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Roadtrip options

Amsterdam, The...
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Roadtrip options

Hi,

We are planning a trip to pacific NW early september, we'll spend about three weeks in the area.

But, I'm having trouble choosing between two options:

1. fly to Seatlle (or Portland), spend some time there (we are beerlovers ), head out to see some NP in the area, and then travel the coast all the way down to see the redwoods. Maybe fly out of SF.

2. Fly to Portland, spend time there, take in a chuck of the lovely Oregon Coast and then towards Yellowstone. Fly out of Salt Lake City.

Any advice? We like a combination of citylife and nature, are relaxed travellers (so not spending long days in row in the car) and have seen the sequioas in California on an earlier trip .

Troutdale, Oregon
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for Hood River, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, The Dalles, Portland, Oregon
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1. Re: Roadtrip options

Hi, RockinSusie,

Welcome to our forums. I see you are new.

We have a National Scenic Area in close to Portland, (Columbia River Gorge and the waterfalls) a National Park but that would take some driving to (Crater Lake) Washington has Olympic Peninsula, and Mount Rainier. THere's beer aplenty in Portland. MSUBulldog has very up to date info on that.

THe CRGSNA starts about 20 minutes east of Portland on I-84 starting in Troutdale. There is an old Historic Highway (30) that would take you up and over the mountain and into the waterfall area past the Vista House and into Multnomah Falls.

If you bypass the old highway and stay on I-84 you will still see beauty. There is plenty to do in this beautiful area.

Our coast is very beautiful but is not really a swimming beach IMO because it is cooler than most and has riptides that can be dangerous. Awesome rock formations on the coast and great cities. Between 90 minutes and 2 hours from Portland depending on route and destination.

Yellowstone can be reached by route of Spokane/Couer DeAlene (the west entrance.) We go through the Gorge but it is a long drive (and in my estimation prettier) We take the route that takes you to Walla Walla WA and up through the Clear Water Forest along the Clearwater River up to Lolo Pass Montana and over the Continental Divide three times.. You can drive to the airport (betweenn Troutdale and Portland) and be at Yellowstone quicker for sure.

Early September is a great time to travel in this rainforest.

When you get a schedule of sorts started let us know budget, sleeping budget and requirements and we can help you better.

Best,

MrsO

Amsterdam, The...
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2. Re: Roadtrip options

Hi MrsO,

thank you for you detailed reply.

I've just started planning, main thing now are flights. We need to decide if we want to fly out of Salt Lake or SF (or maybe just do a roundtrip to Seatlle or Portland). Anyone any thoughts on the redwoods option?

I am aware that there are other forums for both places, but I could not find a forum that focuses on the whole Pacific NW.

Thanks!

Port Angeles, WA
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3. Re: Roadtrip options

RockinSusie, please post on the Washington State Forum as well. OR is lovely, but so is Western Washington. At least consider flying in to Seattle, visiting Olympic National Park, and then driving down to OR. Early September is the absolute best time of year to visit Olympic National Park.

Also, you seem to be focused on the OR coast and Yellowstone. Central OR is incredibly beautiful and varied. It is also much less crowded than Yellowstone. Have you taken a look at a guidebook for OR? Do look at the area around Sisters/Bend. The mountains, crystalline rivers, lava lands, fossil beds, lakes, and hot springs are unforgettable.

Troutdale, Oregon
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4. Re: Roadtrip options

Unfortunately there is not a PNW forum. TA is pretty good about choosing people who live in and know the area to be Destination Experts(?) for EACH area.

I have so many (titles?) because I volunteer in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and there is not a forum for the NSA. (TA thinks Oneonta Gorge is in Portland-- it's not.)

To not backtrack, I would fly into Medford and look into the Southern coast and redwoods then drive up the coast to Portland and drive to the Gorge then either fly or drive to the west entrance of Yellowstone.. I believe you could fly from Butte to SLC and out.to your home.

We tend not to plan too many cities or attractions as we like (personally) to stay in a place at least a couple days then move on if we are on a long vacation. I would have to say Mt. St Helen is a full day drive and only one place to stop. Walla Walla, WA and Hood River have great AVAs or wine areas.

I agree, you should post on the Washington forums but as you see many WA posters post here too. (and Vice/Versa some Oregonians post on all the WA forums as well)

Good luck with your planning. I bet you are getting excited.

MrsO

Edited: 2:49 pm, March 05, 2013
Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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5. Re: Roadtrip options

Although three weeks *sounds* like a lot of time, I'm thinking that would give you just enough time to:

Fly to Seattle, spend a few days there

Follow kaleberg's advice and see Olympic National Park (few days)

Drive south to Oregon, go inland to see Portland and Columbia Gorge (few days)

Back west out to the coast, then follow it south through redwoods, California Highway 1 (few days)

To San Francisco (few days there).

Depending upon the number of days you spend in or through each area, that's three weeks!

United States
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6. Re: Roadtrip options

I would pick none of the above. I'd fly into Yellowstone/Jackson Hole WY and stay there for a while, stay a short time in Glacier National Park (it's on way anyway though Banff is way better), and then head up to Banff and Jasper and fly out from Calgary.

If you have time, you can start at Mt Rushmore/Badlands in South Dakota and then drive to Yellowstone and follow the same itinerary to Banff/Jasper.

If you can do my suggested itinerary later and still want to do the Pacific NW, I'd pick your option 1. There are so many things to do in Utah - it's aabsolutely gorgeous. I'd save Salt Lake for another trip to see more of Utah and maybe the grand circle (Grand Canyon, Upper Antelope Canyon, Zion, Bryce, etc.)

Edited: 9:11 pm, March 06, 2013
Amsterdam, The...
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7. Re: Roadtrip options

Hi all,

thanks for all the suggestions! The plan has changed; we're dropping the Yellowstone option. I think Washington and Oregon have enough to offer for a three week trip. Heehee62, your idea sounds als great, but we have already visited Banff/Jasper.

Olympic NP looks great, so we are definitely considering this. Or should we do Mount Rainier?

So, the choice now really is; a roundtrip from Seattle, or Seattle-SF.

Thanks again!

I will keep you posted when we plan more details!

Troutdale, Oregon
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8. Re: Roadtrip options

RSuz, Seattle to Portland is only a little over a 3 hour drive. I would go to Portland and back to Seattle.

MrsO

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9. Re: Roadtrip options

Good choice.

I can't really say whether roundtrip or one-way to SF would be better for you. It's really about your interests and whether you have been to SF before or will go there again some other time.

If you go roundtrip, you could go along the Oregon coast in one direction and then when heading back, hit Crater Lake, Bend/volcano area, Mt Hood/Timberline/Trillium Lake on you way back. You could actually still hit the redwoods too depending on the amount of time you have and how willing you are to drive. Though, if you will be going to SF again some other time, I do wonder if it's be easier to do the redwoods on that trip.

Edited: 9:48 pm, March 09, 2013
10. Re: Roadtrip options

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