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Oregon Scenic Road Trip from Crater Lake to Portland, Oregon

Oregon Scenic Road Trip from Crater Lake to Portland, Oregon

Jul 31st, 2012, 06:12 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 48
Oregon Scenic Road Trip from Crater Lake to Portland, Oregon

First timer to Oregon and we would like to do a road trip from Crater Lake to Portland, Oregon excluding Interstate 5. Any suggestions on routes to take for the most scenic trip. I'm thinking we would like to accomplish this in 2 days of driving with scenic stops along the way. From Portland we would come back south along the coast of Oregon and am wondering how long that would take allowing for scenic stops along the way back to Brookings, Oregon on the southern end. Thank you for responses.
abram797 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2012, 06:26 PM
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Where are you coming from to get to Crater Lake?
To get from Crater Lake to Portland avoiding I-5, exit by the north entrance and turn right onto Rt. 138 east 16 miles to US 97 north. It is 90 miles from the north entrance to Bend.
From Bend head north on US 97 to Madras and then US 26 to the south side of Mt. Hood. Take Rt. 35 down the east side of Mt, Hood to the town of Hood River. Be sure to see some waterfalls along the old Route 30 on the way back into the Portland area.
tomfuller is offline  
Jul 31st, 2012, 06:31 PM
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There are 2 routes that I would recommend.

The first will have you avoiding I-5 entirely. From Crater Lake, head up hwy 97 towards Bend. Just before Bend is the High Desert Museum, the lava cave and Lava Lands (wonderful butte there!). Keep going on 97 through Redmond and then at Madras, take hwy 26 towards Mt Hood. At the junction, if you head west on 26, it will take you over to Timberline Lodge. If you head east it will put you on hwy 35 and take you over to Hood River. At Hood River, take I-84 westbound and get off at any of the gorge exits to get onto the old scenic highway, which will take you to Multnomah Falls, Portland Woman's Forum (odd name, amazing views) and Crown Point Vista house. Get back onto I-84 and take that straight into Portland. As for an overnight along this route, Bend or Hood River would be my choice.

The other route takes in a short distance of I-5, but the rest is scenic. Again, from Crater take take hwy 97 up to Bend. Then take hwy 20 westbound towards Sisters. Sisters is a great place to stop. It is a small town with a western "theme" to it. Make a short detour onto the OLD (there is a difference) McKenzie Highway over to the Dee Wright Observatory. It is only a few miles outside of town. Continue on hwy 20 west, and that will take you to a junction. Take hwy 126 a short distance over to Sahalie Falls and maybe even Clear Lake. After that, head back over to hwy 20 and take the other road at that junction, which is hwy 22 heads toward Salem. Near Aumsville, take hwy 214 and follow the signs to Silver Falls State Park. There is a beautiful trail if you like to hike, and it is 7 miles long and takes in 10 waterfalls. If you don't want to hike, you can at least walk under the big falls. It is worth the stop! After SFSP continue on hwy 214 up through Silverton. You might want to see the Oregon Gardens there. Keep going and you will go through Mt Angel, another small town worth stopping at for a few minutes. This will take you into Woodburn, at which point you can hop onto I-5 and it is about a 30 minute drive into Portland from there.

Enjoy your time here and if you need anything else, just ask
mms is offline  
Aug 1st, 2012, 06:25 AM
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To: MMS, Your route to Salem from Bend sounds just like what I am looking for; scenic to see waterfalls and back roads of Oregon. Thank you. We are so looking forward to coming to Oregon for the first time and want to enjoy every minute of it.
abram797 is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2012, 09:56 AM
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I live and work at Crater Lake and strongly endorse MMS second itinerary. It's been a warm dry summer, so the falls will be at lower volume and snow may be absent from some vistas by now, but the scenery will not disappoint. We look forward to your visit!
CascadesRanger is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2012, 12:53 PM
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The drive to Salem is pretty - but if you continue on up 97 - you will also see Mt. Jefferson - http://tinyurl.com/c8e8vog which most people don't really know enough about - and you could stay on the south side of Mt. Hood at our favorite resort in Oregon - Timberline Lodge. http://www.timberlinelodge.com/
Tomsd is offline  
Sep 12th, 2014, 06:25 AM
Join Date: Aug 2014
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To mms: How many hours would each of your routes take, not counting stops? If we needed to make only one overnight stop back to the airport from Crater Lake, where should that stop be? We plan to spend most of the 6 nights we have driving down the coast - and then spending 2 nights at Crater Lake, so we'll have a full day there..and a break from driving.

Any suggested routes for the whole trip, given these constraints?

Susan from Massachusetts
suesox is offline  
Sep 12th, 2014, 06:58 AM
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suesox this thread is over 2 years old.
What month are you planning on visiting Crater Lake NP?
I still agree with mms. If you go south on the coast and then cut over to Crater Lake, you will want to leave via the north entrance. It is 92 miles from the north entrance (Rt. 138) to Bend. Depending on what time you leave the north entrance you might want to stop at the High Desert Museum before checking into a Bend hotel.
Leaving Bend, via US 97 & US 26, I favor turning off US 26 near Government Camp and taking Rt. 35 down the east side of Mt. Hood to Hood River.
Spend a night in Hood River along the Columbia River.
Leaving Hood River heading back to PDX, see the waterfalls along the old US 30 instead of just using I-84.
Start a thread of your own if you need more information
tomfuller is offline  
Sep 14th, 2014, 07:39 AM
Join Date: Aug 2014
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tomfuller- Thank you for responding. I am new to these travel fora, so I'm not sure how to start a new thread. I am planning to fly to Portland in mid-September of 2015 and spend 6 or 7 nights in OR, hoping to view part of the Oregon Coast, Crater Lake (already booked 2 nights, but that can be changed), and travel a bit along the shore of the Columbia River. I prefer to avoid interstates if possible. My husband and I are more "viewers" than "doers." We prefer not to drive more than 3 hours in a stretch if possible. Any suggested routes? I'm all ears. Someone recommended seeing Mt. Hood, so I don't know if that can be fit in. Someone also mentioned the ghost town of Shaniko. Worth it? (I'm coming from Massachusetts.) Please feel free to find me and message me on Facebook, as I don't get alerts from this site when there are responses to my comments/questions. Thanks! Sue Adelson
suesox is offline  
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