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Sonoma to Glacier NP via Craters Lake and Olympic National Park

Sonoma to Glacier NP via Craters Lake and Olympic National Park

Jun 27th, 2015, 03:31 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2015
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Sonoma to Glacier NP via Craters Lake and Olympic National Park

We are back planning the 2nd 45 days of our roadtrip, after traveling through Southern California, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco and the Sonoma area. Everyone's advise has been spot on, so checking in for our next phase.

Our trip has taught us that we love to drive the local roads and stops, instead of interstate and "attractions". Other than San Francisco, we purposely have not planned time in cities.

Mt St Helens came off the list after reading over your posts previously. Lassen and Lava Beds came off due to a previous trip to Hawaii's volcanic areas, and ultimate need to make it back home to Florida by around 8/12!

In fact, we have pretty much also decided to take Mt Hood and Mt Rainier off our list, to have a more relaxed journey ( we just visited Rockies, Yellowstone and Grand Tetons this June )

For Crater Lake, Olympic and Glacier -- while we enjoy hikes, we need to keep them easy to moderate and about 4 or 5 miles max RT ( unless significant elevation changes, then 3 is about it).

Mon 7/13th Leave Sonoma, drive up US 1 and/or 101
... Is it a reasonable plan to spend night in Eureka and still have time to pull over for views, or do we need to find a spot farther south?
- reservation at a Clarion in Eureka right now.

Tue 7/14 drive from Eureka area over to Crater Lake
- Trying to decide one night vs two, any input?
- right now booked at a chain in Klamouth and have not found availability inside park yet
- considering Prospect Hotel in Prospect as an option?

Trolly ride and boat trip on Crater Lake both sound interesting, but have not yet found way to make reservations online ( and cells are not working in Sequoia area where we are right now)

7/15 or 16 - leave Crater Lake and work our way back to coast on US 101.
- I think we will include the Tillamook area for the cheese factory

OLYMPIC currently have reservations chain hotel in Pt Angeles 7/17 checkout 7/23 as a general window.
- will change chain reservation to 18th or 19th if we want more time going up coast.
- still trying for last minute room availability inside park
- could use a recommendation for a place to stay in SW Olympic area ( to try to have time to see things instead of round trip driving daily from NE motel)

We definitely want to spend time exploring the rain forest and the tidal pool areas.

Next major - Glacier National Park
- considering a route including North Cascades. Thoughts?
- Did I read there is a ferry or route to travel from Port Townsend to the mainland via State Hwy 20?

For Glacier- could use your input on number of days ( 4 or 5 nights stay total ) and " do not miss"
- I know we want to drive the Going to the Sun route

July 23 ( DATE FLEX - can change reservation) booked chain hotel in Kallispell for west entrance sites - and then in Browning for East entrance sites

DATE TBA / Leave Glacier ( drive probably broken into 2 days ) to Mt Rushmore and Badlands
(working on dates to avoid Sturgis during Bike Week) before we start the serious driving, to visit family in KY and get back to Florida no later than 8/10
bkington1858 is offline  
Jun 27th, 2015, 03:35 PM
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Rats - I lost my tag for Washington state!
bkington1858 is offline  
Jun 28th, 2015, 05:35 AM
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This is a lot to consider. However, I believe you have made a mistake by eliminating Mt. Rainier, by not including the Oregon Coast, and by opting for Glacier NP rather than Yellowstone and (especially) Grand Teton NP. Also, Rushmore is a long way to drive to look at a statue.

happytrailstoyou is offline  
Jun 28th, 2015, 08:05 AM
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I agree with HTtY - in my view you're trading way too much time in the Rockies for way too little time in the redwoods, Oregon coast, and Olympic NP.

Eureka to Crater Lake, for example, is a very long and hot drive; then turning around and trying to get to Olympic NP via the coast with one overnight (tops) is a drive that few of us, even experienced road warriors, would choose to make.

This is all about choices, but my strong recommendation would be to eliminate the cross-country zigzags between SF and Olympic NP. Go up the coast and stay there. Yes, that means scratching Crater Lake, but - my opinion - the exchange is well worth it for more time on the Olympic peninsula.

If you can cut a day or two out of the Glacier-area plan, and still want to see a marvelous (and huge) lake, look at Lake Chelan in Washington. Lake Chelan is a 50-mile long fjord that stretches from orchard country around Chelan deep into the North Cascades. You can take a day trip on the Lady of the Lake - http://ladyofthelake.com/ - to the little town of Stehekin, from which there are hikes into North Cascades NP.

You can reach Chelan via WA 20 (from Port Townsend via ferry to Coupeville on Whidbey Island, stopping at Deception Pass en route) then continue east on WA 20 or US 2 to Spokane to reconnect with I-90 toward Montana.

But overall I think your present route is a recipe for too much driving between places and not nearly enough time to see the places you've reached.
Gardyloo is offline  
Jun 28th, 2015, 09:48 AM
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Cutting Crater Lake will simplify/improve things a LOT. The coast will provide more than enough 'bang' that dropping Crater Lake won't be a loss.

And your plan does have more driving than being/seeing anywhere.
janisj is online now  
Jun 28th, 2015, 10:19 AM
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HTTY, we already spent a week at Yellowstone and Grand Teton ... Glacier is the add-on as we go north ( because we do not believe we will be doing another road trip in that area)

Gardyloo - we are planning on including Oregon coast .... The timing is what I know needs work. I love your other option for lake time, so will talk with hubby about dropping Crater Lake.

From more reading last night - and input from here - it looks as if we want more time in the Astoria- Seaside area also, and on the coasts.

HTty we are driving from here back to KY on our way home to Florida, so a day drive through Mt Rushmore and Badlands is probably the plan ....

Everyone, we leave Sonoma on 7/13 .... And right now I have Ferry reserved Pt Townsend to Coupeville on 23rd to drive via State 20. From your help, I will work on the allocation of those 10 days.

Glad to have your input!

Then on 7/24 to about 8/10, we do North Cascades, Glacier, drive through Badlands area, most direct route to Kentucky I can find for that family visit, and then 2 days home to Florida.
bkington1858 is offline  
Jun 28th, 2015, 03:57 PM
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See if this route works for you if both the Oregon coast and Crater Lake are a priority.
North from Crescent City/Eureka on US 101 all the way north through Coos Bay and all the way to Reedsport. Take Rt. 38 east from Reedsport and stop to see the elk at Dean's Creek viewing area about 5 miles out of town. At the east end of Elkton take Rt. 138 east to get back to I-5. South on I-5 to Roseburg and then 138 east up the Umpqua River.
If you can't get a reservation at Crater Lake Lodge, try for something at the Diamond Lake Resort nearby.
Leaving Crater Lake NP via the north entrance, take 138 east 16 miles to US 97 north. Take 97 north through Bend and all the way to I-84 at the Columbia River. Take I-84, I-82, US 395, I-90 to Spokane.
Spend a night in Spokane before heading to Glacier on US 2.
If you want to sample Tillamook cheese, just buy it in any grocery store in Oregon. It's not worth driving hundreds of miles out of your way for.
Also skip North Cascades since you will have see the most beautiful part of the Cascades in Crater Lake NP.
I am not aware of any trolly ride in Crater Lake NP.
Buy the tickets for the boat ride out to Wizard Island. The hike back up the Cleetwood trail is not that bad after getting off the boat. Pack water and sunscreen.
tomfuller is offline  
Jul 1st, 2015, 10:09 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Glacier has two sides-EAst and West. The WEst side is easier to Access from Kalispel, 2 nights on the WEst Side is good, and then day 3 head over the pass. Stay in Many Glacier, at either swift current motor lodge or Many Glacier Hotel-amazing. the hike to Lake Josephine will take your breath away. The best hikes are from Many Glacier-you feel like you are in Switzerland! 3 nights at least in Many Glacier
then head over to the Dakota part of your trip.
cruzrmomma is offline  
Jul 16th, 2015, 11:17 PM
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Tomfuller, we did a variation of your route - Crater Lake was fabulous, and so glad we went .... We scored 2 nights at lodge. Great food, very comfortable room.

When we left, we took 62 to 138, starting our drive up the Oregon Coast at Reedsport. The elks in the Dean's Creek viewing area were amazing - but I will admit to thinking maybe the elk were really viewing us! We are now staying a couple of nights on the beach in the Garibaldi/ Tillamook area.

leaving here, we will head to Olympic's Lake Quinault Lodge for 2 nights ( via a side drive for a little of Columbia River Gorge), finishing Olympic with 2 nights north in Port Angeles. We have found that while our walks are wonderful, our " hiking" attempts for longer distances / terrain are not so good, so we are adapting as we travel.

Excited to take the car ferry from Port Townsend over to Coupeville, with a night booked on Annacortes Island before we cross and head down to Mount Rainier.

Thanks everyone for your input.
bkington1858 is offline  
Jul 17th, 2015, 09:23 PM
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Sounds good. Have fun.

happytrailstoyou is offline  
Jul 18th, 2015, 09:05 PM
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Are you still going to make it to Glacier?
Sounds like a great trip so far.
tomfuller is offline  
Jul 18th, 2015, 11:19 PM
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Yes, TomFuller - Glacier coming up about 7/27 now. Still no luck with park lodging. Stuck with chains in Kalispell and Browning
bkington1858 is offline  
Jul 19th, 2015, 12:05 PM
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Did you check the Isaac Walton Lodge or Meadow Lake Resort?
The Museum of the Plains Indian is in the west end of Browning.
tomfuller is offline  
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