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Crater lake detour worth it?

Ohio
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Crater lake detour worth it?

We are planning a trip in July from Seattle to San Fran with four adults and two boys both 10. We have allotted two days to get from Portland to the California border and plan on going down the coast as much as possible. Some members of the party would really like to go to Crater lake. Is it worth the drive from our coastal itinerary? Would it be better to skip the coast entirely and find other things to do inland?

Troutdale, Oregon
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for Hood River, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, The Dalles, Portland, Oregon
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1. Re: Crater lake detour worth it?

Crater Lake is beautiful indeed. It is worth a stop.

A nearby city to stay in would be Grants Pass. It's a nice river town on the Rogue River.

MrsO

Oregon
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2. Re: Crater lake detour worth it?

Crater Lake is beautiful and geologically fascinating. But, given your two-day timeline and drive down the coast, I think you would be spending a *lot* of time in the car to add Crater Lake to your itinerary. If you drove south down the coast to Crescent City [ish], then headed east to Grants Pass and on to Crater Lake, that would be [ish] a 3.5-hour drive to Crater Lake; add at least a half-day to see the lake; and a drive back to I-5 -- that would be a long day, especially for two young boys.

Other options would be head east from the coast towards Eugene, then to Crater Lake a different route but you would be cutting off the southern coast and still adding many car hours to your trip.

Personally, I would spend the two days on the coast [especially since you are from an inland state].

Portland, Oregon
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3. Re: Crater lake detour worth it?

Yes, the detour to Crater Lake would take one of your two days, but the memory of it will be as lasting as any of the sights you'll see on the coast. Just to offer another option:

Day 1 - Portland to Lincoln City and south to Bandon for the night. Drive time is about 5 hours, but in July you'll have daylight until 9:00pm so time enough for sightseeing, a short hike, maybe even a dune buggy ride.

Day 2 - Bandon to Crater Lake, entering from the north, then exiting from the south towards Grants Pass and on to Crescent City. Longer day in the car (over 7 hours), but only one major sightseeing stop.

Edited: 03 March 2014, 19:45
Oregon
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4. Re: Crater lake detour worth it?

With just two days I would drop Crater Lake. Coast has three very good sections Cannon Beach to Tillamook, Depoe Bay to Florence and Port Orford to Brookings. I would try to make at least the last two.

If your group insists you could headinland at Reedsport, drive the North Umpqua which is quite nice to Crater Lake, then 199 to Crescent City. from there you could go north on 101 to at least Samuel Boardman SP

Assume you plan on Redwoods in Cal, and you should. If not you could go to Crater lake from Crescent City then take I-5 toward San Francisco area

Oregon Coast
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5. Re: Crater lake detour worth it?

>>We have allotted two days to get from Portland to the California border<<

Does this mean Crescent City? Then do you have another two days to get to San Francisco?

Your answer might make a difference in our suggestions.

The boys may find Crater Lake quite boring and would probably prefer to take a jet boat ride! There is a two hour one in Klamath, Calif as well as in Grants Pass, Ore (inland from the coast).

You could head directly to Crater Lake from Portland via Mt Hood and Bend (about 6 hours). Then leave CL via Hwy 138 west to Hwy 42 west to Hwy 101, then continue south along the coast. The southern coast is less populated and very scenic.

Just another option.

Then south on 101 to SF or if you have the time, Hwy 1 from Leggett to SF is a spectacular drive.

--

When using an online mapping service, remember to add extra time. Summer coastal traffic is quite heavy along some sections :-)

Troutdale, Oregon
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for Hood River, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, The Dalles, Portland, Oregon
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6. Re: Crater lake detour worth it?

If you went Portland to Mt Hood you could drive through the CRGNSA (Columbia River Gorge) as far as Hood River then up 35 to Mt Hood on the way Half Brit suggests or miss the waterfalls and take 26 through Sandy up to Mt Hood.

MrsO

Ohio
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7. Re: Crater lake detour worth it?

Yes 2 days from Portland to Crescent Ciy.

Berkeley, California
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8. Re: Crater lake detour worth it?

The coast is spectacular; so is Crater Lake - but if you have only two days, you'll need to choose one or the other.

It's a fairly long drive just to get from Portland to Crater Lake (4-6 hours), and another 4+ hours to get from Crater Lake to Crescent City. If the primary purpose of your trip is to see the coast, then Crater Lake is not feasible in a two day itinerary. If you're busting to see Crater Lake, then you will necessarily only see the most southerly portion of the coast when you reach Crescent City.

9. Re: Crater lake detour worth it?

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