Oregon and Northern California Road Trip – Part 1 – Seattle to Klamath Falls

Our second road trip of the year took us down through Oregon, into California for some amazing scenery and finally over to the coast for some tall trees and back up the coast.  This was late October – but some early snow did change our plans a little…

Day 1 was straight down I5 from Seattle, then crossing into Oregon on the 205 and following some scenic byways South, keeping well East of Highway 5.  Initially following 224 down to Estacada before turning left onto the Clackamas Hwy to NF-46 Clackamas River Road.  We had some miles to cover so not many photo stops – but some great scenery along the river!  The road name changes to Breitenbush Rd SE before reaching Detroit Lake.  Worth a slight diversion West on 22 to get good lake views!

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Turning back on 22 East – N Santiam Highway – then onto 126 McKenzie Highway then back onto another Forest Road – NF19 just past Rainbow.  The first few miles initially called South Fork Rd before reaching Cougar Reservoir and becoming Aufderhride Dr.  Cougar Reservoir was impressive – and part of their conservation work was to ensure the water leaving the reservoir was a good temperature for the salmon – as the cold depths of the water were not good to release right into the South Fork of the McKenzie.  The tower in this picture allows the run out to be controlled by releasing water from the different depths – to ensure the right temperature.

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NF-19 switches rivers and picks up the North Fork of the Willamette, eventually entering Westfir just by the Office Covered Bridge – well worth a stop!

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From here we followed the 58 back towards I-5, crossing Dexter Lake at Lowell and a short stop as the sun was going down.

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Needing food for the evening we headed towards Eugene, but then spotted the Plank Town Brewing company – a perfect place for dinner – and a sampling of some of their ales – the first of many sample flights of this trip!   Our night stop was the Windmill Inn of Roseburg – quite close to the freeway, but surprisingly quiet.  A long day’s drive – over 500 miles and nearly 10 hours, but a nicer drive than if we’d just headed down I-5!

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Day 2 – and heading out to Crater Lake.  We’d been keeping a close eye on the weather as an early snow storm had closed the Northern Road and the Rim road – and even the Southern entrance for a while.  Fortunately the Southern approach was open and the forecast was good – so we headed out on the North Umpqua Highway taking in some wonderful river views along the way – this first just a few miles out of Roseburg at Glide.

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Quite a few stops along the way – for some river, rock and foliage shots!

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Worth a longer stop and a short hike (less than a mile round trip) are the Toketee Falls.  The trail head is near the Toketee Ranger Station and you will also see a wooden 12ft diameter pipeline that diverts water to a powerhouse.

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Continuing on you will get some excellent views of Mount Bailey and Mount Thielsen (below) as you reach Diamond Lake.

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We then skirted around Crater lake to make the Southern approach.  In the warmer season you could go in from the North.  The rim road was still closed but some wonderful views looking North – with the recent snow adding to the beauty!  I took plenty of pictures – but I’ll just limit this blog post to one – more on Flickr if you are interested – https://www.flickr.com/photos/bsmi067 

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We had a good view South towards Klamath Lake – or next stopping point, and also took in views of the cinder cones on the way out of the park.

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As we drove down to Klamath Falls little did we know that the glimpse we hade of Mount Shasta would be the only time we would see it.  I’d have taken a special picture if I’d known!  The colours along the lake were beautiful – so many changes of season and scenery through the day.

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Day 2 ended with dinner at the Klamath Basin Brewing Company and a night spent at Cimarron Inn – which will soon have a Starbucks next door!  Not soon enough!

A shorter driving day – 209 miles in just under 5 hours.

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Next blog will take us into California!

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