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nannibray May 14th, 2015 12:44 PM

Oregon Itinerary Critique, please.
We will be in Oregon for 14 nights --July 4 to departure on July 18. Below are the locations of the overnights that I have booked. I am well set for nearly all the nights but I am questioning whether
we should stay in Astoria on July 16 or stay a 2nd night in Newport and then on the 17th spend the day driving from Newport...Cannon Beach...Rt 26 Portland arriving in evening near the airport in late evenng, stay and fly out next A.M.

Reason: We have a friend's FREE condo on the 15 (could also have for the 16th) in Newport. This is a
Newport BAYFRONT condo with beautiful water views. In additiion...Accommodations in Astoria are
expensive. How important are the things to see and do in Astoria? Would we be sacrificing seeing
the things in Astoria if we stay a second night in Newport and skip Astoria? Is Newport worth a second night and day?

Here is the itinerary:
July 4 Arrive Portland..sleep Portland
July 5 Visit Portland ..sleep Portland.
July 6 Drive the Columbia River Gorge..see waterfalls etc. Sleep Hood River.
July 7 Head South via Rt. 35. Sleep TIMBERLINE LODGE. Hike and Enjoy area.
July 8 Drive to Bend via Rt 26 and 97. Tour area and Sleep Bend
July 9 Tour Bend ...sleep Bend
July 10 Drive Bend to Crater Lake via Rt 97, 138, Leave Bend early..Sleep CRATER LAKE LODGE
July 11 Leave Crater Lake in pm. Drive to Medford. Sleep Medford.
July 12 Drive to Brookings for 2 night stay. Via Rt 199 and visit STOUT GROVE. Sleep Brookings
July 13 Tour Coastal Redwoods, redwoods Natl park, S Oregon coast??...sleep Brookings.
July 14 Head North on 101...Sleep Florence...(staying with friends) Many stops enroute.
July 15 Newport (Free Bayfront Condo) Tour area
July 16 Sleep Astoria. Drive from Newport to Astoria
July 17 Tour Astoria to PDX for hotel.
July 18 Fly home in AM

Thank you so much for any help you may give. I hope my post is not too confusing.
AGAIN: Should we stay 2 nights in Newport and skip Astoria?

Really looking forward to Oregon in July! Am so happy I was able to book BOTH Timberline Lodge and Crater Lake Lodge!

marvelousmouse May 14th, 2015 01:18 PM

Well...I'm reluctant to tell you to skip Astoria because while Astoria is probably my least favorite town, the north coast is my favorite section of coast. Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Ecola State Park, even Seaside- you wouldn't get to see that area much at all without that last night in Astoria.

(Also, free night in a Newport condo can't be beat!)

That said...the only thing in Astoria that I consider a can't miss is the maritime museum. If you do pass up the condo, I think I'd suggest staying the night somewhere around Cannon Beach- but if you think Astoria is pricy, Cannon Beach is probably exorbitant in comparison.

I think it comes down to how much driving you want to do, which only you know. If I was doing that itinerary, skipping Astoria would make that last day have entirely too much driving for me.

But either way- your trip sounds amazing (I'm a bit jealous- timberline and crater lake lodges on the same trip?!) Have a great time!

tomfuller May 14th, 2015 01:33 PM

Have you found a cheap place to sleep in Portland?
There will be some fireworks along the Columbia River on the 4th. Hood river and Timberline are not far apart but you can spend a few hours around Mt. Hood. Hood River is famous for windsurfing on the river if that interests you.
On July 11 I would skip Medford and spend a night near Crescent City or Klamath California. You could also check out the Oregon Caves off US 199. If you skip Medford go over Rt. 234 from 62 and through Gold Hill to get to I-5 and Grants Pass (US199)
Instead of going all the way to Astoria, spend a night in Seaside or Cannon Beach if the budget allows. Be sure to see Haystack Rock whichever you choose. Take US 26 (between Cannon Beach and Seaside) back to Portland instead of US 30.
On the way north from Newport be sure to stop at the Tillamook cheese factory (north end of town)for some good ice cream and cheese.

nannibray May 15th, 2015 07:32 AM

Thanks Marvelous..and Tomfuller.
Your advice was helpful. Have decided to eliminate the night in Medford going directly from Crater lake to Crescent city instead. Will add that night to an extra night in the condo in Newport.
Have decided to sleep in Seaside area instead of Astoria on the 16.
Hope I am not giving too much "time " to the coast (6 nights?).
Really looking forward to the trip. Does this amended plan seem a bit better?

tomfuller May 15th, 2015 07:54 AM

What you want to know about the 4th of July in Portland:
You'll get to see more of the Coast Redwoods skipping Medford.
If you happen to get to Cannon Beach at low tide you can walk out closer to Haystack Rock.
Many of the Oregon State Parks along the coast have yurts which help with the budget.
While in Newport, see the Oregon Coast Aquarium (south of the bridge).
Be sure to see the High Desert Museum about 5 miles south of Bend on US 97.

sunbum1944 May 15th, 2015 09:37 AM

4th of Jul in Portland the Riverfront Blues Festival will be going on. Blues entertainers from all over the US . Has great fireworks on the 4th. The riverfront area will be crowded and downtown hotels may get booked early. It's a fun event to attend, I will be there one day at least.

I think it's good you added an extra night to Newport. I think one of the prettiest parts of the coast is between Florence and Newport. My favorite beach is Heceta Head (also known as Devils Elbow). It's a nice nice little cove with a trail up to the lighthouse and great views. If you would like to do a longer hike, there is a trail behind the lighthouse that leads to a secluded beach.
There are grills at the beach if you would like to have a cookout and picnic.

Bend is also a great area. You could do a raft trip, kayak trip or hike one of the many trails. A nice easy hike starts close to the Volcano Visitors Center ( which you should visit). From the visitors center you can drive up a cinder cone . There is a trail around the rim so you can peer into the volcano.

From the visitors center it's a short drive to the Deschutes River Trail where you can do an easy hike to Benham Falls.
Or- drive to Mt Bachelor and take a gondola to the top. I believe there is a restaurant at the top.

So much to see in the Bend area. The High Desert Museum is interesting but not how I would spend my time if I could be outdoors.

Sun country tours is a good outfit to book a raft trip with. The Big Eddy is a good one- some fun rapids but not too scary!
Check out The Old St Francis School for Bend Lodging. It really is an old Catholic School, a fun place to stay and walking distance to downtown Bend


marvelousmouse May 15th, 2015 10:07 AM

Sounds good. 6 days would not be too much for me- and you will probably enjoy the coastal weather after being inland:) as tomfuller suggests- definitely try to hit Cannon Beach when the tide is out, as the rocks are what make it so special.

nannibray May 15th, 2015 12:16 PM

Tom...thanks for the Portland info. Will be useful. Also the Newport area info.
Sunburn... you are making me anxious for BEND. thanks for the tips. Think we are too old for the raft trips though.
Was NOT aware of the importance of Cannon Beach at low tide. thank. sounds like that would be fun.

Regarding Crater Lake.
I REALLY REALLY want to do the boat cruise on Crater Lake but am genuinely concerned about the mile long hike back up from the lake. Is there anything one can compare it to ? Is the climb really steep? Are there places to rest? We are SENIORS and my husband is in his 80's. Must decide before buying tickets in advance.

Marvelous.. I feel good about skipping Astoria.

sunbum1944 May 15th, 2015 12:36 PM

If you can hike out of Crater Lake, you could do a raft trip- at least the one I am talking about. Just sit in raft and hold on.

Bend is a fabulous area. Maybe make time for a short drive to the little town of Sisters too. Cute little western town with great views of The Three Sisters mountain range.

In Newport favorite place to eat is Local Ocean- lots of great seafood.


marvelousmouse May 15th, 2015 12:47 PM

If no one answers the crater lake hike question, here's a thread that discusses it from all angles:

I think your age will matter less than your everyday activity level:)

sunbum1944 May 15th, 2015 01:44 PM

I think the trail out would be difficult. It is posted as "strenuous" and if it's a hot day, which it frequently is in the summer, could make it more difficult.

You can Google the Cleetwood Cove Trail.

nannibray May 15th, 2015 06:30 PM

Advice taken! Did not realize that the elevation BEGINS at 6800. We will just
have to enjoy the view from the top. Would be silly to "kill" ourselves just to say we did it!
Having to skip things is hard to accept but we are just thankful we can still
do trips like this.
Marvelous...thanks for the link to the thread on Fleetwood Cove trail. Was very fact may have "saved" a marriage!

marvelousmouse May 15th, 2015 06:56 PM

Lol! Glad to help:)

msrva May 20th, 2015 02:26 PM

In Bend consider a walk around Todd Lake at the foot of Mount Bachelor. It is easy to get there, absolutely stunning, and a non-strenuous experience.

We did the walk down to the boat at Crater Lake and saw lots of seniors making the the walk back up. The trail is not very steep, but it's no cakewalk ... with limited mobility it may be too much.

andrews98682 May 27th, 2015 12:02 AM

I think you're short-changing Portland a bit. It's a great city and worth a couple more days. It's also a good base for day trips to Mount St. Helens, the Columbia River gorge/Mt. Hood and the coast. You could easily do Hood River and Timberline Lodge in a day and be back in time for dinner in Portland if you wanted. Astoria is worth a few hours but probably not worth a night.

Dukey1 May 27th, 2015 09:26 AM

On our trip to the Oregon coast (from Seattle) last year there were more than a few people who "warned" us about Cannon Beach but we spent two nights there anyway and are glad we did.

One early morning I actually walked out to the base of Haystack Rock and getting that close made it seem somehow even more iconic than it already is.

Cannon Beach itself is loaded with every sort of art gallery, place to eat, "touristy" beach stuff and all the rest of it but that's part of the deal. I would definitely not have missed it just as i am glad we spent time walking out to the lighthouse at Cape Disappointment further north.

Enjoy your trip. IMO it really is all worthwhile regardless of where you eventually end up.

nannibray May 28th, 2015 03:30 PM

Andrew--Considering your opinion...
I too was wondering if we are spending too much time in the CR gorge and Timberline Lodge. Would this solution work---
Spend the morning of July 6 in Portland, leaving for Columbia RG about
NOON. Would this allow enough time to drive the Gorge, see the main water falls, and arrive in Hood River to sleep?
On July 7 drive to Timberline Lodge (where we were able to get a room) .
Would we arrive about noon? Do some easy hikes, enjoy the view , setting, dinner etc sleep at lodge.
Depart first thing the next morning for Bend.
This would allow us to visit THE GROTTO on Monday morning the 6th. before heading to the CRG and Hood River.

tomfuller May 28th, 2015 08:16 PM

How to find the Grotto - The sign is easy to miss along Sandy Blvd.
There is a nice restaurant with a glass roof at the foot of Multnomah Falls for your lunch.
It is worth it to climb the stairs and paved path to the top of the falls for a great view of the Gorge.
Hood River is famous for wind surfing on the Columbia River.
There is also a tourist railroad near Hood River.
On the way from Timberline to Bend, stop at the Peter Skene Ogden Rest Area which is at the Crooked River Gorge. You can walk across the old bridge to look into the 300 foot deep gorge.

nannibray May 30th, 2015 02:28 PM

Thanks tomfuller!
Made notes of everything suggested.

andrews98682 May 30th, 2015 02:31 PM

The point I was trying to make was about spending more time in Portland. The city itself is worth a few days, not just one. As for staying in Hood River, frankly, I wouldn't. It's a nice little town, good place to stop for a bite if you're doing a Gorge/Mt. Hood day trip. But I see no reason to spend the night there, particularly if you're staying at Timberline Lodge.

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