Oregon Scenic Areas July

Old Mar 24th, 2000, 06:30 AM
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Oregon Scenic Areas July

Driving from Portland in late July. Have 6 days. Any suggestions on scenic areas? Colombia Gorge and coast a definite. Interested in short hiking trails, but not shopping and museums. Is it possible to also go as far as northern CA to redwoods in this amount of time?
Old Mar 24th, 2000, 07:55 AM
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Is it possible? Well, sure, anything is *possible*! But assuming you also need to drive BACK to Portland, I personally would not recommend spending so much of your six days driving, but then I prefer a more leisurely vacation pace so I can actually DO things besides drive. You could easily spend 2-3 days in the Columbia Gorge area (exploring and hiking Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood as well from there) and 3-4 days on the coast. You could also drive to Bend and Central Oregon for more mountain scenery, hiking and just about every other outdoor activity you can think of. If you are determined to spend more time driving, then I'd choose Crater Lake over the redwoods. I thought the redwoods were great, but for me, they didn't have the scenic "punch" of Crater Lake (on the other hand, living in the NW, I've seen lots of big, beautiful trees and old growth forest).
Old Mar 24th, 2000, 08:00 AM
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I did a 10 day circle route from Portland on to the Columbia River Gorge, Hood River Valley, Mt.Snow, Smith Rock State Park, Bend, the beautiful "Century Drive", Crater Lake, then north to Eugene, and along the coast and then through "wine Country"/McMinneville, back to Portland.
It was great! Suggestions:
1. spend a night in Bend and drive through the forests and lakes along the "century drive" (takes one-half day or longer if you stop often).
2. drive to the top of "Lava Butte" for an awesome vista!
3. crater lake is best visited with an overnight at the Lodge, but it may be too late for reservations (if you just drive through, the lake may be obscured in fog...whereas if you overnight you will be rewarded with many fantastic views at differing times of day)
4. I was disappointed with the coast(very touristy, lots of traffic, etc) and don't recommend alot of time there.
5. Enjoyed stopping at several vineyards in "wine country'
I wouldn't go as far as northern California in the 6 days you have allotted if you also require returning to Portland in this timeframe. If it is only a one-way drive, it is doable, but I would go Portland-Hood River-Bend-Crater Lake and then along the southern coastline(less developed) to northern California.
Old Mar 24th, 2000, 08:18 AM
Jud Compton
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I'd add to the above a circle drive around Mt. St. Helens in Washington.
The results from and since the volcanic eruption are truly fsscinating. The visitor center is off I-5 at exit 39.

The south side of the Columbia has the waterfalls, and the north side has Stonehenge and Maryhill Museum (out in the middle of nowhere).
Old Mar 24th, 2000, 10:04 AM
Bob Brown
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I think you have enough time, but the Columbia Gorge and the Oregon Coast may be too much because you are going east to tour the gorge and south if you want to see redwood. If you go east, you probably want to retrace your steps because other roads are not nearly as fast as the Interstate along the Columbia.
Having seen both the Oregon Coast and the Columbia Gorge, I would rate the attractions in this order.

1. the Oregon Coast
2. Crater Lake
3. the Redwoods
4. the Gorge

If you can, visit the rose test gardens in the park on the mountain west of downtown. I am not sure, but I think it is Washington Park. But one thing I am sure of: the roses are world class, absolutely.

In six days you could do it, including the redwoods, but you will have to push it a little bit. The good news is that you will have long hours of daylight.
The bad news is that everyone else will have the same daylight!! So you will not be lonesome.
If I were doing this trip, here is how I would tackle it:

Day 1: South to Crater Lake, spend the night as close to Crescent City as I could make it. Perhaps Grant's Pass Oregon.
Day 2, tour redwood groves. There is a section of them not far south of Crescent City. One major grove is east of the coast highway; others are close to the Pacific. End up in Brookings for the night.
Day 3, drive north along the coast at least as far as Yachats. Yachats would be a good place to stay overnight.
There is a motel there that I recall called the Fireside Inn -- this needs verification --. But it was on a rocky headland, with waves crashing ashore.
I was fascinated by the place. It has facilities for a fire in the second floor rooms, but in July I am not sure you will want one.

Day 4, continue up the Oregon coast until you get tired of it. , Probably spend the night close to Portland to be in postion for Day 5.
Day 5, drive east along the Gorge.
Day 6 spill over time; time to return along the Gorge.
South of the gorge you can find some wonderful orchards. We bought fresh plums and other delictables and ate them as we rode.
Old Mar 24th, 2000, 11:35 AM
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This is why I love this forum (among other things!); it shows again and again that there are so many different types of travelers in this world! Now, the itinerary Bob suggested is GREAT, but it would drive me up a wall because I would hate to have to drive so much each day. I'd want to have time to hike, etc., without worrying about how many more miles I had to cover, and time to just relax and drink in this beautiful area! Plus, I *hate* changing lodgings every night, absolutely hate it.

So, Darlene, what is *your* travel style?
Old Mar 24th, 2000, 12:05 PM
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Hi Darlene,

I did the same trip last June, flying into Portland with 6 nights. I'm the same type of traveler as you appear to be, trying to pack as many sights as possible into your trip. However, my wife and I found the coast and the Gorge so spectacular that I would recommend limiting my trip mostly to those 2. I'd say, devote one day to Portland attractions, parks the rose gardens etc., its a unique city. Get to the gorge and devote at least a full day to the drive, be sure to tale the old 2 lane scenic road, not the 4 lane highway. Many of the best falls in the gorge have to be reached by hiking. See the giant sturgeon at the Bonneville fish hatchery. With all remaining time, head south, swinging past Crater Lake for a look, then west to the coast and back up to Portland, stopping in as many of the little towns as possible. Each one has something different to offer.
Old Apr 14th, 2000, 09:33 PM
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Go to http://community.webtv.net/angry9/VacationTravelOregon
This could help you.
Old Apr 15th, 2000, 09:47 AM
Bob Brown
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I agree with Sherry that my plan calls for being on the go. But if you want to see this relatively large area, that is what you have to do. We had time to hike! But not all day.
And I don't do that all the time!!
This summer in Switzerland we are staying in one place for a whole week.
Then we go running off to Salzburg and Vienna.
Old Apr 15th, 2000, 07:40 PM
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Bob, I too am a 'cram' traveler, trying to see and do as much as I can (too much, at times) in whatever time I have available. We recently did the same trip it sounds like you're talking about for summer. So much to see in Switzerland, but we did the drive from Zurich to Vienna in 2 days, staying over in Innsbruck (2 nights in Salzburg on the way back). Vienna, of course, demands its own itinerary and schedule. Salzburg is the other place in Austria worth a slowdown in pace. Unless you are big into hiking, though, summer days in Switzerland offer much more than Austria to our way of thinking. We've been there 3 times in the past 5 years and still wish for more. Don't know if you've been, or if you're an avid reader of the Euro forum (which, by the way Sheri, is infinitely more useful, better behaved, and funnier than the US forum....I noted one of your recent posts about changing jobs to allow yourself more freedom to travel (which I enthusiastically applaud, by the way)....do you travel overseas, or stick to North America?). Sorry for being tangential.
Anyway, as for Oregon, Darlene, I too, was a bit disappointed by the coast drive. Spent too much time there on our only trip to Oregon and wish we'd spent more on the Gorge, Bend and the mountains. Great trip, though. Hope you have a great time.
Old Apr 16th, 2000, 08:05 AM
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In 1998 we stayed three nights at Crater Lake and were disappointed when we got there (in July) because most trails were still not open and the boats weren't operating on the lake, but they wouldn't let us out of our prepaid reservation for the lodge. Someone gave us a little folder put out by the state which was a "waterfall" tour. We spent an entire day driving in a loop from Crater Lake about 200 miles and stopping at about 5 or 6 waterfall sites. Most involved hikes of 20 minutes to an hour --through beautiful forest to gorgeous waterfalls. There were actually about 20 waterfall sites on the map and brochure. Sorry I don't have that brochure, --but it would be a truly wonderful way to spend a couple of days in that general area, especially if you like short to medium length hikes. Some were beautiful loop trails, maybe an hour long to the waterfall and back again, along a pretty mountain or forest stream. We were a little disappointed in the coast, pretty, but not as spectacular as I guess we thought it would be, and the traffic was horrible in July. Columbia Gorge is very pretty, and we did a wonderful raft trip on the Rogue River.
Old Apr 16th, 2000, 03:22 PM
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Hi Bradley, just a short response to your "tangent": Yes, I'm an enthusiastic reader and sometimes poster to the European forum. My last big trip was a week each in London, Paris and Venice this past Christmas (was lucky enough to be in Paris watching the Eiffel Tower fireworks on New Years). The suggestions on that forum as I prepared for my trip were great and I have tried to return the favor whenever possible!

I'm heading to Ireland and England at the end of the month on a ten-day concert tour with my choir (we're competing at an international choral festival in Cork).

I used to be a "cram" traveler and still am occasionally, but now find that I enjoy my trips more when I spend more time in fewer places. I just always assume (hope!) that I am going to go back at some point.

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