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What are Some Lesser-Known Scenic Drives in Oregon?

What are Some Lesser-Known Scenic Drives in Oregon?

Jul 4th, 2011, 06:54 AM
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What are Some Lesser-Known Scenic Drives in Oregon?

Living in Seattle, we have traveled quite extensively in Oregon, but this summer we want to explore parts of the state we have not yet visited. The highways and roads we know well include:

101 between Astoria to Brookings
I-84 between Portland and Ontario
97 between Klamath Falls and Biggs
The Historic Columbia River Highway
35 between Hood River and Mt Hood
26 between Cannon Beach and Mt. Hood
38 between Reedsport and Cottage Grove
82 between La Grande and Enterprise
3 between Enterprise and Lewiston
Blue Mountains Scenic Byway

Looking at the roads marked scenic on my AAA map, I gather there are many more miles of scenic drives in Oregon. Which of them should we include in our upcoming trip?

happytrailstoyou is offline  
Jul 4th, 2011, 07:31 AM
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I-5 down to Highway 58 south of Eugene, up over the Willamette Pass. Turn off 58 near MP73 onto Crescent Cutoff road go 2.5 miles and turn left onto the Cascade Lakes Highway. This is the most scenic route to Bend (70 miles).
When you leave Bend take US20 to Sisters and take 242 over the McKenzie Pass. As of this week the pass is only open to bicycles. ODOT cut 1 pass trough the snow with a rotary plow.
If you want to see the Oregon high desert, try the Oregon Outback highway Rt. 31 from US97 to Lakeview.
Have you been to Crater Lake NP? The north entrance is now open but you will still see lots of snow.
tomfuller is offline  
Jul 4th, 2011, 08:12 AM
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Thanks TF. Twenty-five years ago a relative, living in Salem, drove me to Boise on a route that included the high desert. I thought it was Highway 26. Is that possible?

happytrailstoyou is offline  
Jul 4th, 2011, 08:13 AM
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PS Yes, I have been to Crater Lake--twice.
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Jul 4th, 2011, 10:20 AM
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Yes HTTY I have been on that Highway (US26) through John Day. The John Day Fossil Beds (2 sections) are worth seeing. US26 goes east from Redmond through John Day and joins US20 12 miles west of Ontario Oregon.
From Bend to Ontario on US 20 is 263 miles.
In 2006 I visited and found a geocache in each of the 36 counties of Oregon. Not many of the natives have been in all of the counties.
tomfuller is offline  
Jul 16th, 2011, 09:39 PM
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The area around Joseph and the Wallawas is very beautiful - also the John Day area. Was recently over in John Day at the Fossil beds and I think beautiful and interesting. There is an interesting
paleontology center, some ranger led walks though fossil beds and beautiful unpopulated country- also the painted hills area which is close by. Not many places to stay around there - we stayed at Service Creek.

Likewise the Wallawa area - Joseph used to have a lot of bronze artists and foundrys- I believe some have closed - but its a nice little town - we drove over to the Snake River and did a jet boat ride which was fantastic
sunbum1944 is online now  
Jul 17th, 2011, 05:34 AM
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Thanks, sunbum. We're going to Joseph tomorrow (the 18th) on Highway 86 out of Baker City. We'll check out the John Day area later this summer.

happytrailstoyou is offline  
Jul 17th, 2011, 05:46 AM
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HTTY stop at a USFS Ranger Station for the Wallowa-Whitman NF and get one of their maps. If you can find your way up to Imnaha, you can see the Five Mile Viewpoint. Have a great trip with no thunderstorms.
tomfuller is offline  
Jul 17th, 2011, 06:10 AM
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Hwy 66 from Ashland to KFalls is a really fun road. Dead Indian goes up into the high country towards Crater lake, passing several lakes with campgrounds or lodges along the way.
The Galice -Agness road along the Rogue
can be taken all the way to Gold Beach.
bbqboy is offline  
Jul 20th, 2011, 08:06 AM
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HTTT, many many years ago I was born in Baker. Was just going to suggest you take the loop: LaGrande through Enterprise, Joseph, then down the other side through HalfWay and back to Baker. Should be beautiful this time of year. Just started to mention the Imnaha, and see Tomfuller has already done so.

If you ever go through Prairie City, stop and walk around the old cemetery there.

Someone also mentioned the Blue Mountain Byway. Have lunch in Sumpter, explore the old ghost town of Granite, and come out on the Anthony Lake side.

It was paved for a possible evacuation route west/east in case terrorists ever blew up the interstate. I understand that in the summer a lot of bikers and cyclists use it.
hopingtotravel is offline  

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