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  1. #1

    Default Boise,Idaho to Oregon Coast and north to Seattle

    We are visiting family in Boise in early June and , after staying with them until June 9th, are planning to drive across to the Oregon coast (hopefully via Crater Lake if snow isn't too bad) and then up the coast to Seattle where we have to arrive by the afternoon of June 14th.

    I am comfortable about driving in America (including long distances) but would be grateful of any advice on :

    *Is our plan to do Boise to Crater Lake in one day doable? Wanted to get this bit done in shortest time as I understand that East Oregon isn't particularly scenic.

    *Before picking up the 101 on the Oregon coast is it better to head north up Hwy 5 for a while before cutting across to the coast? There seem to be lots of "recreational sites" along the coast route so I guess that it's pretty slow going on the 101.

    * Any particular places we should try and spend some time at on the coast?

    This is a new area of the country for us so any advice would be very helpful



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Getting "There"

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Boise to Crater Lake is going to be pretty much at the outer limit of what can be accomplished in a day's drive. You do have to consider that the roads you'll be on will not be of Interstate quality and so the speed limits will be lower in general and you will have to negotiate a few towns on your way. Then there's your route. The shortest possible route would entail driving on un-numbered highways, such as Christmas Valley and Bear Flat Roads, in western Oregon. Staying on the main highways will increase your drive time a bit. But, as long as you resign yourself to the fact that you probably won't get to see Crater Lake on the day you spend driving there, you can set yourself up for a nice visit starting early the next morning by sending the night a little short of the actual park.

    AS for eastern Oregon being not "particularly scenic", I would disagree. It has the barren beauty typical of high plains desert with vistas that go on for miles. And not much of it is cluttered up with human 'improvements'. I think it's a drive that you will really enjoy if you just let yourself and not require that the road entertain you. It is true, however, that US-101 can be low going, particularly in the summer. But there are roads that connect it to the interior and I-5 about every 25 miles, so you can pick a section to drive to experience its beauty for as long as you're able and then head back to I-5. All the way up the coast, between North Bend and Astoria, the coast is indeed dotted with many state parks that afford great scenery and hiking trails.

    The one place that I would suggest that you visit that I don't see on your itinerary is to drive inland a bit from Portland on the Historic Columbia River Highway. Again, great scenery and access to a number of short hikes to spectacular waterfalls.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    The chances of the north entrance to Crater Lake being open on June 10 are about 50/50. If it's open, take I-84 west to Ontario OR, then take US-20 west to Bend and spend the night. If it's closed, take US-395 south at Riley to Lakeview, then OR-140 to Klamath Falls to spend the night.

  4. #4


    Many thanks for your replies AZBuck and glc and the very helpful information - much appreciated.

    When we've returned home from our trip we'll post a report of how we got on.


  5. #5


    Having returned home from our trip here are a few comments on the recommendations made by members (for which we are very grateful):

    * Crater Lake was a real highlight and fortunately the roads were mainly open on June 10th. Spent about 4 hours here - wish it had been more !

    * As the weather was kind and the traffic levels light we managed to get as far as Klamath Falls after an early start from Boise but I can appreciate what AZBuck says about the barren beauty of Eastern Oregon and next time we'll take a bit more of a leisurely journey on this section.

    * The only part of our trip which we had to forego was travelling east of Portland to ride the Historic Columbia River Highway. At least we can factor this in to our plans for when we next visit the area.

    Thanks again to members for the advice which helped in planning what was a most enjoyable holiday

    Ross Middleton

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Thanks.

    Hi Ross.

    Thanks for dropping by and giving us a trip update, it's much appreciated.

    Glad to hear you had a good time and you are already sowing seeds for your next trip !


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