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Old 04-04-2018, 07:08 PM   #1
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Osoyoos to Oregon Coast (Advice Needed)

Hi All, We will pick up our new 21 on May 23 and will be going to the rally in Osoyoos. We live in Southern California. After the rally we will take a few weeks getting home through Washington, Oregon, and California. My question is about the best route through Washington to get to the Oregon coast.We plan on taking the 101 south through Oregon and California. We are not familiar with Washington at all. Since this will be our first several days towing our new Escape I plan on being a towing wimp. I don't want to tow up 14,000 feet to the top of Mt. Rainier or drive 600 miles on a dirt road. I am hoping for some stress free towing if possible. Having said that, we don't just want to get on the 5 freeway and head south. I know Washington is a beautiful state and I don't want to miss it all by being on a freeway. Any suggestions on a good route through Washington would be appreciated. (Please don't tell me what a knucklehead and wimp I am. I will stipulate that I am both).
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Old 04-04-2018, 07:15 PM   #2
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After awhile Highway101 becomes monotonous, my suggestion is to head south from Osoyoos down into Idaho and Utah where the scenery is always changing. There is a route called the Grand Circle in Utah where you tour close to 9 National Parks. Then head down to Las Vegas and start heading home. A once in a lifetime trip, guaranteed. The Grand Circle Road Trip
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Old 04-04-2018, 07:27 PM   #3
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You could head south from Osoyoos on 97 and make a stop in the Chelan area which is beautiful! Then head through Cashmere, Ellensburg (nice KOA there) south through Yakima and Goldendale. Maryhill State Park is a nice park on the Columbia River just south of Goldendale. From there you can head south through Central Oregon or east to Portland and the Oregon coast. Have fun!
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Old 04-04-2018, 10:30 PM   #4
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After awhile Highway101 becomes monotonous, my suggestion is to head south from Osoyoos down into Idaho and Utah where the scenery is always changing. There is a route called the Grand Circle in Utah where you tour close to 9 National Parks. Then head down to Las Vegas and start heading home. A once in a lifetime trip, guaranteed. The Grand Circle Road Trip
Thank you Jim,
Great advice... That loop in Utah is on our bucket list. We have plans to do a Utah Colorado trip with friends in 2019 so we thought we would try the Washington Oregon route on the way home this year. Your advice is always well respected and appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 04-04-2018, 10:33 PM   #5
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You could head south from Osoyoos on 97 and make a stop in the Chelan area which is beautiful! Then head through Cashmere, Ellensburg (nice KOA there) south through Yakima and Goldendale. Maryhill State Park is a nice park on the Columbia River just south of Goldendale. From there you can head south through Central Oregon or east to Portland and the Oregon coast. Have fun!
Thank you Jan and Paul. That route looks interesting. How are the roads on the 97 from Osoyoos to Maryhill?
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Old 04-04-2018, 11:04 PM   #6
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The Washington coast is a bit complicated and there is a huge population between Osoyoos and the beach. I might suggest you travel to Maryhill and then head west to the Oregon coast. Your timing should be good as school will still be in session. Other than a weekend the state parks should be available without reservations.
If time is not an issue I would head west to Astoria and camp at Fort Stevens State Park. I believe it is Oregon’s largest park. The Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean here. Lewis and Clark wintered here, also. Nearby Astoria has a wonderful river walk.
If time is an issue take Hwy 6 to Tillamook. From here go west on the 3 Capes route, camp at Cape Lookout State Park. On your way south grab a beer at Cape Kiwanda and watch the dory fishing boats come and go through the surf.
From here south there are great camping near Newport, Bandon and south to California.
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Old 04-04-2018, 11:14 PM   #7
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Be aware that 101 can be very twisty in areas. As in 25 mph corners that you're probably going to take even slower. This is along the actual coast itself and not as much farther inland. You'll have some great views of the ocean, the shore and the breakers and rocks out there. Unfortunately some of the viewing areas come up rather quickly so it's hard to slow down enough to pull over with your rig. Or there isn't room for you anyway. So, you're not always gonna be able to stop for some breathtaking views.

If you're staying in the Coos Bay area, I've stayed at William Tugman (just north of there) and will be doing so again later this month. There's an elk viewing place a bit north of there - hit and miss as to whether you'll see them there or not. I've also stayed several times at Sunset Bay, however they have absolutely zero for cell phone coverage (if that's important to you). Lovely cove and beach within an easy walk of your campground.

I'm staying at Bullard Beach (Bandon) later this July for the fiberglass rally, so can't report on that until afterwards. But it looked nice enough when I did a drive through of the campground last year.

When I head over there I stay in Corvallis near a friend, so I just shoot down I5, so I can't suggest any other routes. If you do go through Portland, take the 205 bypass though. The bridges through Portland completely freak me out, even if I'm not pulling the trailer.

You can always pick up 101 in Olympia (WA).

Have fun!

And if you want trailer driving lessons, I know a good teacher in Sequim (Port Angeles/Olympic Peninsula area) that works through RV Driving School. And you can pick up 101 in that neck of the woods as well.
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Old 04-04-2018, 11:14 PM   #8
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Hi All, We will pick up our new 21 on May 23 and will be going to the rally in Osoyoos. We live in Southern California. After the rally we will take a few weeks getting home through Washington, Oregon, and California. My question is about the best route through Washington to get to the Oregon coast.We plan on taking the 101 south through Oregon and California. We are not familiar with Washington at all. Since this will be our first several days towing our new Escape I plan on being a towing wimp. I don't want to tow up 14,000 feet to the top of Mt. Rainier or drive 600 miles on a dirt road. I am hoping for some stress free towing if possible. Having said that, we don't just want to get on the 5 freeway and head south. I know Washington is a beautiful state and I don't want to miss it all by being on a freeway. Any suggestions on a good route through Washington would be appreciated. (Please don't tell me what a knucklehead and wimp I am. I will stipulate that I am both).
It all depends on how much time you have on your hands and what sorts of things you enjoy seeing and doing. If you enjoy wine tasting, the Yakima Valley is some of the best wine country in the US. If you've got a lot of time, enjoy walking/hiking and waterfalls and want to see the Olympic Peninsula (google Hurricane Ridge, Sol Duc Falls and Quinault Rain Forest to have a look at the images to see if it's your thing), you can head north from the Columbia River Gorge on I-5 to Hwy 101 at the southern end of Olympia and follow it north to go counter clockwise around the Olympic Peninsula, then back down and into Oregon on the coast.

Have fun on the Oregon coast, it is drop dead gorgeous and one of my favorite road trips. There are plenty of beautiful things to see and places to stop along the way to keep it from getting the least bit boring, such as the Tillamook cheese factory, bunches of lighthouses, agate beaches and more scenic beauty than you can take a camera to in one trip.
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Old 04-04-2018, 11:24 PM   #9
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It all depends on how much time you have on your hands and what sorts of things you enjoy seeing and doing. If you enjoy wine tasting, the Yakima Valley is some of the best wine country in the US.
Wine tasting...Yes Please. Yakima Valley it is.
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Old 04-04-2018, 11:32 PM   #10
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The Washington coast is a bit complicated and there is a huge population between Osoyoos and the beach. I might suggest you travel to Maryhill and then head west to the Oregon coast. Your timing should be good as school will still be in session. Other than a weekend the state parks should be available without reservations.
If time is not an issue I would head west to Astoria and camp at Fort Stevens State Park. I believe it is Oregonís largest park. The Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean here. Lewis and Clark wintered here, also. Nearby Astoria has a wonderful river walk.
If time is an issue take Hwy 6 to Tillamook. From here go west on the 3 Capes route, camp at Cape Lookout State Park. On your way south grab a beer at Cape Kiwanda and watch the dory fishing boats come and go through the surf.
From here south there are great camping near Newport, Bandon and south to California.
Thank you Bob. You are the second person that mentioned heading south to Maryhill. I am liking that idea. We have no time restrictions so heading west to Astoria sounds like a good plan.
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Old 04-04-2018, 11:39 PM   #11
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If you've got a lot of time, enjoy
walking/hiking and waterfalls and want to see the Olympic Peninsula (google Hurricane Ridge, Sol Duc Falls and Quinault Rain Forest to have a look at the images to see if it's your thing), you can head north from the Columbia River Gorge on I-5 to Hwy 101 at the southern end of Olympia and follow it north to go counter clockwise around the Olympic Peninsula, then back down and into Oregon on the coast.
Or head over from Tacoma and go over both the Tacoma Narrows bridge and the Hood Canal bridge. Excellent views from both. (And they don't freak me out like the ones in Portland.)
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Old 04-04-2018, 11:44 PM   #12
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The Washington coast is a bit complicated and there is a huge population between Osoyoos and the beach.
Ye Gods, yes. Traffic between South Tacoma and Everett in the I-5 corridor is as nightmarish as the traffic around Los Angeles, no way would I want to be pulling anything in that mess unless it was between about 8pm and 4am.
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Old 04-04-2018, 11:47 PM   #13
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Be aware that 101 can be very twisty in areas. As in 25 mph corners that you're probably going to take even slower. This is along the actual coast itself and not as much farther inland. You'll have some great views of the ocean, the shore and the breakers and rocks out there. Unfortunately some of the viewing areas come up rather quickly so it's hard to slow down enough to pull over with your rig. Or there isn't room for you anyway. So, you're not always gonna be able to stop for some breathtaking views.

If you're staying in the Coos Bay area, I've stayed at William Tugman (just north of there) and will be doing so again later this month. There's an elk viewing place a bit north of there - hit and miss as to whether you'll see them there or not. I've also stayed several times at Sunset Bay, however they have absolutely zero for cell phone coverage (if that's important to you). Lovely cove and beach within an easy walk of your campground.
.
Thank you Laura and Dirk (and your cats too). I will be okay with the slow windy roads on the 101. I just did not want to jump right into the difficult roads the first few hundred miles with the new trailer. I am also totally good with no cell service. Mary and Scrappy the Wonder Dog are the only ones who ever want to talk to me anyway and they with both be with me. I will take a look at William Tugman. Thanks.
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Old 04-04-2018, 11:52 PM   #14
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Or head over from Tacoma and go over both the Tacoma Narrows bridge and the Hood Canal bridge. Excellent views from both. (And they don't freak me out like the ones in Portland.)
Seriously? The water beneath the Hood Canal Bridge is 340' deep in places. I wouldn't cross that bridge unless I had to and would be white-knuckling it all the way across.
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Old 04-05-2018, 12:02 AM   #15
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Pretty decent- we haven't driven the whole route with a trailer but have done a major portion of it. There is a long steep grade coming down into Maryhill from Goldendale but as long as you have the appropriate tow vehicle it's fine. We were towing a 5.0TA with a Ford F-150 and it handled it fine. Just took it slow.
Fort Stevens State Park at Astoria is wonderful - we will be returning as on our last trip we had medical issues to deal with and spent our time in urgent care rather than exploring the beach!
Check out the tamale restaurant in Union Gap south of Yakima that just won a James Beard award! Little hole in the wall place!
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Old 04-05-2018, 12:20 AM   #16
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Suggested Route-Osoyoos/ WA/ OR

We are not fans of towing our trailer through Seattle/Tacoma in often busy traffic when we go through Washington to the Oregon Coast. If you are not in a hurry, one idea might be to take Highway 3 through BC from Osoyoos to Manning Park (Lightening Lake Campground is our choice as it is away from the highway); the scenery is nice and the road is fairly quiet. From there, Highway 3 joins Highway 1 and there are a number of border crossings- the 264th/539 crossing goes right to the I5. The Cascade Loop in WA is worth looking up- it is 9 geographical regions within the loop that we did comfortably in 4-5 days. If you wanted to stick to the coast, you could just do the part of it where you exit the I5 to Whidbey Island (it's before Seattle; lots of nice state parks here, hikes and cute towns) and then ferry across to Port Townsend and the Olympic Peninsula where you could see the hot springs, Hurricane Ridge, etc. and then continue down the Washington Coast to Oregon.
Our preferred route through Washington when towing is to take the 5 and exit at Olympia, where we take the 8 to the 107 to the 101 to the 4 to the 401 to 101... it sounds complicated, but it is not that many turns, the highway names just change and it is actually a beautiful, quiet route and has come to be our favorite way to go, more relaxing than other routes we have tried, for sure!
We have been down the OR coast a few times, our all time favorite campsite is at Nehalem Bay State Park- it is away from the highway and you can hear the ocean waves at night and walk on the beach into the nearby town of Manzanita.
Happy trip planning!
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Old 04-05-2018, 12:45 AM   #17
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Check out 97 to 20 (Cascade Hwy) west to Anacortes then south to Coupeville ferry to Pt. Townsend- a 30 minute ride that avoids Seattle gridlock.

Or you could do Eastern Oregon which will be less crowded with more open campgrounds.
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Old 04-05-2018, 12:01 PM   #18
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Check out 97 to 20 (Cascade Hwy) west to Anacortes then south to Coupeville ferry to Pt. Townsend- a 30 minute ride that avoids Seattle gridlock.

Or you could do Eastern Oregon which will be less crowded with more open campgrounds.
That's my favorite route. And you get the ferry ride. Downside is the cost of a trailer ferry ticket if your budget is tight. (Can you drive up one way and return the other way? I use this route from Olympia to Whidbey instead of 5 all the time as it avoids all the traffic.)
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Old 04-05-2018, 01:35 PM   #19
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Seriously? The water beneath the Hood Canal Bridge is 340' deep in places. I wouldn't cross that bridge unless I had to and would be white-knuckling it all the way across.
What I don't like (and never have, even before pulling a trailer) about the Portland bridges is that they're high and they curve while you're crossing the Williamette River. And people are hauling ass around you and changing lanes right in front as you're going too slow for them. Then you climb up a hill that's enclosed by retaining walls that gives me an icky feeling (and construction always seemed to be going on there). I avoided it even more after reading an article in Reader's Digest many years ago - I won't go into details as it still freaks me out thinking about it.

However, the Tacoma Narrows and Hood Canal bridges are a straight shot. You're supposed to stay in your lane on the Narrows (and for the most part everyone does) so there isn't the zipping back and forth. On the Hood Canal bridge there's one lane.

I guess I'm used to straight bridges over water, due to growing up around Seattle and the bridges over Lake Washington.
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Old 04-05-2018, 03:57 PM   #20
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I'm not thrilled with any bridges with or without the trailer- but the worst for me is the Astoria bridge, ever since I got stopped, towing, on the uphill slope, during construction. Whole darn bridge shakes every time a truck goes over. Worried about being able to get moving again on a slope, too. I hate that bridge. But for those who like bridges it is a pretty cool one.
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