than you will inside. You can buy the cheese and ice cream in pretty much any grocery store in our state.

I relly like the Three Capes Scenic route as you head south from here. Quite a few nice places to stop, such as Cape Meares that was mentioned. The kids would probably love the Octopus Tree there.

The aquarium in Newport is excellent, so I would try to incorporate that.

There are two lighthouses in Newport as well, Yaquina Head and Yaquina Bay. Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is not far from the aquarium, while Yaquina Head is on the north side of town. Yaquina Head has quite a bit of area to explore, with some great tide pools.

There are a lot of sea lions at the bay front in Newport. I would do that instead of Sea Lion Caves.

Champoeg in Newberg will not give you any wow factor at all. Decent place for a stroll, but not much more, IMO. I live a few minutes from here, so know it pretty well.

You could do Silver Falls on your way back north. It is a bit out of the way, but is a really nice trail. It just depends on your time and if you schedule a rafting trip or not. Personally, I would go for a rafting trip since you are doing other hikes, but if you don't end up doing that, try to include Silver Falls as you will not be disappointed.

You definitely do not need to worry about a/c on the coast. As others have said, there is a good chance you will need a sweatshirt. If we have an unusual heatwave, it might get to be close to 80 at the coast, but that is rare, plus we do not have the humidity that you have so it will feel very different.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 08:11 AM
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Cannon Beach to Yachats, without stops, is only about 3 1/2 hours of driving. Allow more for stops, and slower traffic since it is a weekend and summer.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 08:12 AM
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BTW, dinner at Timberline would be a good choice, IMO.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 09:21 AM
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I suggested checking out of Hood River on Saturday morning and ending the day at lodging in Cannon Beach.
From Timberline Lodge to Cannon Beach figure on 3 hours-147 miles mostly on US 26.
You can easily see the waterfalls in the Columbia Gorge including a hike up the trail to the top of Multnomah Falls on Saturday morning and then head up Rt. 35 to Timberline Lodge.
As long as you leave Timberline Lodge by 4 PM you should be in Cannon Beach for a nice sunset picture with Haystack Rock.
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