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Washington - Oregon Itinerary

Washington, DC
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Washington - Oregon Itinerary

We are planning a 14 day trip to the Washington - Oregon area. We love the out of doors and plan on doing a lot of day hiking and enjoying scenary.

I was thinking of this as our itinerary. Is this too much to try and squeeze?

Night 1 & 2: Fly into Seattle and do touristy things

Nights 3-5: Olympic National Park with Lake Sutherland as a home base. See Hurricane Ridge, Huh Rainforest, and coastline.

Nights 6 & 7: Drive Oregon Coast. Not sure how far south it is realistic to go given that we want to get out of the car and enjoy the sights.

Nights 8-9: Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge. We would prefer to stay in one place and travel to the sites.

Day 10: Mt. St. Helens

Nights 10-12: Mt. Rainer

Night 13: Back to Seattle for early morning flight

Thanks for any input.

Portland, OR
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1. Re: Washington - Oregon Itinerary

You will be covering a lot of ground in a short amount of time but it is doable. I would stick to the North coast of Oregon since you don't have a lot of time.

Portland is a good base for exploring and doing day trips. You could stay in Portland and do a day trip to the coast, a day trip to The Gorge and Mt Hood and also a day trip to Mt St Helens. I say this because you mentioned you would prefer to stay in one place and then explore from there.

Although Raineer is a beautiful mountain with a lot of hiking, I would maybe skip that since you are going to visit Mt Hood and Mt St Helens. This will allow you to relax your itinerary, maybe adding a day to explore Portland, which is well worth a good 2-10 days on its own!

Eugene, Oregon
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2. Re: Washington - Oregon Itinerary

WHEN are you planning to visit? This could have some impact on what will be accessible as far as the mountains are concerned.

I agree that you should probably skip Mt. Rainier (other than taking a drive-by look at it), and concentrate on Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens. You can do both Mt. Hood and the Gorge on day trips out of Portland. You can do the Mt. Hood Loop in one day, which would take you through the Gorge and allow for lunch at Timberline Lodge...however, if you want to do some hiking in both places, it would probably be better to do them on separate days. Mt. St. Helens is worth the allotment of a full day trip out of Portland.

You might also consider shooting right down I-5 to Portland after your time in Olympic National Park (visiting Mt. St. Helens enroute?) to Portland.

You could then allow yourself a couple of days on a loop from Portland to Astoria, Cannon Beach and the northern Oregon coast.

In other words, you could accomplish a lot operating out of Portland. It's only a 3-hour drive from Portland to Seattle, so you could also do Mt. St. Helens on your return in one day if you preferred.

Portland, Oregon
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3. Re: Washington - Oregon Itinerary

Looks like the plan IS to see St. Helens on the return drive, o'poppa, which, I agree is a good idea, provided weather cooperates. The better idea might be to take your suggestion of visiting St. Helens as a day trip from Portland, which would allow flexibility to plan around weather.

Should we be offended that you've only planned four of the 13 nights in Oregon, narasue? ;-) I do think that, once you see Cannon Beach and Ecola State Park, you might have some regrets at allowing only two days for the coast. Oregon's coastline is easily one of the most scenic in the country, if not on the planet.

Edited: 01 April 2010, 20:51
Longview, Washington
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4. Re: Washington - Oregon Itinerary

I can echo Mistletoe's suggestions. To really enjoy Mt. St. helens, it must be a reasonably clear day. Although Johnston Ridge Observatory is really interesting, if it is cloudy and rainy you will not see much (if any) of the mountain. From ONP take Hwy 12 at Aberdeen to I-5. Allow 3 hours from exit 49 to Johnston Ridge, round trip. It's any easy 1.5 hr drive to Astoria down Hwy 30 from the Mt. St. Helens exit.

If you can work this "wiggle room" into your itinerary so that you have an option for the trip to Mt. St. Helens, I would certainly recommend it. Even in mid-summer there are days when the clouds hang around all day and the mountains will be shrouded in those clouds. To drive all the way up to St. Helens and not be able to see the crater and the lava dome is really disappointing.

Do try to see as much of the Oregon Coast as possible. It's the best in the country IMO. Maine comes in 2nd place.

5. Re: Washington - Oregon Itinerary

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