Washington to Oregon where I need help


May 25th, 2017, 07:27 AM
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Join Date: May 2017
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Washington to Oregon where I need help

I overthink all of my trips. I have to have all my ducks in a row to quit dwelling. I am reaching out to see if my route is all wrong and too many things on my plate. I think Oregon is where I am having most of my trouble so I am posting here. We love road trips, national parks, mild to moderate hikes, nature, waterfalls, etc. My latest trip for October is flying into Seattle, seeing North Cascades National Park, staying the night in Seattle; driving to Mt. Ranier, staying somwhere nearby, driving to Mt. St. Helen's and maybe driving on down to Columbia River Gorge and seeing both in one day and staying near Columbia RG; driving down to Smith Rock State Park, maybe staying in Mitchell, driving on to John Day Fossil Beds then up to Mt Hood, finding somewhere to stay in between John Day and Mt. Hood. Am I planning this wrong and is it to ambitious? We were flying in on a Friday and flying back from Portland the following Saturday. Thank you everyone. I don't know the area of Oregon too well.
waltfan is offline  
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May 25th, 2017, 09:03 AM
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If you haven't been to the Oregon coast, a better plan would be to combine Mt. Hood with the Columbia River gorge and to head over to the coast after Smith Rock rather than to the John Day Fossil Beds.

The John Day area is worth a visit, but the Oregon coast is one of the most spectacular attractions in the Northwest.

happytrailstoyou is offline  
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May 25th, 2017, 12:01 PM
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Way too much.

North Cascades NP is not a day trip destination; in fact owing to the relative absence of places to stay in the park it's not especially a terrific choice unless you have time to park the car and go hiking someplace. It's basically a wilderness national park with a single road passing through it; most of the attractions require hiking into the interior.

Depending on when in October, you can also be getting into poor weather in the mountains. This applies to North Cascades, Mt. Rainier, Mount St. Helens. Mt. Hood is also prone to early winters, but at least it's close to many other attractions in the Columbia Gorge, so if the mountain is socked in you have alternatives; this is less the case with the other volcanoes.

With your time frame I would honestly eliminate Washington from the itinerary altogether. Fly into Portland; you'll save a lot of money by not having a one-way rental car. You can do a day trip to Johnston Ridge on Mt. St. Helens if the weather's okay (cloudy conditions, common in October, can make the trip pretty pointless) but I'd focus on the Columbia River, all the way from The Dalles through the Gorge and down to the (awesome) mouth at Cape Disappointment.

You could do some loop drives; for example Mt. St. Helens to Cape Disappointment, down to Ecola State Park and back to the Portland area, thus: https://goo.gl/maps/CRsB8wVzHMH2

Or a loop from Hood River through the (beautiful, harvest-time) Hood River Valley to Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood, then south to Smith Rock SP, then back north to the Maryhill Museum and Stonehenge replica and back to Hood River, thus: https://goo.gl/maps/7Z6bU7DZa4K2

Or take a couple of days to head out to Joseph and the Wallowa mountains, spectacular in the autumn - http://traveloregon.com/content/uplo..._wallowas2.jpg - and come back by way of the fossil beds if you want, thus: https://goo.gl/maps/1UR4y5PmfFR2

Remember too that daylight hours will be getting short; combined with Pacific NW autumn weather your options might be more restricted than you'd like.
Gardyloo is online now  
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May 25th, 2017, 12:51 PM
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I think you are trying to cover WAY too much ground in such a short time.

Have you already purchased plane tickets?

If not, my suggestion would be to stick only with Oregon for this trip. Save Washington for a separate time and come in the summer to see the North Cascades at their best.
suze is offline  
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May 25th, 2017, 01:33 PM
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Not only is it way too much - IMO it is nearly impossible. Gardyloo has given you some terrific advice so I won't reinvent the wheel.
janisj is online now  
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May 25th, 2017, 02:50 PM
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Let me a another endorsement for an Oregon-only trip.
Kathie is offline  
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