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philsbert1 Feb 14th, 2005 06:49 AM

Portland, OR - Crater Lake NP summer sojurn
Can anyone suggest a Portland, OR to Crater Lake itinerary for an early July trip? I was thinking 7-8 day total with 2-3 days in the Portland area, and visiting Crater Lake NP and perhaps some of the Pacific shore. Is this too much to try at one time? I did a similar time period trip last summer---Seattle to Mt. Rainier then the Olympic peninsula and it was incredible.

beachbum Feb 14th, 2005 09:13 AM

I don't think it's too much. Depending on what you want to do around Crater Lake, you may want to spend only a day there. After your couple days in Portland, leave early in the morning for the approx. 250 mile drive down I-5 to Crater Lake. There's really little worth stopping for along the way.

Spend two nights at Crater Lake, then drive 138-I5-138-38 to Reedsport, and work your way up the coast from there, maybe spending the first night around Florence, near the Oregon Dunes. Once you hit the coast, there are any number of sites and activities to keep you occupied for as long as you like: dune buggy rides, hiking, lighthouse visits, Oregon Coast Aquarium, walks on the beach, etc.

If it's of interest, you might even spend a half day in Oregon's wine country, which is primarily along 18 and 99W, between Lincoln City and Portland.

This all assumes you're flying into and out of Portland. Let us know if you'd like more detailed recommendations.

kimamom Feb 14th, 2005 10:03 AM

That sounds like a very nice itinerary! philsbert1, Crater Lake is beautiful. There is the Crater Lake Lodge there, but I believe it books up months in advance and it is very hard to get in there. We weren't even able to get in for lunch one July when we visited the area.

You may want to explore the quaint town of Ashland, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Even if you don't see a play, it's a delightful little place with lots of great restaurants, shops, etc. and a very pretty park, Lithia Park. I hope you have a wonderful time! ***kim*** ((l)) ((l)) ((l))

Andrew Feb 14th, 2005 10:03 AM

Great advice, beachbum.


kimamom Feb 14th, 2005 10:06 AM

Oh, you may want to also visit the Sea Lion Caves if you're around the Florence area. It's a really fun stop if you haven't seen this before. ***kim*** ((f)) ((l)) ((f))

Michael Feb 14th, 2005 10:44 AM

I like to visit the NP lodges for their architecture. From Portland you might want to stop by Mt. Hood which has an incredible lodge built under the WPA auspices. We drove down from there to Eugene on a Forest Service road that was fully paved. Just miles and miles of forest and mountains, with absolutely no signs. I also like to drive along the eastern side of the Cascades; I find that drive preferable to the central part of Oregon.

philsbert1 Feb 14th, 2005 10:57 AM

Thanks for all the suggestions! We are flying in to Portland, and are avid "day-hikers", so we will be looking for neat places to hike.

Beachbum and Kimamom: Any suggestions for alternative places to stay around Crater Lake? I figured the prime spots would be booked by now. It sounds like the coastal area holds a lot more of interest than any areas along I-5.

Michael: What is the eastern route of the Cascades...Hwy 97? And about how long would that take as opposed to I-5?

beachbum Feb 14th, 2005 12:05 PM

Sorry, philsbert, I'd just be googling for other accommodation recommendations. Beyond the Lodge, I've only camped in the Crater Lake area (and that was just one night on a Cycle Oregon deal).

If you're interested in seeing Timberline Lodge (Michael's suggestion), a popular day trip is the Portland-Columbia Gorge-Hood River-Mt. Hood-Portland loop. I agree that the drive on the east side of the Cascades is nicer and more scenic than straight down I-5. But that puts central Oregon into play, with a whole different set of attractions. IMO, you could include either central Oregon or the coast in your itinerary, but both would be stretching it.

philsbert1 Feb 14th, 2005 12:23 PM

Thanks! I don't want to stretch myself too thin and not have time to appreciate what I do see. I was impressed with how non-commercialized the coastal area was on the Olympic peninsula. Is a significant portion of the OR coast the same, or have the developers run rampant (as they have in many spots here in the Atlanta area)?

Andrew Feb 14th, 2005 02:40 PM

The Oregon Coast has many beautiful areas that are not developed. There are plenty of parks, pull-over viewpoints, and places to hike out in the middle of nowhere. There are penty of little towns and few big ones.

The AAA has a nice Oregon Coast tour map that details most of the natural atractions on the coast - get a copy if you can.

Suggestion for a nice hike with a spectacular view on the coast: Cascade Head north of Lincoln City. Do a Google search for "cascade head hike" for details.


tracilee Feb 14th, 2005 03:26 PM

My husband and I stayed at the Prospect Hotel, a bed and breakfast inn that is about 30 minutes from the Crater Lake Lodge. They have a website You can head west after staying there and hit the Oregon Coast via Grants Pass. It is not the most direct route, but it is pretty and dips into California for a few miles. You will enter Oregon at the Southern border. If you do this, you might want to consider taking a jet boat trip in Gold Beach - a really fun ride up the Rogue River. Gold Beach also has nice fireworks on the 4th of July. Have fun!

beachbum Feb 14th, 2005 04:54 PM

I considered recommending the itinerary suggested by traci, but it's 200+ more miles, and thus at least a day longer. Probably more because you'd have to see the Redwoods. Choices, choices...

And yep, the hike out Cascade Head is a great one; my favorite on the coast.

rapunzll Feb 15th, 2005 04:22 AM

My son and I did a trip to the area over labor day weekend a few years ago and had fun. Crater lake is amazingly beautiful. We stayed at a treehouse resort ( ) it was fun, although there isn't a whole lot to do where it is. We took a day trip from there to go to the redwoods and then up the coast and back. It was a lot of fun. We even stopped at a hopelessly hokey' 'dinosaur park and it was so bad it was fun!

kimamom Feb 15th, 2005 02:50 PM

Prehistoric Gardens! That place is a riot, is it still in business? Maybe Panhandle will see this post and respond, he lives in Southern Oregon somewhere, I believe! :D

In Gold's Beach we have enjoyed several stays at the Sand n Sea Motel, located right on the ocean. Simple, clean and comfortable place with beautiful views of the ocean from the property with walking trails down to the beach. ***kim*** ((r))

beachbum Feb 15th, 2005 03:07 PM

Yes, Prehistoric Gardens is still around, kim. I'm dating myself, but I remember stopping there as a child on regular family road trips between Coos Bay and San Francisco in the late '50's. Even then, it was pretty hokey.

BTW, Gold's is the name of a gym. The name of the town is Gold Beach.

kimamom Feb 15th, 2005 04:20 PM

Yes, Gold Beach, the website for the Sand N Sea place I was referring to is: Next time we're in this area, I'd love to check out the Tu Tu Ton Lodge, tho! :) ***kim*** ((#))

Kal Feb 15th, 2005 04:43 PM

I think Orgeon should have it's own Forum. :-"

kimamom Feb 15th, 2005 04:44 PM

Why is that Mr. Kal? ***kim*** ((l))

Michael Feb 15th, 2005 04:48 PM

It took us about 4 hours to go from Crater Lake to a camping site east of Mt. Hood.

Kate2 Feb 15th, 2005 04:57 PM

Someone should have their own forum.

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