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Old 08-12-2020, 07:16 PM   #1
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PNW Tour Suggestions

Hi all. We are loosely planning a trip from our home in Durango, CO to the PNW and Oregon and Washington. Have no clue how we are going to get up there from here but we'll figure that out. '09 E-360 6L if that matters. Looking to mostly camp/boondock out in the woods or plains or deserts.

Not even sure what where we want to go other than: Crater Lake, Oregon coast, Sandy OR (Rixens to get this Espar furnace fixed once and for all) and the Olympic Peninsula.

We will be taking our mountain bikes and I read that Bend has some good trails and other things to do. Wife likes to bike but also loves to hike so I can ride, she can hike. I can do some shorter hikes due to a recently fused toe that ain't going well.

Did see something about Old Perpetual but not sure that is worth a side trip to Lakeview OR. Summer Lake Hot Springs was on the list but that's closed due to the 'rona.

Just have to hit a Pig 'n Pancake too while up there for some breakfasts. I remember them from a business trip to Cannon Beach some time ago.

Again, we don't have a plan for which way to get up there or back but only that we need a getaway in September and this looks to be the ticket.

Suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 08-12-2020, 08:13 PM   #2
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I have a lot of suggestions. Both for biking and back country driving. How much time do you have for this trip?
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Old 08-12-2020, 08:23 PM   #3
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Thanks! Maybe we should stop by your place. I am thinking over 2 weeks maybe about 16 or 18 days... somewhere in that range.

The best plan is to have no plan but we need to plan on cool places to go.
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Old 08-12-2020, 08:50 PM   #4
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It’ll be a great trip! Given your parameters, I laid out a potential route for you.

Start in Utah and get yourself up to the Steens...



You can go south along the east side Alvord Desert route or on the west side Malheur Wildlife Refuge Route. Or do both if you have the time...

Get south to Route 140 and go west/north. You can veer off to the Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge or keep going on 140...



Back on 140, you can take the long way around to the Klamath Refuge (don’t know if there’s much to see there in high summer) or take the back roads on up to Crater Lake...



Leaving Crater Lake, get on Route 138/38 along the Umpqua River. You will have seen some of the earth’s most beautiful scenes along that route. Take a minute, at least, and a night if you can, to camp at one of the USFS campsites along the route. I’ve been all over and I think this is one of the most beautiful, quiet places on the planet.

Take that route all the way to the ocean. You’ll come out at Reedsport. From there, go north on 101, all the way to the Columbia River.




Be sure to leave time to explore the dunes at Florence. It’s vast. Rent a dune buggy, it’s a blast.






At Seaside or Astoria, you can take Hwy 30 back to Portland and out to Sandy to Rixens. Or go straight across the Astoria bridge and explore the Washington Coast and the Olympic Peninsula. You won’t be sorry.

If you want to go to the Bend area, you’ll need to veer up north on 395. But then you’ll need to loop back down to get to Crater Lake. If you have enough time, that would be a great route.

Larrie on this forum is someone who can probably help with boondocking spots on the East side. Others can as well.

Good luck and have fun. I love my state, so take good care of it!

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Old 08-12-2020, 09:18 PM   #5
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I second Otter's route. Great hospitality to put that together. Fremont ridge above Paisley is amazing. You can hit that then head west to Bald Butte lookout and pickup his route again.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Otter View Post
Itíll be a great trip! Given your parameters, I laid out a potential route for you.

Start in Utah and get yourself up to the Steens...



You can go south along the east side Alvord Desert route or on the west side Malheur Wildlife Refuge Route. Or do both if you have the time...

Get south to Route 140 and go west/north. You can veer off to the Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge or keep going on 140...



Back on 140, you can take the long way around to the Klamath Refuge (donít know if thereís much to see there in high summer) or take the back roads on up to Crater Lake...



Leaving Crater Lake, get on Route 138/38 along the Umpqua River. You will have seen some of the earthís most beautiful scenes along that route. Take a minute, at least, and a night if you can, to camp at one of the USFS campsites along the route. Iíve been all over and I think this is one of the most beautiful, quiet places on the planet.

Take that route all the way to the ocean. Youíll come out at Reedsport. From there, go north on 101, all the way to the Columbia River.




Be sure to leave time to explore the dunes at Florence. Itís vast. Rent a dune buggy, itís a blast.






At Seaside or Astoria, you can take Hwy 30 back to Portland and out to Sandy to Rixens. Or go straight across the Astoria bridge and explore the Washington Coast and the Olympic Peninsula. You wonít be sorry.

If you want to go to the Bend area, youíll need to veer up north on 395. But then youíll need to loop back down to get to Crater Lake. If you have enough time, that would be a great route.

Larrie on this forum is someone who can probably help with boondocking spots on the East side. Others can as well.

Good luck and have fun. I love my state, so take good care of it!

.
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Old 08-12-2020, 10:23 PM   #6
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And... following this thread! Looks like some great suggestions on routes and sites to see
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Old 08-13-2020, 03:43 PM   #7
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Great input gang! Thanks.
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Old 08-13-2020, 04:44 PM   #8
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Here's my suggestions... Lot's of these will be off the beaten path, because the popular tourist areas are inundated with out-of-state tourists, so not only are they far more crowded than usual, the crowds showing up lack any sort of outdoors ethics.

Also, please try to be as self-sufficient as possible. Some rural towns are encouraging tourists to stay away this summer, because of concerns over medical system capacity. Bend and many coastal towns in particular.

Anyways, here's my list:

1) Start in Fields Oregon. This is small town population 7 (last I was there) but is the hometown to both Avlord Desert and Avlord Hot Springs. As long as there's no precipitation, you can camp out in the middle of playa. I think Larry had some pics up a little while ago.

2) From Avlord Desert, the next logical stop is Steens Mountain loop.

3) After looping the Steens, you can head north towards burns, and stay at Crystal Crane Hot Springs. They have reopened, and overnight guests get all-night pond access. https://www.cranehotsprings.com

4) From Burns, you can head west into Bend. However, the Hwy 20 drive here is about as boring as they get. I suggest instead to skirt slightly south, and drive through Christmas Valley and Fort Rock, and highly recommended stop at Crack In the Ground.

5) After Fort Rock, you can head NW towards Bend, but I'd suggest a stop at Paulina Lake. This is at the top of Newberry Caldera, with both Paulina and Twin Lakes up there. There's Hot Springs in the bank of Paulina Lake, with a nice hike though some obsidian flows. While at Paulina, you can ride the Paulina Plunge, which is a mellow downhill ride along a series of waterfalls and swimming holes. Because of shuttle logistics, you might want to consider doing this guided. Downhill Waterfall Mountain Bike Tour | The Paulina Plunge

This area has a ton of geologic features, including the Lava Cast Forest, Lava Butte, and numerous lava tube caves. High Dessert museum us nearby too.

6) From here, you're basically in Bend. The downtown river tube float is fun on a hot day. Restaurants have limited indoor service, but most have outdoor dining anyways. And of course, mountain biking. You could spend weeks here, and not ride every trail. My favorite option is shuttling up to Todd Lake, and riding the back country trail network through Tumulo Falls, and back to the Phil's trail network.

7) No trip to central Oregon is complete without exploring Cascade Lakes highway. Lots of camping, hiking, lakes, cross country biking etc.

8) To get away from crowds, I suggest heading south from here. You can stay on pavement to Cresecent cutoff, or take the dirt trails from Cultus Lake area to Waldo Lake. Good camping any of these areas. But keep going south until Highway 58. You have a short detour option here to ride at Oakridge. Willamette Pass is closed this summer. But then head slightly east on highway 58, and follow the signs to Crescent Lake. Then use the very primitive dirt road to get to Summit Lake. If Summit Lake is too crowded, take the even more primitive dirt road to Timpanogas Lake. There's a small campground here, and you can have the lake to yourself most of the time. https://goo.gl/maps/HLEc5uxYbJZb6Z147

But the real gem is a short hike or bike ride up to Indigo Lake. This should not be missed! https://goo.gl/maps/teVtQAdNAoT8YYm38

9) From here, you can head south again to Lemola Lake. Not much special here (but still nice), but the main reason is to ride Umpqua River Trail, from Lemola Lake to Umpqua Hot Springs. This is a shuttle ride, but depending when you're there, I'd be more than happy to join you guys and help with shuttle. It's one of my favorites.

This puts you next to Highway 138, where you can follow vandiesel's route to the coast. But... my next suggest is to bail from the coast at Newport, and coming into Corvallis.

10) Just south of Corvallis is Alsea Falls rec area. This has become a well-developed MTB area. It's all out and back, no shuttle needed.

11) After Corvallis, stop by Falls City, for even more out-and-back riding.

12) After Falls City, there some nice riding at Silver Falls State Park. I also recommend doing the main waterfall loop hike.

13) From here, might as well stop in Portland. Despite what Fox news portrays, the city is most definitely not burning to ground, although the PDX areas is still on tight Covid restrictions, so dining out is limited (plenty of take out and food carts still!).

One neat option to spend a day in town is doing the 4T trail. https://www.travelportland.com/culture/4t-trail/

14) This pretty much brings you to Gresham, but after Gresham, a day or 2 riding Post Canyon in Hood River is definitely worth a stop.

15) My last can't miss recommendation is stay a night or 2 at Wallowa Lake State Park on your way home. This is another of my favorite areas.
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Old 08-13-2020, 07:45 PM   #9
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"Leaving Crater Lake, get on Route 138/38 along the Umpqua River. You will have seen some of the earth’s most beautiful scenes along that route. Take a minute, at least, and a night if you can, to camp at one of the USFS campsites along the route. I’ve been all over and I think this is one of the most beautiful, quiet places on the planet."

I couldn't agree more. We've been out there 2/3 times now. Here are the highlights:
138 between Crater Lake and Roseburg and Crater Lake itself

Mckenzie Hwy/126 and Clear Lake area

Bend is cool but getting way too busy. Find an Ocean Roll at the Sparrow Bakery in Bend. This was recommended to me on here and I have not forgotten it. Great donuts in Bend too, I'll update with the place. My wife has considered mail ordering them to TN a time or two but I've advised against it for practical reasons.

Mt. Bachelor area, lakes, campgrounds, etc.

The whole of the Olympic peninsula, especially the Hoh Rainforest.

Tour some breweries! There are lots. We really dug Full Sail in Hood River.

I'm forgetting a lot. I'll edit this post in time. I don't live anywhere near the PNW and have reservations about giving you any info at all because everything I say is basically the touristy stuff CarringB warns of above. If you ask me for recommendations near where I live you won't get anything busy or touristy, that's the way it should be. Anyway.....I digress. There's this thread from planning our trip out there a few years ago if you're interested. Apparently I never did a proper TR afterwards. That's a bummer. That was the most amazing vacation we have ever taken. You can't go wrong out there.

https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/fo...w-19541-8.html
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Old 08-13-2020, 08:15 PM   #10
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I love all these Oregon suggestions but he did say he wanted to see Washington too... :^)
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