Washington/Oregon and area things to see - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-25-2018, 11:41 AM   #1
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Washington/Oregon and area things to see

Next August we will be doing a inner passage cruise out of Vancouver and will spend some time before and after seeing things. Besides the National Parks in the area, are there other things we "can't leave without seeing?"
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Old 01-25-2018, 11:56 AM   #2
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Next August we will be doing a inner passage cruise out of Vancouver and will spend some time before and after seeing things. Besides the National Parks in the area, are there other things we "can't leave without seeing?"
There's more to see and experience in Washington and Oregon than can possibly be listed here. I'll give a couple of what I consider "don't miss" places.
First on my list is Timberline Lodge. This Lodge was finished in 1937 and dedicated by FDR at that time. CCC built it. You don't have to stay in to visit it and there is no cost.
Second is Multnomah Falls along with the other falls along the Columbia River Scenic Drive.
Third is Crater Lake, followed by Newberry Crater. Both are large Calderas. Crater Lake has the clearest blue water that filled it, Newberry Crater has two lakes and an obsidian flow. Both are managed by the National Park System.

Oregon beaches are also nice, the entire coast of Oregon is public property with full access.
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Old 01-25-2018, 12:15 PM   #3
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Shore Acres State Park

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...are there other things we "can't leave without seeing?"
If you see nothing else on the Oregon Coast, make sure you spend time at Shore Acres State Park. It's on the Central Coast nearby Coos Bay. You won't regret it!

Shore Acres State Park | Friends of Shore Acres, Inc.
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Old 01-25-2018, 12:17 PM   #4
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Here's a great website to visit and plan your stay!

https://traveloregon.com/
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Old 01-25-2018, 04:12 PM   #5
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The only problem with all the coastal parks in WA and OR, is that if you don't have advanced reservations in the summer, fahgetaboutit! You can't even get into a handicapped site without an advanced reservation. On our return from our annual week and a half opal digging trip, (Virgin Valley, NV,) last last summer we stayed one night in a handicapped accessible site in La Pine, OR. It was the only site in the entire camp area available, and only for one night, and since we qualified, we took it. Next day we headed west to the coast figuring on spending a few days in the cool ocean breezes after a week and a half in 105 degree heat. We headed west through Tumalo, OR, (DO NOT try to go through Tumalo on the 4th of July. It took us 3 1/2 hours to go roughly four miles! Ugh!) Anyway, onward to the coast, coming out at Newport, OR. We had always had good luck pulling in and getting a handicap spot, usually at Beverly Beach for the first night back on the west coast, but this past year they started allowing even the handicapped sites to be advance booked, which they never used to do. We drove on, and went through every park on the way north along the coast. Found absolutely nothing that wasn't booked in either WA or OR all the way up the coast. We had a not so wonderful 16 hour day "forced march from hell" behind the wheel until we finally made it all the way home at 1 o'clock in the morning. Don't even think of pulling in anywhere on the west coast in the summer unless you have a confirmed reservation in hand.
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Old 01-25-2018, 04:47 PM   #6
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The only problem with all the coastal parks in WA and OR, is that if you don't have advanced reservations in the summer, fahgetaboutit! You can't even get into a handicapped site without an advanced reservation. On our return from our annual week and a half opal digging trip, (Virgin Valley, NV,) last last summer we stayed one night in a handicapped accessible site in La Pine, OR. It was the only site in the entire camp area available, and only for one night, and since we qualified, we took it. Next day we headed west to the coast figuring on spending a few days in the cool ocean breezes after a week and a half in 105 degree heat. We headed west through Tumalo, OR, (DO NOT try to go through Tumalo on the 4th of July. It took us 3 1/2 hours to go roughly four miles! Ugh!) Anyway, onward to the coast, coming out at Newport, OR. We had always had good luck pulling in and getting a handicap spot, usually at Beverly Beach for the first night back on the west coast, but this past year they started allowing even the handicapped sites to be advance booked, which they never used to do. We drove on, and went through every park on the way north along the coast. Found absolutely nothing that wasn't booked in either WA or OR all the way up the coast. We had a not so wonderful 16 hour day "forced march from hell" behind the wheel until we finally made it all the way home at 1 o'clock in the morning. Don't even think of pulling in anywhere on the west coast in the summer unless you have a confirmed reservation in hand.
Stay out of Oregon State Parks.
Go inland a few miles.
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Old 01-25-2018, 04:54 PM   #7
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I hope to make reservations in Feb and March. I am going to book things pretty solid just to make sure I have a place to stay. Will probably be doing less that 250 miles a day when driving. Any opinions about distances and roads is welcome also. this is a part of the country I have never been in. I have done smokey mountains, and driven a little in Rockies, but not pulled a camper in either place, so want to try and get a good feel for what I need. Will probably practice more in the Kentucky hills later this spring.
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Old 01-25-2018, 05:07 PM   #8
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We really enjoyed the area around Lake Quinault WA last year, including side trips to the Olympic Peninsula beaches, and the Hoh Rain Forest. Because we were in the middle of a month long road trip, we motelled it at Quinault, so I can't recommend any RV parks, but I do recommend the Quinault River Inn, it was lovely to stay at. The Rainforest Resort campground nearby was on our list, we ate at the restaurant there (fabulous salmon) but didn't really explore the campground. The campground at the Kalaloch Lodge on the coast looked nice but again, we just visited, didn't stay there.
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Old 01-25-2018, 05:53 PM   #9
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If you go to Crater Lake, a wonderful side trip with short hikes to lots of waterfalls is along OR 138, the Rogue Umpqua Trail. Susan Creek BLM campground is on OR 138, a pretty, dry campground with bathrooms & showers. If you do a search on my webpage for OR 138, you can see a couple of visits over the years. Here is a link to this year's visit & a photo:

Whitehorse Falls
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Old 01-25-2018, 06:45 PM   #10
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Parks

There are usually a lot of private RV parks if the state parks are full. Better than driving 16 hours for us.
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Old 01-25-2018, 09:33 PM   #11
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Tide pools. Not having much experience with oceans we really enjoyed getting the tide schedule and walking out on the beaches at low tide.

I could spend many weeks at the Oregon State Parks on the coast. You may not get as far south as Brandon, OR but that is where we enjoyed seeing the tide pools.

There are so many wonderful places to see in Oregon. 5 trips out there and I still would love to go back. Be sure to allow weeks for just Oregon alone.

Of all our travels I think Oregon is at the top.

We also like to drive the coast from north to south as all the pull outs are on the coast side. Then we cross the states from southern Oregon.

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Old 01-26-2018, 10:39 AM   #12
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I live in Bend, OR. One of my favorite places here in central OR is Smith Rock State Park in Terrebone. No camping there, but beautiful hiking! Downtown Bend has somewhere around 30 breweries if that's your thing. The city of Sisters is very cute and has good tourist shopping. Also not to be missed is Silver Falls State Park outside Salem. My favorite part of the coast is Harris Beach near Brookings, with Bandon Beach a close second. There's a wonderful Italian restaurant in Coos Bay called Benetti's.

I agree with other posts that while at the coast if you are willing to go inland just a few miles there are RV parks that don't fill up, even in the summer. But if you want to be in the popular spots, reservations are a must.

As for road conditions, you should be fine in the summer, especially if you stay on the paved highways. In winter I refuse to make any commitments outside Bend because the mountain passes can be very icy and can stay that way for weeks...
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Old 01-26-2018, 10:48 AM   #13
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I live in Bend, OR. One of my favorite places here in central OR is Smith Rock State Park in Terrebone. No camping there, but beautiful hiking! Downtown Bend has somewhere around 30 breweries if that's your thing. The city of Sisters is very cute and has good tourist shopping. Also not to be missed is Silver Falls State Park outside Salem. My favorite part of the coast is Harris Beach near Brookings, with Bandon Beach a close second. There's a wonderful Italian restaurant in Coos Bay called Benetti's.

I agree with other posts that while at the coast if you are willing to go inland just a few miles there are RV parks that don't fill up, even in the summer. But if you want to be in the popular spots, reservations are a must.

As for road conditions, you should be fine in the summer, especially if you stay on the paved highways. In winter I refuse to make any commitments outside Bend because the mountain passes can be very icy and can stay that way for weeks...
We have fond memories of Bend and the surrounding area. Such a contrast from the Cascades within a relatively short driving distance. Lots of wildlife too. We also enjoyed the Crooked River Ranch area.
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Old 01-26-2018, 10:50 AM   #14
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I forgot about another favorite place. Clear Lake, Sahalie Falls and Koosah Falls. They are all very close together along Hwy 126 between Bend and Eugene. Clear Lake has crystal clear water...you can see the bottom 100 feet down. There are the trunks of trees still standing from 1200 years ago when the lake was formed quickly by a lava flow. It's really fun to rent a rowboat and go find the trees. To the left of the dock is best. The falls are spectacular with old growth trees, bright green moss and grasses. There's an amazing 1 mile walk between the 2 falls along the crystal blue Mckenzie River.

But you won't get to see everything unless you're here for quite a while. Tough choices! I've visited all 50 states and IMHO Oregon is one of the more spectacular and diverse.
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Old 01-26-2018, 10:56 AM   #15
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The key to camping in Oregon is to do it Sunday through Thursday and use NFS, BLM or county camp grounds. Oregon State parks are some of the best in the county but very popular, reservations are a must. I have found the best tool for finding campgrounds is Benchmark map books, you would be amazed at the number of Campground that are available and some almost empty during the week. Also the Forest Service print Motor Vehicle access maps for some districts that show where you can boondock.
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Old 01-26-2018, 12:19 PM   #16
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I love all the suggestions -- am looking forward to the trip. If all goes well I think a west coast trip each year might well be in the plans. There is so much to see in this country, and I hope to see a lot of it in the next 10 years. Keep the ideas coming!!
Thanks for all the input.
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Old 01-26-2018, 04:29 PM   #17
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Next August we will be doing a inner passage cruise out of Vancouver and will spend some time before and after seeing things. Besides the National Parks in the area, are there other things we "can't leave without seeing?"
You didn't ask about Vancouver but if you aren't terrified of heights you must go to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. There are several hanging bridges over a canyon and in trees. It was awesome and I hate to go up a ladder or on a roof. Plan on a few hours there. There's another park nearby with a suspension bridge also. These bridges are popular in Canada. Get a vacation guide of Vancouver and look to see what you like to see.
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Old 01-26-2018, 04:35 PM   #18
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Highway 101, the main coast highway, is VERY bumpy, twisty, wiggly. It's the only place every one of our cabinet doors popped open. I would not expect to drive fast or long on that. Not again, anyway! And fast--not towing. Plan ahead to pull off, and then do it. You may not get a chance when you suddenly need to.

Bandon, Oregon has possibly the best beach in both states. Not the one at Bullard's Beach, but the one accessible from town, down the cliffs on wooden stairways or by hiking a long distance overland a bit further south. It is quiet, has fascinating rocks and stones, caves, monoliths, and at times a man who makes designs on the sand for people to walk along meditatively if they like. There used to be the best fish shack anywhere, too, in Bandon on the main Old Towne waterfront/parking lot, but it has closed since, and we got quite sick from the one that's left.

Seaside is iconic and should not be missed. The aquarium is much like it was 50 years ago--be sure to buy some fish and feed the seals! The town is fun to walk, the sidewalk along the main beach and the turnaround are well and widely known. The newer outlet mall right along Highway 101 in town has some good shopping if you're into outlet malls. They used to have a super tiny zoo including the world's smallest mammal, and a butterfly zoo, but those aren't there any more. The Pig N Pancake restaurant is another old-time icon.

Canon Beach is great for shopping, too, and is more artsy than Seaside; pricier, too. Great leather shop there. Interesting sidewalk foods. Some fairly good restaurants.i

The Astor column is worth seeing--and climbing if you're not afraid of heights. As long as you're in Astoria, you'll likely see the bridge crossing from Oregon to Washington. It's one of our engineering treasures.

The Dalles dam is worth a tour...so is Stonehenge about 20 minbutes further east on the main highway along the Columbia River. There's also an observatory near Stonehenge with some of the best night viewing available anywhere, because the nearby town has a light abatement law to make sure observers have every chance to really see the Milky Way.

BEST wishes for a wonderful trip! Batten down the hatches for Highway 101!

Kai
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Old 01-26-2018, 04:45 PM   #19
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[QUOTE=Jann Todd;681064]

You didn't ask about Vancouver but if you aren't terrified of heights you must go to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. There are several hanging bridges over a canyon and in trees. It was awesome and I hate to go up a ladder or on a roof but loved it. Plan on a few hours there. Lynn Canyon Park is nearby and it has a suspension ridge and historical things around. These bridges are popular in Canada. Get a vacation guide of Vancouver and look to see what you like to see. If you have time go to Vancouver Island. We ferried our motorhome from Port Angeles, WA to Victoria on the island. We spent 12 days seeing all kinds of things from the Butchart Gardens, old growth forests to a trip up Mount Washington on a ski lift. When we left the island we went from Nanaimo to Vancouver. It cost about $108 each time we ferried. The ferry was $39 per person or a flat rate of $69 for vehicles with the driver free. The flat rate is for vehicles 18 feet or less then there's a $5.25 charge per foot over 18 feet. Add $39 for extra passengers. So if no vehicle it would be $39 per person then you'd have to rent a car if possible on the island.
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Old 01-26-2018, 04:48 PM   #20
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Despite the rough and winding road on highway 101 it is a beautiful drive.
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