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A guide to touring...

Oregon

by piero scaruffi
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First of all, check the weather forecast for Portland and the weather forecast for Deschutes National Forest.

North to south:

  • Oregon coast trail (map)
  • Portland: Equitable Building (421 S. West 6th St), Michael Graves' Public Service Building (1120 SW 5th Avenue)
  • Near Portland: +Western Columbia Gorge, notably Crown Point and Multnomah Falls, one of Oregon's top attractions (take I-84 east to Troutdale and exit after the Sandy River Bridge to go south on the Historic Columbia River Hwy, which then turns east through Springdale and Corbett until it rejoins 84, continue to Bridge of the Gods, a good place to explore the north side)
  • Mt Hood
  • Koosah and Sahalie Falls in Willamette National Forest (off highway 126 south of Clear Lake)
  • Cascade Lakes Byway (highway 46, 100kms from Bend to Mt Bachelor to Odell Lake)
  • The Three Sisters
  • Springfield mural walk (mostly on Main St, between North A and South A St and between Pioneer Pkwy and 8th)
  • Eugene: Shelton McMurphey Johnson House; mural walk (between 7th Ave and 11th Ave, Charnelton St to Willamette)
  • Salt Creek Falls and Diamond Creek Falls (100kms east of Eugene)
  • Crater Lake National Park
  • Bandon Beach (rock formations and art on the beach)
  • Arch Rock and +Natural Bridges (seven arches, a few kms south of Arch Rock) at Samuel Boardman Park (you can hike down to Natural Bridges but the trail is not marked, not maintained and extremely steep)
  • Klamath Lake
  • Oregon Desert Trail

A suggested first time tour (if coming from the south)

Day 0 evening: start driving towards Portland via hwy 5

Camp 15 minutes north of Yreka (5 hours) at the historic
Tree of Heaven Campground - I-5 to Hwy 96 west for 10 kms, $15
If it is full, find the unpaved parking lot on the north side of 96 one km past the junction with 263 (free camping)
Also several campgrounds in south Oregon like Emigrant Lake campground before Ashland (Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, which is BLM)

Day 1:
Drive to Portland (5-6 hours)
Lunch and visit Portland
Drive 24 kms to +Crown Point of Columbia River Gorge (take I-84 east to Troutdale and exit after the Sandy River Bridge to go south on the Historic Columbia River Hwy, which then turns east through Springdale and Corbett)
and then 20 kms to ++Multnomah Falls (in Ainsworth State Park)
Check camping sites in Ainsworth State Park (Hiker sites are first come first served)
Note: Ainsworth campground is near Interstate 84 and a working rail line that operates day and night
Cross the Bridge of the Gods to Washington State when the Historic Hwy rejoins 84
Drive east to Stevenson and to Hood River Bridge, reenter Oregon

Camp in Mt Hood National Forest (if you don't like Ainsworth)
which means drive south on 35 to the junction with 26, camp at Sherwood campground on 35

Day 2:
Drive 3 hours south on 26 to Redmont + west on 20 + south on 126 to Koosah Falls
Koosah and Sahalie Falls, 1-hour hike (Northeast of McKenzie Bridge off Hwy 126 south of Clear Lake)
You are in Willamette National Forest
Drive 1 hour to Bend (126 north + 20 east)
Cascade Lakes Byway from Bend to Mt Bachelor (2 hour drive) to Lake Odell (2 more hours) for a total of 100 kms
Camp in Deschutes National Forest. Many options but the easiest is Elk Lake because it has five campgrounds: the crowded Elk Lake Campground, the Point Campground, Little Fawn campground, the South Campground and Mallard Marsh Campground both on Hosmer Lake

Day 3:
Drive 2 hours from Devils Lake to Odell Lake (46 to 58 west) via several lakes and then
+Salt Creek Falls and +Diamond Creek Falls (100kms east of Eugene on 58 west)
Drive on 58 west to Springfield and then Eugene (100 kms)
- Springfield mural walk (mostly on Main St, between North A and South A St and between Pioneer Pkwy and 8th)
- Eugene: Shelton McMurphey Johnson House
- Eugene mural walk (between 7th Ave and 11th Ave, Charnelton St to Willamette)
Drive I-5 south, 38 west, 101 south
Very difficult to camp anywhere along the coast, so...
Camp in Siuslaw National Forest before Reedsport
or ++camp in Dunes City at the Lagoon Campground off Siltcoos Beach Access Road north of Reedsport)
(Note: the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area east of Reedsport is not worth it)

Day 4:
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area: the tallest and most impressive dunes are at John Dellenback Park but require a few kms of hiking, while the Umpqua Dunes at Winchester Bay are easy to find and almost as tall (best is to take the exit for the Umpqua lighthouse, check out the viewpoint at the top of the hill, continue downhill, turn left at the beach and go to the end of the road)
Bandon Beach (don't miss the art on the beach)
Drive to Samuel Boardman Park (3 hours) to see Arch Rock and Natural Bridges (a few kms south of Arch Rock)
Reenter California


More about camping in Oregon (2019)...

Coast near Portland:

  • Sand Island Marine Park in St Helens, free camping
  • Cape Lookout State Park Campground (west of Portland)
  • Fort Stevens State Park Campground, 500 campsites (very northern tip of Oregon near Astoria)

    Columbia River Gorge (east of The Dalles):

  • Rufus Landing Recreation Area, free camping

    Willamette National Forest:

  • Alder Springs Campground, free camping (from McKenzie Bridge travel east on Highway 126 for 5 kms to Highway 242 and then on 242 east for 15 kms)

    Siuslaw National Forest:

  • South Lake Dispersed Area, free camping (from Highway 101 drive 7 kms to Beaver, then east on Upper Nestucca River Road for 10 kms to Forest Service Road 8533, then south 25 kms on 8533 and turn left on Forest Service Road 1429)

    Oregon Coast (all of them off 101)

  • Tillicum Beach Campground (7 kms south of Waldport)
  • Humbug Mountain State Park Campground (south of Port Orford, halfway between Coos Bay and the California border) Forty RV sites and 55 tent/car sites within walking distance of the beach in Southern Oregon. Takes Reservations.

    Mount Hood

  • Sherwood campground (south of the Columbia River off 35)
  • Lost Lake / F Loop (9000 Lost Lake Rd, Hood River), 119 sites, first come first served
  • Tilly Jane (top of Mt Hood, past Tilly Jane Sno Park), 15 sites, first-come first-served
  • Trillium Lake (near the town of Government Camp, near the junction of 35 and 26), 57 sites, $23

    Cascades

  • Sparks Lake Shoreline, 22 sites, first-come first-served
  • Elk Lake: Elk Lake Campground, the Point Campground, Little Fawn campground, the South Campground and Mallard Marsh Campground both on Hosmer Lake (unpaved road)
  • Devils Lake, 10 sites, first-come first-served
  • Pine Mountain Campground near Bend in Deschutes National Forest, free camping (30 kms east of Bend on US 20, then 12 kms south on Forest Road 2017)

    Southern Oregon:

  • Emigrant Lake campground before Ashland (Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, which is BLM)
  • Mount Ashland Campground in Klamath National Forest, free camping (take exit 6 of I-5 and follow signs for 15 kms to Mt Ashland Ski Resort and continue for 2 more kms)

    Crater Lake:

  • Mazama Village Campground, Crater Lake's main campground, 200 sites, hard to find a site in the summer (and 40 cabins)
  • Lost Creek Campground, 16 sites, first-come first-served

    Southern coast (but not on the coast):

  • Edson and Sixes campgrounds (south of Bandon)
  • Humbug Mt campground (south of Bandon)
  • Ludlum House campground (south of Brookings)
    Maps:


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