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Road Trip - Please critique our itinerary

Burke, Virginia
Level Contributor
71 posts
21 reviews
Road Trip - Please critique our itinerary

My husband and 3 boys (12,9,7) are planning a 11 day road trip across OR in Aug. I've done some research but would greatly appreciate any advice or changes to our itinerary. TIA!

Wed, Aug 1 arrive at night, stay near airport.

Day 2 drive the Historic Colombia River Hwy, stop at Crown Point/Vista House, Multnomah Falls, hike either Punchbowl Falls or Ponytail Falls, Bridge of the Gods. Lunch in Hood River. Continue to Mt. Hood, stay Timberline Lodge.

Day 3 drive to Bend with a stop at Smith Rock. Afternoon whitewater. Stay Bend 2 nights. Day 4 husband fishing trip, us explore Bend.

Day 5 drive to Crater Lake, rim drive, hike Garfield Peak or Plaikni Falls, stay Mazama cabins.

Day 6 drive to Florence, sandrail tour, Heceta Head LH, stay in Yachats.

Day 7 north with stops at Cape Perpetua (Thor's Well, Hobbit's Trail), Newport (Yaquina LH, Historic Bayfront for seals), Devils Punchbowl, Depoe Bay whale watching from shore, stay in Lincoln City.

Day 8 drive to Astoria (OR film museum, Column), Lewis Clark NSHP. Stay 2 nights CB Surfsand Resort.

Day 9 explore Ecola SP & Hug Point, Horseback riding.

Day 10 drive to Portland via Willamette Valley stop for a tasting, explore/stay Portland.

Day 11 home

7 replies to this topic
Florence, Oregon
Level Contributor
2,406 posts
300 reviews
1. Re: Road Trip - Please critique our itinerary

Day 5 do you have reservations for lodging at Crater Lake ? If not you are probably too late. An alternative would be to continue on after seeing Crater Lake to Grants Pass for the night.

Day 6 You might want to stay in Florence. On a route through Oregon such as you propose Florence becomes a strategic point to stop and is very convenient. From Crater Lake Florence is 4 hours of driving with most of that windy 2 lane road. From Grants Pass Florence is just over 3 hours of driving. Then at Florence is the sandrail rides or access to hiking on the dunes. Between Florence and Yachats is a lot. It is a spectacular stretch of Highway 101 with much of what you want to see in Day 6 and Day 7 so you could spend a very nice day leaving Florence in the morning after breakfast and seeing all of that.

Looks like you have done a lot of planning and your itinerary is well thought out.

Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
1,498 posts
3 reviews
2. Re: Road Trip - Please critique our itinerary

Yes, looks like you’ve done a lot of research, and got some good advice in your previous thread. I’d stick with that vs. what’s suggested above. Otherwise, just a few comments;

- You may have to adapt your plans in the Gorge, depending on what’s accessible when you’re here. Punchbowl and Ponytail Falls trails are still closed due to the fire last fall, and it’s uncertain as to when they’ll reopen;

- Since you mentioned them, I’m assuming you have a reservation at Mazama Village cabins. If not, you might have a look at the Prospect Hotel, or better yet (for your husband anyway), the Steamboat Inn;

- Did you consider Pacific City instead of Lincoln City? The huge dune at Cape Kiwanda would be great fun for the boys, and Inn at Cape Kiwanda is a nice little hotel;

- Trying to come up with a winery not far off hwy 26 that might have something of interest for your boys. If you’re not too particular about your wine, maybe Helvetia Winery. Afterwards, enjoy a burger and brew at Helvetia Tavern.

Looks like a great trip!

Gresham, Oregon
Level Contributor
467 posts
8 reviews
3. Re: Road Trip - Please critique our itinerary

Personally I'd rather raft out of maupin then bend.

Burke, Virginia
Level Contributor
71 posts
21 reviews
4. Re: Road Trip - Please critique our itinerary

Great advice from TA experts as always. I booked Mazama cabins first and built our trip around that. Lodging is booked everywhere except Lincoln. I had initially considered Florence but figured we could push to Yachats and be closer to Cape Perpetua. I also looked at Pacific City but figured that push might be a bit much considering our itinerary that day. Thoughts on both?

I'm aware of the closures in the Gorge but those 2 hikes looked like a good fit for our crew. I'll keep an eye on it but any suggestions for similar alternate hikes?

We are not wine enthusiasts but love a lot of the pinot noirs that WV produces and figured we're so close so why not. Plus it's the day after my 40th:) Was looking at Villa Catalina though I think they're only open on Sat. Any other suggestions here?

Why Maupin over Bend for rafting? It's a detour from our route and we've got a lot of miles to cover as is. Our boys have done the Snake/Wy and Flathead/Mt which were a blast for them.

Appreciate your input!

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
Level Contributor
44,465 posts
1,110 reviews
5. Re: Road Trip - Please critique our itinerary

Please do not go down onto the wet slippery rocks at Thors Well - the waves are dangerous. You can see it from above. It will not look like the "dreamy" photos on the internet.

Florence is inland, not on the ocean other than the Driftwood north of town. Much of Yachats has a rocky shoreline, not beach. If you want to stay on the beach (I'm thinking boys that age running!) choose the Driftwood in Florence, Silver Surf in Yachats, or go to Newport -- but I think that would be too far and you'd have to backtrack a lot.

You might want to fit in whale watching out of Depoe Bay. Look at Carrie Newell in the Zodiac.

Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
1,498 posts
3 reviews
6. Re: Road Trip - Please critique our itinerary

Overleaf Lodge, Fireside Motel, and the Adobe “Resort” share a section of coastline about a mile north of Yachats town that IMO is one of the best lodging settings on the coast. Yes, it’s a rocky shoreline there, but a half mile +/- north, along the 804 Trail, is a long, wide beach.

The deal with Pacific City is that it has few lodging choices outside of vacation rentals. But if you found something close to the beach at Cape Kiwanda, I’d bet you’d all enjoy it more than any place you’d stay in Lincoln City. And it’s only 25 miles north.

As many wineries as there are in the WV, I wasn’t surprised I’d not heard of Villa Catalana. But I see that it’s not really in wine country, which is centered around the towns of Newberg, McMinnville, and Carlton, southwest of Portland. And from it’s website, Villa Catalana appears as more an event venue than a winery. So have a look at Stoller, which has a lovely vineyard setting, picnic area, and tire swing hanging from the oak tree in the huge lawn. Nice place, and produces wines more representative of the pinot noir that put Oregon on the world’s wine map.

Not to speak for ORState, but I suspect the reason he recommends Maupin is because that’s where most Deschutes River trips put in. There is a section of the Deschutes near Bend that has a few class III rapids, but if your boys are whitewater veterans, it may not be the adrenaline rush they’re expecting.

Burke, Virginia
Level Contributor
71 posts
21 reviews
7. Re: Road Trip - Please critique our itinerary

Thank you all for the additional info!

We've got 2 nights, oceanfront at Surfsand in CB so we're not all that concerned with staying on the beach the previous 2 nights, the first of which is Adobe in Yachats. We figure the next day is really full and kids will likely want to hit a pool and crash so Lincoln City seemed like a good stopping point. Do you think we could push it to Pacific City given our itinerary?

I've looked into Carrie's tours but with the last one at 2 we thought that would be too much of a rush to see our wish list from Yachats northward. Can't see everything:(

We'd never heard of Villa Catalina's wines either but the house looked beautiful, reminded us of Tuscany. Glad you mentioned Stoller as that was second on my list. We'll head there instead:) Kids will enjoy the tire swing!

Thanks for clarifying Maupin. Class III are just fine for us. My dad took me and my bros on our first trip some 27 years ago somewhere on the Deschutes and there was a crazy drop so I'll assume that was near Maupin. Not sure my 7 year old would dig it.

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