Oregon - August 2020
This was a travel day for us from BWI International Airport to Oregon. We had a short stopover in Chicago. It was strange getting on a plane again after COVID had happened but flying with Delta made it easier and safer. We landed Oregon and drove to our Airbnb to a town called Gresham. We rested for a few hours and then decided to head to Rowena Crest Point View to catch the sunset. It was amazing and it seems like you’re in the middle of nowhere. We stayed till it got dark to see the stars out.
We woke up early to start our day off at our first stop: Multonomah Falls. We got there super early, but it did not open till 8am. Also, there is a line when taking photos since it is one of the most popular waterfall in Oregon. Then we proceeded to Latourell Falls and hiked up to the waterfall which was about a mile. We got some great shots and it felt like we were in Iceland again. Then we made our way to Horsetail Falls. We attempted to go to the Oneota Gorge Falls, but it was closed. May of these waterfalls are found along the Columbia River Gorge along US Highway 30 E.
Head out early to Latourell Falls FIRST since it is open all day, so you get to experience the sunrise and then head to Multonomah since it opens up at 8am.
Also, getting a hotel/air bnb in the Mount Hood Gov’t Camp is easily accessible to the Mount Hood and Trillium Lake areas.
From there we decided to drive to Trillium Lake and checked into our hotel near Mount Hood Gov’t Camp. We decided to go check out Trillium Lake and watch the sunset and to scout out this location for the next day.
Today we woke up super early to catch the sunrise at Trillium Lake. At this location you get a beautiful mirror reflection of Mount Hood. We enjoyed the crisp morning and then headed back to a local diner, the Huckleberry Inn, for breakfast.
Next, we made our way to Mount Hood SkiBowl. A year around attraction. We specifically visited to do the Alpine Slide and a few other attractions, overall enjoyable if you like these sorts of activities.
After a thrilling morning, we left the lush evergreen ridges of northern Oregon and headed south to Bend, Oregon. A very drastic geographically change along this journey. You go from lush green evergreens and mountain to dry, flat arid, lands with high forest fire warnings. All within an hour drive down State Highway 26.
Our destination was Smith Rock State Park.
Here, we enjoyed the dramatic landscape and traversed one of the most difficult trails in the park, the rightly named, Misery Ridge Trail. A difficult 3 mile loop trail with steep grades and switchbacks to really get the heart pumping and the calfs throbbing, but from the top a beautiful panoramic view of the entire park.
We spent the rest of our evening at Smith Rock State Park. Afterwards made our way into the city of Bend, Oregon for the night.
We woke up early and left Bend Oregon and headed towards Tamolitch Blue Pool. The hike was 4.2 miles round trip through beautiful evergreen trees and roaring rivers. Honestly the diverse landscaping of Oregon is amazing.
We then made it to our next stop: Proxy Falls. The hike was 2 miles round trip and the falls were amazing, probably one of the top waterfalls in Oregon.
After we made our way to Umpqua National Forest to spend 2 nights at our RV camper. We had reached after dark and it was difficult to see the entrance sign and there is limited cellular reception there, so keep that in mind. But it was nice to disconnect for a few days and enjoy nature in the truest of forms.
Once you drive south of Bend, Oregon, cellular reception becomes very limited. I would recommend having a true GPS unit and having address and itinerary available offline.
We woke up bright and early to get to Umpqua Hot Springs. The hike was around 1.5-mile round trip. Since we got there early the hot springs were not busy and spent a couple of hours taking in the view and the feeling of being in the middle of nature.
Here, there are a total of 5 hot springs, the warmest at the top and cooler pools at the bottom. Would recommend the 2nd or 3rd hot spring to be the most comfortable. Found the top spring, too hot for comfort!
After we headed back to our RV and relaxed. We then got ready for our evening hike: Toketee Falls. The falls were amazing but not easy to get to if wanted to see it from the base. Milan was able to get there! Toketee Falls was hands down the best waterfall in Oregon!
Another early morning start to leave Umpqua National Forest and make our way to Crater Lake National Park. On the way we stopped by Watson Falls and did a short mile hike. Afterwards to make our way Crater Lake National Park and checked into our Lodge called the: Union Creek Lodge. From there the national park was a short 10-minute drive. We decided to do a sunset hike at Watchman Peak which was a roundtrip of 1.5 miles. The view was magnificent from up there and you got a great view of the entire Crater Lake. We stayed up there for sunset and had some dinner overlooking Crater Lake. We stayed out till dark and watched the stars; it was unreal it is a must see if not on your bucket list.
Make sure to book accommodations near Crater Lake in advance since there are not many lodge options or airbnb unless if you drive out 45 minutes. Also, there are not many food options so make sure to do pack some beforehand!
We started our morning off with some delicious breakfast after few days. We then made our way towards Crater Lake and decided to do the most difficult hike: Mount Scott which reached an altitude of 8900ft over 5 miles. The hike was fun but challenging since it was straight incline but the view from the top made up for all of it. We then decided to relax the afternoon and we tried to find places to stay around since we had only booked one-night stay at the Lodge and we extended an extra day at Crater Lake. Sadly, we found nothing and decided to spend the night in our car. We ended the day doing a small hike: Discovery Point Lookout which was an easy hike and also a great view. We parked our car and decided to make use of time and did some astrophotography all night long.
Tip: If you book in advance there are two lodges in Crater Lake so keep that in mind, so you don’t have to spend a night in a car.
Waking up for sunrise from our cars was something different and refreshing waking to natural light. We were definitely exhausted and it sadly our last morning at Crater Lake and we made our way up PNW coast and our stop was Heceta Beach. The drive was amazing seeing the coastline was an experience to see for yourself. We reached our Airbnb and we got freshened and decided to make our way towards Heceta Beach Lighthouse for the sunset. That is true when they say west coast sunset is a golden one! We ended the night with a lovely Thai dinner and a bed to rest on.
We woke up bright and early to start our adventures along the Pacific Coast. We stopped by Thors Well and then at Devils Punch Bowl. Then we headed to Gods Thumb Trail and did a 4.3 mile hike to get an amazing view which was totally worth it. The hike was challenging at some points so keep that in mind. We couldn’t hold ourselves back and not fly our drone to get an amazing view of the coastline.
After this made our way to Cannon beach hotel where we had our very first hotel collaboration. We had a direct view of the Haystack Rock and spent the day at the beach and later at night building a bonfire and having smores. What a lovely day we had!
We actually slept in after a long time and were a bit lazy waking up. We then got ready to head to famous Cape Kiwanda. We had a chance to drive on the beach which such a cool experience. We relaxed the afternoon enjoyed the ocean view and got some amazing drone shots. We then made our way towards the nature park and decided to view the sunset and enjoyed it as it was our last one on the PNW.
We woke up and enjoyed our last morning at Cannon beach. We sadly checked out and made our way towards Abiqua Falls. Getting to the hike was not easy as you to drive off road and the road was very narrow (we drove a Jeep). The hike was very challenging and not easy to follow. However, the end result was totally worth it and it was a waterfall in the middle of nowhere and not many people in site.
After the hike we made our way to Portland to get ready for our flight back to Maryland. It was definitely sad day since the trip came to an end so fast and it was an unexpected trip planned but turned out to be amazing!
Make sure you have a 4x4 if going to do Abiqua Falls or you would have a much longer hike to the falls. We honestly wouldn’t recommend it if you had choose between the other falls in Oregon since Toketee Falls still wins that title.