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Oregon/Washington bucket list trip!

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Feb 24th, 2014, 01:13 PM
  #1
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Oregon/Washington bucket list trip!

Hello!, My husband and I are planning a trip to see the pacific nortwest in september. Pretty open to suggestions ...We're thinking of flying to Portland and leaving out of Seattle. We are interested in seeing Crater Lake, Columbia River Gorge (area waterfalls) Redwoods, Mount St. Helens, Mount Rainier, Portland area, some of the oregon coast line,Seattle area and then heading up to Victoria BC. We have about 3 weeks, our dates are flexible as is our timeline. How much time in each place? We look at the guide books and there's such so much to see! We aren't interested in winery tours, more in the natural beauty of the area. any suggestions or timeline would be greatly appreciated.
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Feb 24th, 2014, 01:49 PM
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Just to throw some more info at you- here is a link to check out before making your final plans.

http://southernoregon.org/article?ar...way-waterfalls

The drive along Hwy 138 has some beautiful waterfalls to see as well as those along the Gorge.
The benefit of seeing these, is that it is not so crowded. This is between Roseburg and Crater Lake.
One of my favorites is Watson Falls
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Feb 24th, 2014, 03:04 PM
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Instead of the Seattle area, go up the Washington coast to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neah_Bay,_Washington and Olympic NP.
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Feb 24th, 2014, 03:14 PM
  #4
mms
 
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You are looking at some of our great areas here. As for how much time in each place, it depends. Do you hike? If so that will make a big difference, IMO.
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Feb 24th, 2014, 03:47 PM
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We've been to Washington once and Oregon once(both of these trips have been in the past couple of years). Both trips rank right up there as our favorites. We've actually done the Redwoods twice. We are going back at the end of July to do Mt. Rainier and San Juan Islands again. Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens are not to be missed and somewhat hard to compare to Mt. Rainier. But I would pick Rainier over the other 2, if you have to cut something. Oregon Caves Monument and Chateau was an interesting stop for us while in Oregon. Did a Jetboat Tour at Grants Pass that was interesting.

As mentioned, Olympic National Park is another great place!
Portland and Seattle both deserve a day or two in each.
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Feb 24th, 2014, 05:50 PM
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Oregon is beautiful and quite varied. From Portland you might think about heading to Mt Hood and then on to Bend. You can visit the beautiful Cascade peaks out of the fun towns of Sisters and Bend. Then down to Crater Lake for at least an overnight and across to the beautiful coast. Head north from there, back through Portland, and on to Washington for all the sights there. This could take 2 of your 3 weeks for a leisurely trip. Seattle and islands nearby would need another few days--not to mention Olympic National Park. Have fun!
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Feb 24th, 2014, 06:00 PM
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One good routing is: Portland, Columbia River Gorge, Mt Hood, Bend (Volcanic area), Crater Lake, Redwoods, Oregon Coast (Brookings to Cannon Beach), Mt Saint Helens, Mt Rainier, Olympic NP, Victoria (via ferry from Port Angeles)-San Juan Island-Seattle.

HTtY
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Feb 24th, 2014, 06:32 PM
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HTTY's outline is good. One thing to note is that there won't likely be much water coming over the Gorge waterfalls in September, unless there's a fair amount of rain that month. Not as dry as some of the Yosemite waterfalls (which can simply vanish) but not a huge display. The Gorge is still very much worth seeing, of course. You might also be around close to harvest time in the Hood River Valley, a big fruit producing area. In the interests of time I'm not sure I'd include the San Juans on this trip; instead I'd allocate an extra day or two for Portland and Seattle, for day trips to Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier respectively. I'd also include Victoria as a day trip, or an overnight, from Port Angeles, rather than taking the car on the ferry (expensive.)

With those caveats, here's a map showing a rough route - http://goo.gl/maps/j64z0

An alternative would be to make it a more linear route, starting or ending in San Francisco instead of Portland, something like this: http://goo.gl/maps/ezHVa

This would include less of the Oregon coast (although it would include the best bits, the southernmost 100 miles) and would also exclude the San Juans, but it would compensate by including more of the redwoods, and potentially the Napa Valley. Overall I think it's slightly more efficient, but others may disagree.

In looking at that map, though, I'd be highly inclined to reverse the route, i.e. start in Seattle and end in San Francisco. In September (not sure when) you can have great weather in the Pacific Northwest, but later in the month it can start getting wet, particularly out on the Pacific coast and Olympic Peninsula. Going north-to-south would have you chasing the best weather, and you'd probably end up in the California wine country right about harvest time. Just a thought.
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Feb 24th, 2014, 06:42 PM
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One of the reasons I mentioned San Juan Islands is that the OP indicated continue to Victoria.

vicahe,
It's somewhat hard to suggest how long to visit each place. There are many great hikes in the Gorge that you could spend a few hours or a few days. Same at nearly all the places mentioned(rainier, hood, olympics, redwoods, coast, etc). We pretty much spent 1-2 days at each spot we visited.
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Feb 24th, 2014, 06:44 PM
  #10
 
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I'm not sure about Rainier wildflowers, but to me that is what really made it special. I don't know how late things bloom there. I'm wondering if perhaps you shouldn't start the trip maybe more like mid-August(since you mentioned your flexible). I'm wondering if a lot of the places might be getting iffy by late Sept(I'm not from there and haven't been at that time, so I really have no clue).
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Feb 25th, 2014, 11:35 AM
  #11
 
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With three weeks you can see a lot, but not everything, so I've condensed your interest list into two loop trips; one based out of Portland, the second based out of Seattle.

Portland Loop: From Portland drive eastward on I-84 through the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area stopping for short hikes up side canyons to waterfalls along the way. At the wind-surfing town of Hood River, take highway 35 south towards Government Camp stopping at Timberline Lodge on Mt Hood before continuing on highway 26 to Madras and then highway 97 south into Bend (a good stop for the night). In Bend you could visit volcanic features like cinder cones and lava tubes as well as the High Desert Museum before continuing south on 97 to Crater Lake National Park. From Crater Lake take highway 138 through the Cascade Mountains to Roseburg and then highway 42 to the coast. Then it's north up the Pacific coastline on highway 101 through Florence to Lincoln City where I'd return to Portland on highway 18.

Seattle Loop: Drive 15 miles north on I-5 to Edmonds and take the ferry there to Kingston on the Kitsap Peninsula. From Kingston take highway 104 through the restored colonial town Port Gamble crossing over the Hood Canal bridge and onto the Olympic Peninsula (watch for seals at Tidewater park) and join up with highway 101 on to Port Angeles (a good stop for the night). From Port Angeles you could take the Coho ferry over to Victoria British Columbia as a day trip or overnighter. Before leaving Port Angeles drive up to Hurricane Ridge for a great overlook of the Olympic Mountains. Then head west on 101 to Forks where you turn off towards La Push and Rialto Beach for some nice hikes along the Pacific coast. After that follow 101 south stopping at ocean beaches, the Hoh River and Lake Quinault (a good stopping place for the night). Continue on 101 through Hoquiam/Aberdeen on highway 12 to highway 8 into Olympia (the state capital), another good stop for the night. After enjoying eclectic Olympia and its waterfront you could continue eastward on highway 12 (you have to drive south on I-5 to get to east hwy 12). East hwy 12 takes you to Randle where you could turn off and drive up to the St Helens Volcanic Monument in the devastation zone. Return to hwy 12 heading eastward through Packwood and enter Mt Rainier National Park on highway 123. At the Ohanepecosh Entrance is a nice, short trail through old growth trees (Grove of the Patriarchs). Then drive through Stevens Canyon to Paradise Lodge where you can walk around on the mountain. Then its highway 706 back to the Seattle metropolitan area.

In Seattle see Pike Place Market, Seattle Center, maybe the Boeing museum of flight.
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Feb 26th, 2014, 08:25 AM
  #12
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WOW and thanks for all the great information. We are not great hikers, more strolls! We love taking pictures, scenic drives and knowing the history of the area. We are total tourists! I'm going to check out the links you've given me and try to get the the basics organized. At this time of year, will we need to make reservations in advance or just wing it? Will any of the area be good for a base to make day trips out of, so we don't have to haul suitcases everyday? THANKS again.
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Feb 26th, 2014, 10:41 AM
  #13
 
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September is an excellent time to visit the Pacific Northwest. At that time of year I think you can wing it, not worrying too much about making reservations.
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Jun 2nd, 2014, 09:07 AM
  #14
 
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Are there any places to fly fish in or around Portland?
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Jun 2nd, 2014, 09:27 AM
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welcome to Fodors stylistdiva. Instead of tacking on to an old thread w/ different questions, it would be better if you start a new thread of your own.

Many will not notice the dates and continue responding to the original (old) topics and not even see your question.

See the orange "Start a NEW Topic" box up top? Click that and it is easy to post a new thread . . .
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