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Boise to Crater Lake, Redwoods, Santa Cruz with kids!

Idaho
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Boise to Crater Lake, Redwoods, Santa Cruz with kids!

Hello,

We are planning a trip from Boise, Idaho to Crater Lake, then Crescent City area down to Santa Cruz and home. We love a road trip but this is unfamiliar territory and the opportunities are so dense that I find myself overwhelmed! We have about 8 days...9 max. Our kids are 7,12,15,and 17. Long drives are no problem but we also love to unpile for multiple sights, activities along the way. We are planning on camping most of the time with a hotel or yurt once or twice for a break. We are on a budget, (surprise) but that brings out the adventure! We, including kids are easy to please and so much of this will be new to us,..we just don't want to miss any highlights that will give the kids an understanding of the area.

We enjoy hiking, beach combing, the kids will want to swim even if its cold...there is no ocean in Idaho after all! Sea life, tide pools, redwoods, adventure, special sites along the way, the Golden Gate Bridge, the boardwalk, drive theough trees, so many things. If you had to boil it down, what would you do? What MUST we do? Where would you camp....are there any places to camp without bumping the neighboring tent? Gold Bluffs for a different camp experience? Is there a splurge along the way not to be missed? Most meals will be at camp, picnics but are there some must try little spots to eat or shop?

Each summer we take the kids on a "Magical Mystery Tour", a surprise road trip filled with unknown destinations each day...except this time, even we aren't sure of the destinations, just the general direction. We are adept at packing lots of fun into a small window so please be generous with any ideas! Thank you!

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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1. Re: Boise to Crater Lake, Redwoods, Santa Cruz with kids!

You know the 20 well ...Hop it to Bend... With a big ranchers lunch in Juntra...South of Bend, the kids will enjoy the Lava caves...Camp at La Pine SP. Take the 138 to Crater Lake & after, continue to Roseberg & the 42 to Bandon. With some diversions continue on the 101 over the Golden Gate & on to Santa Cruz...On the backhaul... I suggest the California Railroad Museum. in Sacramento ... Then drive North through The Gold Rush Sierria foothills & the 139 into K. Falls ... Follow the 140/ 395 back to Burns & home on the 20... carracar

Edited: 19 June 2013, 00:52
Bloomington, Indiana
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2. Re: Boise to Crater Lake, Redwoods, Santa Cruz with kids!

On my phone so this will be short. Consider adding Lava Beds (NP?) to the list. It's not too far (south) from Crater Lake and worth it in my opinion.

That's all for now, maybe more later,

hlo

Green Valley...
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3. Re: Boise to Crater Lake, Redwoods, Santa Cruz with kids!

8 days RT? Hope not! :)

Lava Beds probably translates to Lava Beds National Monument, but also could refer to Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Given your extremely limited time, however, to save driving further afield, you'll see interesting volcanic and lava formations in the Bend, OR, area, as suggested by carracar: http://www.visitbend.com/

You can do the Crater Lake Rim drive in less than 3 hours. I say this because some think it's a full day activity.

The OR coast will be an experience, though I'd ask on the OR forum the best route there from Crater Lake. Make sure they know your time constraints.

And into California, the Redwoods:

Redwoods National Park

http://www.nps.gov/redw/

shannontech.com/ParkVision/…Redwood.html

Avenue of the Giants between Eureka and SF

www.avenueofthegiants.net

Edited: 19 June 2013, 04:32
Idaho
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4. Re: Boise to Crater Lake, Redwoods, Santa Cruz with kids!

Carracar, I'm not sure we do know the 20, I think we took 26 to Prineville and Bend the only time we were out that way. So, the 20 may be new to us and I'm hoping it is just as pretty. After reaching Crater Lake we plan on driving through to Grants Pass and then 199 to Crescent City...bad idea? We have been to the Oregon Coast often and we are eager to quickly get into new territory. What do you think? I like the idea for the route home...I hadn't thought that far ahead yet. Thank you!

Huntlawoffice...do remember which lava spot you are referring to? If its Lassen I think it's too far off...we have trekked through the lava tube near Bend, would it be a similar experience?

Voyaging...8 days is nothing. We have a minivan and we are ready to roll! :). 2 summers ago we did 10 days and hit Arches,, Canyonlands, Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, Sedona, Phoenix, Hoover Dam, etc, etc. lots of good memories squeezed into a Honda Odyssey.

Excellent links you shared, thank you. We are actually not planning on visiting the Oregon Coast this trip, just cutting west to Bend area and then further southwest to Crescent City. Have you driven the ave of giants? Do you know what actual drive time is on that stretch?

Thank you all!

Uden, The...
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5. Re: Boise to Crater Lake, Redwoods, Santa Cruz with kids!

That's a big trip for 9 days. On the way back from Santa Cruz I'd take fastest route via Sacramento, I80 and us95.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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6. Re: Boise to Crater Lake, Redwoods, Santa Cruz with kids!

The 199 is the preferable drive if the Red woods are the goal... enjoy ... carracar

Bloomington, Indiana
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7. Re: Boise to Crater Lake, Redwoods, Santa Cruz with kids!

Was referring to Lava Beds National Monument. Roughly speaking ~100 miles (2 hours) south of Crater Lake (obviously exact measuring points make a difference).

Beyond the "beds" themselves, there to tube caves (probably similar) including some with ice in them year round (at least when we were there), cliffs that are popular with raptors, some migratory bird sanctuaries nearby (Upper & Lower Klamath & Clear Lake) and some fascinating history (regarding the Modoc War).

Here's the NPS website:

www.nps.gov/labe/index.htm

that's all, got to go,

hlo

Green Valley...
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8. Re: Boise to Crater Lake, Redwoods, Santa Cruz with kids!

Suggest that you inquire about time required for the Redwoods on the OR forum so some locals can reply. Some drive through the Redwoods in a half day, even less; others say, you need an overnight, two days. I've been there several times and felt that 4 - 6 hours was enough.

Edited: 20 June 2013, 00:26
California
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9. Re: Boise to Crater Lake, Redwoods, Santa Cruz with kids!

If you are going from Crater Lake to Redwood area, you could stop at Oregon Caves .... very nice NPS site with a good cave tour. I know there is a lodge but there may be campgrounds as well. There is a Wild Cat training facility right nearby as well.

Boise, Idaho
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10. Re: Boise to Crater Lake, Redwoods, Santa Cruz with kids!

This might be to late for your trip but I am throwing it your way any. I really enjoyed what you wrote. In fact reading it was like I was writing it. :) Have you been to Peterson's Rock Gardens in Redmond, Oregon? It is soooooooooooooo worth the stop. Peacocks roam freely and they love heels of bread. This is a spectacular stroll thru phenomenal structures made of every kind of rock! First time I was there was in 1967 then 1993, then 2005ish. My 30 year old children still talk about the impression is made on them, my 12 year grandson doesn't remember the rock structures but does remember the cool rock museum there and the peacocks. No body mentioned you going thru Sister Oregon (might be a little out of the way but sooooo worth it) in order to go to the breath taking observatory( about 45 minutes outside). I believe it was built by the CC's during the depression. From it you can view 7? different Volcano's. There are actual holes bored thru the 2' thick walls that look right at each volcano. You drive thru a huge lava bed getting / leaving there. There were campgrounds in that area as well. I don't know if there still are. My husband and I are about to embark on a "first" vacation without children or grandchildren along, with a turn around point of Sunset Bay in Oregon. Even tho no kids will be with, we are still on a shoestring budget, will be camping except maybe one or two nights and have 8-9 days. If you have already done your trip will you reply and let me know what was the "Best"? So far we are going Boise to Crater Lake to Sunset Bay, Sisters, John Day Fossill Beds, Baker City !(Oregon Trail Interpretive Center!!) Then home again. I have heard the train in Sumpter is worth a check out but don't know if we can squeeze it in. BTW have you checked out airbnb.com for inexpensive places to stay? I stumbled across it and it is fantastic. We are probably only going as far as Bend the first day, (Maybe La Pine camping). Hope you had/have great fun!

We could be neighbors....who knows.