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HIghway 20 - From Ontario

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michigan
posts: 60
reviews: 1
HIghway 20 - From Ontario

Could someone tell me about driving on Highway 20? Is it mostly mountains with or without guardrails, valleys, or what? Is it all two lanes or are there portions of the highway that are four lanes?

We are heading from Ontario, Oregon to Crater Lake National Park and were wondering if this way is the best highway, or should we go up north and take the four-lane.

We are an elderly couple with one who is kind of afraid of heights.

Florence, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Oregon Coast
posts: 5,804
reviews: 15
1. Re: HIghway 20 - From Ontario

I last drove that section of road December 21, 2001.....in a blizzard!!!

It's actually a pretty decent road; mostly rolling hills with the exception of the Ochoco's, which aren't too bad. There are some passing lanes, but it's primarily just your typical 2-lane highway for most of the way. Not a lot to see from Burns to about Brothers, but not really a boring drive either.

michigan
posts: 60
reviews: 1
2. Re: HIghway 20 - From Ontario

Thanks Dengay,

I appreciate your reply!

SusieQMichigan

Portland, Oregon
posts: 1,019
reviews: 34
3. Re: HIghway 20 - From Ontario

Here's a video of the highway:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=kvgI0SRINNo

Florence, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Oregon Coast
posts: 5,804
reviews: 15
4. Re: HIghway 20 - From Ontario

From my recollection, that's what it looks like. Especially the last part with the snow LOL!!!

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
posts: 39,050
reviews: 831
5. Re: HIghway 20 - From Ontario

Hwy 20 is a pretty easy road to drive and no snow in the summer, lol!

SusieQ, I will tell you (and others will confirm) that the rim drive around Crater Lake is very narrow. It also has drop-offs on the side with no guardrails. There are some parts of it where the pavement is beginning to crumble a bit along the edge.

We were there last fall driving a wide, big dually pickup. The truck is 8.5 feet wide including the mirrors. There were several spots that were uncomfortably tight with oncoming cars, particularly other large vehicles such as motorhomes. There is no "extra" room - there are no verges - along some parts of the road.

In fact, we were thinking that if they do not do some road repair work along the edges, they are going to have to make the rim road a one-way drive before too many more years pass.

NOT meaning to frighten you with above info. If you are driving a smallish car you should have *no* problem with the width. And the traffic moves quite slowly along the road. But wanted to make sure you know, in light of your above question :-)

michigan
posts: 60
reviews: 1
6. Re: HIghway 20 - From Ontario

Thanks eveyone for all your help and information.

We will probably take Highway 20, then just go into Crater Lake Park a little ways to see the lake. Someone posted that you can see it from the lodge.

I think they said that you don't have to drive much on the rim road to get to the lodge. Hope I'm right with that.

Anyway, thanks again. You guys are the best!

Manzanita, Oregon
posts: 783
reviews: 26
7. Re: HIghway 20 - From Ontario

You are right, it is a short drive on the rim road to the Lodge. Be sure to spend some time on the Lodge verenda, it has a beautiful Lake view. As half-brit mentioned, if your driving a smallish car should not be a problem with the rim drive. If you find it uncomfortable there are some scenic pull offs, you could turn around.

Oregon
Destination Expert
for Newport, Depoe Bay
posts: 8,349
reviews: 43
8. Re: HIghway 20 - From Ontario

There ia a little elevation at Stinkingwater summit between Vale and Burns. Not sure where alse you may go in Oreg, but Stinkingwater is one of our less "scary"

I agree. come into park from north which is a easy pretty straight climb, then along west rim to Lodge. The east rim is nice but could be scary for sure. Road south from lodge is in some steep country, but not for long. You should be ok.

My wife holds her breath some high places, route suggested she does not. but east side I think she does. Cal 1 south of Fort Bragg she holds her breath, if you are thinking of going south skip that.

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
posts: 39,050
reviews: 831
9. Re: HIghway 20 - From Ontario

The road up to the Lodge is good, and the lake view from there is lovely indeed. It will be quite cool still, although since you're from Michigan it may feel warmish, lol!

Portland, Oregon
posts: 1,566
reviews: 13
10. Re: HIghway 20 - From Ontario

You shouldn't have any trouble as far as heights on Hwy 20- mostly the passes are the basin and range types with no big cliffs or anything(at least by oregon standards). Most of it is two lanes, not much traffic and its a fairly straight road so passing is easy.

Cant beleive I'm correcting Den, but I belileve Hwy 26 goes over the Ochoco Mtns- not Hwy 20. :) Very familair with Stinkwater pass as the car I was traveling in broke down going up the hill!!!Had to wait a day in Burns until the part arrived-I got to know the town library very well!

There isnt much out there, but its beautiful country. As far as restaurants there is nothing of note in Ontario, if you want a good eggs n bacon type breakfast and eat where the locals do try the Starlite Cafe in Vale. They have suprisingly good food and the prices are really unbeatable.

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