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  1. Default From Yellowstone to The Redwood Forrest - best way to go...

    Hi all,

    I am planning a round the country trip and have most of the route planned at this point and I am trying to fill in a few final holes.

    My family and I will be visiting Yellowstone through a Wednesday and need to be at Redwood National Park mid day on Sunday, which gives us three days and a little extra time to get there. I have looked at the maps and come up with three possible routes, but don't know much about any of them. If anyone could comment on them or make other suggestions, I'd appreciate it.

    1: Head north through Bozeman and Butte, then west to Spokane and down to Portland and then down to Redwood.

    2: Head west through Idaho (American Falls, Twin Falls, Boise) and on to Ontario Oregon, and go on the south side of the mountain range through Burns and Riley to Bend, then down 97 to Crater Lake, into Ashland, and on to Redwoods.

    3. Same as 2 only using the north side of the mountains through Praire City and Canyon City to get from Ontario to Bend.

    4. Same as 2 only at Ontario, stay on 84 around to Portland and then down to Redwood through Eugene.


    I am with my family (wife and 3 children 3 to 11 years old). We like scenic drives, and fun places to stop. I like the idea of going to Bend and Ashland and Crater Lake, but I'm a little nervous about options 2 and 3 because the area before Bend seems so desolate - I'm sure it isn't actually, but it looks like that looking at a map.

    If anyone has any experience with these routes or any opinion on which way to go, I'd appreciate it.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by RoadTripper0609; 06-09-2007 at 01:09 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Oregon -- desolate???

    Quote Originally Posted by RoadTripper0609 View Post
    I am planning a round the country trip and have most of the route planned at this point and I am trying to fill in a few final holes.
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum -- we will see what we can do to help!
    My family and I will be visiting Yellowstone through a Wednesday and need to be at Redwood National Park mid day on Sunday, which gives us three days and a little extra time to get there.
    Hmm, well, first all four routes are safe.... even the Oregon Outback (the area the comprises the SE corner of the state) has several towns and lots of visitor services. The area around Bend is quite built-up -- several thousand people live in the area.

    But as for the most scenic route -- each of the choices have much to recommend, so I will just share what I know about each and let you decide.
    1: Head north through Bozeman and Butte, then west to Spokane and down to Portland and then down to Redwood.
    The Bitterroot Mountains are beautiful and the route along I-84 would take you to Coeur d'Alene --one of the most beautiful lakes in the country. This is longest route but still doable in your time frame.
    2: Head west through Idaho (American Falls, Twin Falls, Boise) and on to Ontario Oregon, and go on the south side of the mountain range through Burns and Riley to Bend, then down 97 to Crater Lake, into Ashland, and on to Redwoods.
    I think this would be my first choice because of the proximity to Craters of the Moon National Monument along the way. You could also stop at Summer Lake and take a dip in the hotsprings before going to Crater Lake and points south. Here is an excellent field report about some of this route.
    3. Same as 2 only using the north side of the mountains through Praire City and Canyon City to get from Ontario to Bend.
    This route has the advantage of being in the mountains and having both cooler air and lots of trees. Plus you could go to the John Day Fossil Beds State Park! And US-395 is a beautiful road.This would be toss-up with #2 for my recommendation
    4. Same as 2 only at Ontario, stay on 84 around to Portland and then down to Redwood through Eugene.
    Much more interstate travel -- still pretty, but not as interesting.

    Mark

  3. Default

    Thanks for the response. As long as Route 20 or 26 from Ontario to Bend are nice roads to travel, then I think I am inclined to go that way as we'd like to go to Bend (and the lakes to the southwest), Crater Lake, and Ashland.

    Would I expect that rt 20 would be faster than rt 26? Are they the same. We'll be staying overnight near Ontario and we'd like to get to Bend as eary in the afternoon the next day as possible (hoping around 3:00 - is that reasonable?).

    Thanks!!

    Hak

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default US-20 and US-26

    Quote Originally Posted by RoadTripper0609 View Post
    Would I expect that rt 20 would be faster than rt 26? Are they the same.
    Both highways are US-highways and I think the speed limits might be similar. As a matter of geography, US-20 tends to be a little less curvy and therefore you might be able to go faster -- but US-26 is a Federally designated scenic highway and of the two route, I would give my nod to US-26.
    We'll be staying overnight near Ontario and we'd like to get to Bend as eary in the afternoon the next day as possible (hoping around 3:00 - is that reasonable?).
    It is only about a 21 mile difference between US-26 and US-20 and will take you about 6.5 hours, unless you stop and see the fossils and other places along the way.

    Mark

  5. #5

    Default Baker City, OR to Eugene, OR

    This route is slightly different option from your proposed options.

    Last year we did a road trip from the SF Bay Area to Yellowstone, then
    looped through Oregon and back to SF.

    We drove from I84 from Idaho Falls, ID to Baker City, OR. We spent the
    night at Baker City at the Geiser Grand Hotel.

    Geiser Grand:


    The Geiser Grand is a historic hotel and purported to be haunted.
    We didn't see any spirits, but the ambient noise in our spacious
    room may have been spirits (or perhaps a water heater).

    From Baker City we drove to Eugene, OR, through John Day and Bend.

    The roads were very good two lane roads.

    We made a stop to Sumpter, OR where we saw the Sumpter dredge.

    In John Day, we made a stop at Kam Wah Chung State Historic Park.
    Stepping inside this small museum is like going back in time.

    We would have liked to stop at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument,
    but we didn't have enough time.

    Going west from Bend to Eugene, along Hwy 242 the road climbs up towards
    McKenzie Pass through an extensive lava field. At the top of McKenzie Pass,
    is the Dee Wright Observatory, where you get a nice view of the
    surrounding lava fields and spectacular views of the peaks of the
    Three Sisters.

    From McKenzie Pass, the road winds down to the McKenzie River into Eugene.

    It was an all day drive from Baker City to Eugene with a few sightseeing
    stops.

    From Eugene, we drove to Crater Lake via Roseburg along the Umpqua
    Highway(Hwy 136). Along the way we stopped at Toketee Falls:

    The river flows through a gap in the columnar basalt.

    and onto Crater Lake:


    From Crater Lake we looped to Hwy 62 to Medford. Along the way
    we made a stop to Natural Bridge. It's an unusual natural feature, where
    the Rogue River passes underground through a lava tube then shoots out
    about 50 yards downstream.

    The sightseeing from Eugne to Medford was an all day excursion.

    Photos from the road trip.

    Have a great trip.
    Last edited by roadie; 06-10-2007 at 12:06 AM. Reason: Update link

  6. #6

    Default High Desert Museum

    Not sure how it fits with your timings but, with a young family to entertain, I couldn't recommend the High Desert Museum strongly enough. It's only minutes south of Bend on Highway 97 and offers everything from animals and woodlands walks to superb exhibitions.

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