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cathee Nov 18th, 2007 09:56 AM

please help fine tune oregon itinerary
My husband and I (50's--very active--like to hike, bike, boat, golf. nature) are planning an Oregon mid July 08 trip--So far, this is what I am thinking--but need advice.
Sat & Sun--stay in Portland (flying in from Chicago)Is there enough to see/do in Portland, or is it just another big city??
M & T --Stay at Columbia River Gorge hotel--explore area, hike, maybe do a winery
W & Th--Crater Lake Lodge--this is the only place that I already have reservations--must be W & Th.
Fri --Bandon Dunes--hubby golfs--big priority
Sat - Depoe Bay--stay at Channel Inn
Sun--back to Portland.
I haven't yet figured out all specific "must sees", although I have done much research. What I need to know is if I'm spending too much time in one place---should we spend only 1 night in CRG and 1 in Bend? We could add a night or two,--and we don't really love to drive, but know its a must if we want to see Oregon. Should I do the loop in reverse? Any advice would really be appreciated. Also, is a side trip to Mt. St. Helens worth it?

mms Nov 18th, 2007 10:56 AM

Looks pretty good as far as seeing some diversity here in Oregon. Mt. St. Helens is a must see, IMO. We have been there many times, and still enjoy it. Plus there are lots of hiking trails there that are fascinating. You can easily do this as a day trip from either Portland or the gorge.

If it were me, I would cut my stay at Crater Lake down to just one night. Crater Lake is great, but I would stay the other night in Bend somewhere. Definitely do the boat tour at Crater Lake, and you might consider getting off at Wizard Island to hike.

You might want to do the loop in reverse order only because of the coast. If you are driving south, it is easier to stop at the pulloffs and get back onto the highway.

kimamom Nov 18th, 2007 08:50 PM

Sounds nice, you will love the Columbia River Gorge Hotel, the Farm Country Breakfast there is really cool. ***kim*** ((f))

curmudgeon Nov 18th, 2007 09:30 PM

Portland is a nice "mid-size" city, but I don't know that I'd give it two days when you have so much else to explore; maybe if you use one of them for Mt St Helens. I tend to think of the Columbia Gorge as a place for windsurfers; it might be just me, but I'd give it one night at most.

There's some nice moderate whitewater rafting on the Dechutes river around Maupin. Imperial River Company has a nice lodge and restaurant on the river (not lots else in the town). Bend has lots of golf courses, mountain drives, and a neat High Desert Museum; worth a day or two.

If you want to do the boat trip on Crater Lake (worthwhile), you may want to plan to be there early. Last summer when we did it, we got to the office about 9 (opposite side of lake from the lodge), and they were nearly sold out for the day (no advance reservations taken). In your case, I might be tempted to cut down the lodge stay to one night; Crater Lake is a "don't miss", but it doesn't seem to reward day hikes the way some other NPs do; you can get most of the good views from the stops around Rim Drive. I'd give an extra day to the coast.

andrews98682 Nov 18th, 2007 09:52 PM

There's plenty to do in Portland -- great restaurants, Washington Park, Powell's bookstore/Pear District, Saturday market. It's also a great base for day trips to Mount St. Helens, the Columbia Gorge/Mt. Hood loop and coast (Tillamook, Astoria, Canon Beach and Fort Klatsop, where Lewis and Clark stayed). Also, the Willamette Valley is known more for the wineries, and Crater Lake is a LONG way from the gorge. Might be better off stopping in the Willamette Valley on the way from Crater Lake to Portland.

bbqboy Nov 19th, 2007 03:32 PM

I would stay Monday in the Columbia Gorge, Tueday in Bend, Wednesday at Crater Lake.
Then on
Thursday you could drop down into Ashland(60 miles from Crater Lake) and enjoy wine food and theatre, either spending the night or continuing on, or you could drop down from CL to Medford
right past here

and head out through Jacksonville to do the Applegate Valley Winery drive.
You end up back in Grants Pass at 199 which sets you right on the path to hit the top of the Redwoods as you head towards the Coast and 101. You wouldn't regret it.

Head North after your redwood break and you've got Brookings, Gold Beach or on to Bandon if you are quick.

mms Nov 19th, 2007 04:24 PM

The gorge is much more than windsurfing. There is a ton of fantastic hiking here! I would keep two nights here if it were me.

zztopz Nov 19th, 2007 04:55 PM

I would definately add in Mt. Saint Helens. We did this trip last summer. Took 2 weeks. Leave plenty of time for everything if you can. It's all gorgeous. Near the Bonneville Dam is a beautiful fish hatchery. We added that in and it was certainly worth it. A beautiful uncrowded fish hatchery. A great place to wonder around during the afternoon. From there we went to Mt. Hood, which is awesome. Stayed at the Timberline Lodge. Such an amazing place. If you have the time, it's worth it to add this in.

Orcas Nov 19th, 2007 05:14 PM

Being from the flatlands, I think you would appreciate Mt. Hood, which is really beautiful. Mt. St Helens is cool and educational, but won't leave you breathless as Mt. Hood might. Now I like Portland but you can't do it all.

So, here's a different way to do it.

Sat Portland.
Sunday Mt. St. Helens. Return to Portland for the night. (If it's raining or very overcast, skip Mt. St. Helens)
Monday, Drive to the Gorge. Visit some of the falls, picnic, hike, see the Bonneville Dam. Especially visit the salmon hatchery and ladder. Monday night, Gorge Hotel.
Tuesday, Mt. Hood. Visit Timberline Lodge. Stay in Bend.
Wednesday, drive to Crater Lake. Visit the High Desert Museum along the way, the lava caves, lava butte.
Thursday, see Crater Lake. (there is really not that much to do at Crater Lake)
And on with the rest.

Orcas Nov 19th, 2007 05:16 PM

I didn't consult with zztopz when I wrote my suggestions! In fact, I was writing, in a very slow way, when zztopz posted. I agree with all zztopz says, though I'd stay in Bend and spend more time enjoying eastern Oregon.

Orcas Nov 19th, 2007 05:18 PM

Actually, I take that back. If you can stay at Timberline Lodge, it would be great. There is nothing as beautiful as watching a sunset from the area around Timberline lodge and the sun won't be setting until very late in July.

bbqboy Nov 19th, 2007 05:28 PM

Orcas, my opinion as a native landlocked flatlander is that for someone visiting from Chicago , to choose between desert in the summer and
coming down the west slope of the Cascades through river valleys and on to the spectacular Oregon coast-not even close.

cathee Nov 19th, 2007 05:31 PM

I had actually thought about Timberline lodge--Is Mt. Hood closer to Timberline, or Bend? If we decided to stay there, would it be in place of Portland or Bend?

cathee Nov 19th, 2007 05:46 PM

The winery drive south of Crater Lake sounds fantastic. Would you say that those wineries would be better than the ones around Bend?

JanDelaware Nov 19th, 2007 06:03 PM

Timberline Lodge is ON Mt. Hood--literally! Bend is quite a drive from there--about 1-1/2 hours, I think.

Also, the great Oregon wine country is between Portland and Corvallis, along Rt. 99 West. This is where the finest pinot noirs are grown and created. There are many wineries to visit and a guide to the area that I'm sure is online.

bbqboy Nov 19th, 2007 06:06 PM

Hi cathee, the Rogue Valley, as you drop down from CL, is all about food, wine, outdoor activites, and Shakespeare.

This region-

July is about as good as it gets in Ashland, including 4th of July. There are several wineries here in the lower Rogue Valley too,
including here:

a nice inn-

You could raft the Rogue or the Klamath from here too.
don't forget these 2 places-

cathee Nov 19th, 2007 06:38 PM

thank you so much for all of the suggestions--now i wish i had two weeks--its obvious that we could easily enjoy that much time-South of CR sounds perfect--just whati was looking for--i have a lot more work to do-

if you had a choice between timberline lodge or crg hotel, which would it be? on line reservations show no availability at timberline--but just in case?

mms Nov 19th, 2007 06:55 PM

Timberline, hands down for me. It is such an amazing place! Call to check availability, and if full keep calling as they get cancellations. From the lodge you can hike on the Timberline Trail which is stunning.

capecodshanty Nov 19th, 2007 07:32 PM

If you are going to golf, do stay one night at the Bandon Lodge. It really is so simple, yet has such style and panache!
And do, if it is stiill there, have dinner at The Wild Rose, in downtown Bandon. Wonderful food and wine,delightful chef/owner and wife.
You will enjoy Oregon.

Orcas Nov 19th, 2007 08:14 PM

Here is Timberline Lodge:*%26sa%3DN

Wow! That's one heck of a url. Go to Google. Put in Timberline Lodge and search for images. You will find an image of the mountain glowing in the moonlight and click on that and you will see some awesome photos of Oregon. Get Ready. It will blow your socks off.

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