Trip to Northern California, Oregon and Washington along the Cascade Mountain Range
Day 1. Wednesday. June 21, 2017.
Land at San Francisco airport. Rent a car.
We are heading north through northern California, Oregon and Washington. Most of the time the trip centered around the Cascade Range of the far northwest mountain chain. The mountains we investigated were the Lassen Volcano and Mount Shasta in California, Crater Lake Volcano and Mount Hood in Oregon, and Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier in Washington.
30385 odometer reading at the start.
Really heavy traffic getting north out of San Francisco. Lots and lots of people changing lanes very quickly.
Not really sand hills here, but rather dried yellow grass hills.
30431 itís 51 more miles to Sacramento.
Sulphur Spring Mountains.
Still have the yellowish grass on the rolling hills.
There are walls of colorful shrubs planted on the mid-strip between the divided highway.
Stopped at Dixon for MacDonalds.
30476 We get off US 80 (going to Reno, Nevada) and onto Rt 50 which is taking us close to Lake Tahoe.
We pass by Sacramento.
30490 Pass Rancho Cordova.
Flat land of the Sacramento Valley.
30502 thereís a big yellow hill coming up.
30505 El Dorado Hills. More yellow hills
30516 Exit 40. Greenish rocks.
Exit 41. Greenston Road..
Exit 57 Pollock Pines.
30537 now the highway is down to one lane only.
30538 stop for a photo of a mountain top with snow on it. Before Fresh Pond.
Back to two lanes going 55 miler per hour.
El Dorado National Forest.
Construction delay a little while.
South Fork of the American river.
One lane winding road
30545 American River. Take more photos of the American River. Some long views of the American River.
Elevation 5,000 feet.
30561 pretty Strawberry Valley.
Close to the side of a mountain heading downhill.
See Lake Tahoe from a distance.
Go over the Truckee River.
30577 Lake Tahoe city limits.
Turn for South Tahoe City. Itís a traffic jam. We are tired and frustrated and soon turn around and get back on the road taking us to Truckee.
Take photos of Tahoe Lake from pull-offs. It is a really huge and pretty lake.
We reach Truckee but have to ask for directions to the Best Western Hotel. It was a relief to reach the hotel.
Went downtown where there are lots of restaurants. We ate outside at a table at a nice Mexican restaurant.
Drive to and Views of South Lake Tahoe
Second Day. Thursday. June 22, 2017.
Exit 184 for Donner Pass Road.
30634 parked at the Donner Party Park.
I really wanted to see the place where the stranded part of the infamous Donner Party camped for the winter and some of stranded families resorted to cannibalism to survive. I was very happy to see the park, but they really didnít do much to tell the Donner Party story. There was not much attempt to show where the various cabins were situated.
Much of the park is just that, a park. On the west side of the large Donner Lake there are lots of parking areas so that people can relax and play in or on the lake.
Inside the museum at the park, there is only a small amount of material telling about the Donner Party. The only real impressive piece is the monument to the Donner Party survivors and those who died in the now Donner Party Park.
30643 Tahoe National Forest on Route 89n. We find ourselves on another winding road in a forest.
30657 elevation is 6,000 feet.
30666 stretch of the Sierra Valley
30671 the ground is still flat.
30699 Spring Garden.
30710 Oroville is 76 miles away.
30721 Indian Falls. East Fork of the Feather River is here.
30725 Crescent Mill. The road in a winding one.
30729 Greenville. Mucho construction in the area.
30739 Canyon Damn.
Lassen Volcano is 41 miles ahead.
30741 Lake Almanor. Big lake, but canít see much of it because of the high trees along the highway. The one view we did get was a pretty one of the beautiful blue waters of Lake Almanor.
30752 27 miles to Lassen Volcano.
Lots of construction on Rt 89.
30774 Lassen National Park.
Most of the park was shut down by massive snow amounts, but we did get to see the Visitorís Center, which was nice. The onky other place we could go to was Sulphur Springs. It was a short drive up from the Visitorís Center. There was a huge bowling mud spring, which was very
entertaining. The boiling mud had an awful smell if you were down wind of it.
Steam came out of the rocks in various places. Then there was a large glacial stream the color of coffee with lots of milk in it. There is nice stream by the parking area too. We enjoyed ourselves
From Lassen we planned to take Rt 89n and nw to the town of Shasta, but the snow blocked our war. So we had to head west to get over to US Route 5. There we go caught in a terrible traffic jam. We did not get to our Best Western Hotel in Shasta until 8 oíclock at night. We were exhausted.
Third Day. Friday. June 23, 2017.
We are driving north from Shasta up through southern Oregon.
Exit 747 on Rt. 97. Town of Weed, California.
30931. We see Mt. Shasta and Black Butte.
Very light traffic.
30948. Take photos from Vista Point: left to right are the Whaleback, Shastinat, Mt. Shasta and , Sheep Rock.
30964. Butte Valley farming.
30969. Town of Macdoel.
30979. Dorris where we turn right, turn left and turn right again.
30983. We stop to take a photo of a Welcome to Oregon sign.
30986. Worden, Oregon.
Ady Canal on the right.
31000. We are just pass Klamath Falls. The town used to have a waterfall here, but then they put in the Link River dam. .
31005. We are by Shady Pine Road.
Upper Klamath National Wildlife Refuge.
31022. Route 62 is a rough road. By Loosely Road it gets better for driving.
31031. Horses and farms.
31032 at mile marker 94.
31034 at mile marker 9. We come upon Fort Klamath that was established in 1863. It was a frontier military fort with 80 buildings. There was fighting with the Paiute and the Modocs. They also went after Chief Joseph and his tribe of the Nez Perce.
The famous Modoc leader Captain Jack and three of his men were executed at Fort Klamath and the four graves are still there.
In the area, "New" Camp Warner was built under the orders of Lt. Col. George Crook, one of the best Indian fighters of the old West.
Mile marker 86.
Mile marker 84.
31047. Annie Falls.
We are at the Crater Lake National Park. Lots of people and cars at Crater Lake but there was still space available. What a beautiful crater lake they have here. Rosemary took lots of photos of the water and the trees. We were happy to have come to the national park.
Going out from the park was difficult. We had to remain in our cars for a half hour while a caravan of other cars came passed us having used the one lane road We got to go but after a short trip we came to were the road was torn up for a long distance.
The bus in front of us couldnít keep up with our own caravan and we lost our way. The bus pulled over on the side of the road to wait for assistance, but my wife and I went straight forward
gambling that this was the road that takes one around the perimeter of the park and then east to Route 97. Lucky for us, it was the road and roads that we were going to take around the park in the first place.
We made a right on Rt. 138 east and got back to Rt.97 north.
310989. Itís 75 more miles to Bend, Oregon.
31176. Redmont Airport, north of Bend.
31179. Rt 126e.
Prineville is 18 miles away.
31186. Mile marker 7.
31193. Reach Prinveville.
31197. Reach the center of town.
31198. Reach the Best Western Motel where we stay for the night.
Fourth Day. Saturday. June 24, 2017.
31210 odometer at the start of the day. We are headed for Le Grande in northwest Oregon.
31226. On Rt. 126e, the highway is virtually deserted. Very little traffic.
31229. Winding road.
31234. Leaving the forest.
31236. Stop for valley photos.
31243. Scenic photos close to the John Day turnoff. We turn left on Burnt Ranch Road. The entrance road is six miles long.
There are three places available centers in the John Day complex. We stopped at the
Painted Hill Unit. Northwest is the Clarno Unit on Rt. 218. We didnít have time go to there, but we did stop at the Sheep Rock Unit off of Route 207se and onto Rt. 19.
31244. Photo stop.
31246. Beautiful rusty red rocks Next door are more colorful rocks.
31247. Pretty green, rusty red and white striped rocks..
31248. White striped rocks.
31249. Stop at the information center.
31251. Near entrance to Painted Cove Trailhead. Two light colored rocks and a pink ridge.
We go up and part near a pavilion. Before is an outstanding display of colored rocks covering a large open area. This is a real treat for the eyes. Glad we came.
31252. Saw a photo opportunity to get colored rocks on the right side of the road.
Grass growing on the side of a rock.
Red Hill Area is at the end of the road. .
31253. Now we turn around to leave.
31262. We leave the Painted Hill Unit.
31265. Town of Mitchell.
31296. At Rt. 19 we turned left into the Sheep Rock Unit, named after the Big Ship Rock near the visitor center. The area is not as beautiful as the Painted Hill Unit, but you have the opportunity to learn all about paleology, and they have beautiful murals on their walls illustrating many interesting now-extinct animals that once roamed the area. We recommend the displays. The place is the Thomas Condon Visitor Center.
31301. Gorge pictures of the John Day River which is on our left. There are high rocks on both sides of the river.
31308. Town of Dayville.
31338. Town of John Day.
Agricultural farms are all around us.
31357. Vista Drive.
31396. Phillips Lake.
31400. Stopped to switch drivers.
31416. Enter Backer City.
31420. Get on to US 84 west.
31440. Exit 284, North Powder.
31464. Exit 261 for La Grande and another Best Western Hotel.
Fifth Day. Sunday. June 25, 2017.
31495. Odometer. We will be taking Rt. 82
31495. Outside of Elgin, we stop for photos.
31496. Photo of hills, complete with a gorge and a river.
31498. Wallowa County. Minam.
31500. Mile marker 35 at Big Canyon Road.
31510. Wallowa River, then the town of Wallowa.
31514. Allen Cynn Road.
31527. Trout Creek.
Nez Perce Trail and Prairie Creek.
We finally reach Joseph (named for Chef Joseph of the Nez Perce). We did some shopping in Joseph. While walking around, we took photos of many of the statues on the city streets: "Tracking the Intruders", an Indian on a horse; a cowboy taming a horse; a statue of Chief Joseph, a girl with a large bowl; "Garden Walk" with a woman holding some flowers she has picked. There are statues of animals such as a cougar and an elk.
31537. Wallowa Lake is close by the city. The lake is big and pretty with mountains in the background.
Now we take the route northeast to Imnaha.
31553. Going through a canyon.
31554. Took canyon photos.
31557. A winding road here.
31560. Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.
31561. Canyon photos just before mile marker 222.
31564. Photos of terraced cliffs.
31568. Imnaha is a small town. The best part of it was the Imnaha River. Head back to La Grande.
31591. Photos of a large open valley with snow covered mountains. (Probably the Willowa Mountains.)
31593. A photo of a patch of yellow flowers
Stayed overnight at La Grande.
Sixth Day. Monday. June 26, 2017.
31675, odometer. Heading for Vancouver, Washington. We go north west to the Columbia River then go west to Portland, Oregon. We then cross the Columbia river on US 205 north to Vancouver.
31691. In the Blue Mountain Area.
31707. Before mile marker 222. Rest Area View Point. Itís a huge farming area.
31713. Mile marker 215. Umatilla Reservation.
Mile marker 212. Pendleton, 4 exits.
31740. Exit 188. Echo.
Now we can see the dark blue of the Columbia River used by Lewis & Clark on their famous journey.
31780. Heppner Junction.
31786. Brown ridge over of the Washington state side of the river.
31792. Rest view point stop.
31801. See a railway train moving on the tracks by the river on the Washington side. We also see wind mills.
31810. Mile marker 118. The river is much narrower now.
We pass by the Johan Day River.
The John Day Dam.
31823. Biggs. Stopped for photos of Biggs Bridge and Maryhill Museum on the Washington side.
Mile marker 102.
31828. Entering a scenic area.
See a railroad tunnel on the Oregon side.
Exit 97. Celilo Park. Nearing the Dalles on the Oregon side.
See Mt. Hood briefly.
Dalles Dam, a big dam.
Exit 85. The City Center of Dalles.
Exit 84. We see a steam boat docked.
We are now far away from the Columbia River.
Before mile marker 79 the river is bac. Here the river water is light blue and the hills are higher.
31855. Memaloose Rest Area. The stop has information on the Lewis and Clark expedition. It also has beautiful views of the Columbian River. We saw some Oregon Grapes (Mahonia sp.). Itís worth a stop at the rest area.
Exit 64. We get off at this exit to go south on Route 35 to get to Mt. Hood.
31874. We stop for photos of Mt. Hood.
South of Mt. Hood we switch to Rt. 26 going northwest.
We see the road on the right and take it to climb up to the visitor center.
There were quite a few people up on Mount Hood Meadows. There are a lot of skiers here too.
We bought some things from the Visitor Center and then walked around the huge Timberline Lodge (constructed in 1937).
When someone is here, they are almost at the top of Mt. Hood. It wouldnít take a very long hike to get to the top.
"The 1980 movie Ė The Shining Ė used aerial shots of Timberline Lodge as part of its opening scene, and exterior footage for some establishing shots of the fictional Overlook Hotel throughout the movie." http://www.timberlinelodge.com/the-shining/
31909. Leaving Timberline Lodge. We take Route 26 back up to US 84.
31956. Entering Portland.
31962. We get on US 205 north and go over the Columbia River and into Washington.
31970. Best Western Hotel
Seventh Day. Tuesday. June 27, 2017.
31970. Odometer. Heading up to Mt. St. Helens today. We continue up US 205 and it joins up with US 5.
31997. Mile marker 25.
31999. Exit 27. Port of Kalama with four exits in all.
32021. Exit 49. Castle Rock. Johnston ridge is 52 miles away. We take this exit to get to Mt. St. Helens.
32027. Mt. St. Helens Visitors Center.
32030. Mile marker 8. Took lots of photos of Silver Lake and its flowers.
Toutle River Bridge.
North Fork of the Toutle River.
Kid Valley Road.
Mile marker 19. Big Foot Country.
Mile marker 21. North Fork of the Toutle River once again.
Elevation is 1000 feet.
Mile marker 24. Eco Park.
Mile marker 25. East Fork of Puilecreek.
Mile marker 27. Pretty valley.
Mile marker 28. Kow Creek.
Mile marker 29. Bridge View Point. The name is Hoffstadt River Bridge. This pullĖoffís views are spoiled by the trees. We took pictures of the flowers in the area.
Mile marker 30. Elevation is 2,000 feet.
Mile marker 31. Took photos of a pretty valley.
Mile marker 33. A view point with many great views
Mile marker 34. Lots of the invasive plant, Scotch Broom. (Cytisus scoparius).
Mile marker 35. Bear Creek.
Mile marker 36. Great views of Mt. St. Helens from the viewpoint. Also took a photo of Mt. Rainier in the north distance.
Mile markers 37 to 38. Elk Creek. Green clay rocks.
East Fork of Elk Creek.
Castle Lake below Mt. St. Helens.
Mile marker 40. Meretta Creek.
Mile marker 42. Elevation is 3,000 feet.
Mile marker 44. Bridge. Cold Water Lake. South Coldwater Creek.
Mile marker 46. Skamania County.
Mile marker 47. East Creek.
Mile marker 49. South Coldwater Creek.
Mile marker 51. Great views from Loowit where there is also a visitors center. Elevation 4,000 feet.
Finally, we reach Johnson Ridge. Here is where you can really get great views and photos of the recently exploded volcano (May 18, 1980).
32128. Mile marker 53. We are back on US 5 north.
32143. Exit 68. We take Route 12 east to Packwood, which is between Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens.
32174. Morton. We will return here at the intersection of Route 12 west and Route 7 north to get to Mt. Rainier. (Plaza Jalasco is easily seen at the intersection.).
32175. Mile marker 99. Itís 33 miles to Packwood from here.
32207. We reach our hotel: Cowlitz River Lodge in Packwood.
Eighth Day. Wednesday. June 28, 2017.
Mile marker 130.
Mile marker 102.
Mile marker 99.
32241. Turn right onto Rt. 7 north. Itís by the Plaza Jalasco.
East Fork Tilton River.
Rough road for the next 12 miles.
Mile marker 6.
Mile marker 7.
32255. At Elbe, turn right onto Route 706 east toward Mt. Rainier.
Mile marker 1.
Mt. Rainier is 10 miles away.
Mile marker 7.
Mile marker 12. Goat Creek.
Mile marker 13. Nisqually Park.
Mt. Rainier National Park.
32272. Lots of moss on the trees.
Mile marker 3. Kautz Creek.
Itís really green here.
Twin Fir Trail.
32278. Longmire. Here is the National Park Inn
32280. Cougar Rock Camp Ground.
Cater Falls Trailhead. Noticed the bear grass with inflorences that look like white light bulbs.
Nisqually River bridge.
The weather was so foggy that we could not see where was the top of Mt. Rainier. That was a real downer. We went to the Visitorís Center. Got some souvenirs. There was a nice topographical diorama of the national park.
We checked with the park ranchers and found out that Route 123 was open. Using this route really shortens the distance back to Packwood.
32293. Stopped at Reflection Lakes to take photos.
32297. Now we are in Steveís Canyon. More bear grass flowers.
32300. A second tunnel.
Box Canyon Picnic Area.
32301. Nickel Creek.
32302. A shady glade.
32210. Falls Creek Bridge.
32311. Laughing Water Creek.
32314. Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
32316. We return to Route 12 which will take us to Packwood.
32232. Back in Packwood, we go to Blantonís Market to have something to eat for dinner.
Ninth Day. Thursday. June 29, 2017.
As expected, we had a tough time getting to the Seatac Airport.
Tenth Day. Friday. June 30, 2017.
Return to Newark Airport and then back home in New York.