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  1. Default Fall Road Trip to Corvallis, OR

    My husband and I are planning to take a road trip from Bismarck, ND to Corvallis, OR for a MN Gophers football game Sept. 9. We want to hit up some scenic places including Crater Lake and Going to the Sun Road in MT. What other places or routes should we take to make the most of our trip?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,341

    Default How much time ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You really need to tell us a bit more, most importantly how much time do you have for the round trip and are you tied to dates that means you may have more time going one way than you do the other.

  3. Default

    Sure! We would probably leave Sept. 5 and return back to Bismarck Sept. 12. The most important date is that we are in Corvallis Sept. 9 for the game. So I'd imagine we'd probably be in Corvallis or close to Sept. 8, go to the game on the 9th and probably stay the night and back on the road on the 10th. Mostly, we are wondering what are some of the best scenic roads to take on our trip there and back. I hope that helps!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,126

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    You don't have a lot of time to spare. It is a 3 day drive from Bismarck to Corvallis via the shortest route, so if you leave on the 5th, you'll get there on the 7th, see the game on the 9th, then you have three days to drive back to Bismarck. Here at RTA, we recommend 500-550 miles per day. So that only leaves you with a day to see something, not both Crater Lake and Going to the Sun Road.


    Donna

  5. Default

    That is good to know! I wasn't sure exactly how long it will take. Maybe I can convince him to extend our vacation a little bit :)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,126

    Default

    A couple of things to know about Crater Lake and Glacier, to help you make a decision:

    * Glacier is probably closer to you in the first place. But you need to know the status of its' main attraction, Going to the Sun Road, before making a decision to go there. It *should* be open in September, but has been known to close right after Labor Day. It takes a good 5-6 hours to cross GttS R from one side of the park to the other, with sightseeing stops and brief hikes. It will take every bit of that to go back around to the other side, either by taking US-2 or by repeating GttS in the other direction. Both are extraordinarily scenic but particularly GttS.

    * Crater Lake can also have snow issues right after Labor Day. It's a bit further off the beaten direct track from Bismarck to Corvallis, but it too is gorgeous.

    Plan carefully.


    Donna

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,341

    Default Got an extra day ?

    OK. Well you haven't much time to wander as it's a 2.5 day drive by the most direct route. Heading out on day 1 you could get some miles under your belt and spend a night in Great Falls which is pleasant and then the following day drive the GTTSR and see parts of the park and set down in Kalispell on the night of the 6th. Next day make tracks toward Hood river for the night and then on the 8th drive the historic Columbia river Gorge into Portland and onwards to Corvallis.

    On the way back stop at Crater Lake for the night and then possibly head towards Twin Falls for a night, a nice town along the Snake river canyon with nearby Shoshone Falls, or you could stay somewhere and visit Craters of the Moon. The problem is if you don't depart until the 10th and want to be home for the 12th you just don't have enough time to stay at Crater Lake, if your Ok to get home lunchtime on the 13th you could stop over again around Billings.

  8. Default

    Thank you! We will keep this in mind!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks for all the advice! My husband is doing the driving as he spends 12 hours a day and sometimes more driving for his job so this is easy for him! We may add one more day or so into the trip to get to see more.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,734

    Default

    My husband is doing the driving as he spends 12 hours a day and sometimes more driving for his job so this is easy for him!
    Regardless, please do not try to drive more than 600 miles in one day, less off the Interstates.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,561

    Default

    Please note that professional drivers are forbidden by law from driving 12 hours in a day. I suspect when you say he drives 12 hours a day, you mean he works 12 hours in a day, much of it spent in a car which is very different than actually driving 12 hours at a time. The reason professionals are banned from driving that many hours is because fatigue becomes ​impossible to avoid and fatigue is every bit as dangerous on the road as alcohol.

    Safe boat rowing!
    Ski-U-Mah

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