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Two weeks touring from Portland. Ideas please.

Telford
posts: 2
reviews: 3
Two weeks touring from Portland. Ideas please.

My wife and I are reasonably active 70+'ers. That means we can walk but not scramble over rocks, and a couple of miles at a time is good going.

We like mountains and their vistas, birds and wild animals, and coastal scenery. We prefer small places to stay that are not too expensive, preferring to spend our pensions on getting there rather than frills in 4* hotels.

We arrive in Portland on 5th July and hire a car with the idea that we would drive down the coast, cross over to Grants Pass, see Crater Lake and wander around the mountain roads moving generally northward.

We also will spend a day or so looking at the Columbia valley area Portland to Dalles.

Firstly: is this a reasonable programme having regard to timings? Can you recommend stops on route, viewpoints, "must sees" and any special eateries (preference is for "non-spicy" rather than "spicy")?

What is the most scenic way to cross from the 101 to Grants Pass? I don't mind twisty roads but looking at Google maps indicates that the road from Wedderburn to Agness and on (which seems to be the most direct)is surrounded by forest, which although OK is hardly likely to give any views on the drive. Or am I wrong?

Any help would be gratefully appreciated.

Longview, Washington
Destination Expert
for Mount Rainier National Park
posts: 2,465
reviews: 100
11. Re: Two weeks touring from Portland. Ideas please.

I think that's called a 'senior moment', voyaging.

Seriously though, lets see if we can suggest some neat places to visit for these nice folks who are also seniors. Now that we have determined how long they plan to visit.

When you visit the Columbia Gorge, plan to drive one way on the Historic Scenic Columbia Gorge Hwy. This will take you up close to the waterfalls and you get some wonderful views from the Vista House on Crown Point. Stop at Bonneville Dam and tour the salmon, trout and sturgeon ponds.

Since you have two weeks, I would recommend that you start your coastal trip at Astoria drive south to Crescent City CA and hwy 199. I'd plan 3-5 days for this part of your tour.

Portland, Oregon
posts: 4,842
12. Re: Two weeks touring from Portland. Ideas please.

"Senior moment" Hmmm.... I resemble that remark!

It gets fuzzy after Crater Lake, but besides that, we all probably agree that your general route is a good one, Krat0s. So I'd suggest trying to firm up the itinerary a bit, enough so that you can make reservations in the most popular locations: north and central coast, Crater Lake, any others?

Since most north coast town lodgings have minimum stay requirements, you'll need at least four, and I'd suggest five nights on the coast. My preferences would be Cannon Beach or Manzanita in the north, Yachats in the central, and Gold Beach in the south.

Lodging at Crater Lake is likely already booked full, so consider the Prospect Hotel. Or, spend a night or two in Ashland, then visit Crater Lake on the way to destinations further north, like Bend or Sisters, as Kitters suggested.

Once your route is established, we can better fill in the blanks with recommendations for specific places to stay and eat.

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
posts: 37,211
reviews: 795
13. Re: Two weeks touring from Portland. Ideas please.

LOL!

Voyaging I have no idea what the OP's screen name means (I try to figure them out, too) , but I do know where Telford is! Does that make up for the fact that I only read half of the title here?

Anyway, now that we're back on track, good suggestions above.

KratOs, once you get your route settled a bit more, we can help with lodging suggestions, eateries, attractions and the like :-)

If you prefer to have oceanfront lodging you will need to be making your bookings quite soon, as July is a very busy month.

Telford
posts: 2
reviews: 3
14. Re: Two weeks touring from Portland. Ideas please.

Thank you all for your very helpful posts. I have now had time to digest them and am considering:

Portland to Cannon Beach and then Newport or Yachats. Two nights in either of those.

Then Gold Beach or even push on to Crescent City for one or two nights.

Thank you Oregonpoppa, Kitters and half-Brit for your comments on the route thru Agness. I was glad to hear informed voices on that.

The Prospect Hotel looks inviting and has vacancies for the time we will be there. Two nights there so we can spend a day looking around Crater lake and the nearby waterfalls etc.

What are your views on going on to Klamath Falls and then reversing up to Bend? We would spend another two nights at Bend, or Sisters as suggested by Kitters.

If we spend two nights at Crescent City, with the other timings we will have four nights left. I have already booked a hotel near the airport for the night prior to leaving, so the next big question is - Do we cross over the Cascades form Bend and spend some time in the Salem area or do we go North to The Dalles and Portland from there. The advantage of the former is that we can drive to Dalles for Portland on one side of the river and back on the other.

Views on this would hbe appreciated as well as any further suggestions on places to stay and eat, or both.

As final question: How do you pronounce Dalles?

To an ordinary Brit it could be dalless, dayles or even dawls. Now tell me it's none of these:-)

Green Valley...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
posts: 16,765
reviews: 45
15. Re: Two weeks touring from Portland. Ideas please.

The Columbia River Gorge route is beautiful. I agree, best to go east from Portland area on the historic highway (certainly not by British standards but it is so for us colonists :)), then swing north via one of the dams or bridges to the Washington State side, go westbound, thence to Portland.

Have a great trip.

http://www.crgva.org/

Green Valley...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
posts: 16,765
reviews: 45
16. Re: Two weeks touring from Portland. Ideas please.

BTW, I'd vote for Bend rather than Sisters, as Bend is in the center of a very interesting geologic and scenic area, has more restaurants and, if interested, some nice galleries. There are a few short "hikes" along rivers and waterfalls just outside of Bend.

http://www.visitbend.com/

http://www.visitcentraloregon.com/

Longview, Washington
Destination Expert
for Mount Rainier National Park
posts: 2,465
reviews: 100
17. Re: Two weeks touring from Portland. Ideas please.

In answer to your question--the city along the Columbia River is The Dalles (pronounced dalz) from the French word dalle which refers to the columnar basalt rock formations along the river near what was Celilo Falls. These waterfalls and rapids on the river were historical indian fishing grounds. The rapids were inundated by the construction of The Dalles Dam in the 1960s. Be sure to visit The Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and Museum while you are in The Dalles, some fascinating history of the Columbia Gorge area.

The Dalles is not to be confused with the city of Dallas Oregon (as in Dallas Texas). Dallas Oregon is a small city in the Willamette Valley just south of Portland.

Oregon
posts: 1,500
reviews: 21
18. Re: Two weeks touring from Portland. Ideas please.

So of the most beautiful coastal views IMO are just south of Cannon Beach. There are a few pull offs, as well as beaches, from Hug point (has a road in the rock where the Pony Express used to run) to Arcadia Beach. Oswald West St Park should be an ok walk for you. I have done it with a hurt knee as well as with 10 preschoolers, it is downhill and fairly well maintained trail so pretty even. Make sure to Drive up to Ecola St. Park and Indian Beach while IN Cannon Beach. Ne-ah-kan-ie MT is a beautiful hike but might be a bit much.

There are lighthouses south along the way so make sure to stop at those.

Oregon
posts: 1,500
reviews: 21
19. Re: Two weeks touring from Portland. Ideas please.

The Dalles is Dalz short a

Dallas Texas is Dalis short a and i sound

20. Re: Two weeks touring from Portland. Ideas please.

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