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Visiting in late November

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Gladstone, Australia
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Visiting in late November

We are a family of 4 intending to visit your area around the 24th November next year (I'm way ahead of myself with the planning) and from what I've read, is it impossible to visit Mt St Helens at this time? Also, is the road to Hood River an all weather road? The Columbia Gorge looks very pretty and it would be good to spend a night out there just to have a good look around. The issue of rain also seems to be a problem at this time. Since we are off to Hawaii as well, do you think we'd just be best to leave all the volcanoes and waterfalls for their warmer Xmas season and just visit the town areas of Portland and Seattle. Cheers

Newberg, Oregon
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1. Re: Visiting in late November

Interstate 84 goes directly from Portland to Multnomah Falls (about 45 minutes out) and other sites in the Gorge year-round. Occasional ice storms can disrupt traffic for a day or so, but usually that happens a bit later than November. Mount St. Helens, I believe, may find roads closed by snow as early as Thanksgiving. Better to check the Washington Department of Transportation website before heading up there.

Oregon
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2. Re: Visiting in late November

You should be okay going to Hood River. Hist Col Riv Hwy is best way to see gorge but also more likely to have weather problems than I-84. check when you get here.

Oreg coast should be ok, Road to Lincoln City lower elevation, so less likely to have snow than US-26 to Seaside/Cannon Beach. but even that should be ok again check.

Hwy 35 to Hood River to Mt Hood could have snow problems.

Mt St Helens is very recent activity and great place to see what a big eruption can do.

Kilauea on Big Isle still has active flow, but never know what of that you can see, it keeps shifting. The crater may have some activity.

Waterfalls in Hawaii really don't compare to Gorge. Akaka on Big Isle and Wailua on Kauai are pretty good though.

Gladstone, Australia
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3. Re: Visiting in late November

Thanks to you both for the replies. I will definitely check with the Washington (and Oregon) Dept of Transport to see what the weather brings. We went to Yosemite early last December and had our first experience with snowy roads and carried chains which luckily we didn't need to use (but being in a SUV it wasn't that bad). The area had a snow storm a day or two before we came and even though there was snow and slippery conditions we managed okay.

I have just noticed a few tourist centres mentioning that they go to Mt St Helens and the Gorge all year around. We will have to weigh up the option if a tour might be more reliable than renting a car.

It sounds like we will definitely need to see the waterfalls of the Gorge near Portland. Hope the rain will be kind to us then.

Edited: 09 May 2014, 22:53
Eugene, Oregon
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for Eugene, Springfield
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4. Re: Visiting in late November

The Johnston Ridge Observatory will be closed for the winter and that is a major part of the Mt. St. Helens experience with its dramatic presentations and film of the eruption. The visitor center just 5 miles in from Castle Rock might be open, but I wouldn't drive all the way in (even if the road is open) unless the weather and visibility are crystal clear.

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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5. Re: Visiting in late November

Looking at an online calendar, Thanksgiving in 2015 is the 26th. That is a major 4 day holiday weekend and traffic out of any big city on Wed night is fierce - as it is Sun night coming back in to the cities.

Although it could happen, it's early for snow and ice.

Gladstone, Australia
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6. Re: Visiting in late November

Thanks so much for the information regarding Thanksgiving Day. That will definitely mean a change of a few dates to allow for less traffic. Maybe we will leave Oz a bit later after that long weekend. At least we have plenty of notice to get planning and keep an eye on Mt St Helens and what happens with it. If we miss it because of the weather, we'll just have to save more money and come back another time won't we? (Love USA). The Hood River and Gorge areas on their own will be well worth it though regardless if we have to drop something.

7. Re: Visiting in late November

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