Southern Oregon route

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Dec 17th, 2017, 12:15 PM
  #1
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Southern Oregon route

My friends and I are planning an Oregon roadtrip this summer. We are traveling the coast down to gold beach and then heading to the east toward crater lake. My original plan was to take the route east to Agness, OR and then north to powers and east again to roseburg. But now I’m seeing that there is a route from Agness east to Merlin and coming out in grants pass. We could then head to crater lake from the Medford route which I’ve heard is prettier. I have a Jeep so road terrain isn’t a problem. I just want the most scenic route and I’m thinking the second one mentioned would be better since it follows the rogue river. Has anyone taken both routes and has a good suggestion? Also I’m trying to get from gold beach to crater lake in one day so please keep in mind my timeframe too. Thanks in advanced
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Dec 17th, 2017, 04:24 PM
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You will see the Rogue River in Agness but you won't see it anywhere else. From Agness to Merlin, the road is several miles south of the Wild and Scenic Rogue River.
The operators that run float trips in the Rogue from Merlin and Grants Pass take out in Agness taking the participants and boats back to where they started.
Take I-5 south to the Gold Hill exit and take Rt. 234 over to Rt. 62 avoiding the traffic in the Medford area.
If you can't get lodging at the Crater Lake Lodge, the Prospect Hotel or one of the cabins at Union Creek would be OK.
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Dec 17th, 2017, 04:50 PM
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Just FYI, there is no cell phone service from about 8 miles out of Gold Beach until you get to Merlin (any carrier).
I crawled up out of the Rogue River canyon to my parked pickup one night in early November 2006. I called my DW about 1AM from Merlin to let her know I was still alive.
Less than a month later, a Mr. Kim (of CNet) tried to go to Gold Beach via Agness and got stuck in the snow. He left the car after they had burned all 5 tires. He died in a chute ravine above the Rogue. His wife and 2 small children were saved after being spotted by a helicopter pilot a week after they left the paved road.
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Dec 17th, 2017, 10:03 PM
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I had another suggestion from a different site as well. To take highway 38(?) from reedsport to roseburg. This might fit our plans better AND it would follow the umpqua river most of the way. We really want a scenic route that’s off the beaten path but I also don’t have much time so I’m trying to get the best possible route with the shortest time. Tom I’m glad you made it out ok that sounds like a terrifying experience. I did also read about the Kim family as well. But maybe that adds to the experience a little ��. If you could provide any info on how long I should plan for getting to roseburg from gold beach or to Medford from gold beach it would be helpful. Thank you
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Dec 17th, 2017, 11:56 PM
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We used to have family in Southern Oregon and we always liked the route along Highway 38. It's really beautiful along the river, and you are along it for quite a ways. Just out of Reedsport, be sure to stop at the Elk Viewing. There will be signage but you need to be ready to slow down and pull into the parking lot.

Tom brings up a good point about the Kims. So very, very sad.
Their GPS is said to have steered them wrong. Glad you are doublechecking the computer's advice.
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Dec 18th, 2017, 05:22 AM
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I'd make it easy and scenic by just continuing south on US 101 over the border (the scenery between Gold Beach and Brookings is sensational anyway) and take US 199 from (north of) Crescent City to Grants Pass. You'll pass through the Jedidiah Smith redwoods, you could stop for a visit of the Oregon Caves, and the whole thing will be scenic and quite quick compared to going overland from Gold Beach.
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Dec 18th, 2017, 07:00 AM
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About 2:10 north on US 101 from Gold Beach to Reedsport. It's about 4:20 from Reesport to Crater Lake going through Gold Hill and Rt. 234 to get on Rt. 62.
It would be a little longer to go through Roseburg and east on Rt. 38 up the Umpqua but still doable in less than 8 hours.
If you take Rt. 38 out of Reedsport, stop at the Deans Creek viewing area about 5 miles out of Reesport to see the Roosevelt elk.
If you would rather see Coast Redwoods, Gardyloo's route is also good.
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Dec 19th, 2017, 09:07 AM
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I love the Hwy 138 from Roseburg to Crater Lake. There are many waterfalls along the way- some you can view with a short walk from parking lot, others a longer hike.
Susan Falls, Watson Falls are a couple of favorites.
I know you have time constraints, but get out and stretch your legs at one of them. Watson Falls is a bit longer hike than some, but spectacular.
Susan Falls is a short hike.
If you don't have time for the waterfalls, stop at Steamboat Inn for lunch or a snack - beautiful riverside location.
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Dec 19th, 2017, 11:20 PM
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Thank you everyone! I think we will stick with the reedsport hey 138 route that you have suggested. We will definitely stop for a hike at one of the waterfalls too along the way. Thank you for all of your suggestions and input. Also I was curious since we have nailed down the highway 138 route if it’s more scenic to head to sutherlin and then south on I5 to roseburg OR if it’s worth it to take a right onto tyee rd in elkton and follow the umpqua all the way into roseburg? I enjoy getting a little off the beaten path and lots of scenery and fewer people if doable. But again I don’t want tO talk on too much time overall. Thanks again
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Dec 20th, 2017, 05:18 AM
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OR 38 isn't especially off the beaten path; it's the route of choice for many of us who travel between Seattle/Portland and northern California regularly.

I'd still recommend you don't use Gold Beach as your turnaround point if you're traveling the Oregon coast. There's a lot to see between there and Crescent City - beaches, etc., plus even if you don't want to use US 199, the Jedidiah Smith redwoods groves are quite close to the US 199/US 101 junction, so even a there-and-back extension to our coast drive is immensely worth the time required.
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Dec 20th, 2017, 05:19 AM
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That's your coast drive.
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Dec 20th, 2017, 08:16 AM
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Elkton has a few interesting things to do. If you are hungry, stop at Tomaselli's Restaurant and Bakery.
There are several wine tasting places in town. The butterfly pavilion is quite interesting and there is an old fort to explore.

Its a beautiful part of the country. I am fortunate to have a friend who lives on the river across from Elkton who has an annual campout on his property.

I have never taken the Tyee Rd so can't advise on that.
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Dec 20th, 2017, 09:37 PM
  #13
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Thank you everyone. I’ve got the info I need so I’ll get with my roadtrip crew and see what they would like to do
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