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  1. Default Crater Lake to Oregon Coast to Portland

    I'm trying to plan a roadtrip out west in late May and I'm a little stumped with the planning in Oregon.

    We wanted to go from Harris Beach State Park > Crater Lake > OR coast > Portland. We would be camping at Harris Beach the night of May 21 and we need to meet up with friends in Portland the night of May 23.

    Does anyone know what Crater Lake is like in late-May? I'm thinking that the Rim Drive will probably be closed that time of year. Without the Rim Drive and since we're not crazy into hiking (more into photography), I think our time at Crater Lake will be limited.

    After Crater Lake we wanted to drive towards the OR coast, stay at a hotel somewhere and start our drive on the OR coast the morning of the 23rd. Since we have to be in Portland later that night are there any suggestions as to where we should begin our drive on the OR coast and where we should end it to head towards I-5? Any suggestions on what to stop and see along the way? Friends have told us we need to see Cannon Beach, but I don't think that's feasible with our time constrains.

    Any help would be great!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Welcome!

    Greeting, chameleon79, and welcome to the Roadtrip America forums!

    Here's the only information I could find on weather at Crater Lake. Source.
    Climate recommended clothing
    Summer
    The months of July through mid-September are generally mild with little precipitation. Due to the elevation of the park (6,500 ft. at Park Headquarters and 7,100 ft. at Rim Village), weather conditions may change quickly and a warm jacket and wool sweater are always recommended items to carry.
    Winter
    From October through June, weather conditions dictate preparing for extreme winter conditions. Blizzards, high winds, extreme cold, and low visibility dominate the weather patterns, Visitors should come with cold weather gear.

    I bet if you do some more poking around that you can found out more. At that same website, they list phone, email, and mailing information. I'm sure you can contact someone there and ask them specific questions and get good info.

    You might also want to check out the National Park Service website and this site as well.

    If you do go to Crater Lake, you would have to go south on 101 to meet up with 199 to Grants Pass, then take I-5 South to Gold Hill, then 234 and 62 to Crater Lake. I'd go north on 138 back to where it merges with I-5 at Roseburg and then take 42 west to the coast. You would come out just south of North Bend and then could travel the coast to just north of Cannon Beach and then 26 east to Portland. This is about 670 miles and would be do-able in the 2 days you have for it but it would be a lot of driving and not as much sight-seeing/photography as you might want to do. However, it would be a gorgeous drive. Just check with those sources-above for info on Crater Lake at that time.

    In fact, I'd also check with OR-DOT about weather conditions expected at that time along the routes to and from Crater Lake as well. Sorry but I haven't driven through there at that time of year to give you any first-hand knowledge. I've always been that way in more July-Sept.

    If you skip Crater Lake, you could easily just continue up the coast from the Harris Beach park and if you went to just north of Cannon Beach and took 26 east to Portland, you'd be doing about 400 miles. A fairly easy 2 days with lots of time to stop and take photos.

    Cannon Beach is beautiful but you will also be seeing a lot of other beautiful beaches on your trip north so if you decide to go east to Portland sooner, you will miss some beauty but it won't worry your trip or anything. Make sense?

    If you decide to veer toward Portland sooner, I would suggest 18/99W just north of Lincoln City. This would make your trip miles from Harris Beach to Portland about 320 miles.

    Anything else I can help you with? That's a great drive. You're gonna have a great time. Please come back after your trip and share your stories and photos with us.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 04-11-2006 at 10:14 PM. Reason: Format

  3. Default Thanks Judy!

    Thanks so much for the info!

    I've told my driving partner that Crater Lake might still be snowy that time of year but it was the first thing on his list to see on our trip out west. So, short of a blizzard, we'll be driving out there, even if we only end up staying for 2 or 3 hours.

    I think I'm okay with missing out on Cannon Beach. How about if, after Crater Lake, we come out to the coast south of North Bend and come back towards Portland just north of Lincoln City? Would there be a decent amount of overlooks to stop at and see the scenery? Or would I be missing out on any "must see" views that would be north of Lincoln City?

    We picked Harris Beach to camp because there are trails from the campsite to the beach. Maybe if we picked another campsite along the coast -- some where after Crater Lake (north of North Bend)? This way we wouldn't have to back track. Any suggestions? I really wanted a place where we could relax at the campsite and then walk not too far to the beach for sunset.

  4. #4

    Default Oregon's most beautiful beach?

    Hi there,

    We drove the length of the Oregon coast last summer and wherever you stop you're guaranteed stunning views and endless photo opportunities.

    For us though, the highlight was the beach at Bandon, just south of North Bend. It's poorly signposted, you need to travel through some fairly unpromising residential areas to reach it but, I promise you, it's worth it.

    It's a wide open beach, accessible down some fairly steep wooden steps, with huge, spectacular rock formations both on and offshore.

    The town itself is attractive in a knowing sort of way with a 'historic center' complete with requisite art galleries, gift shops and tea rooms ... but don't let that put you off!

    Not sure whether a night there fits in with your schedule but if it's beaches and sunsets you're looking for, you really won't find much better than this.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Beverly Beach

    Quote Originally Posted by vambo25
    We drove the length of the Oregon coast last summer and wherever you stop you're guaranteed stunning views and endless photo opportunities. For us though, the highlight was the beach at Bandon, just south of North Bend. It's poorly signposted, you need to travel through some fairly unpromising residential areas to reach it but, I promise you, it's worth it.
    This is good to know -- I wasn't aware of it before. The beach park I really like is Beverly -- blooming azaelas (in season) all over the place.

    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Love the southern coast!

    I think either route or plan would be fine and fun. It just depends on your time. However, I really think the southern part of the Oregon coast is the best part. And I love Bandon and the Gold Beach area. It would be a shame to miss it. But it wouldn't ruin your trip if you did. I mean....the whole coast is great! Gosh, I'm not much help now, am I?

    If you decide to stay at Harris Beach, I don't think the short back-track to hook up with 199 would be that bad of a thing. I'm usually not big on back-tracking myself but you will be seeing gorgeous scenery and, sometimes, it's fun to see it from the opposite direction. You see things you didn't see going the other way. Anyway, if you do stay at Harris Beach and backtrack, it's only 18 miles. Not a big deal, right? And you'll be driving through beautiful forest lands. If you have time, you can take the short jaunt down 46 at Cave Junction, OR, to the Oregon Caves. These are very cool.

    I think any route you choose is gonna be great. One always has to make some choices in any trip and this area is so scenic that there's really not a bad choice to make, imho.

  7. Default Thanks again

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy
    I think any route you choose is gonna be great. One always has to make some choices in any trip and this area is so scenic that there's really not a bad choice to make, imho.
    Maybe we'll pass Harris Beach spend the morning north a little more to see some of the southern coast and then back track to Harris Beach for the afternoon.

    Thanks for your reassurance that it'll be great whatever I do. I know I can't see everything but it's good to know that whatever I do see will be fantastic.

    Oregon is just a 3-day trip in a whirwind 2-week roadtrip around the west (Colorado, Utah, California, Oregon and back to Colorado). We figured that the Oregon coast would be a nice break from the national park scene so I'm sure we'll enjoy whatever we get to see.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Great attitude!

    You have the right attitude to have a great trip. You can never see it all but you can sure enjoy what you can see, right?

    Have a great trip. If you think of something else you need help with, just ask. And please return here after your trip to give us a trip report. We LOVE those! Enjoy.

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