Featuring Crater Lake National Park
Hello Everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve posted, so I’m more excited than ever to share details from my most recent road trip with you all. If you have visited my blog previously you probably know that my husband and I made a pact to visit all of the US National Parks- together. Even though I have already visited Crater Lake National Park, my husband had not. So CLNP was next on our list and since the entire state of Oregon is unlike anywhere else, we decided to plan an Oregon Road trip to see basically the entire state.
Okay, let me first say…Oregon is the hidden gem of the PNW, especially for the outdoor enthusiast..like myself :). The first thing I noticed when visiting was that Oregon has a law where you can’t pump your own gas so an attendant does it for you….amazing right?!?! For a second I thought it was 1995 again in the tiny town I grew up in but I realized quickly this was the case throughout the entire state. Can it get any better than that? Alright, let me share more details from the trip before I get carried away.
The first stop on our road trip was Portland. I could write an entire post on Portland itself because there is so much to do and see, especially if you love food, craft beer, and entertainment. But for the sake of time I’ll just quickly share a list of some of my favorites in Portland.
- McMenamins Crystal Ballroom – Great entertainment
- McMenamins Crystal Hotel is also a unique, affordable place to stay. It’s in the heart of downtown and close to everything! https://www.mcmenamins.com/crystal-hotel
- Eat Donuts- Blue Star Donuts or VooDoo are both amazing 🙂
- Shopping downtown- Powells City of Books is a must
- Pittock Mansion
- Tour Downtown on Bike
- Portland Japanese Graden
- Food Tours – I recommend Forktown Food Tours- https://forktown.com/
Columbia River Gorge
Our second stop was Columbia River Gorge. This is a prefect day trip as it’s only 45 minutes from Portland and a giant outdoor playground- perfect for hikers and sightseers. You can also visit one of the many breweries in the area. There is nothing like a good craft beer after a long day hiking. Here are the best stops for hikes in the gorge.
- Multnomah Falls (great for everyone)
- Bridal Veil Falls (short hike)
- Punchbowl Falls (longer hike and you have to get wet)
While the Oneonta Gorge/Ponytail Falls hike is still closed due to the fire in 2017, I would also recommend this if its open during your visit.
Next we visited Cannon Beach. We both fell in love with Cannon Beach thanks to the amazing views, wild beach, and tide pools where aquatic life thrives. I recommend this place for a relaxing weekend visit and you cant miss the following things to do.
- Haystack Rock
- Ecola State Park
- Hug Point State Park (Theres even a waterfall here)
- Cannon Beach Distillery
- Walk through the downtown shops
Cannon Beach Tide Pools
On day three we headed to Crater Lake National Park, but first we stopped at Umpqua National Forest. Even though it rained a little on the trip, by the time we arrived at our first stop, the sun was shining and it was beautiful. Within Umpqua National Forest, I recommend taking a short hike to see Toketee Waterfall. It’s one of the most unique waterfalls I have seen and most of the trail is very easy. When you reach the end of the trail, there is a lookout that is fenced in with a pretty decent view, however, the best view requires climbing down the cliff to the water. I would only recommend this for experienced hikers as it is very dangerous, however, once you get down to the bottom you will see why it was all worth it and one of the best photo ops ever.
After the hike to Toketee falls, head over to the Umpqua Hot Springs trailhead. A short hike later and you can relax, cliff-side in one of the many natural hot springs. This is a nude hot spring so if you are comfortable with that you dont even need to bring your swimming suit. 🙂
Crater Lake National Park
Finally, our last stop was Crater Lake National Park. Here we relaxed for night in the Crater Lake Lodge, did some hiking (of course), and enjoyed many cups of coffee and glasses of wine overlooking the blue lake. Here are my recommendations when visiting Crate Lake National Park:
- Stay at Crate Lake Lodge- you wont regret it.
- Visit Wizard Island by Boat
- Watch the Sunset
- Dine at the Crater Lake Lodge Dining Room
- Have some wine on the terrace over looking the lake
Crater Lake/Wizard Island Crate Lake Lodge Crate Lake
The last part of our road trip, we drove the southern coast of Oregon. When planning the trip, we almost skipped this part but Im sure glad we didn’t. This part of Oregon seems to operate a little slower which is perfect for a relaxing road trip. Here are the places we stopped that we loved:
- Brookings – We Stayed at the Beachfront Inn and it was very affordable with great views.
- Samual H Bordman State Park
- Sister’s Rock State Park
- Sea Lion Caves
Well that wraps up our exciting trip to Oregon. If you ever have a chance to visit this gorgeous state, be sure to go. Thanks for reading along and, as always, comment with your Oregon experiences.