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  1. Default 3 generations of science & history nerds traveling from Ashland, OR to Olympia, WA

    I am going to be traveling with my mom and my 2 1/2 year old daughter from Ashland, OR to Olympia, WA in early June. We have a couple days to make the trip, and I'd love to make it a memorable one. Any thoughts about an Ashland - Bend - Portland - Olympia route? What are the must-sees?

    We love easy hikes, areas with interesting history or geology, and are gluten-free foodies. My daughter will need to get out and run around about every 1 1/2 hours, so I need lots of pit stop locales!

    Thanks for your input :)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Stops to keep her happy.

    Hello and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    Even though I am not totally familiar with the area, I do know that the Columbia River Gorge is a lovely drive, from Portland to The Dalles. Lots of lovely stops along that scenic drive.

    You might like to check this thread for short stops for your little girl, and remember, virtually every snall town has a park usually with a playground.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    Crater lake is an obvious choice, although if Ashland is home you have probably been before. If you continue on 97 you will find Smith Rock State park just a short detour from Terrebone which is a nice spot to stretch your legs. As mentioned, the Historic Columbia river Gorge is wonderful and to get there you could take U26 through Warm Springs Res. to Mt Hood Nat. forest and north on OR35 to Hood River. From Portland you could take a detour to Mt St Helens which has a very good interpretive/visitor centre at the end of WA504, the Johnstone ridge observatory. It adds at least 3 hours to your journey between Portland and Olympia so if it was something you would like to do, it's wise to check weather/visibility before commiting. Another option would be a drive through Mt Rainier NP which would fill the whole day from Portland.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Newberry National Volcanic Monument
    is right along US-97, south of Bend. There are some good walks in there, you and your mom may find old lava flows and cinder areas to be interesting, and your daughter will probably just love picking up the "rocks".


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Other Obvious Choices

    If history is on the agenda, then after heading down the Historic Columbia River Highway (also the route of the Oregon Trail) to Portland and Fort Vancouver, you should continue a bit father to Ashland and Fort Clatsop and some of the other Lewis and Clark sites.


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