Touring in PNW, non-kayaking

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by JKA, May 10, 2018.

  1. JKA

    JKA Paddler

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2016
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    Location:
    Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
    Hi Team,

    I'm after some general tourist advice for the PNW area.

    After attending PPS my wife and I are taking a trip down into Washington and Oregon, before returning to Vancouver for departure.

    Our plan is to travel from Vancouver Island onto San Juan and Orcas Islands, before landing at Anacortes and then wandering down through Seattle. From there it's a loose trip south but will likely include hiking up to Mt St Helens, checking out the Mt Hood-area and spending time in Portland.

    After that we're looking to head north west to the coast and follow it up to the Olympic Peninsula, then heading east and crossing at Port Townsend before heading back into Canada.

    We have a few things we want to see/do, but the coastal area is a bit of an open book, and I'm keen to hear of any suggestions on areas to visit. I MAY have my paddling gear, but my wife won't be paddling and that's not really a big part of any plans, so general tourism is the aim.

    Keen to hear from any locals who want to sing their area's praises.

    Cheers

    John
     
  2. designer

    designer Paddler

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Bend OR USA
    Make sure you have your housing confirmed on Orcas and the San Juan Island - even if you plan on using the country parks. Also, understand the Washington ferry reservation system and try to plan your trip so you don't have to leave the islands on a Sunday or Monday.
     
  3. JKA

    JKA Paddler

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
    Thanks Designer,

    We're booking campsites right now, which is an eye-opener. We had no idea just how popular the place is! Previously while travelling in the US we've been out of peak-season and a bit out of the way. Not so much this time.
     
  4. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Location:
    Astoria, Oregon, USA
    Sights and places to visit on the Olympic Peninsula and in SW WA/NW OR, listed roughly in clockwise fashion, assuming you will be jetting down I-5 from the Seattle/Tacoma/Olympia madhouse (errr ... area), and wish to get away from big cities. Naturally, the list begins with my town, the berg at the NW extremity of OR, and gateway to SW WA, via the 4-mile long Astoria-Megler bridge, spanning the Columbia at its mouth. About 3.5 hours from SEA to AST via I-5, crossing the Columbia at Longview and taking US 30 west. Attractions are legion, most spots, and I enumerate none. A little Googling, especially on the State Park web sites and on Olympic National Park's web site is quicker and more informative. I have asterisked the cream of the crop.

    Astoria OR (camp at Ft Stevens State Park Warrenton OR)
    *Cape Disappointment State Park, Ilwaco WA
    Twin Rivers State Park (sub for Cape D)
    Kalaloch Campground, Olympic National Park (ONP)
    *Hoh (River) Campground ONP
    *Mora Campground ONP on Quilleute River near Forks WA
    *Neah Bay Reservation at Cape Flattery (major diversion-not in ONP; camping?)
    Soleduck Campground (and Hot Springs) ONP
    *Fort Worden State Park at Port Townsend WA (nearby sub: Fort Flagler State Park)
    Dosewallips State Park at Brinnon WA (south of Port Townsend, another sub for Fort Worden)
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
  5. JKA

    JKA Paddler

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    Location:
    Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
    Thanks Dave,

    I have passed these onto my Tour Manager :) who will make all decisions on where we go! That's not said unkindly, it's just the best way we do these things.

    Keep those suggestions coming, local folk.
     
  6. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    John, have her use the PM function here, or Messenger on FB if she wants some dialog about those choices. Good luck with your auto tour. Lots of cool places to visit. Certainly more places than time, for most of us. Attractions of note are a bit spread out in Western WA and NW OR.
     
  7. Jasper

    Jasper Paddler

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    Location:
    Portland, OR, US
    The John Day - Painted Hills - Blue Basin area is pretty cool too. As is the Columbia Gorge. If you think better of the "non-kayaking" bit, I'm in PDX, and am sure I can round up some loaners if you want to join me for a paddle..
     
  8. JKA

    JKA Paddler

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2016
    Messages:
    60
    Location:
    Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
    Thanks for the suggestions folks.

    We're now back home after attending PPS, travelling up to Port McNeill on Vancouver Island, heading down through the San Juans, doing the North Cascade loop, visiting the Columbia River Gorge, randomly bumping into a paddling friend at Mt Hood, going as far south as Crater Lake, travelling up the Oregon and Washington coasts, and taking an impromptu trip to New York City!

    I didn't do any paddling after PPS, drove 6317 km, learned to say "leave room" when I wanted to put milk in my tea, and discovered that to Americans a queue is a letter of the alphabet!

    Great places, great people, and a hellava lot of trees in the PNW!

    Cheers

    John