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Grants Pass to Columbia Gorge

Lake City, Florida
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Grants Pass to Columbia Gorge

My husband and I plan a trip mid September. We love scenic drives, nat'l parks/monuments, short hikes, small towns. We try to limit lodging to max $150/night and limit driving distance between stops to 100-150 mi. depending on things to see/do on the way. After spending 6 days on coast we want to return north to Grants Pass, Crater Lake, Columbia Gorge and back to Portland. We have 9 days. Our initial thoughts are:

1-2 Drive to Grants Pass from Crescent City, CA, spend 2 nights - do jetboat trip.

3-4 Crater Lake (have reserv.for 2 nights)

5 Bend - visit Newberry Nat'l Monument

6. Sandy - Take scenic route from Bend as noted on map (126-22-224)

7-8 Hood River - 2 nights - Use 2nd day to drive to The Dalles area.

9 Portland

Does this seem reasonable? Any recommendations for changes? Is 1 day enough to drive the Gorge from Hood River to Portland and see all the main sites? Would appreciate any recommendations for lodging. Thanks

Oregon
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1. Re: Grants Pass to Columbia Gorge

Unsure your plan for day 6. whatever be sure you get to the McKenzie Pass which is in the middle of a big lava bed right under the Three Sisters Mtns You can take 242 from Sisters to get there, from there you can go on to 126 to drive north or you can return to Sisters. to take 20/22.

Actually I would suggest you do the loop 242, 126 20 back to Sisters stopping at Camp Sherman and from Sisters to Redmond and then north. to 35 and Hood River or 197 to The Dalles.

The best part of Newberry NVM is Newberry Crater with Paulina and East Lake. from there you can go west o get on Cascade Lakes SB, some nice lakes along that route.

Lake City, Florida
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2. Re: Grants Pass to Columbia Gorge

Thanks for the info phirl. Day 6 was for travel and seeing sites from Bend to Hood River. I will definitely add that loop. Do you think I can do the drive from Bend to Sisters, do the loop, Camp Sherman, back to Redmond and then to Hood River in a day? I haven't purchased airline tkts yet so I can add day if needed.

Oregon
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3. Re: Grants Pass to Columbia Gorge

You could probably do that. Get an early start. Many stops to make on loop getting back to Sisters. 150 miles Sisters to Hood River, But only one clear stop from Sisters to Hood River at Peter Skene Ogden Scenic Wayside, and that can be quick. Though you may well be tempted to drive up to Timberline Lodge.

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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4. Re: Grants Pass to Columbia Gorge

I think you're shorting the Bend area. I bet you would enjoy wandering out to Prineville, driving the Crooked River Scenic drive, maybe seeing the shoe tree in Alfalfa a few miles east of Bend :-) You might fit in Painted Hills as well, plus the unique lava tube if that interests you. There is also the High Desert Museum and Smith Rock SP . . .

Troutdale, Oregon
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for Hood River, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, The Dalles, Portland, Oregon
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5. Re: Grants Pass to Columbia Gorge

I would add the day!

Day 6 you could probably find a hotel up from Sandy on Mount Hood or Government Camp or even luck out at Timberline Lodge. Or stop in Sisters. Do you quilt? It is a nice mtn town.

Ready the next morn to drive Oregon 35 to Hood River.

MrsO

Lake City, Florida
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6. Re: Grants Pass to Columbia Gorge

I have decided to add an additional day in the Bend area to give more time for McKenzie Pass(I had read about McKenzie Pass and wanted to do but forgot all about it so I was so glad it was mentioned) and some of the sites east of Bend. Would you recommend 2 nights in Bend or Sisters. Any lodging recommendations for the area, Grants Pass and also Hood River. Ideally, we would love something with a kitchenette, a small cabin or something with a private outside area. Appreciate all suggestions. One other question, for a scenic drive from Bend to Hood River is it better to take 22-224-26 or is there a more direct yet scenic drive? We do want to see Mt. Hood area. For MrsO I do not quilt but my Mom does and I do appreciate the work. THANKS for all suggestions.

Oregon
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7. Re: Grants Pass to Columbia Gorge

Good idea to add a day you won't be sorry. This gives you time to enjoy the Bend area.

I was on the Oregon Scenic Byway Comm. We saw the West Cascades route as an alternative to head north to Portland rather than I-5. It is quite a nice drive, but when your goal is Hood River I question going that way.

I suggest you take US-26 from Madras to Government Camp and Timberline, then back to 35 to head for Hood River.

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8. Re: Grants Pass to Columbia Gorge

The Riverside Inn in Grant's Pass is a nice budget-friendly hotel located right on the Rogue River. Weasku Inn is our favorite, also located on the Rogue River. We like to stay in the River Cabins in the back of the property. :)

Salem, Oregon
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9. Re: Grants Pass to Columbia Gorge

If you're taking the Hell Gate jet boat trip make sure to choose the dinner trip. I've done them all and It's the best one they offer. Great environment, good food, and just a lot of fun. They're extremely popular so make your reservation soon!

Troutdale, Oregon
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for Hood River, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, The Dalles, Portland, Oregon
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10. Re: Grants Pass to Columbia Gorge

I love the brunch too.