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Best route/day to take in the Gorge

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Best route/day to take in the Gorge

Hi everyone,

With our first trip to Portland coming soon I have been putting together our itinerary based on the time that we have available and the sights that my son and I can see together. He is going to be at a conference so his time is much more limited than mine! We arrive late on a Thursday night coming from Virginia. He has all day Friday to look around and most of Sunday (up to 4 pm) when he will need to be back in town. I thought if we weren't too bushed from the trip we could rent a car and go on Friday. Is it best to drive out highway 80 to Multhomah Falls and then back on the scenic highway? Or vise versa? We are not world travelers by any means (I can count on one hand how many times I have flown) so I don't know how tired we will be. Would Sunday be better? The only thing with that day is that he would need to be back to the hotel (downtown) by 3ish to get ready for an engagement and I don't want to be rushed. Would we?

The other thing is, he/we are on a tight budget. I read somewhere online that you could take public transportation out that way if you didn't rent a car. Is that possible?

We have never been west of Minnesota so this is going to be a true adventure! I can't wait!

I would love to see the coast as well, but I just don't know if time will allow it for him. Anyway, thank you all so much for any help you can share!

Portland, Oregon
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1. Re: Best route/day to take in the Gorge

Hi there-

it isnt possible to take public transit to the gorge, but there are bus tours-given your budget, it might be more convient to rent a car- you'd have to do the math...

They are doing road construction on the historic highway this summer check in to see what will be affected when you come..

btaoregon.org/2012/…

The gorge can take all day or just a half a day... Friday might be a tad less busy...

my thought would be to take the historic highway out the gorge and then take the freeway back-although I dont think it matters much...

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2. Re: Best route/day to take in the Gorge

Thank you. I checked into the tours vs. car rental and I think we will do the car.

Based on what I read thus far, would going to the Corbett exit out 1-84 and then taking the Historic highway east looping back on the highway at Bridal Falls be a good route?

Gresham, Oregon
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3. Re: Best route/day to take in the Gorge

If you go the gorge on a clear day (or mostly clear) then go to Larch Mt. If you take the corbett exit and head east when you get to the Columbia River Historic Highway you can take a right onto the Larch Mt. Road. It is about 10 miles to the top of the road but the view is incredible. At the viewpoint (about a 1/4 mile walk from the parking lot) you would be able to see Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams. Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier.

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4. Re: Best route/day to take in the Gorge

Does anyone have any updates on the construction. From what I could tell by the link it seems that from Fridays noon to Sunday midnight all lanes are open. Have there been any changes? We are looking at Friday August 10th and Sunday the 12th as possible trips there. Again, thanks for your help so far!:)

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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5. Re: Best route/day to take in the Gorge

Larch Mountain Road will have delays / partial closures during the week - this website should have the latest info. MrsO should be along soon to give you addtional updates and ideas:

oregonstateparks.org/images/pdf/events/Crown…

Lowcountry, don't rent a car from the airport as it will cost quite a bit more. Check out Budget downtown they are only about a 10-15 minute walk from a MAX train station. Don't be shy about asking for senior/AAA/military discounts :-)

I'd opt for Friday and get an early start if you can.

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6. Re: Best route/day to take in the Gorge

There is a Hertz rental from our hotel fortunately $38 a day for a compact.

I guess that is OK but I have nothing to compare it to! :)

half-Brit by partial closures on Larch Mt Rd, will it be just lane work so we could take the route ORstate mentioned earlier (going up Larch Mt. road for the view) or will the whole road be closed? Should we just go up the HCRH and bypass the Larch Mt. Road instead?

Portland, Oregon
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7. Re: Best route/day to take in the Gorge

I would head up I-84 , stop for a hike at Mulnomah Falls then up to Hood River for lunch. After that, over the Bridge of the Gods to the Washington side and take the highway back down to signs that say Portland. Stop along the way at anything that catches your interest. You will definitely need a car and the Hertz price sounds reasonable. Have fun!

Troutdale, Oregon
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for Hood River, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, The Dalles, Portland, Oregon
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8. Re: Best route/day to take in the Gorge

HI, Lowcountry.

People generally don't take Larch mountain Road unless they want to see the view from the top which is a short hike and names all the mountains.

(I can check with a friend who lives up there to see how tuff it is to get in there. If that is important to you.)

But indeed you will have plenty of beautiful sights to see. So if you just drop Larch Mountain from your list be assured you will not miss anything you can't liver without.

My goodness, if you've never been this far west your eyes will probably bug out with beautiful sites. Imagine ~ water falls right at the street level or a short walk.

To compare rates for rental cars, I would just Google "rental car prices in Portland" and I bet everyone has thinks their's is the lowest price. Be sure to consider and check on the total cost with any add-ons. Check with your insurance at home and I think you may not need insurance separate from that. I think Budget is a good thought. You won't need any big or 4X car or truck.

Any more questions? That is what we are here for.

MrsO

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9. Re: Best route/day to take in the Gorge

You all are so helpful. Thank you so much! I am getting more excited by the day! With the potential for delays on Larch Mt. Rd, I think we will take your advice and drop that route. We are going to be amazed by anything we see there; you just don't have views like what you all have in central Virginia :) I feel like Cinderella going to the ball with this trip!

I think we are going to play it by ear about the day we go, Fri. or Sun. I just don't know how tiring it will be flying most of Thursday and getting there late. I don't want to be too pooped Friday to not be able to get the most out of the hiking/sightseeing. It may be a non-issue; we'll see, Thanks again!

Troutdale, Oregon
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for Hood River, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, The Dalles, Portland, Oregon
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10. Re: Best route/day to take in the Gorge

Lowcountry,'

I know what you mean by that statement. When I moved back *home* and introduced DH to the rain forest that is this part of Oregon my eyes re-popped when I got back here. It is beautiful. We got involved with the volunteers at Multnomah Falls and have never regretted it.

MrsO