Oregon trip help needed

Old Apr 22nd, 2010, 06:07 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 405
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oregon trip help needed

My husband and I are planning a trip to Oregon and I've been reading many of the posts here and have come up with some questions. We are in our 50s, like to travel at a leisurely pace, do some hiking but nothing too strenuous, love to see nature and scenery and take photos.

I thought we could make a circle. Fly into Portland and spend 3 or 4 days. Rent a car, drive to Mt. St. Helen's and then head to the Oregon coast. It seems we should spend at least 4 days on the coast and should stay in two different places. I was interested in going to Gold Beach and maybe staying at the TuTuTun Lodge and take the jet boat rides. Then I wanted to go east visiting the caves and Crater Lake but I didn't see any road which would take us east from the southern part of the coast. Then we would head north stopping in Bend and spending 2 days or so in the Columbia River Gorge area before flying back out of Portland.

1. We could go from September 7-23 or we could start our trip on September 28. Would one time be preferable?

2. Does this itinerary make sense? We have flexible timing for the later dates because my husband is retired so we could stay as long as necessary to see what we want at a leisurely pace.

3. Should we stay overnight at Crater Lake and/or Bend?

4. If we go to Gold Beach, how would we head east toward Crater Lake?

Thanks so much for any assistance.
theatrelover is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2010, 06:27 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10,966
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My preference for this trip is September 7-23, but later would be o.k. too.

TuTuTun Lodge is a nice place, but it is not our favorite because when we are on the Oregon Coast we want rooms with ocean views, which TuTuTun doesn't have.

If your heart is set on Gold Beach, your best bet for getting to Crater Lake is to continue south the the Redwoods (a beautiful drive) and to access Crater Lake via Highway 199.

If you can do without Gold Beach and the Redwoods, Bandon is a lovely little town with easier access to Crater Lake via Highway 42. Cannon Beach and Yachats are two other great places to stay on the coast.

You should definitely stay overnight at Crater Lakes--in the lodge.

Hood River is a charming town as a base for exploring the Columbia River Gorge and for a day trip to Timberline Lodge.
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2010, 06:44 AM
  #3  
mms
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,643
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
September is usually better weather here, and especially to incorporate Crater Lake.

One thing that you are really short changing is Bend. It is worthy of several nights as there is so much to do in the area.
mms is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2010, 06:55 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,041
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You're a theatre lover and you don't want to see any Will
Shakespeare?
bbqboy is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2010, 08:02 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,916
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'd suggest staying somewhere on the northern coast (Cannon Beach would be my preference), somewhere on the central coast (Yachats), and then head to Gold Beach and Tu Tu Tun. Plan on staying in oceanview accommodations in the first 2 places and then enjoying the riverviews at Tu Tu Tun.

Agree that you should add Ashland--that would make a good stop for a night or two between Gold Beach and Bend, and you could visit Crater Lake on the way between Ashland and Bend.
NWWanderer is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2010, 08:16 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 405
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you so much for the fast response. I'm not wedded to Gold Beach. I just had heard about TuTuTun but it isn't worth staying there if it means we have to go out of our way to get to Crater Lake. We saw a lot of redwoods in Yosemite last summer so I think we can skip that. I didn't realize that the Ashland festival has performances into October. Thanks for the mention so we can try to fit that in. The area around Bend also looks wonderful so I'll see if I can block out a few days for that.
theatrelover is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2010, 08:31 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,614
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Another thing to consider for the jet boats is that sometimes in Sept they adjust the water levels in the dam which decreases the water in the river and the jet boats cannot do the whole day trip- it happened to us once- and although we did do part of the trip- we were disappointed we could not do the whole thing. I don't know if this is something they do every year- but I would check into it with the jet boat companies.

It is a very fun thing to do though!!
sunbum1944 is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2010, 09:08 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,286
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you can fit in a short side trip to Silver Falls State Park east of Salem, there is an easy 2 hour hike (I call it walking) through a forest with 10 water falls. It's an easy 1/2 day. We are doing it in May - I'll submit a trip report to tell everyone about our experiences.

AAA has a good Washington/Oregon map.

Any chance you get to stay in a National Park, it's good to do it. Crater Lake at sunrise and sunset must be beautiful. Check with the park website for when the park facilities close for the season to figure out preferable dates. If it's open, both of your times are fine.
christabir is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2010, 09:09 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10,966
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Unless you are into golfing, the main attraction in Bend is the High Desert Museum: http://www.highdesertmuseum.org The cinder cones are also quite fascinating.

I see "She Loves Me" opened last night at the Ashland Shakespeare Festival. This delightful 1963 Bock/Harnick musical isn't performed often. I can't find reviews of the Ashland production, but, if they are good, this is a show worth seeing.
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2010, 09:24 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 405
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you all for this information. That is a good point about the jet boats and I will call and check. I've seen Silver Falls Park mentioned and I've put it on my list. She Loves Me is a wonderful musical I've actually seen 3 times and hope to get up to Westport CT to see it in the next week or two. I noticed that it was on the list for Ashland. It's always well worth seeing. Thanks for the heads up.
theatrelover is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2010, 09:28 AM
  #11  
mms
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,643
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Christa--SFSP is great! As you said, it really isn't a hike as it is so easy. It is 7 miles and 10 waterfalls and really an enjoyable place.

As HTTY mentioned, the High Desert Museum is great. But there is a heck of a lot more to do than just golf in the area too. Lava Butte, Lava Tube, more hiking than you can imagine, bike riding, canoeing, white water rafting, Drake Park, Benham Falls, Cascade Lakes Highway...just to name a few.
mms is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2010, 09:38 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10,966
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I envy you access to Westport CT which, since it is "up," I assume you are also close to NYC theater. We spent a month in NYC last year and went to 25 shows while we were there. That doesn't happen in the NW.

HTTY
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2010, 09:38 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 21,369
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'd start earlier in September if it were me. You increase the likelihood of rain once you get closer to mid-October. September is more likely to be nicer and the days are longer.
Andrew is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2010, 09:46 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,916
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
JMO, but I think Tu Tu Tun is well worth going out of your way for.
NWWanderer is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2010, 10:48 AM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 405
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you all for all this information. Labor Day is 9/6 and we figured it would be less crowded if we went after Labor Day. I wish we had even more time to see everything. I guess we'll just have to come back.

We live in a suburb of NYC and go to the theater a lot. My son loves the theater and is studying to write lyrics for musicals. We are very lucky.
theatrelover is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2010, 12:03 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,614
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am on same page as mms- love Silver Falls and love Bend area - there is so much to see and do around Bend- the list is endless.
Sunriver Resort is where I like to stay- you could just stay there for a week and have endless things to do -

Enjoy- Oregon is a great state to visit- especially in the summer and fall
sunbum1944 is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2010, 12:22 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10,966
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Living in Seattle, the towns in Oregon we find ourselves visiting two or three times a years are Cannon Beach, Yachats, and Hood River.

If you use Hood River as your base in the Columbia River Gorge, you might want to take one of our favorite drives while you are there.

Drive East on I-84 to where Highway 97 crosses the Columbia River to Maryhill, WA, where there is an intriguing museum and a winery.

Return to Hood River on WA-14, which affords unmatched views of the Columbia River Gorge and, on a clear day, Mt. Hood.

Just past Bingen there is a bridge to Hood River.

Hood River is also a good base for visiting Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood. The views of Mt. Hood from OR-35 are spectacular, Timberline Lodge is a national treasure, and, on your return to Hood River, if it is clear, you will have great views of Mt. Adams, which is in Washington.
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2010, 12:32 PM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 405
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Wow, thank you all for this wonderful information. There is clearly no way we can fit all of this in to our trip. The difficult part will be deciding what has to wait for next time. You are all so generous with your time and information and I really thank you.
theatrelover is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2010, 12:45 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 21,369
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'd try to be as flexible as possible and change your itinerary on the fly if the weather isn't what you hope for. While September weather is more likely to be nice than, say, December, it may not be clear every day, of course. It wouldn't be worth driving up to Mt. St. Helens if you can't see it on an overcast day from the visitors centers, in my opinion. (Mt. Hood: at least you can drive up to Timberline Lodge.) By contrast, the Gorge waterfalls and the Oregon Coast are still very worth seeing on overcast or even days with some rain. Of course, if you get one rainy day and other more clear days, you might use that day to explore Powell's Books in Portland, if you can put that into your schedule.
Andrew is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2010, 08:11 PM
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 405
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Can we do Silver Falls Park as a day trip from Portland? If so, is there anything else we could do on that same day?
theatrelover is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:09 AM.