I'm planning a trip from San Francisco up to Eastern Oregon in a couple weeks and would love some advice as I plan (it's a somewhat spontaneous trip!). Trip length will be anywhere from 5-7 days, and I plan to camp/stay in budget motels along the way. Primary interests are photography and hiking. Will be my first time really exploring Oregon, too. My first destination is Crater Lake. Should I aim to camp there the first night, or stay over in Klamath Falls the first night and head to CL in the am? How many days do I need at CL and best things to do there?
From Crater Lake I plan to head to Bend. Any suggestions of things to see/do in and around Bend? Is one day enough?
From Bend area I plan to head to John Day Fossil Beds and Painted Hills. Any recommendations on where to stay the night? I know there are a number of campgrounds, just not sure how to choose. Was also considering staying in Mitchell.
From here my plans really need some guidance. Was hoping to head northeast and do the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway over two days. Is this worthwhile? Any recommendations on where to stay the night? As an alternative, I was also considering the High Desert Discovery Scenic Byway near Steens Mountain . Can anyone recommend one over the other or which suits my trip best?
And then of course I would head home, probably doing it over two days (??). Not sure where might be a good place to stop overnight - recs? In addition to the above, any info on things not to miss or the best routes for this itinerary would be appreciated. Also - is this even doable?? Thank you in advance for your help!!!