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Old 07-10-2021, 07:16 AM   #1
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Trip planning help needed, Vegas to Portland

Well, this isn't a SMB trip or even a van trip but I'm hoping any info shared will help others plan trips, especially since it's right in prime Western US/Eastern Sierra country.

I have an unusual work trip coming up that entails running a small trailer out to a trade show in Vegas for a client, then sitting for a week before I bring it back. I'll be towing with my Tundra pick up. The reason for towing with the truck rather than my van is that nearly a year ago I put down a deposit on a Super Pacific truck camper. At this time I had no van, no thought of another van, and was happily camping in a RTT on my truck. So, the Super Pacific top is ready and I have a week to run up and get it in Portland from Vegas and return. For those who will ask, no I don't have any idea what I'm going to do with it long term. For now I'll keep both.

I will be leaving Vegas and have 2.5 days to drive the thousand miles to Portland, picking up my top Tuesday. For the return I have more like 3.5 days. I'll be alone and equipped to get about anywhere off road and coincidentally the country between these two points is about the only place in the US I have not explored.

Help!

I'm thinking the most scenic route would be to head generally west to Mono Lake and work my way up 395 to at least Reno, then maybe start working NW towards Lassen/Shasta. For my return I have no reason to cover the same ground and will probably go east over to McKenzie River area/Bend/Crater Lake before working south. I have never seen Lake Tahoe or Lassen or really much of Northern CA away from the coast.

Can some of you who live/travel in this country put me on some roads, camp spots, breweries, taco trucks, day hikes, sights not to be missed?

My general prerequisites are: Meet up with some of you guys if possible, no need for organized campgrounds, take the road less travelled/untravelled.

Feel free to PM anything you'd rather not share in regards to off grid camping. It's getting crowded out there, I know.

Thanks
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Old 07-10-2021, 07:26 AM   #2
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I agree with your plan. 395 to Reno. Then 139 through Susanville to Klammath Falls. A little north of K Falls is Chemult. Thereís a few neat sites in this area, but just before this is the junction where you have to decide which section of the Cascades to drive through. East of Chemult is Crater Lake and Diamond Lake. You can take the back roads from Lemola Lake and find some really pristine mountain camping, eventually taking you to the Odell Lake area. You can continue off-highway here and eventually end up in the McKenzie drainage basin. From the town of McKenzie Bridge, take highway 242 east to Bend. Then 26 to Portland. Optional stops at Smith Rock and Timberline Lodge goi my this route.

Here is a pic from 242
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Old 07-10-2021, 07:44 AM   #3
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Spectacular my friend, keep it coming. I'll be doing a loop but some ground covered twice is ok. We have been to Crater Lake a few times, coming down from Portland area directly, more or less. I'm sure I'll go near or through it on my return trip will encompass Bend and some of 97.
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Old 07-10-2021, 07:50 AM   #4
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Iíve been through a big part of that numerous times on motorcycle trips off-road. Iím off grid now but will give some thought to it. There is a large fire right now on the sprague river which will put a damper on some amazing country. Carringb is right about the Odell area. You could drive a big part of the cascades discovery route from crescent lake down to crater lake area and then work over to 395 and down to Reno. Iíll think of more when I get back.
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Old 07-10-2021, 09:35 AM   #5
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Hey Eric -- don't know much about the area or can't give you any tips - but - and I know you know this from your travel experience - stay on top of fire notifications out there. Probably not a lot of "bail out" highways if you encounter a closed road - and have to backtrack ! Travel safe --
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Old 07-10-2021, 10:19 AM   #6
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^good point. On that note…. You’re also supposed to carry 5-gallons of water and a shovel on FS and state forest land during fire season. I carry a bow saw and sometimes a chainsaw just in case. And sometimes much more water, since even a hot tailpipe can get some dry grass going.
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Old 07-10-2021, 07:23 PM   #7
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Hi Eric. A few easy places. 395 check out Alabama Hills, continue north and see June Lake Loop, then highway 120 up Tioga Pass then back on 395 to Highway 108. Drive over Sonora Pass to Kennedy Meadows. Then back on 395 to go north.
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Old 07-11-2021, 07:36 AM   #8
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Excellent. Yes, I've looked at the fires a little but will definitely be planning accordingly. I always have a shovel and at least 5 gallons water, which is good I guess because I've never heard of that requirement.

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Old 07-11-2021, 11:13 AM   #9
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Keep checking the Reno news outlets because as of yesterday US 395 is closed just north of Reno due to a huge fire that blew in from California.
https://mynews4.com/news/local/porti...ng-evacuations
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Old 07-11-2021, 11:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deserteagle56 View Post
Keep checking the Reno news outlets because as of yesterday US 395 is closed just north of Reno due to a huge fire that blew in from California.
https://mynews4.com/news/local/porti...ng-evacuations
Thanks, I'm watching the fires closely. I'm sure it will keep things interesting.

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