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Eastern Oregon Road Trip suggestions

Portland, Oregon
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Eastern Oregon Road Trip suggestions

My husband and I are traveling from Portland to Bend from Aug 8 - 12 with a Crater Lake day trip during that time. He just accepted a new job and now has that week off in between so we'd like to extend the trip and do more exploring from Tuesday - Saturday. We had thought about going down to northern California to visit friends but think that might be too much driving and not enough exploring.

Any suggestions for routes in Eastern Oregon? We like hiking, beer, local food, beautiful scenery.

Oregon
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1. Re: Eastern Oregon Road Trip suggestions

You could head for Painted Hills from Prineville then on to John Day and Sheep Rock unit of Fossil Beds, then Baker City and Oreg Trail Center then to Wallowa Lake. There is construction on Hells Canyon Scenc Byway, so may be best to miss that, though you might check that locally. Go to La Grande then to Wallowa Lake then to Pendleton and down I-84 to home

Oregon/Washington
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for Portland, Sunriver
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2. Re: Eastern Oregon Road Trip suggestions

I like phirls suggestions. We were just over there again recently. You might add the Strawberries for hiking. You could do Strawberry Lake if you just want a short hike and to hang around the lake for a bit, or for more of a hike head up to Little Strawberry. You can see mountain goats up on the mountain from there. We saw 6 of them a few weeks ago. Near Wallow Lake, I like to hike up to Aneroid Lake. There is an old mining camp there too which is private, but the caretaker has invited us in and shown us the camp and shared a few things with us. Fascinating, IME!

Portland, Oregon
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3. Re: Eastern Oregon Road Trip suggestions

Thank you so much for the suggestions. I'll have to do some research when I get home from work. Excited to explore more of this beautiful state!

Anyone heard of Summer Lake Hotsprings in paisley, or? Worth checking out...

Bend, Oregon
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4. Re: Eastern Oregon Road Trip suggestions

Gosh, there is so much to see in Eastern Oregon that it's hard to narrow down the options. One of my favorite places is the Steens Mountain. It truly is a geological wonder with hanging gorges, wildlife and spectacular views down to the Algord Desert, as well as great meals at the French Glen Hotel (dinner reservations a must). You could do a loop to the Steens, through the Strawberry Mountains and Sheep Rock/Painted Hills back to Bend or Portland. We once did a four day loop trip from Bend to the Steens, Baker City and the Oregon Trail Museum, and Joseph and the Wallowas (another wonderful destination), returning through Sumptner, which has a fascinating gold dredging machine, and the Sheep Rock unit. It was a lot of driving but there was so much to see and a lot of varied and interesting scenery.

Summer Lake is pretty cool as is the area of the Oregon Outback. It's really wide open country; Fort Rock is interesting and the Cowboy Dinner Tree is a destination in itself. However, if I had to choose, I think I would pick one of the other areas mentioned in this thread to explore.

Whatever you decide to do, I'm sure you will have a great trip!

Banks, Oregon
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5. Re: Eastern Oregon Road Trip suggestions

Hi. I agree with oregontrekkie about Oregon Outback being a cool place (well, definitely not temperature-wise). But yes, Summer Lake is a birder's paradise----a driving route along dikes and around the lake-lots of great birds to watch. also lots of mosquitoes :) Fort Rock is interesting and has a nice trail leading around and through the rocks---Crack in the Ground has a trail along it's length and makes a nice, cooler area in the heat of the day. Hole in the Ground was not worh the extra driving in my opinion. Does your vehicle have pretty good ground clearance? I am about to give you one of my secret favorite places (shh-don't tell anyone else). Succor Creek Canyon, and especially Leslie Gulch------far eastern Oregon near border with Idaho. It's all gravel and sometimes a bit rough but oh the scenery in Leslie Gulch!!! Rock spires everywhere-----you just need to check the weather report before entering----only one road out and flash floods could keep you from exiting safely. Near Ontario, Oregon.

But, like everyone else has said, enjoy your trip! Oregon awaits you and will definitely enter your heart :)

Edited: 22 July 2014, 19:28
r c
Portland, Oregon
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6. Re: Eastern Oregon Road Trip suggestions

Anna C,

If you can swing it, look into the Wallowas.

good luck.

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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7. Re: Eastern Oregon Road Trip suggestions

Since you're in Portland, you probably know about the various fires in eastern Oregon. As your trip time gets closer, double check any areas you might want to visit to make sure there are no fires. Hopefully the rain will help the fire crews - it's bright and sunny here on the coast.

Portland, Oregon
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8. Re: Eastern Oregon Road Trip suggestions

About to dive in and start plotting an itinerary! Thanks for the feedback.

I'll definitely be watching the fires closely as well.

Chicago, Illinois
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for Bend
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9. Re: Eastern Oregon Road Trip suggestions

Fires are getting better - the rain yesterday and today has helped I think.

Summer Lake day trip from Bend: Drive from Bend towards Summer Lake Hot Springs. On the way, detour to Fort Rock and check out that area. Continue on towards Paisley. At the Summer Lake Resort, soak in the barn pool or outdoors depending on the weather. On the way back, stop at the Cowboy Dinner Tree in Silver Lake for dinner (reservations required).

Paulina area, Cascade Lakes, and Metolius are also nice. Smith Rock has stunning views but it gets SO hot - try to go either super early or later in the day for better light and temps.

If you head east, you could also go to Baker City - there's a brewery there (Barley Brown's). Or you could go up into the Wallowas and visit Joseph, which is pretty cool BUT it's a looong drive.

Oregon
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10. Re: Eastern Oregon Road Trip suggestions

Hmm, good to hear so many ideas for E Oreg. I spent good share on my younger life In E Oreg and think it does not get its share of attention from visitors.

To me E Oreg starts somewhere east of Prineville and The Dallest

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