Oregon 13 day trip help

Old Jun 28th, 2023, 01:38 PM
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Oregon 13 day trip help

We (63F) (64M) are making our first trip to Oregon in late August. I have been trying to work on an itinerary but could use some advise. We would like to see coastline, Mt. Hood and Crater lake if possible--but this may be the issue. Most of the itineraries I have found have you moving every day. We would rather spend 2 or possibly 3 nights in most locations. Following is what I have seen that is closest to what we would like to see but although it doesn't have every night full it is still a lot of travel. These would be the night stays with sightseeing along the way from place to place. I know everyone has their favorites but what suggestions do you have to pare the trip down to allow us to stay longer in each place. We are open to other places not listed. We like moderate to easy hiking, wineries and decent restaurants. Maybe kayaking if it works. We like smaller places rather than busy ones. I am a bit ambivalent about Portland but could be persuaded. Any hotel or restaurant advise is also welcome.Day Final Destination

1 Arr in Portland/Portland
2 Astoria
3 Cannon Beach
4 Yachats
5 Eugene
6 Crater Lake
7 Bend
8 Mount Hood
9 open
10 open
11 open
12 Portland
13 Fly Home


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Old Jun 28th, 2023, 02:55 PM
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Well I live in Eugene and honestly its not really a tourist destination. Spend another night in Yachats and explore that area. Lots to see and do between Newport and Florence.
One of my favorite spots is the beach at Heceta Head also known as Devils Elbow.Its a little north of Florence. Nice beach with a walk up to one of the most photographed areas in Oregon- the Heceta lighthouse. If you want to walk farther there is trail behind the lighthouse that will take you to a secluded beach.
Lodging could be just north of Yachats- choice of the Adobe Motel, the Fireside and the Overleaf Lodge. They are connected by a trail. The Overleaf is the most high end, the Adobe has a restaurant.
Kayaking- you can rent kayaks just south of Florence. There is a nice calm river that goes between the sand dunes and down to the ocean- however if you want to go to the ocean you have to exit kayak once and climb over a cement dam. Its called the Siltcoos River Trail.
There are several restaurants in Florence that are worth stopping at. I like Travellers Cove on a nice day as they have a deck overlooking the river.

From Florence you can cut over at Reeds Port to go to Crater Lake. Hwy. 138 has many waterfall hikes- some very short walk, others longer. A longer hike I like is Watson Falls.
So there are a few ideas.

There is a publication you can get called Mile by Mile Guide to Oregon Coast- they have an online version
sunbum1944 is online now  
Old Jun 28th, 2023, 05:33 PM
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Go to Cannon Beach (or Seaside) and do Astoria as a day trip from either. In case you haven't heard it Yachats is pronounced ya-HOTS. When in the Bend area be sure to visit the High Desert Museum and the Lavalands Visitor Center (both south of Bend). When coming back to Portland from Bend, drive north on OR Rt. 35 from US 26 on the east side of Mt. Hood. Stay a night or two in the town of Hood River on the Columbia River.
About 5 miles east of Reedsport on Rt. 38, stop at the elk viewing area. Sometimes you don't see any and other times I've seen as many as 40 Roosevelt elk.
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Old Jun 28th, 2023, 09:35 PM
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On the way to Crater Lake, the Roseburg area has many nice wineries. Hillcrest winery is the oldest estate winery in Oregon and home to the first Oregon Pinot Noirs. If you happen to be there at the same time as the owner, he will frequently come out and talk wine. He knows more about wine than anyone I have ever met- fascinating!
The whole Bend area has much to see and do- especially if you like hiking. Sun River Resort is a good place to stay- bike trails, kayaking, horseback riding. A nice hike is the Deschutes River Trail to Benham Falls
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Old Jun 29th, 2023, 03:13 AM
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We just returned from a graduation trip for granddaughter in Eugene and while it is a nice town agree it may not be a destination. U of Oregon rocks though!!
We spent a day or two in Portland and did the Columbia River Gorge--and the Chinese Garden. The Willamette River wineries would certainly be worth a visit.
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Old Jun 29th, 2023, 08:07 AM
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A couple of caveats...

Late August is the peak of forest- and wildfire season, especially in the mountains and in central and eastern Oregon (but western Oregon is by no means exempt.) Aside from road closures it can also be a time of smoky air, obscuring views and creating unhealthy air conditions. Obviously no one can predict, but the odds of poor air quality are lower on the coast than inland.

I personally think the outlier in your plans is Crater Lake. Now I'm probably in a minority on this (check that, I KNOW I am) but - to me - the benefit/cost computation for Crater Lake as part of a trip that includes Portland and the coast, for someone with limited time, just doesn't pencil. The deal is (again, to me) that the days spent getting to and from Crater Lake - and they can be hot and possibly smoky days in late August - could also be spent doing stuff in other places, stuff that wouldn't necessarily involve long drives or having to settle for limited accommodations (not a lot on the ground near Crater Lake.)

What if you did something of a "figure 8" trip that focused on the Columbia Gorge/Mount Hood areas, and the north coast and northern Willamette Valley areas, something like this: https://goo.gl/maps/vcvPv3JJzW7rsfY6A

Basically this involves a loop through the Columbia River Gorge, with a "spur" trip south to Smith Rock State Park near Bend, so as to give you some of the red-rock "old west" scenery from farther south. The plan would then take you out to the north coast at Cape Disappointment - waves on rocks, Lewis and Clark history, hikes and lighthouses, then south to Ecola State Park near Cannon Beach, then another "spur" south to Newport, maybe for day trips to Yachats or pretty Depoe Bay, etc. You'd return to Portland via the Willamette Valley wine country.

I'm a big proponent of the Hood River area mainly because there are so many things to see and do that are within a couple of hours' drive from a base there. In addition to all the waterfalls along the Gorge walls, you've got Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood, incredibly scenic spots like Panorama Point in Hood River, the view of Mount Hood from Trillium Lake, the Maryhill Museum of Art and strange copy of Stonehenge, Herman the Sturgeon at the Bonneville hatchery, the fabulous Hood River Fruit Loop, past orchards, U-pick farms, vineyards and wineries... on and on. Google these places and you can see what I mean. I'd choose maybe three "bases" for the trip - one near Hood River, another somewhere on the north coast - maybe Cannon Beach, maybe Astoria - and maybe one near Newport, or, if you're wine lovers, near McMinnville in the Willamette Valley. But it's your call - sometimes less really is more.

Google the places listed above and on the map, and see what you think.
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Old Jun 29th, 2023, 08:23 AM
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Just very quick - on my way out the door. I agree with everyone that visiting Eugene is really a good use of you limited time. I also 100% agree with Gardyloo that trying to squeeze Crater Lake in probably isn't a great idea. Don't know your actual dates but it's very common to have two night minimums over weekends especially along the coast. I'd add more time on the coast and the Hood River area. By eliminating Crater Lake and Eugene along with your 'open' days you have five extra days to distribute between the coast and hood river
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Old Jun 29th, 2023, 01:16 PM
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When I look at that outline.. "13 days" (for a single state that isn't Alaska Texas, California, Florida, or Montana)...

seems like a fairly comfortable allocation.

PARTICULARLY when half or two-thirds of it isn't even in your thoughts.

SO, my first vibe is SLOW DOWN YOUR PROGRESS through those listed spots.

(if you were 20 and 24... then that would be slightly less important)

Wanting to see them all is fine... but that many nights in that many spots without a pause... sounds crazy. (and mind you, I love me a nice 6000-mile drive over two weeks)

(* but your wishes are FINITE... and mine, when on the road that way, don't tend to be so)

... and space your (two?)-night pauses through your trip... OR, if you can (settle/agree on one spot) make a THREE-night pause in the middle.

Pause in spot #3 or 4

Pause in spot #7 or 8 (maybe "Sisters" ?)

I don't know from where you are coming, but if you allocate dates to "Portland" on the end of the trip, a side trip to visit Mount St. Helens (2 hours each way) would make sense.

AND IF you happen to have any family members who are (still?) into the Twilight movie series... then you could REALLY impress them by taking a trip to St. Helens, Oregon to see LOTS of the movie settings from the original movie (filmed there, and not IN "Forks, WA") (St. Helens, OR is about 45 minutes from Portland each way).

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Old Jun 29th, 2023, 07:08 PM
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Given the choice between Eugene and Crater Lake National Park, I'll choose the park every time. If you can't get lodging within the park, try for a stay at one of the places at Diamond Lake coming east on Rt. 138 from Roseburg. This year there is a big surprise for Crater Lake! Three new boats have been placed in the lake by helicopter. This will help with the schedule that the one boat had with trips to Wizard Island.
The north entrance of Crater Lake NP is only 90 miles from Bend.
Between Hood River and Portland, be sure to see the waterfalls including Multnomah Falls
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Old Jun 29th, 2023, 08:52 PM
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Maybe add your 3 "open days" to the other places above, so you aren't moving every single day? Cannon Beach and Yachats are both great. Not sure why Eugene would be included on a vacation trip? If you're looking for other places I think the wineries in Willamette Valley could be fun on your way back to Portland.
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Old Jun 29th, 2023, 09:25 PM
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OOPS -- big typo in my post . . . should read "I agree with everyone that visiting Eugene is isn't really a good use of your limited time.
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Old Jun 30th, 2023, 04:54 AM
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We were just in Hood River and White Salmon. If you are going to Mt. hood take a day for these two towns, This part of the Colombia River is windy so you will see lots of people on the river wind surfing and kite boarding.

Hood River has a really cute downtown area with some great stores.

Stop by Mike’s in Hood River for an ice cream and Broder ěst for breakfast. The White Salmon Baking Co. in White Salmon had great food.
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Old Jul 1st, 2023, 10:19 AM
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Thank you all for your comments. At this time I think we will drop Crater Lake. We are aware of the fire danger risk. We live in the Midwest and have been inundated this summer with the Canadian Forest Fires. We plan on tying to find lodging that can be refundable if possible to allow for a course correction if needed.
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