Northern Calif / Oregon 7-10 day route

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NORTH COAST TOUR Hwy 101 and more – Take mtn. bicycles.

(Scroll down if you are travelling from Sacramento region toward the north.)

Going from north to south: From Portland head east on 84 until you reach the scenic route that parallels 84 on it’s south. Take plenty of time to stop at the dozen waterfalls and overlooks of the Columbia River Gorge and especially at Multnoma Falls.

Continue east to Hood River. Take a tour at Full Sail Brewery, watch the pro windsurfers, then head south around Mt. Hood and over to Brietenbush Hot Springs (make reservations).

  From Brietenbush drive east/south on 22 to 20.

Jog west on 20 for 3 miles, then south on hwy 126.

On 126 stop at the falls you’ll see signs on the right: Sahalee, and another one. Hike the 1 mile trail between the two.

Skip Belnap springs and continue past Mckenzie Bridge. 

 

Turn left/south on road 19 to Cougar Reservoir.

On the right side of the the road is Delta Campground. You may camp here, but drive 7 more miles to Terwilliger Hot Springs (Cougar Hot Springs). There are also campgrounds 7 mi south of the hot spring.

 Take a flashlight, water and a water scoop (for cold water from the stream next to the springs).  It is a 5 minute walk in and is $5. (Rarely do they enforce the “after dark” rule.)

 

After you’re done with Cougar, drive south on 19 to Hwy 58. Turn left (south/east) on 58 for 30 miles to Salt Creek Falls.

You will pass McCredie Hot springs, you can stop now or later.  I’d suggest trying the easier to get to springs, as the remote ones have that black silt.

 

Now go west on 58 thru Springfield & Eugene to Hwy 126

Take 126 to the coast, but stop at the Mapleton Ranger station and get maps for some AWESOME little hikes. You can camp there too.

 

The coast driving south on 101: If you haven’t been to the Oregon Dunes, you should check them out. They are so vast that it is easiest to go with a tour operator in a big dune buggy.

 Along the coast there’s some lighthouses and different stuff.

 

Stop in Bandon. There is a lighthouse, and some nice artsy shops in town, but the BEST thing to do is:

South of Bandon: GO to the WILDLIFE SAFARI PARK!!!  Hang out at the nursery until they bring you all kinds of baby animals, they rotate lions, panthers, bear, fox, skunk, possum, binterons, tigers, serval cats, raccoons and a bunch of other critters about 2 months old. They let you hold, feed and play with them.  They bring out different ones about every half hour.

 

Mozie on down the coast, maybe you’ll find some other things I need to see in Southern Oregon.

At the Chetco River 10 miles up the river - The Loeb state park is a real nice campground. 

 

California

From Cresent City, take Hwy 199 towards Jedediah Smith Redwood Park. Before you get to the park, you will see “the swimming hole” your friends told you about, the Smith River is beautiful.

Hike the boy scout trail for awhile in Jedehiah Smith Park. Camping here is always FULL.

Drive thru the park and you come out on HOWLAND HILLS road  to ELK VALLEY ROAD. To 101 at the coast.

 

You may want to explore Cresent City before heading south to:   Mill Creek Campground. Or if it’s too early to camp, stop for dinner in the town of Klamath Glen (Terwer Vally) at the Steelhead lodge. (Drive way in, At the end of the road)

The “drive thru” tree here is worth doing once.

 

On 101:  Watch for REQUA ROAD.      Drive up to the overlook of the mouth of the Klamath. I usually see WHALES near the mouth of the river.

 

Back on 101, cross the Klamath river.  Just south of the river turn off onto a Scenic Loop Road. Watch for bears & whales.

 

On 101 STOP at the TREES of MYSTERY big Paul Bunyan , the walking tour is worth doing to see strange trees.  They now have a new gondola that is really cool.

 

Drive up CAL BARREL ROAD. It’s a 20 minute round trip nice drive. As you continue back up the parkway, take the scenic drive.

 

Take the Newton Drury scenic parkway to the Elk Prairie STATE PARK

The campground. You will stay AT LEAST one night. Go to the visitor center.

Reservations usually needed at Elk Prairie Campground  (favorite campsites:44,57,28)– a river edge site. (state park  forget it on holidays.

 

Hike the JAMES IRVINE TRAIL! From the Elk Prairie Campground  visitors center (It is a 4 hour hike, so you may only do part). Plan for a half day , either right after breakfast or right after lunch.  It is about the best trail in the region

Plan on going to the campfire center at nite for the ranger meeting. It is good.

Another good trail: South Fork: Do it CLOCKWISE.

 

Half day excursion not to miss: Go down Davidson Road to Gold Bluffs Beach and Fern Canyon (2-4 hours)  Don’t skip this part!!!  It is a MUST SEE!

At Fern Canyon hike the loop trail!!!   (If you go between Oct-May you’ll need water shoes)  Check out the beach on the way in or out. There are Elk all around on the beach.

 

Head south to Orick. Do a little shopping in Orick.

Stop in at the old Red School House on the left.

 

Hwy 101 south. Stop at the visitors center at Humbolt Lagoons State Park!

 

At Trinidad Take the scenic drive (Stagecoach Rd) up to Patricks Pt.   It’s a hike to the beach if you’re interested. (There are easier places to get to the beach) But the view is great here.

 

Go back to 101 to Eureka. Go toward the wharf in Eureka, there are some cool shops in old town (3nd st?), the gardening hardware shop is the best, and the gallery next door.  A few good places to eat in Eureka.     Skip Samoa.

 

The next stop is Ferndale. Shop there at the mercantile (general store) & the blacksmith shops,  and ask for an upstairs tour when you go to Hobart Browns Gallery. (it is WEIRD).    Don’t miss the museum of kinetic sculpture.

There is a cheese factory tour in Loleta, I haven’t been.

 

At Rio Dell/ Scotia the tour of Pacific Lumber Company is interesting.  They cut trees HUGE .

 

When you see the Avenue of the Giants, TAKE IT ALL THE WAY, REAL SLOW. Make several stops along the way to touch the trees and marvel at the Eel river.  

BRING ME SOME ROCKS about the size of bread slices from the Eel river!!!.  I want red & green ones with white stripes.

 

BE SURE to stop at the gift shop INSIDE a tree! 

 

Many of the touristy places ARE worth stopping at, but there are just too many.  Park at the Pepperwood sign and  hike the Newton-Drury/Chaney trail on the west side of the hiway. It is about a 30 minute walk and is the best in the area

 

A good campground just south of Myers Flat on the Avenue of the Giants called Hidden Springs StatePark.  

Richardson Grove (on 101) is the southernmost good campground. (3-4  hours from Williams)

 

Continuing south:  Stop at Benbow Inn to see the Inn, but DON’T swim there.

 

Continuing south:  Ft. Bragg is cool.  So is Mendocino & Lake Mendocino.

 

After that, if you decide to head inland toward Sacramento, you'll take hwy 20 by Clear Lake to I-5,

or go back to the coast along the Russian River to Bodega Bay/ Pt Reyes.

 

or keep going south toward San Francisco. North of SF, be sure to take the loop over to MUIR WOODS & Stinson Beach. (I hear there is a nude beach there, but dont know where).

 

Travelling from South to North:

You will have several stops at shops and big trees north of Leggett is when the best drive begins. Stop at Benbow Inn to see the Inn, DON’T swim there.

BE SURE to stop at the store INSIDE a tree!  south of Richardson Grove State Park. (South of Garberville)..

Skip the “drive thru” trees. Do the one in Klamath later.

 

When you see the Avenue of the Giants, TAKE IT ALL THE WAY, REAL SLOW. Make some stops along the way to touch the trees and marvel at the Eel river. Many of the touristy places ARE worth stopping at, but there are just too many.  Park at the Pepperwood sign and  hike the Newton-Drury/Chaney trail on the west side of the hiway. It is about a 30 minute walk and is the best in the area. Must do hikes: Pepperwood (Ave of Giants), James Irvine trail (Elk Prairie Campground), and Fern Canyon.

  

TO SLEEP

Richardson Grove (on 101) is the southernmost good campground. (3-4  hours from Williams) A better campground is another 30 minutes up, just south of Myers Flat on the Avenue of the Giants called Hidden Springs StatePark.  

 

At Rio Dell/ Scotia the tour of Pacific Lumber Company is interesting.  They cut trees HUGE .

The next stop is Ferndale. Shop there at the mercantile (general store) & the blacksmith shops,  and ask for an upstairs tour when you go to Hobart Browns Gallery. (it is WEIRD).    Don’t miss the museum of kinetic sculpture.

There is a cheese factory tour in Loleta, I haven’t been.

 

Go back to 101 to Eureka. Go toward the wharf in Eureka, there are some cool shops in old town (3nd st?), the gardening hardware shop is the best, and the gallery next door.  A few good places to eat in Eureka.     Skip Samoa.

 

At Trinidad Take the scenic drive (Stagecoach Rd) up to Patricks Pt.   It’s a hike to the beach if you’re interested. (There are easier places to get to the beach) But the view is great here.

 

101. Stop at the visitors center at Humbolt Lagoons State Park!

 

Head up to Orick. Most of the shops in Orick are all the same stuff. One is enough.

  

Depending on when you arrive you will either Now go down Davidson Road to Gold Bluffs Beach and Fern Canyon (2-4 hours) or you will go north to the Elk Prairie Campground, check in and come back.  Allow 3 hours for your Fern Canyon Excursion. Don’t skip this part!!!  It is a MUST SEE!

At Fern Canyon do the loop trail. (If you go between Oct-May you’ll need water shoes)  Check out the beach on the way in or out. There are Elk all around on the beach.

Take the Newton Drury scenic parkway to the Elk Prairie STATE PARK

The campground. You will stay AT LEAST one night. Go to the visitor center.

Hike the JAMES IRVINE TRAIL! From the visitors center (It is a 4 hour round trip, so you may only do part). Plan for a half day , either right after breakfast or right after lunch.  It is about the best trail in the region

Plan on going to the campfire center at nite for the ranger meeting. It is good.

 

When you leave. Stay on the parkway north.

Drive up CAL BARREL ROAD. It’s a 20 minute round trip nice drive. As you continue back up the parkway, take the scenic drive. Watch for bears & whales.

Back on 101 north

Watch for REQUA ROAD.      Drive up to the overlook of the mouth of the Klamath. I usually see WHALES

STOP at the TREES of MYSTERY big Paul Bunyan , the tour is worth doing.  They now have a new gondola that is really cool.

 

Eat dinner in the town of Klamath Glen (Terwer Vally) at the Steelhead lodge. (Drive way in, At the end of the road)

 

Jetboat either the Klamath or the Rogue (Both Rogue trips are great, I haven’t done the Klamath)

 

Depending on the time of day….   Camp at Mill Creek Campground. Just south of Crescent City.

 

Go to the UNDERSEA WORLD  in Crescest city. Do the tour. (about one hour).

 

WATCH FOR ELK VALLEY ROAD. Take HOWLAND HILLS road  through the Jedediah Smith Redwood Park.  Spend a couple hours there.  Hike the boy scout trail for awhile. Continue on to Hwy 199 to the Smith River.  (You may turn off to the right just before the river and drive along it for a ways to check out the river)

 

North of this point there’s not much activity for awhile, and a lot of driving, but it’s a gorgeous drive.   A nice drive is up North Bank (of the Chetco river). The Loeb state park is a real nice campground 10 miles up the river. 

 

From Brookings it is 1 ½ hours drive up to Bandon.    There is a myrtle factory along the way. 

Stop at GOLD BEACH. Jetboat  the Rogue River MAILBOATS (turn up the north bank of river) not Jerrys. Mailboats have a better permit. Take the long trip to the wild & scenic Rogue river. It’s FUN. Get there early and sit in front if you can.

 

Just before Bandon is the Wildlife Safari Park. See it all, but spend lots of time at the Nursery. Stay an hour, they bring out different baby bears, foxes, panthers, tigers & such for you to pet.     Wash & Disinfect just before you leave.

 

Go to Bandon. See at the Gallery for sure, maybe a couple other shops.  Go to the lighthouse and take the tour.  If at this point it is past noon on Saturday ,  take the short way.

 

The long way- up to 3 more days  If you are NOT ready to start heading back, stay on the Oregon Coast for many places to see. Play on the Oregon Dunes, Go to the sea lion caves etc.

You would need to be done with Bandon by no later than Thursday noon to pull this next one off:

tour Tillimook then head east thru Portland to the Columbia River Gorge just east of Portland where the tallest & most waterfalls are.

 

The short way - one more day

If you are ready to start heading back, the remainder will take one full day to experience:

Fill your tank in Bandon. From Bandon head East on Hwy 42S (Coquille Hwy). When it reaches  42 turn right. Now you will take a northern side route for a spectacular drive. ……….along the Coquille river with several small gushing waterfalls and beautiful scenery:

Skip the M. Jackson state park.

 From 42, turn left on either Hwy Lee Fairview (marked on map) or Myrtle Point Sitkum Rd. You need the map for this one! Stay on Myrtle Point Sitkum Rd. (Go through Dora & Sitkum-no services).  Stay on this road for about 30 miles or so until you reach Reston Rd. which will return you to 42. Go left on 42 to Winston where you will go on the Wildlife Safari!!! You can do the Safari in an hour, but 1/2 day is better.

 

Head home down 5.  If you missed the Jetboats on the coast, you have another chance when you go through Grants Pass – Hellgate Jet excursions (take the LONG ride).  Or if you miss all of them, I’ll take you in MY boat! (but you WILL be more scared!!)

 

 

TUESDAY – KLAMATH RIVER WHALE WATCH AT MOUTH OF RIVER (KLAMATH JET BOAT?)

Wednesday A.M. – TREES OF MYSTERY (PAUL BUNYAN)

WED NITE – CAMP AT JEDEDIAH SMITH

Thursday-  JEDEDIAH SMITH REDWOODS.

FRIDAY  MAIL BOATS – GOLD BEACH, OREGON

SaturdayBANDON, OREGON – WILDLIFE SAFARI  - PET THE BABY BEARS, TIGERS ETC.

SUNDAYWINSTON, OREGONWILDLIFE DRIVE THRU SAFARI, DRIVE “THROUGH” GIRAFFES, CHEETAS,  LYONS ETC.

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