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Hood River to Bend via "Back Roads"

Fort Wayne, Indiana
Level Contributor
165 posts
107 reviews
Hood River to Bend via "Back Roads"

I have a question...we will be in OR in August and plan to leave from Parkdale for Bend via the "long scenic route".....I think it is HWYS: NF550, 42 and 46 (going past Breitenbush and Detroit.) Is this a scenic enough road(s) to take the time doing or not? Will we see mainly trees, river, mts, etc?? We have plenty of time as we are doing a HUGE "loop" : Portland to Hood River to Crater Lake to northern CA. redwoods, and back up the coast. We enjoy scenery and hiking so any ideas what not to miss, please infor me! Thanks!

Level Contributor
8,735 posts
42 reviews
1. Re: Hood River to Bend via "Back Roads"

Not sure why you are in Parkdale, but if that is a given place, route you describe is nice. I was on State SB comm that put that on Oreg SB routes. Not spectacular but very nice. You go along rivers in a forest most of way. Hwy 22 from Detroit to Sisters is one of our favorites. Not the best way if in a hurry, but you do not seem to be.

Edited: 18 March 2012, 05:14
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Level Contributor
165 posts
107 reviews
2. Re: Hood River to Bend via "Back Roads"

Our trip starts from Airport in Portland to Hood River to Bend to Crater Lake to nothern CA redwoods and back up 101 Coast to Portland. I just mentioned Parkdale as that is one of our overnight stops and closest to the drive on the route I am questioning in this post. Thanks, and any other info from this itenerary of OR will be much appreciated! :)

Bend, Oregon
Level Contributor
131 posts
14 reviews
3. Re: Hood River to Bend via "Back Roads"

While I have not been on NF 550 or 42, I have taken 46 down to Breitenbush and my guess is you will be seeing lots and lots of trees! If you do decide to take that route there are a couple of must sees: Timberline Lodge (actually just a short detour whatever your route to Bend) and Old McKenzie Pass (hwy 126 and 242 into Sisters rather than the most direct hwy 20), stopping at Clear Lake and Sahalie and Kahoosh Falls.

Don't know how much time you are planning on staying in Bend but you might consider taking the direct route. Hwy 26 goes across a high plateau with big mountain views through the Warm Springs Indian reservation before dropping down into the dramatic Deschutes River canyon. There is a nice little museum in the town of Warm Springs. Once in Bend, there are numerous possibilities for scenic day drives (Cascade Lakes Hwy and Old McKenzie/Santiam Pass loop to name a couple) and for hiking.

Bend, Oregon
Level Contributor
174 posts
37 reviews
4. Re: Hood River to Bend via "Back Roads"

The back road from Hood River to Bend is my favorite route. There are some lovely wineries and orchards outside Hood River. Bend has lots of things to do, lots of activities in town on the weekends, high lakes and fun shopping.

Troutdale, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Hood River, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, The Dalles, Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
12,438 posts
142 reviews
5. Re: Hood River to Bend via "Back Roads"

Hellol there.

To avoid traffic tie-ups, just go east on Airport Way and it will take you to 184th.

From there you can get on I-84 without the intersections on the freeway.

Marine Drive runs parallel to Airport way and is prettier (along the water) you would take a left about 122ND to Marine Drive and take it straight to Troutdale. You can go up the Scenic Byway, Oregon 30 if you are not too tired. Cross the concrete bridge at the end of town and make a right.

Or get on I-84 East to the Columbia River Gorge and Hood River then Parkdale is just up the hill from Hood River..

If you want to go to Multnomah Falls, I would check into your place and then with an empty car and go back. There are people in the Gorge who like to take things out of cars.

Take exit 35 (Dodson) to come into the Multnomah Falls parking lot.

The Volunteers there can give you lots of information on the area.

Have fun


Level Contributor
206 posts
15 reviews
6. Re: Hood River to Bend via "Back Roads"

Just to agree with Oregontrekkie.. the main highway into Bend has some beautiful views and scenic stops, which I find more unique. The forest routes are beautiful, but you will be passing through many forests in your travels. You'll miss the canyon & Smith Rock.

7. Re: Hood River to Bend via "Back Roads"

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