Scenic Drives in Oregon

Aug 14th, 2010, 07:59 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 21
Scenic Drives in Oregon

We are starting our trip in Portland Oregon and have approximately 7 days to tour around. We want to do scenic drives, no highways. We have covered the coastal portion of Oregon pretty thoroughly on a previous trip so would prefer to visit some of the other flora and fauna that this state so abundantly has.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.
snowhoney21 is offline  
Aug 14th, 2010, 08:48 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 4
Hi--

You must drive east on OR-30 or WA-14 on the Columbia Gorge. The views are breathtaking, especially as you approach Mount Hood.

http://www.myscenicdrives.com/drives...columbia-gorge

Mount Saint Helens' dramatic surroundings 30 years after the last major eruption also makes for an interesting drive near Portland, and you could continue just a little further to Mount Rainier.

http://www.myscenicdrives.com/drives...ount-st-helens

Or head south along the West Cascades Scenic Byway (http://www.myscenicdrives.com/drives...s-scenic-byway) which ends moments away from Crater Lake, the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway, and more amazing signs of past volcanic activity.

Happy travels.

Eric
etheriau is offline  
Aug 14th, 2010, 08:53 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 147
If you like geology, or wide open high desert, the are around Bend is great. Some folks like the recreational motor boating near there. we don't go in for that. We like driving from Klammath Falls up to Crater lake, then back east to 395(?) and north to Bend. In Bend, one of our favorite things is the High Desert Museum (google them). It is a very well run place with history, art, live animals all in a beautiful museum grounds setting. But also the lava cave and other interesting geology-related trails and sites around. The Deschutes brewery is there. not sure if you can take a tour but the brew pub is okay.
The Moon Guide to Oregon , I recall included some great roadside attractions and scenic pullouts.
Next time I head that way, I'd like to drive through Sisters as I hear it is beautiful. So you may want to check that region out.
suz24 is offline  
Aug 15th, 2010, 06:21 AM
  #4  
mms
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,223
What time of year will you be here?

There are so many scenic places here, but without knowing how many places you want to overnight, etc it is hard to give advice. A few more details would help
mms is offline  
Aug 15th, 2010, 06:59 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10,966
My favorite drive with Oregon views is WA-14 driving east from Maryhill to Washougal, WA.

A less-visited scenic area of Oregon is the Wallowa Mountains and the towns of Enterprise and Joseph in the NE corner of the state.

A drive on the Lewiston Highway (OR-3), going north from Enterprise, includes a very impressive canyon at the OR/ID border.

If you take OR-3 north, you could include a drive through Washington's Palouse and Walla Walla in a loop back to WA-14.

HTTY
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Aug 15th, 2010, 07:26 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,424
I used to live in Eugene and a drive I would always take visitors on was the McKenzie Pass drive - Highway 242 from Eugene to Sisters. The drive is only about 100 miles long but packed with incredible variety and diversity (this is assuming you're not going in winter - the road is closed in the winter).

It's been maybe 4 or 5 years or so since I last did this drive, but here's what it's like:

If you're going west to east, you first travel along the gorgeous McKenzie River, past hazelnut orchards and small farms. Then as you climb up into the Cascades you go through lovely fir forests, with an understory of rhododendrons, ferns, etc. Stop at the trail to Proxy Falls - it's only about a half-mile or so walk into 2 different waterfalls. Really beautiful falls (a picture of one of them used to be on just about every Sierra Club calendar)

Then continue on up to the pass which is a lava field - looks like a moonscape. (Astronauts used to do some training here, I've been told.) There's a small observation point and a short trail over the lava flows with informational signs. You can see small forest "islands" where the lava missed some parts of land as it flowed. You also have gorgeous views of many of the snow-capped peaks in the Cascades.

Then as you continue down into Sisters, you're in a very different climate zone than the wet fir forest / water falls of the west side of the Cascades. Here on the east side, the vegetation changes to sagebrush and Ponderosa Pine - reminds me of parts of Wyoming (where I also used to live). Just outside the little town of Sisters there is a big llama farm n the side of the road, with gorgeous views of the 3 mountain peaks called the Sisters. You can then continue on to Bend if you wish - it's only about 20 miles away. Camp Sherman is another lovely spot near Sisters - beautiful trails along the Metolius River.

Oh describing all this is actually almost painful - I want to go there right now!
NorCalif is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 06:43 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 21
Thank you all for the wonderful replies. I am so excited about this trip, you have no idea. Just the thought of cool weather, mountains and clean air makes me dizzy with joy.

So far here is a sketch of our plan, starting in Portland, driving to Mt. Rainier, staying in the Kelso (still looking around for some scenic routes) then going to Crater Lake (staying in Prospect), then driving to Klamath Falls, then to Bend for 2 nights (found a cool place called McMenamins-Old St. Francis School) then returning to Portland for remaining 3 days to do some hiking around that area. It sounds like a lot of places to visit in only 7 days but I am considering this an "appetizer" trip. I am horrible with my maps (luckily husband isn't) but would like to know if the above trip sketch is a little ambitious for the 7 days we have to achieve it.

Again, thank you all for your suggestions and the time you took to reply. I will report back on my trip upon return.
snowhoney21 is offline  
Aug 21st, 2010, 09:19 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,041
I would only suggest Ashland instead of Klamath Falls.
bbqboy is offline  
Aug 21st, 2010, 09:48 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10,966
You say you want scenic drives and no highways, but you have planned an itinerary that requires a lot of highway driving, that avoids most of Oregon's best scenery, and that has you spending nights in some places many would prefer to avoid on holiday.

HTTY
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
fatimaesam
United States
5
Aug 14th, 2017 02:16 PM
abram797
United States
8
Sep 14th, 2014 06:39 AM
ckwald
United States
11
Apr 22nd, 2009 01:42 PM
travelinandgolfin
United States
7
Mar 10th, 2008 11:58 AM
mlm59
United States
14
Oct 25th, 2007 04:30 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:42 AM.