Question about Mt. Hood and Astoriart

Feb 9th, 2019, 04:04 PM
  #1  
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Question about Mt. Hood and Astoria

Hello, my wife and me are planning trip to Washington and Oregon on end of August- September. We have some limits of days. Try to figured out if it”s worth to spend whole day for trip on Mt.Hood. Looks like we will spend most time for driving on the road where we can’t see Some attractions. We are planning to do it from Portland. Including Timberline Lodge and ski lift on the top of Mt. Hood. We read that in that time of year we can have big problem finding parking. Maybe I'm wrong and it will be not so bad. And second question regarding Astoria. Is it worth to spend 2 hours in and out from Portland to visit Astoria?

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by pupchick; Feb 9th, 2019 at 04:26 PM.
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Feb 10th, 2019, 06:09 AM
  #2  
mms
 
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Yes, both are worth it.

I have no idea where you heard about the lack of parking at Timberline, but we have never encountered that and have done a lot of hiking there. The drive has a ton of places to stop and check out, so again, don't think you are only going to be driving and not stopping. I suggest you do a loop fro Portland east on 84 until Corbett, then get off there and head up the hill to the old scenic highway (30) and head left. Portland Woman's Forum, Crown Point Vista House, Multnomah Falls, other various falls, the fish hatchery etc. Arrive in Hood River and check that out and then head down 35 to 26 to Timberline and then on back to Portland. Many locals as well as visitors do and it isn't a big deal at all.
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Feb 10th, 2019, 07:36 AM
  #3  
 
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mms gave you the best route for the Columbia River Gorge and Mt. Hood. The ski lifts at the two ski areas on Mt. Hood will not be running in August or September. None of the ski lifts goes anywhere near the top of Mt. Hood which is the highest point in Oregon (over 14K above sea level). Why not spend the night in Hood River instead of downtown Portland? Hood River is well known for wind surfers on the Columbia River. They are fun to watch even if you don't want to try it.
Route 35 goes up in elevation on the east side of Mt. Hood to US 26. The "down" referred to by mms is that from Hood River to Government Camp is a southerly direction.
When you leave Timberline Lodge, go west on US 26 on the south side of Portland (past the zoo) all the way to US 101. Go north on 101 through Seaside to get to Astoria.
Leaving Astoria, head back south on 101 to Cannon Beach to see Haystack Rock and Ecola State Park.
If you are going to spend a night or 2 in Portland, you don't want or need a rental car. The TriMet red line (light rail) is right outside baggage claim at PDX.
If you don't go on the old highway east of Corbett, there is a parking lot in the median of I-84 at Multnomah Falls. Multnomah Falls are Oregon's highest waterfall.
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Feb 10th, 2019, 10:17 AM
  #4  
mms
 
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Tom—MtHood is only 11k ft elevation not 14. You are probably thinking of Mt Rainier. Also the ski lift does operate in the summer and it is a big draw for tourists.
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Feb 10th, 2019, 11:03 AM
  #5  
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Thanks guys, but let me ask simplified question: if I can go to only one place, what is your choice between Mt. Hood and Mt. Rainer?
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Feb 10th, 2019, 11:33 AM
  #6  
 
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Sorry I forgot the elevation of Mt. Hood. For ease of access from good highways, Mt. Hood is better than Mt. Rainier IMO. I have been to both.
Mt. Rainier does not have anything to compare to the Timberline Lodge.
If you want to see a volcano that blew its top, you could visit Mt. St. Helens which is between Hood and Rainier.
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Feb 10th, 2019, 11:40 AM
  #7  
mms
 
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MtRainier hands down. Paradise Lodge there is wonderful and the mountain itself has way more to offer in terms of hiking as well as just view points and such. We go to both often and Mt Hood pales in comparison.
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Feb 10th, 2019, 06:43 PM
  #8  
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Thanks again, looks like opinions divided( Hoorays, we have diversity ). But we are leaning to Rainer. We are planning to leave Portland at 10 am and driving to Mt. St. Helen after that driving to Buckley or Enumclaw to be closer to Sunrise entrance of Mt Rainer NP. Can we explore Mt Rainer NP fo next day? And if we have next have day before going to Seattle airoport, what else can we see?
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Feb 10th, 2019, 07:46 PM
  #9  
mms
 
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Yes that is doable 😊 From Portland it is an hour up I5 to exit 49 for Castle Rock and then another hour up 504 to Johnston Ridge. Add in time for exploring and then head to Rainier.

Is this a weekend by chance? If so you are good in arriving later in the day as the entrance gets backed up earlier.

Sunrise se is a beautiful area. There are some easy hikes near the visitors center to check out.

If you have time, do not miss the Paradise side. You can check out the lodge, and the lodge down at Longmire. There is also a small museum there that is excellent and only takes a few minutes. The trails and vistas at Paradise though are not to be missed, IME.

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Feb 11th, 2019, 01:39 AM
  #10  
 
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Well, my vote would be Mount Hood because you would also see the beautiful Columbia Gorge while on the route MMS sent you.
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Feb 11th, 2019, 06:42 AM
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Before recommending impossible choices, can you let us know a little more about your overall plans? Where will you be before Portland, how many days will you be in the Portland area?

Mount Hood and the Columbia Gorge can both be visited in a single day trip from Portland, as can the Johnston Ridge observatory (Mt. St. Helens) from Portland (not the same day as the Gorge/Mt. Hood.) And Mt. Rainier can be visited as a day trip from Seattle. So time management comes into play. For sheer beauty it's hard to beat Mt. Rainier - it's a national park, after all. But for beauty and remarkable variety, the combination of Mt. Hood, the Columbia River Gorge, and the Hood River Valley, are also hard to beat - in the whole country. Apples and pears, as the case may be.

So give us a little more info if you don't mind.
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Feb 11th, 2019, 06:49 AM
  #12  
mms
 
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5alive--I agree that if you add in the gorge then Mt Hood is nice. But on its own, I think it pales in comparison.
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Feb 13th, 2019, 09:30 AM
  #13  
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Thanks Guys,
Sorry for delay posting my itinerary. But I'm really welcome and appreciated any comments and suggestions.

Day 1 Flight to Seattle (10:25 AM) to Port Angeles
Olympic National Park -- Hurricane Ridge

Day 2 Olympic National Park. Lake Crescent -- Marymere Falls,
Cape Flattery, Shi Shi Beach, Elwha River -- Dam, Madison Falls
Shipwreck Point, Pillar Point, Clallam Bay, Joyce, Freshwater Bay.

Day 3 Port Angeles to Mount Vernon
Dungeness Spit, Port Townsend - Ferry, Deception Pass Bridge & Park

Day 4 Sedro Woolley. North Cascades Hwy - Henry Thompson Bridge, Concrete -
Lower Baker Dam Overlook - North Cascades Visitor Center (Sterling Munro Trail) -
Lakes Ross & Diablo (short trails) - Rainy Pass Picnic Site & Trailhead -
Washington Pass Observation Site - Winthrop - Wenatchee

Day 5 Wenatchee - Hells Canyon Scenic Byway - Enterprise, OR

Day 6 Hells Canyon Scenic Byway
Hat Point Lookout - Hells Canyon Lookout - Hells Canyon Dam. ???

Day 7 Wallowa Lake / Wallowa Lake Tramway -
Hells Canyon Scenic Byway
Columbia River Gorge. Arlington View Point.
John Day Dam. The Dalles Dam & Visitor Center.
Portland

Day 8 Portland. Columbia River.
Vista House. Multnomah Falls. Wahkeena Falls.
Bridal Veil Falls, Ponytail Falls.
Bridge of the Gods, Cascade Locks, Bonneville DamPanorama Point,

Day 9 Portland. Park & the International Rose Test Garden,
Explore downtown area & Pioneer Courthouse Square
1 hour Columbia river cruise.

Day 10 Portland - Mount St. Helens Ashford, Wa

Day 11 Ashford, Wa to Paradise to Sunrise (We would visit the stops along the way)

Day 12 Mt Rainier to Seattle airport (9:50 PM flight)
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Feb 13th, 2019, 11:51 AM
  #14  
mms
 
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Day two has too much, way too much. Shi Shi is not like other beaches, you have to work to get there. The parking area is mobbed and there will be cars lined up along the road for a long ways, and car breakins are very common here, so do not leave a single thing in your vehicle. You will also need a Makah recreation pass, which is $10 and you can buy in town before you arrive. But like I said, your plans for this day are just too much. Why Clallam Bay? There isn't anything there. Same with Joyce, although the general store is interesting. Plus, the road from Joyce is VERY twisty/turny. Neah Bay is far from everything, but I do love it and every time we go we hear visitors say how much of a highlight this is. You can do this and Shi Shi, and Marymere, but I would skip the other places for this day.

Day 4 is also jam packed.

Day 7 will be very long, but the Wallowas are beautiful and not many visitors head this direction. We like to backpack in this area.
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Feb 13th, 2019, 12:14 PM
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Just so you understand, this is a very, very aggressive driving schedule. Many of your days are really long and you are moving hotels pretty much each night. I recognize people like to travel differently. Many of the sites you propose are much more than drivebys with quick stops. Also the time lengths on Google are probably ah, euphemistic attempts rather than accurate. Please clarify a couple of things:
  • How long do you hope to drive each day?
  • How long do you hope to be out of the car and seeing things?
  • If you were to go on a walk or hike, what length would you like? 1-2 miles? 4-5?
  • It can be helpful to post where you are sleeping each night. That wasn't totally clear in a couple of places
Without knowing more of what you want for your vacation, I would still propose you drop the Wallowas and Hells Canyon segment. My reasons: 1. You are going to Mount Rainier. It's beautiful, really is. If you love mountains, give yourself more time there. 2. The drive is such a long detour. I have camped in the Wallowas, and yes, they are very pretty but you are going to see so many pretty sites.

So if you follow my suggestion: From Wenatchee, I would drive the route down through Yakima to Goldendale. Enjoy a few hours at Maryhill, a unique place. A commune from the 1920s with a crazy eclectic set of art and Romanian crown jewels and a replica of Stonehenge. (No, not kidding!). Then spend a night in The Dalles or Hood River. This gives you a nice full day for the Columbia Gorge.

Also I'm a little confused why you would do a Columbia River Cruise from Portland. It seems rather backtracking. Also the International Rose Test Garden in late August or September will not have a lot of blooms. Amazingly, unless it is a heatwave, there may be a few. But, in that Washington Park area, there are also Hoyt Arboretum and Japanese Garden. So the destination itself is still a good visit.

I will leave the rest of the suggestions of itinerary tweaks to others on this board.
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Feb 13th, 2019, 08:15 PM
  #16  
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Wow! Thanks for review. Now my wife is revisiting this itinerary more carefully. Here is revising Day 2:

Day 2 From Sequim hotel
Cape Flattery Trail, Neah Bay
Lake Crescent -- Marymere Falls
Port Angeles
Sequim hotel

And is Cape Flattery Trail worth to go.
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Feb 14th, 2019, 06:04 AM
  #17  
mms
 
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Why Sequim? I would stick to staying in Port Angeles instead. It is closer to where you want to go. I really like Cape Flattery/Neah Bay. You mention Port Angeles for something to do, but honestly there isn't anything there to do unless you are meaning Hurricane Ridge. That is a must I would stick to staying in PA. Whatever you do, do not stay at the Red Lion. It is a total dump. The Olympic Lodge is the nicest place in town, but don't let that fool you, it is good hotel but not fancy. More like a local version of Holiday Inn Express. That has been a family favorite for many years, although we veered off ONCE for the Red Lion and wondered what the heck we were thinking that time, lol.
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Feb 14th, 2019, 06:27 AM
  #18  
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Port Angeles is pretty sold out for our dates. But what is your opinion on that day itinerary, is it doable now?
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Feb 14th, 2019, 06:37 AM
  #19  
 
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Yeah, just reading this itinerary left me pretty much exhausted.

Some random notes:

First, your timing is going to mean you're in very hot country at the hottest time of the year, and the risk of forest fires (God forbid) cannot be discounted. Areas like the Washington Tri-Cities (Pasco, Kennewick, Richland) are basically in desert, and temperatures in the low 100s are not uncommon.

Second, there are some glaring omissions in your plans that I think you should address, first among which are hikes in either the Quinault or Hoh rain forests in Olympic National Park. And for avid hikers, I'd think that some of the waterfalls in the Columbia Gorge would merit more time too.

Third, some of the landscapes you'll visit are similar enough that in the interests of time you might consider dropping one area to allow more time in another. For example, both North Cascades NP and the Wallowas allow for grand hiking and mountain activities, but both are extremely time consuming to reach, and, in the case of the North Cascades, don't have much visitor infrastructure at all. Dropping one or the other would free up some days for more time in Olympic or Mount Rainier NP, or in the Columbia Gorge/Mt. Hood areas, or just a day off to catch your breath.

Let me throw out an imaginary modification to your route that might help address several of these things and make for a more compact visit, with less "doubling back."

What if you dropped the North Cascades and instead went from Seattle directly to Mt. Rainier, then crossed the Cascades and through Eastern Washington to Lewiston and Clarkston (for Hell's Canyon) then south to Joseph for the Wallowas? You'd then return west to the Columbia River Gorge and Portland, then north briefly to the Johnston Ridge Observatory overlooking the Mt. St. Helens caldera, then out to the coast at Cape Disappointment. You'd finish with a clockwise loop around the Olympic Peninsula, visiting various beaches and either/both the Quinault or Hoh rain forests, then back to Seattle. Here's a basic map (which doesn't show the transit of Mt. Rainier NP because Google won't map roads that are currently closed for the winter) - https://goo.gl/maps/wdLExHUtxdo .

Just a thought, anyway.
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Feb 14th, 2019, 07:03 AM
  #20  
mms
 
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Sequim will be ok if that is all that is available. It will just add time to your day coming and going. Otherwise your day is doable with what you mentioned

As for the heat that gardyloo mentions around the tri cities area, yes it gets hot, but it is a dry heat. I am a total heat wimp and have lived in that area twice and was fine with it, to give you an idea.
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