Oregon/Washington 7 full days

Mar 20th, 2012, 07:11 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2012
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Oregon/Washington 7 full days

Flying into Seattle on June 11th (evening) leaving June 20th out of Seattle (early afternoon)
I am sure there won't be enough time to see it all but some things I'd like to see would be Mt. Rainer, Mt. Hood, ONP, San Juan Islands, Cannon Beach, & Columbia River Gorge. I know this is ALOT so if someone could tell me what are "must sees" and what could wait. My husband likes to fly fish so I am sure we will be doing that some. We are more interested in getting out of the city to enjoy the "God made" things. Any suggestions on routes, places to stay, and how long we should spend at each place would be wonderful! Thanks so much!
Sharon_Moran is offline  
Mar 20th, 2012, 07:33 AM
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There was another post requesting some of the same info. I think you can do a lot in that time but some think you might want to concentrate on either Wash or Ore.

If it was me - I would rent a car and head straight away from SeaTac airport across the Narrow's bridge at Tacoma and go to Pt. Allen to take the car ferry over to Victoria, BC and that's almost like spending some time in England. They also have a great museum there. http://www.victoria.ca/

If you have to wait long for a ferry - you can drive up to nearby Hurricane Ridge - and maybe see as much wildlife as we did.

We took the car ferry back to Seattle/Edmonds through the Orcas and were lucky enough to see a pod of Killer Whales, that swam along for about 15 minutes before they just dove and disappeared. Here's more ferry info: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/visitorscenter

Before you went to Victoria - you could also next spend some time and drive out and down the Wash Coast to Olympic Park - where they have some beautiful temperate rainforest fauna - and/or after getting back to Seattle - head the other way to Mt. Ranier.

Eventually - if you did make it down toward Oregon - drive out along the am mighty Columbia River toward the Gorge to see some of the great Waterfalls - especially at Multnomah Falls where they restaurant has a glass roof and you can look up at the falls while having a cup of coffee/dining. And then drive south to stay up at my favorite - Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood. http://www.timberlinelodge.com/

If you still have some wanderlust left - drive back to Portland (an hour along 26) and out to say Albany - and then down the Coast to Cannon Beach. From Cannon Beach back to Portland is about 2 hours taking the most direct route.
Tomsd is offline  
Mar 20th, 2012, 08:25 AM
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I would do either just fly into Portland or Seattle and then just do one area. You don't nearly enough time to do half of what you have listed(not including a day or two for fishing). I do think spend 90% of your time out of a city is great, but Seattle or Portland certainly deserve at least a full day to explore those.
spirobulldog is offline  
Mar 20th, 2012, 09:24 AM
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Just to give you something to throw darts at, how about a loop that takes you Seattle - Mt. Rainier - (possibly Mt. St. Helens) Portland - Columbia River Gorge - Mt. Hood - Cannon Beach - ONP - Victoria - San Juan Island - Seattle.

Allocating time will require that you prioritize, but 2 nights in Portland would be enough to see the Columbia River Gorge and Mt. Hood. And minimum stay requirements would have you in Cannon Beach for at least 2 nights. Then 1 each in Victoria and on San Juan Island... Yeah, you'd be on the go most of the time, but I think it might be feasible.
islandaze is offline  
Mar 20th, 2012, 11:28 AM
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I've never gone deep sea fishing in the Pacific but here is the best calendar for fishing from a boat out of Astoria>
I would advise against bringing fishing gear and buying a 1 or 3 day fishing license.
Olympic NP has no "through" roads so you must choose which area of the Park you want to see. You will not have the time to take a ferry to the San Juans or to Victoria BC Canada.
Mt. Rainier and Mt. Hood are similar enough that either could work for your snow capped mountain.
At low tide you can usually walk out to Haystack Rock from Cannon Beach.
I don't know if you have enough time to get down to Newport Oregon to see the Oregon Coast Aquarium which is just south of town along US 101.
There is a paved Forest Service road from Carson WA near the Columbia all the way to Randle WA (US 12). This road goes on the east side of Mt. St. Helens and would be a great way to get to Packwood and the south face of Mt. Rainier.
tomfuller is offline  
Mar 20th, 2012, 12:57 PM
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Hey - if there are two night requirements at Cannon Beach - stay at one of the other places nearby if you are only planning one night on the Oregon Coast. IMO - a 2 night requirement is just ridiculous.

And I don't see why you can't go to Victoria from say Pt. Allen and come back through the Orcas, maybve even spending a night there if you like.

To me - I like doing a "survey" trip the first time and seeing as much as I can - and then deciding where to come back to and spend more time.

Hey - as for fishing - fresh water anyway - there is a lovely little lake just below Timberline, 10 minutes away or - head back 30 minutes toward Portland to Welches and the Salmon River and also - they have a great fishing store there. see: http://businessfinder.oregonlive.com...-Lodge/Fishing

There is also a great nature hike near there with a fish "window" if you want to do something while he is trying to tempt a fish to take the bait/lure/fly http://www.localhikes.com/Hikes/oldsalmon_6442.asp
Tomsd is offline  
Mar 20th, 2012, 01:09 PM
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Or head a little east from Mt. Hood/Timberline - to Maupin - the gateway to the fabled Deschutes river - and you might even catch a summer Steelhead. see: http://www.flyandfield.com/lower-deschutes.php

Also - I wouldn't worry about seeing too much in either Seattle or Portland this trip - as you could do that again, but having said that - the Rose Garden by Portland should be in full bloom then and the nearby Japanese Gardens are also beautiful. http://www.rosegardenstore.org/

And to be fair to Seattle - they have a lovely Arboretum up on the hill - next to the interesting Asian Art Museum. http://seattleartmuseum.org/visit/visitsaam.asp

Last but not least - it takes about two and a half hours to drive from Portland to Seattle - about 175 miles as I recall.
Tomsd is offline  
Mar 20th, 2012, 01:42 PM
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Tomsd--I am guessing you haven't made the drive between Portland and Seattle in a while. It takes at least 3 1/2 hours, assumming no traffic.

I personally feel Cannon Beach is definitely worthy of the 2 night stays that most places require. But if you only want one night, call around and see if you might squeeze in between other reservations. When we head over there and just want to go for one night we can usually luck out with that.
mms is offline  
Mar 20th, 2012, 01:46 PM
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..at Cannon Beach - a 2 night requirement is just ridiculous.

I agree! Ya need 3 or more to really experience the place. ;-)

As for ferries, the Black Ball line crosses from Port Angeles to Victoria, and Washington State Ferries has a daily run from Sidney (near Victoria) to Anacortes, with a (possible overnight) stop in Friday Harbor.
islandaze is offline  
Mar 20th, 2012, 01:51 PM
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Well my view is that the inclusion of the San Juans is what takes your itinerary from the "pleasantly doable" category to the "forced march" category.

The trouble is that there really isn't an easy (meaning rapid) way to get from the Olympic Peninsula to the San Juan Islands. You have to take 2 ferries - one from the peninsula to Whidbey Island, then a second from Anacortes (on Fidalgo Island - attached both to Whidbey and the mainland by bridges) to the San Juans.

It's doable, but it's very time consuming, and in summer long waits for the ferries are not uncommon, in particular the boats out of Anacortes. Then the same happens coming back - long waits at the island docks (some worse than others) followed by fairly long drives to get anywhere once you're back in Anacortes.

While the San Juans are lovely, you need to set priorities with only a week or so; in my view it's always a balancing act - if I skip the islands, what will fill those days/hours instead, and will it be comparable in terms of interest, etc.?

In your case, I think focusing on the Olympic Peninsula and on the Columbia River area will make for a better use of your time overall. Go from Seattle to the OP, then down the Pacific coast of the Peninsula to the mouth of the Columbia. There are superb beaches along the Olympic National Park coastal strip, as well as rain forests that are, IMO, "don't miss" experiences. Then, down at the mouth of the Columbia, there are some great lighthouses, more coastal scenery, and the bridge over the (awesome) mouth of the River to Astoria is a real experience. Go down to Cannon Beach if you must (personally I'm not a huge fan but YMMV) but then head back toward Portland for the Gorge + Mt. Hood part of your visit.

A word of caution: This year the snow depth on the big Cascade mountains (Mt. Hood, Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens etc.) is running between 120% and 150% of normal, which means that in June it's highly likely that there will still be several feet (maybe as much as 10') of snow at the various visitor centers or lodges at altitude, e.g. Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood. The parking lots will be open, but things like hikes through fields of wildflowers are likely to be July and August activities this year. Might not be the case, but remember the words of Dirty Harry...

That doesn't mean you should skip the mountains, only that they may not offer all the activities you'd prefer, so factor your time accordingly. Another issue is that June is quite often not the best time to visit the mountains - they can be misty/rainy at altitude, or foggy, making the trip less than ideal. One should always have backup plans when visiting the Cascades.

The good news, however, is that heavy snow in the mountains means lots of melting water coming over the waterfalls in the Columbia Gorge, and great whitewater opportunities in some of the rivers on both the Oregon and Washington sides of the Columbia. Plus, if you travel a little farther east up the Columbia, you'll transition into the dry and usually sunny side of the Cascades, where there's some great "old west" scenery to be had, just a short drive from the Gorge and the "wet" side of the mountains.

It may be too late to change your flights, but flying into Seattle and out of Portland would make for a more efficient use of your time; however the drive from Portland to the Seattle airport (around 2 1/2 hours) is fast if boring, so not the end of the world.
Gardyloo is online now  
Mar 20th, 2012, 02:20 PM
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If I called for a room in Cannon Beach and was told of a 2 night minimum, I would politely tell them "I'll stay at the HI hostel in Seaside then".
They do have a couple of 1 double bed cabins with ensuite bathroom. I have cooked a few meals in their kitchen as well.
When the weather is good I enjoy walking on the "Prom" in Seaside.
tomfuller is offline  
Mar 20th, 2012, 05:15 PM
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You have already received a lot of good advice about the Northwest. If I were picking my favorites in your list and heeding your counsel about preferring the outdoors to urban settings, I would select the San Juan Islands, Mt. Rainier, Cannon Beach and a night in Portland and Seattle. But the advice about weather in the mountains is sound and you may be arriving too early to take full advantage of mountain destinations like Rainier. Victoria is also a great excursion, but I think you have plenty to do in 7 days with just Washington and Oregon. In 7 days, I think flying in one city and out the other, with 2 or more nights in Cannon Beach and the San Juan Islands would be a great combination.
voyager61 is offline  
Mar 20th, 2012, 07:46 PM
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""Flying into Seattle on June 11th (evening) leaving June 20th out of Seattle (early afternoon)
I am sure there won't be enough time to see it all but some things I'd like to see would be Mt. Rainer, Mt. Hood, ONP, San Juan Islands, Cannon Beach, & Columbia River Gorge. I know this is ALOT so if someone could tell me what are "must sees" and what could wait. My husband likes to fly fish so I am sure we will be doing that some. We are more interested in getting out of the city to enjoy the "God made" things. Any suggestions on routes, places to stay, and how long we should spend at each place would be wonderful! Thanks so much!""

Firstly, I am of the opinion that 9 days is a reasonable amount of time to take a shot at most of what you have listed. I would skip the San Juan Islands given the awkwardness of getting there.

Somebody is crazy in saying that driving between "Portland and Seattle takes at least 3 1/2 hours - assuming no traffic". From central Seattle to the Oregon border is 166 miles, and the speed limit is listed at "70" for roughly 80 of those miles.

The fact that you don't feel the need to see the cities gives you much more time to enjoy nature.

Were it me, with your flight schedule, I think I might drive initially to a strategic spot not far from Mount Rainier on that first evening. The next morning, and with a fresh start, you go and tour what you can of the Mount Rainier area (Paradise???) and then drive to the town of Randle (just south of Mt. Rainier).

Head southbound beginning on Hwy #131 on a direct path toward the Columbia Gorge. (note: Do a very good job of mapping this path before you leave home, as well as checking to be sure all roads are open by then ) (***Itemized Google Maps directions would be wise, using "Randle, WA" and "Hood River, OR"

Upon arrival at the Oregon border, you can explore the Columbia Gorge, and have close proximity to Mt. Hood.

With regard to the fishing, it would probably make sense to research through other channels where, in between Mt. Rainier and central Oregon you might best avail yourselves of ideal locations for same.

If interested in a broader scope of Oregon, maybe stay on the east side of the mountains down to or through Bend, and then over to the coast, returning northward along the Oregon shore.

(Crater Lake is a poooooooossible target well down south in Oregon, but perhaps you'll deem it too far - maybe at least cross-reference with the best fishing spots)

Upon getting to the coast, again, go northward at a pace that suits you... then to Astoria... back across into Washington, and up Hwy #101.

Eventually, north to Aberdeen, WA... and northward from there along Hwy #101 and around Olympic National Park... Hurricane Ridge... and back to the south.

You might be inclined to take a ferry eastbound from the peninsula to the greater Seattle area, if there is a particular spot which suits you.

As for days/nights to allow:

1. Somewhere near to Mt. Rainier
2. Can you get to Hood River, OR on what will be one of the longest days or the year?? (depending entirely on whether there are fishing opportunities in that area which would perhaps necessitate spending a night before reaching Hood River )

3. Eh, maybe Bend, Oregon ???
4 & 5. Maybe find a preferred spot on the Oregon coast and stay TWO nights - just to catch your breath

6. Aberdeen, WA area... (unless you or someone close to you is into the "Twilight" movies - then go north and stay in Forks, WA)

7 & 8. Maybe two nights somewhere near to Olympic National Park???

9. In the greater Seattle area, within range of the airport for your flight out the next day.

It is interesting to plot all of this without needing to cover Portland or Seattle in depth, but doing so makes it possible for you to cover most of what you want to see.

*** IF you find an oasis where fly fishing is optimum, then you stay overnight near there, and cut your ONP nights down to 1, from 2.

Hope this makes some sense.
NorthwestMale is offline  
Mar 20th, 2012, 08:06 PM
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Tomsd: for "Pt. Allen", you mean Port Angeles.

For "the Orcas", you mean the San Juans.

Just for future reference.
azzure is offline  
Mar 20th, 2012, 08:35 PM
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Gardyloo: Love the Forced March analogy and tomf: Also good advice.

Ok - admittedly I do like to make tracks - so for all you "doubters", here would be my suggested approach:

Land at SeaTac and head over to Pt. Allen - and get your ferry reservation and try to get over to Victoria. If you can't get an early ferry the next day - and you should also then have time drive up to Hurricane Ridge.

Stay in Victoria a night or two - and then from Sidney (45 or so minutes north of Victoria) - take the ferry back thru the San Juan Islands to Anacortes - north of Seattle. You could also spend a night or two in the San Juans if you want.

And/or you could stay a night on nearby Whidbey Island (we found a great B & B there - with a fabulous view - http://www.whidbeyislandbandb.com/ , or go on down to Seattle if you want to spend a night there.

From there - you could drive out through Enemclaw around Mt. Ranier (hiway 410 and then 123/141?) and down to Hood River (assuming the roads are open) - or as I recall - head back around Mt. St. Helens to I-5 and on down to Portland.

I-5 is the freeway that takes you straight from Seattle down to Portland (you could also take I 5 part way and drive out to Mt. St. Helens on your way south) and when to get to Portland drive the Gorge (east out I 84 see: http://tinyurl.com/84gdhgw ) and south from Hood River and stay the night at Timberline. (You can add a night anywhere you want along the way.

Here is one interactive map of scenic hiways in Wash St - and there are others. I would get the best maps I could find of Wash and Oregon before you begin and map out your prospective routes - or two.

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/LocalProgram...ys/Default.htm and also: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/publications...aymap/view.htm

So - you will have spent 4 to 6 or so of your nights thus far and can tweak accordingly. BTW - if you arrive on the 11th and leave on the afternoon of the 20th - you have 9 nights, righto.

From Timberline - fish/hike whatever - and you can decide if you want to drive over to Albany and down toward Cannon Beach - and you are on your own back from there.
Tomsd is offline  
Mar 20th, 2012, 08:40 PM
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My bad tomf. Ok - I think it's actually Port Angeles over to Victoria - and this ferry: http://www.cohoferry.com/main/

And don't some - perhaps in Canada - still call them the San Juan the Orcas?
Tomsd is offline  
Mar 21st, 2012, 05:41 PM
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Since I suggested it in my first post, I will let people know that the FR 25 road from Carson to Randle will have a bridge closure until about July 2, 2012. http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/mounts...TELPRDB5350906
You can see the east side of Mt. St. Helens but you would have to backtrack many miles if you did.
It is your choice if you want to get to Packwood entering US 12 from I-5 or US 97.
tomfuller is offline  
Mar 21st, 2012, 05:56 PM
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I was in the far northwest for the first time in my life in December (Portland) for a weekend. We loved Multnomah falls. We had a day trip out to the waterfalls, hiked to the top and had a very nice lunch at the base in the restaurant that looks up at the falls.
I highly recommend this area as there were more falls and things to do, but we didn't have time as we were on a schedule to see our daughter race out there. This is the only outdoorsy thing we were able to do besides walk around the city of Portland which was very nice with cute restaurants.

Other families at the race told us the coast is the place to go next time we are out there. Also, the wineries. So enjoy!
girlonthego is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2012, 10:13 AM
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San Juan de Fuca is the strait, tomsd. Never heard of San Juan de Orca.
Bobmrg is online now  
Mar 22nd, 2012, 01:49 PM
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Geesh - all you native Seattle types. Just to clarify any typos, or less than stellar puctuation: I did not mean - San Juan de Orca - rather - it was meant to read: ...still call them - the San Juans - the Orcas?

I believe the whole group of San Juan Islands has also been referred to as the Orcas - but that may come more from the Canadian side.
Tomsd is offline  

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