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Old 10-11-2012, 12:08 AM   #1
Jedi5150 OP
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Oregon and Washington state and national parks suggestions

Hello all, I'm doing a little motorcycle tour of the PNW next week and hoping for some suggestions. The first day I'm blazing up the I-5 from Monterey, CA to Washington. I'm considering doing a saddle-sore 1000, which would be 1,017 miles from Monterey to the Canada border on I-5. If I don't to this I'll at least get a good 600 or 700 miles in the first day, with Seattle being my goal for the second day. Regardless, the trip up is going to be quick, so I'd love to hear some campground suggestions that are very close and accessable to I-5.

After a day in Seattle, I'm going to take my time (3 or 4 days) riding back home. So I'd also like to hear about places to see and camp that are not necessarily on I-5. I can easily take a jaunt to the coast, or inland towards the Cascades, etc. I know the PNW coast is probably great, but I'm already a little spoiled by living a mile from the coast, and being only about 1/2 an hour from the Big Sur coast anytime I want to ride it. I've also ridden to Crescent City and southern Oregon on the coast a number of times. The point I'm trying to make is that I'd just as happily see some cool places inland on this trip since the coast is not as much of a novelty to me as it would be for folks visiting from elsewhere. I've been to Crater Lake once (on a previous saddle-sore 1000 trip), and might swing by there again on the way home, I loved the area. But I'm very open to other suggestions as well, particularly scenic camprgounds that are open this time of year.

Thanks in advance.

PS- I try not to do any off-roading on solo trips (including fire-roads), so please keep that in mind when making suggestions.
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:06 AM   #2
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Follow the volcanoes, Rainier, MT St Helens, Mt Hood, Bachelor
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:02 PM   #3
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Head east

Make your way over to 395 and head south. It'll be a bit chilly this time of year, but some spectacular scenery to behold. The stretch through the Blue Mountains from Ukiah down to John Day is especially beautiful. I'd like to be there right now...
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Old 10-11-2012, 04:45 PM   #4
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From John Day, where there is a State Park, the route through to Baker City, Halfway, Hells Canyon to Enterprise is really good. If you make Enterprise make sure you do the trip north on Oregon Hwy 3 and Washington Hwy 129 to Clarkson, Washington. Unreal!



Washington Hwy 129 north of Broggan's Oasis and the Grande Ronde River
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:58 PM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestions gentlemen! Please keep them coming. 395 sounds like a great idea. I've been up 395 from southern California as far as Susanville, and I have to admit, I loved the scenery along that stretch. It would be neat to see it further north.

I also like your idea of the volcanoes Jim. In fact, If I don't do my saddlesore 1000 on the way up, my planned campsite for the first night is near the Mt. St. Helen's visitor center...Seaquest State Park. Maybe I'll incorporate both ideas and hit the mountains on the way up and 395 on the way back.
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Old 10-12-2012, 06:26 AM   #6
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try highway 97

If you go up I-5, consider staying overnight at Valley of the Rogue State Park. Just off the freeway, between Medford and Grants Pass. That is splitting the distance better than Seaquest. For a return route, consider highway 97, sort of in between I-5 and 395. Better still go up that way and go back 395. Next week, you are going to be riding in the rain on I-5 in Oregon and Washington. Not much rain east of the Cascades on 97. There is a State Park north of Klamath falls. Have a good ride.
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:36 AM   #7
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Included some links in the text, they're underlined...

Here you go, I got it planed out for you. When in Portland, head out I84 (Banfield Freeway) up the Columbia Gorge past Troutdale. Then a little further on you'll want to get on the Historic Columbia River Highway - it starts just outside Corbett a few minutes South of I84/US30 check on your map/gps. Continue on HCR Highway until the end. Just watch the road as moss grows in the shade and it can be a slick up there! Check out the waterfalls and scenery. There's also the Cascade Locks, it's fish hatcheries and Bonneville Dam.

After this, you'll join back up with US 30 then head East until Hood River. Stop off at the Full Sail Ale brewery have lunch then continue on 35 South (it's a few minutes East from the brewery. Stop off in/around Odell and there are a few Lavender farms that are quite picturesque or just continue on and swing around Mt. Hood to US 26 West then blast on to Govenment Camp and up to Timberline Lodge for some hot cocoa. It will be cold about now!

After Timberline, head back down to US 26 West and back to Portland and I 5 or (I'd do this if you're not under a time constraint) cut back on US 26 East (it really heads more South and East at this point and don't get back on 35), down to Warm Springs Indian Reservation and Madras. Just outside of Madras the road you'll want to take is 97 South, 26 and 97 cross so pay attention. Then continue to Metolius (nice camp ground here in Camp Sherman), Bend and beyond. At some point here you'll want to work way West back to I5 or enter CA through Klamath Falls.

That little jaunt from Portland could take all day if you're not careful!

In so far as camping, you could just pull off the road in the trees and toss out your bag, done that many a time.

Expect rain and if you head up into the Cascades (Mt.Hood area) it will get cold so be prepared. Just remember: wet and cold.

That should be good for a few hundred miles! Wish I could be there...

Once your back on your way to the border if your on I5, you could stop off in Ashland - that's where they make Brammo bikes and their HQ is there, it's also home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Ashland is about 10-15 minutes South of Medford - nice little town.

Good luck!
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Wy'east screwed with this post 10-12-2012 at 09:54 AM Reason: added more
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:23 PM   #8
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I'm with the others here to hop over the mountains.

Just note: The main road east out of Seattle, I-90, will be down to one lane in each direction next week (expect delays) so I'd recommend an alternate like Hiway 2 or 410 or go north and catch 20 - all scenic routes to the east side of the mountains.

We're expecting some rain this weekend and into next week.
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:19 PM   #9
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Thanks again guys. Mr. Cairo, I really appreciate the detailed route advice!

Based on the rain forecast, I think I'm going to follow the popular advice of going up 97 instead of the I-5. I'm planning on staying the first night at Brooks Memorial State Park, in WA, just north of Goldendale. Like I said, my goal is to cover as much distance as possible the first day (I want to have a full day for Seattle on day 2). Goldendale is well beyond the 1/2 way point, and should be drier than going the I-5 corridor. The return trip will allow for more siteseeing, and also better weather is forecast later in the week.

So far my planned Seattle stops are; Hilleberg tents, Pike's Place market, and David Morgan clothing (Akubra hats). If the weather clears up for the second half of the week, like it's supposed to, I'll probably check out the Olympic Peninsula, and maybe work my way down to see Portland, since I've never been there, and hit a few scenic volcanos.
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Old 10-13-2012, 02:47 AM   #10
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The PNW is amazing. I'm very biased. There is just such a huge variety of places to ride and do. That part about the tooling around the Olympic Peninsula is great too. Where ever you decide to go it'll be great and the people are good too.

The bit about the rain, I would suspect that you'll be riding in and out of down-pours, it won't be a solid sheet of water. Don't recall if somebody mentioned it but generally speaking the Western side of the states there are wet and the Eastern sides are dry. This has to do with the weather coming down from Alaska and the Coastal range getting the first dumping of rain then Cascade range getting what's left over for the most part.

Just to throw in my 2 on I5, it sucks. Unless you need to get from A to B in a hurry, don't take it- booooooring.

Have fun and take some pictures. Give us a follow up! I'm homesick already!
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:59 AM   #11
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If you want to call it a day short of Brooks Memorial - there are camp grounds at Bend (Tumalo), Madras (Cove Palisades at Lake Billy Chinook), and just across from Biggs where 97 crosses the Columbia - that one is Maryhill State Park in WA.
If you are way ahead of schedule there is also a campground in Yakima.
I almost always see deer when I'm on 97.
97 will take you into Yakima - famous for the Miner Burger (at Union Gap).
From Yakima - hiway 12 and onto 410 is a scenic route across the mountains and will give you a close up view of Mt Rainier if its not in the clouds.
Alternately - cutting off of 97 at Selah the Canyon Road (821) into Ellensburg is twistier than the freeway and will drop you onto 90 into Seattle.
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Migrant View Post
If you want to call it a day short of Brooks Memorial - there are camp grounds at Bend (Tumalo), Madras (Cove Palisades at Lake Billy Chinook), and just across from Biggs where 97 crosses the Columbia - that one is Maryhill State Park in WA.
If you are way ahead of schedule there is also a campground in Yakima.
I almost always see deer when I'm on 97.
97 will take you into Yakima - famous for the Miner Burger (at Union Gap).
From Yakima - hiway 12 and onto 410 is a scenic route across the mountains and will give you a close up view of Mt Rainier if its not in the clouds.
Alternately - cutting off of 97 at Selah the Canyon Road (821) into Ellensburg is twistier than the freeway and will drop you onto 90 into Seattle.
Awesome! Thanks for the head's up on the camping spots off of 97. I like having options to fall back on.

Mr. Cairo, I'll be happy to follow up and let you guys know how it went. I'm bringing the camera along.
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Old 10-13-2012, 02:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OurBC View Post
From John Day, where there is a State Park, the route through to Baker City, Halfway, Hells Canyon to Enterprise is really good. If you make Enterprise make sure you do the trip north on Oregon Hwy 3 and Washington Hwy 129 to Clarkson, Washington. Unreal!



Washington Hwy 129 north of Broggan's Oasis and the Grande Ronde River
I second that. I don't know if you'll make it that far inland but it is a GREAT route if you like corners!

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Old 10-13-2012, 02:37 PM   #14
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this route gets my pick 197 an off shoot is fun too.

another variation, after the Canyon Road out of Selah, near ellensburg, keep heading north, cross over pass to leavenworth, then keep heading north on 97, either to Canada and go west over via Manning Park, then south via Hwy 9 crossing at Abbotsford or.. 97 north and take Hwy 20 west, through North Cascades Park, ( side trip near concrete, turn north to Baker Lake ), near same area take south skagit highway to Hwy 9, take that south to Seattletropolis. Priceline ( search better bidding.com for what others have paid) will find deals this time of year.

another side trip if clear out, head up 542 to mt baker, on way back head south of bellingham to hwy 11, turns to chuckanut drive, when it straightens out stay to right and follow the water, go through la conner, conway, stanwood, keep going on it to avoid I-5 boredom.

worth a look at Seattle, EMP depending on your music tastes, watch when ordering salmon some tend to over cook for tourists. check weather every AM, passes may get snow or freeze this time of year,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Migrant View Post
If you want to call it a day short of Brooks Memorial - there are camp grounds at Bend (Tumalo), Madras (Cove Palisades at Lake Billy Chinook), and just across from Biggs where 97 crosses the Columbia - that one is Maryhill State Park in WA.
If you are way ahead of schedule there is also a campground in Yakima.
I almost always see deer when I'm on 97.
97 will take you into Yakima - famous for the Miner Burger (at Union Gap).
From Yakima - hiway 12 and onto 410 is a scenic route across the mountains and will give you a close up view of Mt Rainier if its not in the clouds.
Alternately - cutting off of 97 at Selah the Canyon Road (821) into Ellensburg is twistier than the freeway and will drop you onto 90 into Seattle.
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Old 10-13-2012, 02:40 PM   #15
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funny, you dont ride dirt alone ( i do ) but do 1000 mi rides ( I don't, part because of safety thing-its not for me, part because it would beat the hell out of me)
diff' strokes for diff' folks
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