DESTINATIONS, Road Trips, TRAVEL, Travel Planning, United States

Go South After Crater Lake & Then Turn Left

On a road trip, between your destinations, there’s a lot of windshield time.


Welcome to Oregon! Well, sort of. This past summer my husband and I spent twelve days traveling the state and now I’m sharing the experience with you. I’ll tell you about the attractions we visited, the meals we ate and where we stayed. Maybe you’ll decide you want to visit Oregon, too. Today, we’ll leave the Crater Lake Area and turn towards the Beaches.

Too Much Driving

As much as I love road trips, sometimes I wish the States had a little

Mount Hood,from Panoramic Point, Hood River OR
Mount Hood as seen from Panoramic Point in Hood River

bit better rail system.  In England, I rented a car and wandered around the countryside a bit, visiting the Cotswald, the Potteries, the Lake District and Edinburgh, but I took the Royal Scotsman Sleeper to London.  I knew there were marvelous places to visit in between Edinburgh and London, but I didn’t have time to see them and the train got me where I wanted to go while I slept.

Crater Lake, OR
Crater Lake

I needed the same sort of service in Oregon.  I’d have hopped a train at Mount Hood to Crater Lake, and then after

seeing Crater Lake, I’d have hopped back on and rode to the Coast.  There was just too much road to cover between Mount Hood and Brookings, especially when you take time to enjoy Crater Lake – and you simply must enjoy Crater Lake.

From Crater Lake, there’s a northern route to the beaches and a southern route.  The northern route takes you past

View from Capella By the Sea, Azalea Park, Brookings OR
View from Capella By the Sea in Brookings Azalea Park

Diamond Lake and a plethora of waterfalls, but you intersect with the coast at Coos Bay.  My research suggested that some of the prettiest stuff to see is the southern beaches of Oregon, below Coos Bay.  That sealed the deal for me.  The northern route was out.

So, I looked at the southern route.  We could have driven from Crater Lake to the Southern Coast in one fell swoop with little to no trouble, but it would pretty much have taken all day. After all the driving on the day before Crater Lake, I wanted a shorter haul.  So we opted for Grant’s Pass.  Beyond mere logistics, there was one big reason we went to Grant’s Pass and his name is Bill.

Early on in my research, the Travel Oregon site asked me if I wanted more information and of course, I said yes.  For a week or two my snailmail box was inundated with travel brochures.  One of the brochures was from Hellgate Jetboat Excursions. At that time I wasn’t sure exactly what route we’d be taking, but I thought anything called Hellgate Jetboat Excursions had Bill’s name written all over it.  I kept it close to hand.

When we decided that we’d definately go in June, rather than May, Crater Lake became a must-see stop and Hellgate Jetboat Excursions moved up on the list.  I think I’ve mentioned that as much as I enjoy the out of doors, I’m not exactly the outdoors type.  If you are, then you need to get to Grant’s Pass and get after all the outdoorsy stuff there is to do.   I might have been better off going elsewhere, but we’ll talk about Grant’s Pass next week.

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