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Washington/Oregon Trip for Hikers and Wine Lovers - Need Advice

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Washington/Oregon Trip for Hikers and Wine Lovers - Need Advice

Old Apr 7th, 2013, 04:45 AM
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Washington/Oregon Trip for Hikers and Wine Lovers - Need Advice

We are looking for tips for a vacation at the end of July. We have a short 6 days flying in and out of Seattle, but would like to hit some wine regions and do some hiking. We are both very physically fit and hike all the time, but have no gear and little experience with actual mountain climbing.

I was thinking about starting off with 2 days in the Columbia Valley (maybe near Walla Walla?) for wine tasting. Any specific areas or wineries that are must see?

Then day 3 heading down to Mount Hood area. Doesn't seem like we could really hike to the top of Mount Hood without some serious climbing/gear which we don't have, so looking for help on a good hike in that area.

Then maybe a day in Willamette Valley wine region and of course a quick stop at Multnomah Falls (maybe the next day on the way up to Washington?).
Tried to book Mt St Helens climb, but they are already booked for basically all of July and August, so that is out.
Not sure on the last 2 days, just depends on where we can find good hikes.
I read some posts about Olympic National Park and Mount Olympus as well as Mount Rainer, but not sure of details. Are there any really cool hikes to mountain peaks or awesome panaramic views that can be done in 4-8 hours? Most of the ones I have come across require more than just hiking.

Are there any amazing hiking areas or stunning views/picture locations in these areas that we should try to hit? We love mountains, but are not big beach/ocean fans, so we could probably skip any of the coastal stuff.

Thanks in advance!
Dave
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Old Apr 7th, 2013, 05:02 AM
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I would vote for Mount Rainier. Hike up to Panorama Point. This won't put you on the top, but it is a good hike with stunning views and wildflowers galore. This is about a 5 mile hike with some elevation gain. Comet Falls and Van Trump Park are other good hikes. Narada Falls is a really good waterfall right by the road.

Not far from Multnomah Falls is Eagle Creek. There are 6 or 7 really good waterfalls on this one. 2 of them(Punchbowl and Tunnel Falls-you go behind this one) are very famous. This is a 13 mile hike, but is easy because not much elevation gain/loss.

You probably could hike to the top of Mount St. Helens without any equipment But hiking Hood, Rainier are gonna require sleeping overnight on the mountain. Those are not "day hikes"

If you go to Olympic. I would hike on Hurricane Ridge. Hike to Sol Duc Falls. Hike to Hole in the Wall and go tide pooling on the beach there during low tide. Be sure and not miss Hoh Rain Forest.


There are tons of great hikes all over Mount Rainier, Olympics, North Cascades, Columbia Gorge, Mount St. Helens, Mt. Hood.

You can find a lot of hiking info on for Washington on www.wta.org
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Old Apr 7th, 2013, 05:26 AM
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Hiking and climbing are two entirely different things. Without proper gear and training, please do not think about climbing. Even hiking out here in OR and WA you really need to be aware of your limitations.

Yes, all the permits for Mt St Helens are gone. We got ours over a month ago and they sold out in very short time.

Mt. Rainier has many nice day hikes, as does Mt Hood. If you are flying in/out of Seattle, consider hikes east of the city. Over towards Leavenworth or around Darrington there are tons of fantastic hikes with great views too.

As for Mt Hood, if one is climbing it, people do not typically stay overnight on it, FWIW. It is done all at once, up and back down. My DH and DS are mountain climbers and have led climbs up this and Mt Rainier.

Back to the WA hiking. If you head over to the Olympic Peninsula, a great easy hike is the Cape Alava loop. It is 9 miles r/t, and takes you partially right along the water (so you really need to consult the tide tables) and there are some cool petroglyphs along the way. It is a nice hike and can easily be done in your time frame. Just depends if you want to head that far west on the peninsula. Closer to Seattle, you can even do Little Si or Mt Si, which are fairly close to the city.
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Old Apr 7th, 2013, 06:38 AM
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If you go to the wine region in eastern Washington, check out Drew Bledsoe's winery - Doubleback. http://www.doubleback.com/
Are you climbing to the top of mountains just for the view or the exercise. There is a great gondola above Wallowa Lake in the Blue Mountains of Oregon http://wallowalaketramway.com/
IMO you will enjoy the Willamette wine region of Oregon more than the southeastern Washington region which was first known for onions and cherries.
You can see the eastern side of Mt. St. Helens by going south from US 12 in Randle on the FS road that comes out in Carson in the Columbia Gorge.
There is enough to see in either state to keep you busy for 6 days without trying to cover both.
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Old Apr 7th, 2013, 10:28 AM
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How much does Drew pay you, Tom?
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Old Apr 7th, 2013, 10:37 AM
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Drew doesn't live in SE Washington where his vineyard is.
He built a beautiful home in Bend Oregon where grapes do not grow so well. He has given lots of sports equipment to the Bend public schools where his kids go.
Another name you may have heard of grew up in Deschutes county Oregon is Ashton Eaton. He won this year's Olympic Decathlon.
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Old Apr 7th, 2013, 04:26 PM
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Thanks for all the replies.

spirobulldog: Hurricane Ridge, Panorama Point, and Tunnel Falls all look great from what I just read, thanks for the advice!

mms: We don't plan on climbing, just hiking, that's why I specified it in my original post! Thanks for the trail suggestions!

tomfuller: We are climbing both for the view and the exercise, but when you hike for 4 hours and finally reach the peak, it is nice to be rewarded with a spectacular view that you know few others have seen. Any wineries in Willamette you would recommend?
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Old Apr 7th, 2013, 06:23 PM
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Dave, Willamette is the name of the valley the river of the same name flows through.
I assume
you mean the area south of Portland, which is really the Northern to mid valley area.
here are 2 maps that explain Oregon wineries in a bit more detail:
http://www.winesnw.com/nwillmap.html
http://www.wineweb.com/scripts/searc...ap.cfm/USA/OR/
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Old Apr 7th, 2013, 06:54 PM
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Where are you coming from? In other words, what kind of winetasting are you looking for? Are you looking for specific kinds of wine or just any winetasting?

mms gave me some really good recommendations for wineries in the Willamette Valley which is really best known for its Pinots, altho we did taste some other wines that we liked.
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Old Apr 7th, 2013, 11:12 PM
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mms did give a very good summary for you easytraveler. Here is a link. Btw, Dave, you can click on a poster's name here and see all of the past posts they originated or contributed to.

http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...lease-help.cfm
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Old Apr 8th, 2013, 04:01 AM
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I would also be interested in some more wine recs for Washington. We will drive to Yakima for 2 nights-1 day of wine tasting in June. I realize this is not as "good" an area as Wllamette Valley or Walla Walla, but we didn't want to drive that far for just one day of touring. We are taking my 23 year old son and his girlfriend who have just moved to Everett (from Atlanta) and so were just looking for something they wouldn't normally do. I have looked at several of the grower associations websites, but if anyone has specific recs for the area I'd love to hear it. Dave-hope this isn't hijacking your thread too much. And easytraveler I saw your initial question on the board so would love to hear if you did visit anything in Prosser, Richland, etc.
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Old Apr 8th, 2013, 01:49 PM
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Since you said "...hikes to mountain peaks..." I might as well throw-in a reference to remote Tiffany Mountain, which is about 25 miles from Winthrop, WA, near the east end of the beautiful North Cascades Highway.

You don't have to be in impeccable shape to drive to 6500 feet and then hike for a couple hours over easy terrain right to the 8242' summit.

Unfortunately I don't know that there are any significant or clustered wineries in the area, so of course it is out of the way.

Furthermore, despite the natural beauty of North Cascades area, most of the OP's original ideas have him well to the south. It still makes sense to have Tiffany Mountain mentioned in this thread for anybody wanting ideas for Washington State mountain summits that can be easily hiked.
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Old Apr 8th, 2013, 04:16 PM
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Hi, AtlTravelr!

Yes, a couple of wineries do stick out in that area.

One was Bernard Griffin. We didn't care for the other two more famous wineries in that area but BG's wines were - to our California tastes - very well made. We did buy some, but I'll have to check my receipts to see what we bought.

The other one was Kestrel Winery. One of their white wines was so good we bought an entire case.

We had so much fun chatting with the winemakers in the Richland and Prosser area that we got to Yakima really late, so didn't do much tasting there.

Generally, we found that the wines in the Richland-Prosser area were more to our tastes than the wines in Walla Walla (despite their huge reputation! )

We also went all the way up to Penticton, BC, as I had been there twice before and really liked their ice wines (better than the ones in the Niagara area, I thought).

We, however, found both Washington and BC very commercialized, with a lot of hoopla given to "wine pairings" of expensive food and (for us) not the best wines, also expensive. We're spoiled, though, living in the SF Bay Area.

If any of you drive along Highway 97 in this area, be careful! There are several speed traps along the way, such as just before Omak, especially if you have out-of-state license plates. So, just watch the speed limit, even if it looks like it's just way out in the middle of nowhere.

We also went westward to Woodinville, which I personally thought was going to be a downer, but some of the wineries turned out to be really nice, such as the relatively large estate of Chateau St Michelle. They are famous for their reislings and we did get a few bottles of some specialized reisling reputedly available only at their winery.

Hope this helps a bit!
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Old Apr 9th, 2013, 12:06 PM
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easytraveler- Thank you so much for the info! We're doing this on the front end of an overseas trip and I haven't done the research I usually do, so it's nice to get some "personal" recs. The good news is that the younger couple (son & girlfriend) haven't done any winetasting at all so this will all be a good adventure for them and we're happy to explore this area too.
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