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Portland to Mt. Rainier via East Side of Mt. St. Helens

Brooklyn, New York
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Portland to Mt. Rainier via East Side of Mt. St. Helens

Hi all,

I'm planning my 2 week summer Northwest roadtrip. Starting at Crater Lake heading to Portland with a night in wine country on the way.

From Portland we are planning to head to Mt. Rainier.

I am thinking about heading out from Portland early morning for some hiking at the Columbia River Gorge, then stopping at the east side of Mt. St. Helens for some sightseeing and a short hike. After this I plan on continuing on to Randle or Packwood to spend the night, and then proceed to Mt Ranier early the next morningt. Does this sound like a doable plan, or is it too ambitious? How are these mountain roads to drive? Would it be easier just to back track from the Columbia River Gorge to the west side of Mt. St. Helens?

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Amsterdam, The...
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park, Port Townsend
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1. Re: Portland to Mt. Rainier via East Side of Mt. St. Helens

Forest Road 25 isn't really a good choice. This is a common question here since Google treats NF-25 like a "normal" road. It's very slow going and high-clearance vehicles are encouraged. You're much better off heading to I-5 and visiting Johnston Ridge Visitor's Center. The view (if thes cloud cooperate) is better and there is very nice interpretation unlike Windy Ridge.

That being said, it isn't impossible. I've gone to Windy Ridge in a minivan and I've seen plenty of sedans out there. Just want you to be aware of what to expect. You will need all day to get from the Gorge to Randle or Packwood.

Good luck.

chuck

western WA
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2. Re: Portland to Mt. Rainier via East Side of Mt. St. Helens

Yes, it would be easier. You can take other routes, but if you want to see the visitors center you need to come up I 5. There are plenty of short hikes on that route, too.

Eugene, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Eugene, Springfield
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3. Re: Portland to Mt. Rainier via East Side of Mt. St. Helens

See my response on Oregon Forum.

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Oregon
Oregon
United States
4. Re: Portland to Mt. Rainier via East Side of Mt. St. Helens

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