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Part of Oregon trail.....

Newcastle upon...
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Part of Oregon trail.....

My wife and I have about 18 days for this trip. We are thinking of flying into Casper or Rapid City and then traveling west on the Oregon trail to Portland before heading up to seattle from where we fly back to the uk. As an alternative we could fly into Salt Lake then north to the trail before heading west. Any thoughts on the routes? We want to avoid too many 1 night stop salt ugh happy to do a couple and want to Keep maybe 3 days to chill a bit in seattle before heading home....

In the past we've done Denver to San Diego and Vegas to San Francisco and loved the variety of landscapes and experiences.....

Seattle, Washington
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1. Re: Part of Oregon trail.....

Well of course the Oregon Trail doesn't go through South Dakota or anywhere near it.

But if you're prepared to vary off the trail route proper to see cool things, then go for it. Personally I'd fly into Omaha or Lincoln Nebraska, then take Nebraska Hwy 2 through the marvelous Nebraska Sand Hills, to Alliance, NE, then swing north on US 385 to the Black Hills - Deadwood, Mount Rushmore. I'd then follow Interstate 90 to Sheridan, WY, then cut across on US 14 to Yellowstone National Park.

Exit Yellowstone to the south and stop for a gawk at Grand Teton NP, then rejoin the Trail around American Falls, Idaho.

Possible route -

3 days - Omaha/Lincoln to, say, Deadwood, including a couple of hours at the "faces."

2 days - Black Hills to Yellowstone

3 days - Yellowstone

3 days - Yellowstone to Portland/Columbia Gorge

2 days - Portland/Columbia Gorge

2 days - Portland to Seattle via Mount St. Helens and/or Mount Rainier.

3 days - Seattle

Map - http://goo.gl/maps/zEyoQ

Oregon Coast
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2. Re: Part of Oregon trail.....

I'm not sure 18 days will be enough time as those covered wagons don't move alongtoo quickly, you know ;-)

When are you planning this trip?

You must include Baker City to see the excellent Oregon Trail Museum there. There is also one near Portland. You may want to spend a day around The Dalles / Tygh Valley / Barlow Pass area.

Newcastle upon...
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3. Re: Part of Oregon trail.....

Thanks for the help so far. This trip will be next August.....

The route is similar to what I had in mind but the differences raise some questions...

I picked up the route at rapid city, would love to do the Nebraska but am worried about the extra miles meaning too much rush and less stop time. Am I missing lots if I miss the Omaha to rapid city bit?

I thought about coming down the east of Yellowstone to see hot springs / thermopolis? Is this a good idea worth the detour?

But saving time missing the Omaha part I'd wondered about coming right out to the coast near Portland and following it up through Aberdeen to get to seattle. Is this a good idea?

Thanks for help so far. Much appreciated.

Albuquerque, New...
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4. Re: Part of Oregon trail.....

Look at www.nps.gov/oreg for lots of info about seeing the Oregon Trail.

Seattle, Washington
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5. Re: Part of Oregon trail.....

>> ...but am worried about the extra miles meaning too much rush and less stop time. Am I missing lots if I miss the Omaha to rapid city bit? <<

It's all relative, but if you can arrange a one-way care hire starting in Rapid City, then that's fine.

If you're going to include Yellowstone and the lower Columbia River (both "must-dos" in my mind) then maybe you're looking more at the Lewis and Clark trail rather than the Oregon Trail. That would be my preference anyway as it avoids some pretty boring (to me, anyway) country in southern Idaho.

If you're including Yellowstone, then more hot springs are not needed; the national park has all the geothermal bits and pieces you'll need in a lifetime.

Yes - actually, YES! to the lower Columbia - all the way to Astoria and Cape Disappointment.

North to Seattle via Aberdeen? No - seriously boring. Backtrack to Mount St. Helens instead. Now, if you can squeeze enough days from your itinerary to allow two or three days in Olympic National Park, then heading up the coast from Astoria and around the top of the Olympic Peninsula is ideal - incredible beaches, the unique Quinault and Hoh rain forest valleys, the alpine vistas at Hurricane Ridge.. all worthy of trips on their own.

Too many sights, not enough time. Welcome to the Pacific Northwest.

Oregon Coast
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6. Re: Part of Oregon trail.....

>> coming right out to the coast near Portland <<

I think you must be thinking about Lewis & Clark?

If so, then yes - absolutely do go all the way to Astoria. There is a *wonderful* Lewis & Clark interpretive center / museum at Cape Disappointment. That's in far SW Washington, about a half hour from Astoria. Well worth it!

There is also this Lewis & Clark attraction right on the river just across the Astoria bridge... tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g58400-d43…

From there, if you take Hwy 101 north not quite to Aberdeen then cut east on Hwy 8 to Olympia, it's a pleasant drive. We far prefer it over the super busy congested, dull scenery I-5 freeway! If you like oysters, stop in to South Bend, WA... tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g58751-South_Bend_Wa…

Edited: 26 September 2013, 19:51
Newcastle upon...
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7. Re: Part of Oregon trail.....

Very useful - thanks. I have probably been using the 'Oregon Trail' fairly loosely. My interest in the western most part of this was sparked by looking at this website:

roadtripusa.com/routes/…oregontrail.html

So one questions seems to be whether to go 'around the top' through misoula or 'the bottom' through Twin Falls and boise? Thoughts?

Edited: 26 September 2013, 20:35
Seattle, Washington
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8. Re: Part of Oregon trail.....

I'm much more fond of the I-90 route (Montana, Coeur d'Alene) than farther south. From Spokane you can cut south through the beautiful Palouse country (whence Appaloosa horses) to Walla Walla, then west to the Columbia and all the way to the Pacific. IMO it's a more scenic and historic route.

LA
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9. Re: Part of Oregon trail.....

If you were trying to follow Lews and Clark, I'd start in St. Lous, MO.

For the Oregon Trail, I'd start in Independence, MO.

Edited: 26 September 2013, 21:53
Penticton, Canada
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10. Re: Part of Oregon trail.....

Hi

If you do get to Walla Walla and you follow the Columbia River along the Lewis and Clark trail I highly recommend using highway 14 on the Washington side as far as Hood River with a stop in Maryhill to see the replica of the Stonehenge it is a bit of the surreal. http://flic.kr/s/aHsjJGbTtE Hood River was a good afternoon and overnight during our trip last week. The bridge at Hood River is a toll bridge which cost $1.00 so will not break the bank (-: this is the route http://goo.gl/maps/P0AZO