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BACKROADS OREGON & WASHINGTON
For our spring camping & hiking trip we had a hankering to go up to Oregon and Washington as it was relatively close, beautiful, inexpensive, and we hadn't been there for a while. The problem was finding something new and interesting. With the aid of the web and a week of research using a variety of sites, I was able to find enough interesting sounding out of the way places to make the trip worth while. Our goal was to do a circle route taking in as many scenic roads as possible while doing the minimum amount of daily driving.
Our notable stops were:
Lavabeds National Monument in Northern California. A worthy stop for anyone who appreciates the high desert and caves. A very peaceful open place to camp hike and explore.
White River Falls near Maupin Oregon. Small but worth while stop if close. Check out the tribal people fishing on the Deschutes near the Sheras Bridge.
Winachee may sound like a hick town but it's a beautiful area with the broad Columbia creating an almost Mediterranean like atmosphere lined with stately homes in an agricultural setting.
Highway 20 from Rockport to Winthrop Washington with it's snow covered craggy peaks would look familiar to anyone who has seen the Alps. There are many scenic vistas and short hikes on this road. Not open in winter.
Whidbey Island has it all. Old Forts, charming sea towns, botanical gardens, old growth forests and some of the best campgrounds right on the sea side.
Mt. St. Helens has a new information center and some great new hiking trails, but watch the weather.
South Mt. St. Helens has the Trail of Two Forests, Ape Cave and Lava Canyon.
McKenzie Bridge area 50 miles East of Eugene is a wonderful place of river and waterfall hikes surrounded by old growth forests.
Silver Falls Park about 15 miles East of Salem Oregon is a jewel. It's large, clean, lush, and has a great campground, miles of trails with ten waterfalls, some of which you can walk under.