We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Detour from PDX to Bend

Which Bend hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Asheville, North...
posts: 337
reviews: 11
Detour from PDX to Bend

We are heading to Bend from Portland for a wedding. Thought we would make a detour to Timberline Lodge since my husband has never been to Mt. Hood. I saw that there are Park Rangers that give tours. Has any one done one of these tours of the lodge? Is the tour worth the time? Thanks!

Eugene, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Eugene, Springfield
posts: 5,077
reviews: 125
1. Re: Detour from PDX to Bend

I've tagged along with a couple of the tours. They're worthwhile. Since they're all within the lodge, it's easy to join them in progress. However, if you're pressed for time and don't want to wait for the next tour, just pick up a brochure or book and do your own looking around. There's a lot of information online, as well, so you can familiarize yourselves and learn a lot before you get there.

Oregon
Destination Expert
for Newport, Depoe Bay
posts: 8,201
reviews: 42
2. Re: Detour from PDX to Bend

Just driving 26 gives many great views of Mt Hood. Driving to Timberline Lodge may be worth it for the Lodge, grand place, and you are above the timber line so open views of Mt Hood, but really too close for best views. I would not take a tour, but I am not tour person

Exeter, New...
posts: 106
reviews: 31
3. Re: Detour from PDX to Bend

Totally worth it!!!! I just did it! I blogged it here: …blogspot.com/2013/07/crossing-cascades-scen…

Asheville, North...
posts: 337
reviews: 11
4. Re: Detour from PDX to Bend

Thanks KennebunkportGIrl! So, you guys did ALL of that from 8:30 to 4? WOW!!! I knew that there was lots to see and do between PDX and Bend, but wasn't sure how our time would go. I lived in PDX in the 90's and really don't remember much about the drive between the two places. Thought it would be fun too see it again and for my husband to see it as well. We really have to be at our friends wedding at 6 that day out near Sisters though. So, that's the reason we are coming and need to definitely be there on time. Trying to squeeze in as much as I can in 6 days though. Thanks again for the link of your blog!

Exeter, New...
posts: 106
reviews: 31
5. Re: Detour from PDX to Bend

We took the "Sisters" drive on the way back to PDX. It was beautiful driving through the Santiam pass. We stopped in the town of Sisters and walked around. I think the drive over via Hood and Smith Rock was more impressive though. Enjoy your trip!

Eugene, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Eugene, Springfield
posts: 5,077
reviews: 125
6. Re: Detour from PDX to Bend

Just to clarify the reference to the "Sisters" drive...

There is a big difference between taking Santiam Pass to Sisters (#20) and continuing on 20 to I-5; turning off 20 at the junction with #126 (McKenzie River Hwy along the river and beautiful waterfalls and Clear Lake); and taking #242 (the seasonal and extremely scenic Old McKenzie Hwy via the lava beds, Dee Wright Observatory and the magnificent views of the Three Sisters). These routes often get confused on the forum and it's hard to tell from KennebunkportGirl's posting which route she took.

Oregon/Washington
Destination Expert
for Portland, Sunriver
posts: 8,763
reviews: 70
7. Re: Detour from PDX to Bend

I cannot help with your tour question, but we do go to the Bend area several times each year.

I think a loop trip is the best as it lets you see a real variety of things. Like kennebunkportgirl did on their trip. There are several options for this.

All that said, I would head from PDX to Bend via 26/97. BTW, yes, Huckleberry Inn is quite the insitution in Goverment Camp. We love this place! I have never had those maple bars though. We always go after backpacking or snowshoeing, so get a meal. Anyway, taking this route will easily get you to the wedding area with plenty of time.

On your way back, you can wander more and some of the other areas have places that we tend to linger more, so is better when we don't have to be somewhere by a certain time.

Enjoy the Sisters area. It is beautiful!!!

Bend, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Bend
posts: 1,388
reviews: 19
8. Re: Detour from PDX to Bend

We frequently drive back and forth too. Personally I prefer to take Mt Hood (26) when driving NW from Bend to Portland because of the continuing "sneak peeks" of the mountain, growing ever larger as you approach it. It's pretty stunning, and you don't get the same experience in the SE direction. We usually take I-5/22/20 (thru Salem, Detroit Lake, Sisters) when heading home to Bend.

This weekend though... we are taking Santiam both directions since a friend in PDX told me that I-84 between I-5 and I-205 will be closed for paving. I know there are many detours around this but I'm willing to bet the traffic snarls will be epic...

Oregon
Destination Expert
for Newport, Depoe Bay
posts: 8,201
reviews: 42
9. Re: Detour from PDX to Bend

We did that loop last week-end. We had a family gathering in Prineville on Sat so went over Mt Hood. Met an old friend of my wife in Sun River for brunch on Sun, then headed home about noon. We typically take Santiam and 22 home when in Bend so did. As we were about 4 miles east of Sisters ran into a line of traffic moving slow, very slow. took at least 15 -20 mins to get into and through town. not sure if is that way every Sun.

Oregon/Washington
Destination Expert
for Portland, Sunriver
posts: 8,763
reviews: 70
10. Re: Detour from PDX to Bend

phirl--Yes, that is typical, especially for a weekend during the summer. There are roads on either side of the main highway that parallel it, but goes all the way through town. Saves a ton of time!

fiveforefun--Yup, it will be a mess, unfortunately.