We are thinking of doing a road trip through Oregon for 2 weeks in early July 2013. We’re most interested in mountain / wildlife scenery in Oregon and coastal and wine experiences. We would also like to know if it is easy to do this by motorhome rather than car? – Gill W., Cardiff, Wales.
I believe I can give you some great ideas on how you can road trip your way around Oregon and see as much as possible in two weeks! First of all, let me say that either way you choose to travel, you will love it. I personally would love a road trip via motorhome because of all the perks of “having your home ride with you” and it will give you a chance to pick up some delicious food from many regions and prepare and enjoy it yourself. Although, traveling via auto isn’t bad either cause I do enjoy dining at a different place each day when I’m out and about so be sure to treat yourself to some of our local restaurants too if you do motorhome it! We have some pretty amazing chefs in our towns and cities that LOVE to share all the goodness found here.
I would probably begin in or near the Portland area. From there, I would def stop at Multnomah Falls and possibly enjoy a short hike and of course take tons of photos. It’s quite beautiful there and if you have never seen it, you will wonder what took you so long!
Moseying along hwy 84 east, you will find the town of Hood River. You must stop and stay a day to enjoy all it has to offer! There is always something delicious going on in that region! Also, as you may well know, a stunning Mt. Hood awaits your visit too! Gaze and be amazed at our mountain and be sure to bring your camera and binoculars! Here’s more info about the area. There is hiking at my favorite Mt. Hood area trail called Tamanawas Trail; it’s pretty easy and worth the surprise at the end!
If you can tear yourself away from Mt. Hood, head east once more and follow the road to places such as Pendleton, Enterprise and Joseph, Oregon. I would suggest a night in Joseph so you can enjoy the beautiful Wallowa Mountains via Hells Canyon Scenic Byways.
This site is awesome and will take you on a wild ride of beauty and the “all natural” side of Oregon! Baker City is where I would suggest you take a break! I loved this route when I took it a few years ago. Don’t be surprised if you see a “real” cowboy herding cattle or find some restaurant in some quaint western Oregon town where everyone turns and looks at you when you walk in. You aren’t a local but it’s all good cause you’ll sit and enjoy a burger made of all local ingredients and smile as you enjoy every bite!
From the Baker City area, it’s time to head to Bend and Sisters Oregon! Stay a night in either town and enjoy our Central Oregon region. I have taken a Lava Cave Tour in Bend, I have taken the beer tour at Deschutes Brewery… and I love downtown Bend! If you decide to drive a car, you have to check out The Old St. Francis School for lodging. I have also enjoyed snowmobiling a few times too at Mt. Bachelor but of course there won’t be any snow however, driving around and enjoying some of our cascade mountains in this region is quite spectacular. See Sisters, Three Fingered Jack, Mt. Bachelor and the rest! You can see many of these mountains when you take hwy 20 toward the Willamette Valley! Hwy 20 is also the part of the Over The River and Through The Woods Scenic Byway! Enjoy the gorgeous ride all the way to Albany, Corvallis and up in to hwy 99W!
You are now nestled quite nicely in to the Willamette Valley so it’s time for some delicious wine! You can certainly find info on our hundreds of wineries or you can wing it and enjoy finding some on your own! I always enjoy finding new things and experiences by chance but for just a little guidance, here are a few of my fav wine stops:
- Van Duzer: http://www.vanduzer.com
- Left Coast Cellars: http://www.leftcoastcellars.com
- Adelsheim: http://www.adelsheim.com
It’s a little tough to choose here but if you’d like, you can shoot over to the coast whenever you want from the Willamette Valley. If I could suggest a few cities that I love along the Oregon Coast… Canon Beach, Seaside, Tillamook and Astoria! I truly love all of it and the cities I listed are all pretty much in our North Coast and so would be doable in a day or two depending on your timing. Once you are in Astoria, you aren’t too far from Portland.
You can of course change up this route as much as you want and if time allows, you can shoot down to Crater Lake in Southern Oregon around the Albany area taking I 5. It’s probably a “must see” if I may say so but I wouldn’t stuff so much in that you can’t take your time to enjoy where you are!
As far as enjoying our Oregon wildlife, you will find that we do take preservation of many things very serious. Our reserves and estuaries are protected wildlife areas and to name a few places for viewing wildlife:
William Finley: http://www.fws.gov/WillametteValley/finley/ (loved this area)
Oak Park Refuge: http://www.portlandonline.com/parks/finder/index.cfm?PropertyID=490&action=ViewPark (I’m actually hiking this refuge tomorrow!)
Sauvie Island: http://www.pdxinfo.com/hikes/sauvie.php (awesome hikes and scenery!)
Here’s a few links to check out when you choose which mode of travel you will be taking:
This is a lot of info to take in so please let me know if I can overwhelm you some more! I can provide more detail about roads to take, etc. but I am sure part of the fun in planning is finding your way and finding those out of the way places that will make your trip so special.
Please feel free to follow my on Facebook page… look for Oregon Bliss and on my blog at www.whitebreadandjam.blogspot.com I am Sweet Bliss there! You can follow me around Oregon and beyond at both these sites. I enjoy Oregon and my new experiences and share all of them!
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About Ask Oregon Expert Debbie Lusk
Debbie Lusk loves Oregon and everything there is to experience here. She may be found on the back of a black mare riding through wine country with saddle bags full of Oregon wine, or enjoying a cold beer at a local Willamette Valley microbrewery. She's smitten with Oregon and plans to enjoy it all one bite at a time! All her experiences can be found on her blog, Sweet Bliss.