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Quick Oregon trip. Need suggestions
  
 
abhisheks77
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Quick Oregon trip. Need suggestions


I will be doing a quick trip with long distances, starting after a week from now and I tried to make a rough plan, based on few places mentioned as scenic, all over internet. I am not sure, how much these routes are photographically and per their scenic value, so looking for advice here.

Day-1: Drive from Seattle to Estacada in night.

Day-2 : I will be starting from Estacada, spend couple of hours at Mt. Hood National Forest, quick stop at Metolius River, Smith Rock State Park, Deschutes National Forest, Devil's Lake. Night halt at Crescent.

Day-3 : Leave for Crater Lake. After spending couple of hours at Crater Lake, Watson Falls. Night halt at Roseburg (or further ahead)

Day-4 : Oregon Dunes, Florence, Yachats, Ecola State Park. Night stay at Cannon Beach.

Day-5 : Spend some time at Cannon beach, then head back to Seattle..

Any suggestions to change any place, or add any ? Any stops on the way, if somebody wants to suggest ?

Regards



Oct 11, 2017 at 08:04 AM
Abbott Schindl
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Quick Oregon trip. Need suggestions


This is crazy! Do you plan to stop and get out of the car to look at anything, or are you just bagging sites? I don't know about Day 1, but all those national parks and forests are huge. Also, driving from the coast to Central Oregon's going to take 3.5-5 hours, depending on where you start from and how traffic is. Look at Oregon Tripcheck before you leave: https://tripcheck.com/Pages/RCMap.asp#

I live near Bend. Driving from here to Seattle takes 5-6.5 hours, depending on time of day and which route you take.

Crater Lake's at least a half-day just to drive from US97 to the lake, get out and walk around the rim, and get back to 97. Metolius River could mean a lot of things: mouth? Wizard Falls? Elsewhere? At any rate, fall colors are about finished there. Smith Rock's a bit of a drive from there and if you plan to get out of the car, you should allow at least a couple of hours to walk around a bit. Getting down to the main trail around the rock and back to parking could easily take 2-3 hours; stopping at a couple of places along the rim could be done in a few minutes, but what's the point?

Deschutes N.F. is huge. What are you planning to do there? Dillon and Benham Falls? (minimum 2 hours for both, assuming you don't plan to hike the beautiful trail that connects them). Cascade Lakes? (minimum 2 hours for the Century Drive loop; at least 1.5 hours from 97 if you only want to stop at Sparks and Devil's lakes).

Ecola: Again, getting out of the car's probably going to set you back at least an hour by the time you walk to a viewpoint, look (take good photos?) and get back to the car. Oregon Dunes is a very large place: figure out where you want to be first or else plan to spend at least a half-day checking it out.

While near Florence, stop at the Darlingtonia Natural Area just north. But again, walking around and looking could take 30-60 minutes.

Ecola's great, but to see it you really need to walk down to the shoreline (yeppers: at least a couple of hours if you want to take pics, or at least appreciate the spot a bit). There's also a nice little garden area there that's worth looking at, but it takes at least a half-hour to wander around (1-2 hours if you want good images).

You might stop at the beach area in Newport (minimum 1 hour to park, walk to the beach, and look back at the beautiful bridge; more if you want to check the lighthouse out).

Florence/Yachats: I frankly haven't found much to do there unless you're planning to stay overnight. I generally just drive through.

Devil's Punchbowl is worth checking out, but it's at least an hour to leave US101 (which, btw, tends to be slow going even at this time of year), watch the tide action, and get back to 101.

On the coast, you should think about timing. Most of the shoreline looks best at particular times of day, so trying to hit everything in one day's probably not going to be particularly satisfying either from an "I was there" or a photographic perspective. The coast, especially, can be problematic because of weather, especially this time of year.

I think you'd have a much more memorable experience if you limited your travels and plan to get a bit familiar with places. Maybe just do the northern coast (Astoria down to maybe Newport), OR south/central coast (Gold Beach up to maybe Lincoln City or perhaps Tillamook) in one trip. Save Central Oregon for at least a 2-3 day trip in spring or earlier fall (1 day for Cascade Lakes, 1 day for Smith Rock, Ogden Viewpoint, other things in the area, 1 day for Crater Lake, although this total trip would be MUCH better for a week or so). I think it's also a shame to plan to stop at Roseburg and go to Crater Lake without stopping along the "waterfall highway" between them.

Also think about what you want to see. Tide pools? Sea lions and other wildlife? Birds? General scenery? When we go to the coast, we generally spend several days at a time. Just driving from Florence to Cannon Beach can take several hours in good weather and good traffic.



Oct 11, 2017 at 05:16 PM
Dustin Gent
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Quick Oregon trip. Need suggestions


if it were me, i would just stay on the coast. Samuel L Boardman is fantastic and it is close to the Redwoods! Crater Lake might still be on fire. There is not a ton of snow right now, and not a lot to do on the rim.

I would rather spend a lot of time in a few spots, than a little time in a lot of spots. If this is a photo trip, you won't get much as lighting/conditions won't be great



Oct 11, 2017 at 05:39 PM
abhisheks77
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Quick Oregon trip. Need suggestions


Hi Abbott and Dustin. Thanks for your suggestions. I am fine to cut down few place/routes, which are not less preferable in comparison to others. Frankly telling, I have no idea about this state. I searched on internet and kept putting places on map, so there are chances that this plan is not much realistic.

Metolius River is on the way, when I check it on map, so thought of stop there. If fall colors are already over, I can pass it.

For Day-1, now I think, it will be good to go to Mt. Hood National Forest and later Smith Rock SP. and then stay in Bend. Next day, Crater lake and move towards coast. Or should I skip Crater lake fir this time, due to fire or less snow ?

I read more and realized that Deschutes N.F is big. Do you have some preferred places there for couple of hours ?

I am more into landscape and nature photography, less into city and less for hikes. I will try to extend my time or cut down few places.



Oct 11, 2017 at 09:17 PM
Abbott Schindl
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Quick Oregon trip. Need suggestions


A day for Hood and Smith only lets you drive through. Do you hike? Do you want to take photos? Be sure to stop at the Ogden Viewpoint between Madras and Terrebonne—it's a wonderful gorge that you can see in a few minutes.

Yes, I'd skip Crater Lake this year.

Deschutes: what do you want? River? Lake? Forest? Snow? (Mt. Bachelor's already getting a bunch). If you decide to stay in Bend, take the Cascade Lakes Highway for scenery and lakes. It could take half to a full day and you won't have to venture far from the car.

Coast: From Bend, check the route heading south through Reedsport (elk are usually there), then into Florence and work your way up the coast from there. Or else (again from Bend), head over Santiam Pass, past Detroit Lake, through Salem to get to the Coast near Lincoln City, then work your way north from there.

Notice, though, that both Dustin and I are saying the same thing: fewer stops with more time at each. You live in Seattle, so getting back to Oregon shouldn't be too tough.



Oct 12, 2017 at 12:16 AM
cwebster
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Quick Oregon trip. Need suggestions


Smith Rock requires some hiking to get good pix of the cliffs and/or the river. More than an hour or two there.

Crater Lake requires 3-4 hours just to drive around the rim to get to all the scenic locations.

Bend to the coast over Santiam pass is spectacular but is 1/2 day unless you are a daredevil on the road.



Oct 12, 2017 at 12:47 AM
abhisheks77
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Quick Oregon trip. Need suggestions


Thanks for amazing suggestions. I am trying to add 2 more days to this trip, which should make it little relaxed. Few questions -
- Are there are fall foliage left in any of areas, which I am trying to cover ?
- Any short hike on Smith Rocks SP, which should good during evening sunlight ?
- At Oregon Dunes, if I have to spend short time, should South Jetty serve purpose or any other areas ?
- (If I see good sun on this day) I will have 4-5 hours at Crater Lake from noon till sunset. Any preferred places, I should consider ?



Oct 12, 2017 at 03:49 AM
OregonSun
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Quick Oregon trip. Need suggestions


There should be some fall color in the west Cascades, it is still a ways from peak in the Willamette Valley.

Smith Rock has some decent views from near the parking lot for sunset, as long as the sky isn't totally clear.

I would skip the South Jetty, the dunes there are not that impressive. The best Oregon Dunes location is the John Dellenback Dunes Trail near Eel Creek, which is just south of Reedsport.

If there are clouds to the east at sunset any of the overlooks on the west side of Crate Lake will be good, even better if you hike to a high point like the Watchman. Crater Lake will be much more picturesque if there is some fresh snow.

I much prefer the south coast to the north, there is a lot more scenery and far fewer people. A great loop would be from Bend to Crater Lake to Crescent City (Upper Rogue River, Smith River, Redwoods) then up the coast to Reedsport (Samuel L. Boardman State Park, Pistol River, Cape Blanco, Bandon, Shore Acres if there is high surf, John Dellenback Dunes Trail) and back to Bend via 138 (waterfalls, North Umpqua River).

I would look at the forecast and plan accordingly. Even if you're not camping, motels should be mostly empty this time of year so you shouldn't have to book far ahead. If it's overcast or raining focus on waterfalls/rivers/lakes along Highways 138 or 126, Silver Creek State Park, Abiqua Falls (if you can navigate the steep road and short but steep hike). If there's fresh snow hit Cascade Lakes Highway, Crater Lake. Partly cloudy is great on the coast or east of the Cascades (Painted Hills, Fort Rock).

Have a fun trip!

Heron



Oct 12, 2017 at 05:03 AM
abhisheks77
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Quick Oregon trip. Need suggestions


Hi Heron. Thanks for suggestions for John Dellenback Dunes Trail and Crater Lake.

Your suggested loop would be too long for my limited time. Probably, when I will make another trip with Redwoods, I should plan these places, those are looking beautiful.

Forecast of Crater Lake is showing snow till Friday, so hopefully I will see some fresh snow. I will be leaving on Saturday.

As you said, I have not booked any lodging yet and will checking weather while moving ahead.



Oct 12, 2017 at 06:41 AM
Abbott Schindl
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Quick Oregon trip. Need suggestions


There are a number of hikes at Smith Rock. The easiest is to just walk along the parking lots, but much more interesting are:
- Trail down to the river from the ranger hut, cross the river (bridge) and then go to the left (easy) or right (Misery Ridge; guess where it gets its name...). The views along the river are stunning; the hike back up to the parking lot can make people huff 'n' puff. Allow at least 2 hours for the easy trail.

- Trail down to the river from the far parking lot. Beautiful, usually less traveled, more shaded than above.

In either case, allow yourself several hours.

Fall colors will pretty much be gone in a couple of days. Metolius is already almost shot. Downtown Bend's Drake Park still has some leaves. No remarkable color (in my estimation) at Smith. I don't know about the Upper Deschutes right now (going there tomorrow), but I wouldn't expect anything after the weekend.

If you really want fall color, visit lower elevations.



Oct 12, 2017 at 04:49 PM
 

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abhisheks77
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Quick Oregon trip. Need suggestions


Thanks Abbott. It is good help


Oct 12, 2017 at 05:05 PM
jdc562
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Quick Oregon trip. Need suggestions


I second OregonSun's suggestion on Shore Acres (near Cape Arago) if the big waves are coming in--a phenomenon that is more likely in the approaching month, or so. We're not talking ordinary waves on rocks. When big, long period waves come across the Pacific and break on the sloping slabs of rock at Shore Acres, the water roars up into the air in a spectacular display. South Jetty is pretty, but mundane in comparison.

I agree with the tone of the others: trying to race from place to place across Oregon is pretty much a waste of a lot of driving and senseless for decent photography. It would be much better to concentrate on fewer areas.



Oct 12, 2017 at 05:52 PM
abhisheks77
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Quick Oregon trip. Need suggestions


Shore Acres is just 1 hour ahead from Oregon dunes and I can definitely visit. High waves look impressive. Are there any certain time frame, I should target ? Or it can come anytime and we never know ?


Oct 12, 2017 at 06:31 PM
chez
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Quick Oregon trip. Need suggestions


Personally if I had only 5 days to a week, I would choose either the coast or the mountains. Trying to do both will result in not doing either any justice. I spend a minimum of 2 days in a place to really get the feel of the place. Wander around and take in the scenery before even taking out your camera. It's the little but spectacular things in the landscape that you'll miss if you have to give a place 2 hours and then into the car for 4 hours to the next place...you'll be constantly worried of missing the next place and in turn you'll miss the current place.

Truthfully, I would not even plan just a scenic drive without photography for the distances and timeframes you are trying to do. Everyone here is basically giving you the same advice...slow down and smell the roses.



Oct 12, 2017 at 07:09 PM
Greg Campbell
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Quick Oregon trip. Need suggestions


abhisheks77 wrote:
Shore Acres is just 1 hour ahead from Oregon dunes and I can definitely visit. High waves look impressive. Are there any certain time frame, I should target ? Or it can come anytime and we never know ?


http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/marine_map.htm and similar sites offer surf forecasts.

But... as the others have attempted to communicate, I think you need to ditch the Bucket List mentality.

Stopping for a few short hours at Crater Lake is criminal. IMO, you NEED to get out of the damn car, breathe the air, hike the rim, and just sit and watch the light and wind play on the lake. If you don't make any effort to immerse yourself in the landscape, you'll have very little chance of making interesting photographs. Be a photographer, not a trophy hunting tourist.



Oct 12, 2017 at 07:54 PM
abhisheks77
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Quick Oregon trip. Need suggestions


hmm..Agreed.
I will split it among two trips.



Oct 12, 2017 at 08:41 PM
Tim Knutson
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Quick Oregon trip. Need suggestions


I think your plan is do-able. My concern is what type of aircraft you have access to . A Fixed wing is going to be problematic. Access to and from the nearest airports will be time consuming. Sleeping in a helicopter is going to be a little uncomfortable. But, I am afraid it is the only option to meet your agenda.

Seriously, if your starting in Seattle, stay in Washington, forget Oregon. Pick a spot and stay there. Smell the roses. Try and get a good shot of something, rather than a bunch of crappy tourist pictures. If you have to go to Estacada, spend the week in the Gorge.

Now, if your not interested in photography and just want to see the entire state, your itinerary checks off about half of the state.



Oct 13, 2017 at 02:05 AM
OregonSun
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Quick Oregon trip. Need suggestions


Interesting how so many people are pushing the 'take your time and get to know a place' approach, I wonder how many of them are retired . I do that with nearby areas, and would love to have the free time to do it everywhere, but I can also relate to the whirlwind tour approach. I visited the Eastern Sierra and Death Valley last winter for 4 days and had a blast rushing around to specific places that I had identified ahead of time (with impromptu stops along the way as the light and scenery warranted). When I wasn't shooting I was either driving, eating or sleeping. Sure, I didn't get to know places intimately, but I saw a ton and came back with some great images.

Heron

Edited on Oct 13, 2017 at 05:07 AM · View previous versions



Oct 13, 2017 at 04:10 AM
jdc562
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Quick Oregon trip. Need suggestions


abhisheks77 wrote:
Shore Acres is just 1 hour ahead from Oregon dunes and I can definitely visit. High waves look impressive. Are there any certain time frame, I should target ? Or it can come anytime and we never know ?


The big wave sets are more frequent in the fall and often come from a long ways across the Pacific--they're not necessarily dependent on local storms. I don't know how long they last at a time, but I'm guessing at least a day, or so--not just a few hours. I imagine there is a Rangers' office in the area that could tell you if the surf's up so you could adjust your itinerary accordingly during your trip. They could probably answer your other questions, too.



Oct 13, 2017 at 05:04 AM
chez
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Quick Oregon trip. Need suggestions


OregonSun wrote:
Interesting how so many people are pushing the 'take your time and get to know a place' approach, I wonder how many of them are retired . I do that with nearby areas, and would love to have the free time to do it everywhere, but I can also relate to the whirlwind tour approach. I visited the Eastern Sierra and Death Valley last winter for 4 days and had a blast rushing around to specific places that I had identified ahead of time (with impromptu stops along the way as the light and scenery warranted). When I wasn't shooting
...Show more

Really depends on what one enjoys. Is it the destination or the journey?



Oct 13, 2017 at 01:21 PM
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