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Crater Lake to Florence/Yachats

Austin, Texas
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Crater Lake to Florence/Yachats

I'm traveling with my family, incl. a 5 yr old and 1.5 yr old. We'll be leaving from Crater Lake in the morning and spending the night in Yachats. My question is, what's the optimal way to do this part of the trip? We're thinking of either the Amtrak to Eugene and then drive to Florence and then end up in Yachats. OR is it better to simply drive from Crater Lake? Which road(s) would be the best option? We'd rather prefer a direct, straightforward route with convenient places to stop with the kids, instead of a winding, scenic road which might take double the time. Like I said, we need to be in Yachats that night.

Also, later we'll be driving north along the coast and eventually ending up in Portland. I hear the Tillamook cheese factory is probably not worth it anymore, but we'd like to see Cape Mearas. Is the 3 Capes Scenic Loop closed? Where would be the best place to stay in that area? Any thoughts on Garibaldi?


Eugene, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Eugene, Springfield
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1. Re: Crater Lake to Florence/Yachats

Not sure I understand your situation entirely. If you'll bear with me, perhaps my TripAdvisor colleagues and I will be able to put together some helpful advice.

First of all, when is this trip taking place (makes a difference for routing)? Second, are you staying at Crater Lake Lodge? And how are you getting there? Car? Amtrak connection somehow? And if Amtrak's Coast Starlight is the train to Eugene you're considering, do you realize it gets into Klamath Falls around 8:30 a.m. (if it's on time!) and into Eugene around 12:30 to 1 p.m.? Do you realize there are no straight non winding roads in or out of Crater Lake? And, if your trip is in the next month or so, only the South Entrance to Crater Lake is apt to be open. So, we really can't advise you until some of these logistical issues are explained.

Your most direct driving instructions would be out the south entrance to Grants Pass, up I-5 to Eugene and west on 126 to Florence, then 101 north to Yachats. BUT...going over the Coast Range on 126 involves some curves and the stretch between Florence and Yachats is one of the most scenic on the entire Oregon Coast and scenic means winding highway for short stretches along cliffsides in part. It's so beautiful you won't be scared...unless it's foggy, in which case just take your time and watch the road. Morning marine cover usually burns off in the afternoon.

If you have a rental car at Crater Lake, I wouldn't try and catch the Coast Starlight in Klamath Falls. It's about 4 hours to Eugene and another couple hours to Yachats. Stop at Seven Feathers in Canyonville for ice cream and in the Gateway area along I-5 in Springfield for lunch...lots of family style places there. You'll see the Gateway Mall along the freeway and you'll take a right turn off I-5 at the Beltline exit. After lunch, get back on the Beltline, which will circle around Eugene to the 126 to Florence. If you didn't get ice cream at Seven Feathers, look for BJ's on the right side of the highway soon after you turn north on 101.

Austin, Texas
3 posts
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2. Re: Crater Lake to Florence/Yachats

Thank you! Our trip is end of June and we're taking the Coast Starlight into Klamath Falls, renting a car and spending the night. We weren't sure how to get out of town the next day. For some reason, I didn't think the drive in/out of Crater Lake area would be manageable - due to the curvy roads, etc. you described. Your advice helps and the ice cream stops will be perfect.

Austin, Texas
3 posts
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3. Re: Crater Lake to Florence/Yachats

And the 126 sounds great. I figured that was the only realistic way to get to the Coast........but getting to Eugene seemed more confusing due to roads/trains.

4. Re: Crater Lake to Florence/Yachats

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