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  1. Default Sept. 2008 Trip - Portland to Boulder

    Hi there. My husband and I are going to take a roadtrip next year. Our friend is getting married in Portland, OR so we plan on taking off after the wedding. My husband's sister lives in Boulder so we planned on driving there and spending a few days with her before flying home. We will have about 3-4 days to drive to Boulder. Any suggestions or ideas on how to go or what areas to stop along the way?

    Thanks Terri
    Last edited by temiller; 09-04-2007 at 01:09 PM. Reason: Needed to include state.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Highlights

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    With a basic route of I-84/I-80/I-25, just a few of the places nearby that you might consider stopping at include the Columbia River Gorge, Bruneau Canyon and Sand Dunes, Salt Lake City, and with a moderate detour you can visit both Dinosaur National Monument and Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. Finally, while in Bolder, be sure to get to Rocky Mountain National Park.


  3. Default Thanks

    Thank you for the advice. My hubby and I were considering driving from Portland, OR to Grandier, MT and visit Yellowstone for a day or two and then driving from the South Entrance of Yellowstone to Boulder. Are they some stops on the way to Grandier? How is the drive?
    Thanks Terri
    Last edited by temiller; 09-06-2007 at 10:39 AM. Reason: grammar

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Beautiful, easy drive

    With more to see than you'll have time for

    Just east of Portland, you're entering the beautiful Columbia River Gorge area. I would suggest taking the Old Columbia Gorge Highway that runs for a short distance along I-84 and takes you to the impressive Vista House and Multnomah Falls.

    The whole drive has gorgeous views (whether you do I-84 or the old highway but the old highway is better, imho). Watch for the huge Beacon Rock on the Washington side. Hood River is internationally famous for its wind-surfing. It's a great place to stop for a break or a meal. Eat somewhere where you can see the windsurfers in action.

    Between Hood River and The Dalles, the scenery changes from green trees to desert. It's interesting to watch it happen. And there are several state parks, scenic viewpoints, and Lewis & Clark "stopped here" places to explore along the way.

    Just before Hermiston, OR, you'll go north to Washington and continue on I-82. This will take you through some interesting scenery on the western edge of The Palouse. I don't think you'll have time to explore this area much but you might want to consider slightly altering your route off the interstate onto some of the lesser highways that can still take you from the Washington border to Spokane. In fact, if you had more time, I'd encourage you to take routes through the SE corner of WA through the Nez Perce Nation...astounding scenery...but you're actually pressed for time as it is so you'll have to take quicker roads this trip.

    Couer d'Alene, ID, is a beautiful area and the smaller towns east of it, especially Kellogg and Wallace, are worth at least a quick stop or drive-through for their small town charms.

    Butte's Copper King Mansion and Our Lady of the Rockies (a 90-foot tall statue of the Virgin Mary built overlooking the Continental Divide) might be worth a quick stop to stretch your legs. Again, time won't allow for much exploration.

    There's lots more but you are covering about 830 miles. A very long drive for one day....even with 2 days you would be somewhat limited in the time you have to explore. What timeframe are you allowing for this part of the trip?

    Even if you just drive the interstates, it's a long but beautiful drive. You will see green evergreen forests, desert, farmlands, rolling hills, mountains. Gosh, I think you'll see almost every major type of topography except a coastline....and parts of the Columbia River mimic beaches so you'll even get a bit of that.

    It's a gorgeous drive. Enjoy!

  5. Default Thanks

    Thanks so much for your imput! The wedding is on the 24th of August and we plan on leaving the 25th in a rental. We probably would fly out of Boulder back home home on the 31 of August or 1st of September. We would like to be in Boulder on the 30th, so we can spend a couple of days in Boulder.

    We could go straight to Boulder and visit stops along the way or we could go to Yellowstone. I'm thinking if we have the chance, we might as well drive to Yellowstone, but we'll miss out seeing Utah. But, we can do that another time.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Travel Trade-Offs

    Yeah, few of us will ever have the time or money to do everything we want to do. We always have to make trade-offs. If I were you, I'd choose seeing places that I'm less likely to get a chance to see again. There's so much to do in Utah that it might be more likely that you'll get back there sometime to explore all the great national parks there. And most of those are way out of your general route anyway....located in the more southern parts of Utah.

    Anyway, I think you'll have a fantastic road trip if you go through WA/ID/MT/Yellowstone, then into Colorado. I doubt you'll regret it. But you're cramming a lot in a short period of time so just make sure you don't find yourselves 2 days away from the wedding with only 1 day left to get there!

    Let us know if we can help you further and please consider coming back to share with us how your trip went. Enjoy!

  7. Default Late August Trip - Portland to Denver


    My husband and I are planning a road trip from Portland to Denver. We would fly into Portland on 8/21 for a wedding. Below is an itinerary, we have been contemplating.

    1. Pick of rental car and leave Portland 8/25.
    2. Drive to SLC and spend the night.
    3. Drive to Bryce Canyon National Park spend the day at the park and spend the night nearby 8/26
    4. Drive to Zion National Park and spend the day 8/27
    5. Drive towards North Rim and spend the night
    6. Drive to North Rim and spend the day 8/28
    7. In the evening, drive towards Breckenridge and spend the night
    8. Finish driving to Breckenridge 8/29
    9. We are staying with family 8/29-8/31 in Breckenridge and will fly home on the 31st.

    Is this realistic? Any advice? Should we focus on one area more? We want to see as much as possible with having 2 days to spend at Breckenridge. I have heard that the North Rim is not as nice as the South Rim.

    Also, we thought about buying some camping gear and camp at nearby park campgrounds instead of staying at a hotel.

    Thanks so much!

    Any advice would be wonderful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default The first step

    Welcome back to the RTA Forum!

    Your first day would be kind of a killer. 750 miles is a long long distance to try to cram into one day. Its possible, but its more than we recommend and it would be pretty draining. I'd look strongly at stopping closer to Twin Falls, ID for a much more reasonable day on the road.

    I don't think I've ever heard anyone say the North Rim isn't as nice, but it certainly is different. It gets far less tourist traffic, it doesn't have the array of hotels and other services than the South Rim has, and since the elevation is about 1000 feet higher on the north side, the views are quite different

    Camping could be a great way to save money and enhance your trip! Here are some ideas to help get you started.

  9. Default Thanks

    Thank you for your advice. Yeah, that is a long distance, and maybe we should stop somewhere sonner.

    We originally were going to Yellowstone, but opted for Bryce and Zion park.

    Do you have any advice on which of the parks (Bryce or Zion) we should spend more time at?

    If we visit the North Rim, should we take the time to drive to the South Rim?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I haven't been to Bryce, only Zion, so I can't really say which one I liked better. I also really don't know that I've heard a concensus, other than that both are amazing places.

    I would probably spend more time at both of those places than going all the way around to the South Rim. The South Rim is a good 5 hour drive from the North Rim, and considering your somewhat limited time, I'd focus on the many many great things to see that are closer to your intended path.

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