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Oregon questions (gorge, coast, crater lake)?

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Sep 30th, 2017, 11:28 PM
  #1
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Oregon questions (gorge, coast, crater lake)?

Which part of the Oregon coast is the most scenic? From where to where along the coast should we drive?

If these are on our itinerary: Columbia Gorge, Crater Lake, Oregon Coast, (maybe siuslaw national forest), which way is the least amount of driving? should we go first to columbia gorge then crater lake then coast, or first crater lake then coast then gorge? or coast, crater lake, then gorge?

Is Siuslaw national forest worth going to?
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Oct 1st, 2017, 01:22 AM
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When is this?
How long do you have?
What do you like to do?
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Oct 1st, 2017, 08:35 AM
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Next week, a week, like to see scenic places- mountains, lakes, waterfalls etc, this time need short not too strenuous hikes (under 1.5 hour). Which way would be best to go?
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Oct 1st, 2017, 09:16 AM
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Starting from where? Are you flying into Portland? Or??
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Oct 1st, 2017, 09:26 AM
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Probably not gorge, recovering from wildfires.

Well, the whole coast is scenic. So it depends on what you want to see and do. I'd personally spend a few days exploring from Astoria to Newport. Other folks like the south coast.

Look up silver falls state park; that could be a good alternative to the gorge.

Crater Lake depends on weather. I'll let others comment on it. Usually I don't think it's worth the drive.

October is great time to head east to Bend. Great hiking there.

Where are you starting and ending? That makes a difference?


I'd probably choose (personal preference):

3 nights on the north coast
a day hiking in silver falls state park
3 nights in Bend
Assuming you are flying in or out of Portland- 1 night Portland
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Oct 1st, 2017, 11:20 AM
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starting and ending portland.

i saw that one of the rim drives is closed during the week- is it worth it to try making it there for the time its open on the weekend, or is the rest of the rim drive nice too?

thanks ill look into into silver falls.

are any parts of the gorge open, or all closed from fires? i heard its beautiful was hoping to go
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Oct 1st, 2017, 12:23 PM
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To give you an idea:

One month ago, the eagle creek fire was started by fireworks. As of Thursday, it's only 46 percent contained. Evacuations were lifted only on the 18th, I think.


https://www.google.com/amp/s/article..._by_columb.amp

The hiking I go for is closed for the season because of this. The famous falls are closed. You can still visit the towns, there's greenery as well as scorched earth, and obviously the river is still there, but I don't think I'd recommend a tourist go right now. On the other hand, I'm sure the gorge businesses would be happy to see you. You could stay a few nights at skamania lodge and have a good time regardless. They have a discount running right now, too.

Crater is dependent on weather. If it's foggy, it's boring. And it's a long drive. The website says it's invisible 50% of the time and those are not odds I enjoy. Like I said, I wouldn't waste the time. I would go on the weekend, though, if you go, because the rim drive is the main thing to do there right now. What are your dates? As long as you're in Oregon a whole week, you could go to crater on the weekend.
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Oct 1st, 2017, 12:42 PM
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The Historic Columbia Gorge Highway, with all the vista points and waterfalls, is closed due to the aftermath of the Eagle Creek fire. I-84 through the Gorge is open and always beautiful, and the Washington side of the river, WA 14, is also wide open. See the webcams at http://www.columbiarivergorge.info/webcams.html .

There's snow at Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood - https://www.timberlinelodge.com/conditions/ but I see no reason to skip the Gorge - Mt. Hood loop, even if you skip Crater Lake and visit the coast instead.

Here's the loop I'd do personally. Your tastes may vary of course. https://goo.gl/maps/unujriYosZw

Cross the Columbia from PDX airport and travel east on WA 14 to Maryhill. Visit the very cool Maryhill Museum and nearby Stonehenge replica, before crossing the river and returning west to Hood River.

Explore the Hood River Valley, which ought to be in full harvest mode; stop at the Panorama Point viewpoint for fab views of the valley's orchards and vineyards with Mt. Hood in the background.

Visit Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood, then follow US 26 back west to I-205, then continue west to McMinnville in the heart of the Willamette Valley wine country. Then make your way out to the coast and sightsee as far south as Yachats, then reverse direction and follow the coast north all the way to Astoria. Cross the (amazing) mouth of the Columbia and visit Cape Disappointment, then follow the north shore of the river back to I-5 near Longview WA.

If the weather's poor when you get to Longview, just return to Portland. But if it's good, consider visiting the Johnston Ridge visitor center overlooking the Mt. St. Helens caldera - pretty amazing. (If the weather's cloudy or rainy, it might be socked in or snowing at Johnston Ridge, or maybe both. You'll need to make a real-time call on this.)

This would give you quite a lot of diversity in a fairly compact itinerary.
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Oct 1st, 2017, 03:06 PM
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I think the southern part of the Oregon coast is more scenic than the northern part, by a tad. But both are beautiful, incredibly beautiful in parts. It's not a mistake to stick to the northern part. Cannon Beach has a world-class beach and has perhaps the most photographed feature in Oregon - Haystack Rock (ranked up there with Multnomah Falls, anyway).

Further south, toward the central coast, is Newport, a town I've long had a soft spot for. It's got an iconic lighthouse, an amazing bridge, the Yaquina Bay Bridge, a nice beach, and beautiful views. There are some great scenic points between Newport and Lincoln City to the north. Just north of Lincoln City you can do a nice hike out to Cascade Head, with an incredible view down to reward you at the end.

I second the recommendation for Silver Falls State Park - it's about 2+ hours by car from Portland each way - a very doable day trip, incredibly beautiful area with a bunch of waterfalls.

If you like roses, Portland has lots of them (we are the "Rose City.") The International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park is still worth seeing and generally a must-see if you haven't been to Portland - I was there last week, but the rains have started, so it might not be blooming much longer.
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Oct 2nd, 2017, 09:38 AM
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great ideas thanks
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Oct 2nd, 2017, 10:12 AM
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If you only wanted to go to one and had the choice between silver falls state park or cape disappointment park, which would you choose, which is more scenic?
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Oct 2nd, 2017, 10:20 AM
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Um...you still plan to go to the coast even if you nix cake disappointment right?

I'd say silver falls if so. Different types of beauty.
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Oct 2nd, 2017, 11:10 AM
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You could easily add Silver Falls on the loop map I posted above. https://goo.gl/maps/LLjB2KKsJoH2
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Oct 2nd, 2017, 03:30 PM
  #14
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yes, would still see coast but start closer to portland.
thanks gardyloo.
btw mount panorama looks like its in the vicinity of columbia gorge? will it be open?
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Oct 2nd, 2017, 03:30 PM
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thanks marvelous for your advice
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Oct 2nd, 2017, 03:37 PM
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Panorama Point is a county park in the Hood River Valley and should be open.
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Oct 2nd, 2017, 03:47 PM
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great
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Oct 2nd, 2017, 07:19 PM
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sorry another question: will the area on the coast newport to reedsport give us a sense of what the coast is like? is that section of coast pretty? thinking of going from pdx to silver falls state park and then to newport down the coast to reedsport (and then crater lake and then panorama point and then pdx.) this way id be skipping cape disappointment (and maybe save it for another trip- when i go to seattle in the future)
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Oct 2nd, 2017, 07:26 PM
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are there any road closures between crater lake and panorama point and panorama point to portland airport?
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Oct 2nd, 2017, 07:29 PM
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From Silver Falls Park, head toward Salem, and take OR 22 west from the Salem area to near McMinnville, and take OR 18 from there to the coast, instead of taking say US 20 west to Newport. US 101 from Lincoln City south to Newport has some great scenery. Try to maximize your time along 101 to get the most scenery.

I would try to keep going down toward Bandon if you can. I don't think you'll see enough just going down to Reedsport.

The Oregon Coast should be the highlight or one of the highlights of your trip to Oregon. Don't try to see it quickly. Weather can be unpredictable. Don't assume you'll hit perfect weather for just a few hours when you plan to drive down the coast.

AAA used to have a nice tour map of the Oregon Coast - not sure if they do anymore, but it really broke out the scenic highlights well.
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