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Scenic Drive Advice Needed

houston, tx
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119 posts
67 reviews
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Scenic Drive Advice Needed

My husband and I will arrive in Portland this Sunday, May 27, around noon. We will have a rental car. Plan to use the rest of Sunday and Monday morning to check out Portland.

Driving to Bend around 1:00 PM on Monday. We will be coming back to Portland on Thursday for another 3 nights. We will use this time for day trips to explore the area.

1. We are in no particular hurry to get to Bend - 6 or 7 PM is fine. A recommended scenic drive to Bend would be most appreciated - chance of seeing wildlife, wildflowers, etc. We are adventurous drivers. Would like to travel east on this portion. Since we have the 3 remaining days in the Portland area to check out the gorge and Mt St Helens, would like to spend this part of the drive seeing other things.

2. Leaving Bend early Thursday morning, we are planning to take in as much of the Silverton waterfall hike as possible. Would like to see the inside of the Salem capitol building and some of the wine country on our way back to Portland that day. Is this too ambitious? What will the falls be like at this time of year?

3. Any lunch stop recs on or around the Silverton area would be great.

Thanks in advance!!

Portland, Oregon
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1. Re: Scenic Drive Advice Needed

My recomendation is just drive the standard route from portland to Bend via Hwy 26 stopping off at Timberline Lodge and Mt Hood and Smith Rock State Park along the way. Also would highly recommend a long day trip to John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Particualarly to Painted Hills unit and Sheep Rock unit.

A day exploring the Newberry Crater National Monument is also an option. Not sure if Century Drive is open yet, but another great and scenic drive from Bend.

Day 2 is a bit ambitious... Silver falls takes at least a half day to do justice. if you are travelling from Bend and want to spend the next night in portland that might take most of the day. The Falls should have pretty good runoff in May. A quick stop in Salem afterwards might be feasable(the capitol grounds are pretty nice), but 'wine country' may be best for a day trip from portland.

houston, tx
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119 posts
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2. Re: Scenic Drive Advice Needed

Thanks so much for your response, Chinookgrrl! I've looked into your suggestions and they are all very good ones. Appreciate the help!

Oregon
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3. Re: Scenic Drive Advice Needed

I agree with chinookgrl, leaving at 1PM US26 with Timberline is best. It is pretty nice drive

Stop at the Crooked R gorge viewpoint on 97. You could take a side trip at Madras to see Round Butte Dam and Cove Palisades.

And i agree return to Portland a bit much to include wine country. Silver Creek Falls can take most of day and the full hike of the 7 falls is quite good specially if just two of you, bit much for small kids.

Edited: 25 May 2012, 00:10
houston, tx
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119 posts
67 reviews
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4. Re: Scenic Drive Advice Needed

Phirl,

Thanks for the additional stopping points and side trip suggestions. Want to do as much as possible and those extras look great!

Troutdale, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Hood River, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, The Dalles, Portland, Oregon
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5. Re: Scenic Drive Advice Needed

Suthna,

If you are flying into PDX, you would already be close to the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area that starts in Troutdale. You don't even have to get on a freeway.

You could take Airport way east out til it ends in Troutdale and take I-84 east out to Multnomah Falls. Get off at the Bridal Veil Falls exit (I think it is exit 28)to park next to Multnomah Falls and Lodge. (there are volunteers there who can give you brochures and information.) After Multnomah Falls your exit off of the old highway you will be on is about 3 1/2 miles(past a few more waterfalls). At that point you rejoin I-84 east bound again..

Go another 33 miles or so and you will be at Oregon 35 (city of Hood River exit 63) which will take you up to 26 in beautiful style.

Have fun and enjoy our waterfall areas.

MrsO

houston, tx
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119 posts
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6. Re: Scenic Drive Advice Needed

Thanks so much, Mrsomindy! Great suggestion, especially since showers are predicted for Monday and I would like to see the falls without that. We are off tomorrow, and will incorporate your suggestions.

Then on route to Bend on Monday, we can stop at the Timberline Lodge for lunch as Chinookgrrl suggested.

I've gotten great tips reading through all the posts. A big thank you too all the experts!

7. Re: Scenic Drive Advice Needed

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