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Most Scenic Route from Portland to Astoria???

Charleston, South...
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Most Scenic Route from Portland to Astoria???

Mapquest is suggesting 3 possible routes from Portland to Astoria. It says each will take approximetaly 2 hours, so I am looking for the most interesting and scenic route. I will be driving this on a Saturday afternoon, so "rush hour" traffic should not be an issue. Which of the following is the most scenic route? Any good photo ops along the way on these routes?

1) I-5 North to Kelso, WA -- then cross over to Hwy 30

2) Hwy 30 all the way from Portland to Astoria

3) Hwy 26 to 101 North

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

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1. Re: Most Scenic Route from Portland to Astoria???

This recent thread discusses a couple of other options - post #1 talks about the back roads...

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g52024-i238-k67721…

There are several back roads through that area and we've been on all of them. Most recently we've taken Hwy 26 to 47 to Clatskanie, then taken 30 to Astoria --

and also -- Hwy 30 to Clatskanie then 47 to 202 to Jewell, and on into Astoria on 202 the old road through Olney.

I think the latter is quite scenic. However, if your timing works out, the Westport / Cathlamet ferry might be fun!

The least scenic route IMO is Hwy 26 straight through.

p.s. A paper AAA map is very useful ;-)

Charleston, South...
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2. Re: Most Scenic Route from Portland to Astoria???

Thank you so much, half-Brit. Great info! I somehow missed that previous thread. I have now ruled out Hwy 26. Looks like I might just go I-5 to Hwy 30 so I will have time to do some sightseeing in the Astoria area before sunset.

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3. Re: Most Scenic Route from Portland to Astoria???

Are you returning to Portland or moving on from Astoria? More time on coast could be most scenic

Charleston, South...
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4. Re: Most Scenic Route from Portland to Astoria???

@phirl: I will be on the coast for 8 days, exploring all 363 miles of Hwy 101.

Here is my itinerary. My trip starts later this week.

Fly into Portland.

Days 1-3: Hood River (Explore CRG, Mt. Hood area)

Day 4: Stopping in Portland for about 4 hours for a lunch cruise on the Portland Spirit with some friends.

Days 4-5: Astoria

Days 6-7: Yachats

Days 8-11: Gold Beach

Days 12-13: Crater Lake

Day 14: Drive back to Portland for flight the next morning.

Any advice on the best (most scenic) driving routes from Crater Lake to Portland would be appreciated. I understand the "Covered Bridge Scenic Route" near Cottage Grove would make a nice detour off I-5. I am hoping to see at least a little fall foliage in the Cascades while I am in that area Oct 6-9.

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5. Re: Most Scenic Route from Portland to Astoria???

Sorry I may have missed your post of trip plan. Since you will be moving south on coast, which was going to be my suggestion, I agree go to Kelso and head for Astoria, Astoria deserves time Hwy 30 Portland to Kelso, not that interesting, fair amount of town stuff Scappoose, St Helens etc.

Why so much time in Gold Beach?

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6. Re: Most Scenic Route from Portland to Astoria???

SC,

Your original post asks for the most scenic route and one with photo ops. I would again suggest the one that I posted and that Half-Brit referred to. That is taking Highway 30 to Scappoose, left out of town toward Vernonia, turning on to Highway 202 at Pittsburg Junction which will then take you all the way to Astoria. On this route you will follow three streams for a while: Scappoose Creek, Rock Creek, and the Nehalem River. There are at least two small falls on the route and chances to see wildlife. There is no drop-dead scenery, but you will not have that on Highway 30 or I-5 either, and there is more and better scenery on these back roads. Mapquest will not tell you about this route. Vernonia itself, a former major logging town, is worth a short detour.

Edited: 22 September 2013, 00:17
Oregon Coast
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7. Re: Most Scenic Route from Portland to Astoria???

I'm thinking the time difference is about 3 - 3½ hours v. 2 hours, scappoose? Not counting photo stops.

Edited: 22 September 2013, 01:07
Charleston, South...
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8. Re: Most Scenic Route from Portland to Astoria???

Thanks for even more suggestions, everyone!

@phirl: I am spending 4 nights in Gold Beach for a few reasons:

1) I got a great deal on an ocean front condo for just $138 per night

2) I want to spend one day doing the jet boat tour up the Rogue River

3) One day I will venture down into the redwoods of northern California

4) Looks like lots of scenic hiking and photo ops along the less-crowded southern coast

5) I might just want to spend one day relaxing by the ocean

Besides, halfway through my trip I thought it would be nice to relax for a few days in one place. I would rather spend time in each location to fully experience it, rather than rushing around trying to see everything and end up remembering nothing. That's just how I roll! ;-)

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9. Re: Most Scenic Route from Portland to Astoria???

Now I remember, good deal on a place. not sure jet boat still running, but always easy to spend a few nights at coast at a good place. not doing a lot

Charleston, South...
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10. Re: Most Scenic Route from Portland to Astoria???

Jerry's Rogue River Jet Boats operate the 64-mile trip until October 15. Glad we will be there before the season ends!