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Oregon road trip

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Apr 20th, 2017, 11:57 AM
  #1
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Oregon road trip

Early May we are flying into and out of PDX. We have basically 6 days to tour Oregon. It appears Crater Lake is not necessarily a hot item, but Hood River is. I've not seen the Redwoods in northern CA. Is this doable. Hubby doesn't hike; would prefer scenic routes.
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Apr 20th, 2017, 12:02 PM
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Well it's at least a 7-8 hour drive each way from Portland to the California redwoods area. Certainly it can be done, but not what most people would think of as part of an Oregon road trip in under one week.
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Apr 20th, 2017, 12:16 PM
  #3
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Any tour guide suggestions? Musts to see?
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Apr 20th, 2017, 02:26 PM
  #4
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Any tour guide suggestions? Musts to see?
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Apr 20th, 2017, 05:34 PM
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I don't call myself a tour guide but see if this makes sense:
Depending on what time you land at PDX rent a car and head west on US 26 out of Portland to US 101. Spend the night in either Seaside or Cannon Beach. See Haystack rock and Ecola State park. You may see a great sunset over the Pacific.
I hope you can get a 1 night reservation. Some greedy hotel owners are trying to get a two night minimum.
Head south and see the Oregon Coast Aquarium south of the big bridge in Newport. Spend night 2 near Gold Beach or Brookings.
Day 3 see the Coast Redwoods near Crescent City CA.
Outside the National Park is a private grove called "The Trees of Mystery". If the weather is nice you may want to ride up to the top in a gondola ride.
Head back into Oregon on US 199 to I-5 south of Grants Pass.
Go south on I-5 to the Gold Hill exit and take Rt. 234 over to Rt. 62. Try for a room in the Prospect Hotel or a cabin at Union Creek for night 3. Continue the next day on Rt. 62 to the south entrance to Crater Lake NP. If you are not going to spend a lot of time there, drive around the west side of the lake and get a few good shots of Wizard Island and the lake.
Exit Crater Lake by the north entrance by about 4 PM. Bend is 90 miles from the north entrance. Spend night 4 in either LaPine or someplace in Bend.
Leaving Bend head north on 97 to Madras and then west on US 26 up to Government Camp. Spend night 5 at either Timberline Lodge or down at Hood River. See the waterfalls driving the Old Columbia Gorge Highway before getting on I-84 back toward the airport.
You did not say what month this trip is. Do not try to go through Madras or Lincoln City on August 20 or 21. People are going crazy to see the total solar eclipse that hits the coast at about 9AM near Lincoln City and travels across Oregon to near Ontario OR and onward all the way to the coast of South Carolina
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Apr 20th, 2017, 05:38 PM
  #6
 
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I'd spend the six days in and around Portland, and then along the Columbia River Gorge with Hood River/Mt. Hood, and then maybe get a sample of the coast with Cannon Beach area. Lots of wineries in between. Agree that Redwoods/Crater Lake is a bit of an outlier for that time frame.
There are a number of recent posts on this area -- a quick search of this forum should provide some ideas.
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Apr 20th, 2017, 09:56 PM
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Tom- they said trip is in May. Crater Lake is still going to have a lot of snow!
The road around the rim will not be open yet.
They could always go snow shoeing
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Apr 21st, 2017, 06:00 AM
  #8
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Thank you for your suggestions. Much to contemplate.may have more questions. ..
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Apr 21st, 2017, 06:55 AM
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Tom- they said trip is in May. Crater Lake is still going to have a lot of snow!

And early May at that.

phelgestad, welcome to Fodor's!

Where are you coming from and where are you going after Portland? Is this part of a bigger trip or a "one-off?"

Early May is great for the Columbia Gorge but not great at all for the mountains. This has been a very snowy winter and things at alpine elevations (and in some cases considerably lower) are still going to be under deep snow early next month, so any upland or mountain plans will need to be edited or eliminated. That's okay - you could combine the Gorge with a trip down the Columbia to the fabulous beaches and scenery that stretches from Cape Disappointment (WA) down to Yachats on the Oregon coast, then return to Portland via the Willamette Valley wine district.

Or - just shooting from the hip here - if your range of options includes other areas, you might think about the same six days in northern California. For example, the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, including Yosemite Valley, are fantastic at that time of year. The gold rush towns and villages along CA Hwy 49 (named for the 1849 gold rush) are fantastic and the land is covered in wildflowers and rushing rivers from melting snow. You can see giant sequoias at Calaveras Big Trees State Park near the picturesque (and increasingly foodie-and-wine magnet) town of Murphys, and you can access the area very easily from Sacramento airport.

Just throwing out some ideas.
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Apr 25th, 2017, 03:01 PM
  #10
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We're flying into Portland, renting car, doing road trip, then flying out of PDX again. I was hoping to incorporate mountains and Crater, but apparently snow will be an issue. It seems strange to drive up and down coast. I'm sure we'll head east out of PDX, along river.
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Apr 25th, 2017, 03:24 PM
  #11
 
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Well, how many hours are you willing to spend behind the wheel? Here's a "figure 8" driving route that would let you see the redwoods, Oregon coast, Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge. You're looking at about 20 hours over six days, so not a deal-breaker. The Jedidiah Smith State Park redwood groves are among the best of the bunch, and they're right on US 199 just before the junction with US 101, the coast highway. https://goo.gl/maps/42FznR9N3e42

Day 1 - Portland to Grants Pass

Day 2 - Grants Pass to redwoods, north to Bandon

Day 3 - Bandon to McMinnville (Willamette Valley wine country)

Day 4 - McMinnville to Hood River via Timberline Lodge/Mt.Hood

Day 5 - Hood River to Portland via Columbia Gorge historic highway.

Day 6 - could be allocated somewhere along this route, or used for day trip from Hood River to Maryhill Museum and Stonehenge (in lieu of current Day 5.)
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