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Washington and Oregon, two weeks in the nature


Jul 23rd, 2013, 10:54 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2013
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Washington and Oregon, two weeks in the nature

Hi everyone, this post is relatively generic, but i'm getting lost in too much information and I need some help.
I'm trying to figure out how to spend about 10 days in the nature side of these states while starting from seattle and going south (we are driving down to LA).

I don't need any city recomendations as we will stop in the major cities driving north.

I see all these names, Olympic park, juan islands, Vancouver, BC (Ok, one city in the list), Oregon coast, different mountains (rainer,helen, adam), colombia river gorge, crater lake... I just have no idea what to chose, and where to go..

We are looking to camp every night, so hopping between campgrounds.

This will be my first time in these areas, so I guess i'm looking for some tips about the highlights, where should I stay, how long, do a great day hike, or even 2 day backpacking trek..

Any advice is welcome.
Thank you in advance
edank is offline  
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Jul 24th, 2013, 03:25 AM
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Crater Lake - 1 day
Columbia River Gorge 1 or 2 days Hike Eagle Creek
Mount Rainier 1 or 2 days Hike above Paradise
San Juan Islands 1 or 2 days Do a whale watch tour
Olympic National Park 2 or 3 days Hike Rialto Beach to Hole in the Wall @ lowtide, Hoh Rain Forest, Sol Duc Falls, Sol Duc Hot Springs, Quinault Lake area, and Crescent Lake area
Redwoods National Park 1 or 2 days Hike James Irvine Trail then connect with Fern Canyon Trail all the way to the ocean.
1/2 day at Patricks Point State Park-See Palmers Point @ lowtide and see Agate Beach

A day at Mt. St Helens or Mt. Hood would be nice too, but I would put all above ahead of them, IMOP. And I didn't even suggest anything on the Oregon coast and it is spectacular too. Also Lassen Volcano and Oregon Caves are interesting places.

If I had just 10 days to 2 weeks, I would spend it in just on e area not both. There is enough in Washington or Oregon to keep you busy 2 weeks in each
spirobulldog is offline  
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Jul 24th, 2013, 07:18 AM
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My choice for ten great days would be:

Mt. Rainier
San Juan Island (or Orcas Island)
Olympic National Park
The Columbia River Gorge
Oregon Coast from (Cannon Beach to Brookings)
Redwoods in Northern California

I assume the ten days does not include the drive to Los Angeles.

happytrailstoyou is offline  
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Jul 24th, 2013, 11:20 AM
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Starting from LA with a rental car and returning there to avoid a drop off charge?
What is your camping gear? There are 2 campgrounds in Crater Lake NP. There are campgrounds in the Newberry National Volcanic Monument northeast of LaPine Oregon.
You could easily spend 10 days in either Oregon OR Washington without seeing all there is to see.
If you must start in LA, consider taking the Amtrak Coast Starlight to Oregon and then renting a car.
tomfuller is online now  
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Jul 24th, 2013, 11:21 AM
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Do you have a map of the area? I think that would be a good place to start, so you can see the relationship of these places one to the next. Or even a campground guide to base your itinerary around. I would not add Canada, with two weeks, and all you are hoping to see already.

I love both the Washington and Oregon coast along the ocean. It's my favorite place of all that you mentioned. But Columbia River Gorge is also spectacular. I'm not a big fan of rain forests, so Olympic National park has never been top of my list.
suze is offline  
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Jul 26th, 2013, 12:33 AM
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Thanks for all the answers, i'm still looking into all this data and trying to see what makes sense without driving all day long.

@spirobulldog, thanks for all the details, it's very helpful.

tom, i'm driving my own car, so that's not an issue. I've been on multiple month trips, I truly understand how short 10 days are. That's why i'm trying very hard to find the highlights in my tight schedule.

@suze, I have all the points mentioned on google maps (mapsengine.google.com). It's helpful, but now i'm just trying to see which points are the most recommended, and how long to spend in each place.

We do have full backpacking gear. Is there any trail (2 days) that is highly recommend? i'm not necessarily looking for one because time is limited, but I would make an effort if there is a trail that's worth it.

Thanks all.
edank is offline  
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Jul 26th, 2013, 08:35 AM
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As I read your post, you are going frommSeattle south tomLA over ten days, camping on the way.
Thisnisnonenof my favorite road trips.

You need to choose between Rainier, Mt.mHood/ Columbia Gorge, Crater Lake route and the WashingtonnOregon Coasts. I consider Rainier to be one of the most beautiful places I know, particularly in August when the Paradise wildflowers are in bloom. MI suggest you do that route and pick up the coast on California. Mif you want to see Olympic P then do that first and then head to Rainier.

You can do a wonderful twoo-day backpack at Rainer. Sunrise to Berkeley Parkmor Mystic Lake would be one possibility. Mowich Lake to Seattle Parkmis another. I love the West Side around Aurora Lakes but it is tough to get to now with no cars allowed on the West Side Road. You will need to stop for a permit and the rangers may have other suggestions.

From Rainier head to Hood River and the Columbia Gorge area. Nice short hikes to waterfalls. Then to Crater Lake ( campground does not have lake views but is OK).

Then head tomGrant's Pass to cut over to the California Coast at Crescent City. There are lots of camping possibilities in Redwood NP,mand nice hikes.

Leave 101 south of Eureka to cut back over to the coast at Fort Bragg and take Hwy 1 down to San Francisco and then continue on 1through Monterey, Big Sur, etc. I will leave it to other to suggest your camping spots at the south part.
enzian is offline  
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Jul 26th, 2013, 09:48 AM
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While working on a PIT project, I camped along the bank of the Cowlitz River in the La Wis Wis campground east of Packwood WA.
The campground is about 2 miles west of the south entrance of Mt. Rainier NP.
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