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"Pacific NW Road Trip Continues: Mt Hood to San Francisco"

Updated: Apr 9

On September 17th, we ventured about 30 miles SE from Portland to Mt. Hood Village RV Resort in Welches, OR for 7 nights. The campground, nestled in the heart of the Cascade Mountains, is located about 40 minutes from majestic Mount Hood.


One of the highlights of our stay was an excursion on the Mt. Hood Railbikes. The 2.4 hour adventure is a unique way to travel through a beautiful wooded landscape and enjoy the soothing sounds of the nearby Hood River. We pedaled our way to a fruit orchard and winery with an opportunity to buy some local produce. It was a perfect day for this outing and a fun way to get some exercise, too!


Mt. Hood Railbike Excursion


The next day we went for a hike on the Mirror Lake Trail at Government Camp. The 4.3 mile scenic hike (with 550' of elevation change) was well worth the effort. At the end of the trail we were rewarded with stunning views of the snow-capped Mt. Hood in the distance.


Magnificent Mt. Hood from the Mirror Lake Trail.

 

Bend-Sunriver RV Campground made for a quick overnight stay on September 24th as we headed to our destination at Crater Lake RV Park in Prospect, OR on September 25th for a 5-night stay. This RV park proved to be a great base camp to visit Crater Lake National Park. There are also some nice hiking trails that are accessible from the RV park. We hiked one trail that went along the Rogue River which led to a nice waterfall.


Hiking around the RV Park.


The highlight of our stay was a visit to Crater Lake National Park. At the heart of the park is Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the United States and one of the clearest in the world. The lake, formed over 7,700 years ago after the eruption and collapse of Mount Mazama, boasts mesmerizing blue hues that are truly breathtaking. Wizard Island, a volcanic cinder cone, which can be seen from the shore, added to the beauty of the serene lake. We were so lucky to have visited on such a clear, sunny day. We hiked the Cleetwood Cove Trail, the only legal access to the shore of Crater Lake. I met a friendly ground squirrel on the rocks at the edge of the water who snuck an almond out of my hand. We also hiked the Watchman Lookout Trail which brought us up higher to witness 360 degree views of the lake from another prospective.


Crater Lake National Park


Our time at Crater Lake National Park was truly magical. This park has made it to the list of one of my most favorite visited national parks.

 

On September 30th we made our way to South Beach , OR for a 10-day stay at Thousand Trails Whalers Rest. We were excited to be close to the ocean again. The RV park is situated just 150 yards from the Pacific. Myah was especially happy to be able to walk and play ball on the beautiful, wide beach every day.


Our site at Whalers Rest


While here we visited the nearby city of Newport and the Yaquina Bay State Park with the historic Yaquina Bay Lighthouse. This lighthouse is the only wooden Oregon lighthouse still standing. Just north of Newport we witnessed the amazing Devils Punchbowl, a collapsed sea cave with churning water.


Exploring Newport, Yaquina Bay Lighthouse and Devils Punchbowl.


South of Newport is the town of Yachats and Haceta Beach. Standing majestically against the rocky shoreline is Haceta Head Lighthouse, with a beam visible for 21 nautical miles, it is considered the strongest light on the Oregon Coast. South of Yachats we stopped at a place called Strawberry Hill, a coastal wonderland known for its tide pools which are home to crimson-colored starfish and neon green sea urchins. We were happy to have visited at low tide as we were able to catch a glimpse and take a few pics of these interesting sea creatures clinging to the rocks.


Haceta Head Lighthouse, Yachats, and Strawberry Hill

 

It was time to move down south on the Oregon Coast on October 10th to South Jetty RV & Camping Resort in Florence, OR for an 8-night stay. This RV resort is in an excellent location and only 2 miles from the Pacific Ocean.


We met some folks at Crater Lake RV Park who told us about an event called "Circles in the Sand" that would be going on during the time we would be in Florence. He was actually the photographer at the event. So, we made a point to check it out. A sand artist, Denny Dyke, created the elaborate sand circles and shapes and formed them into a giant walking labyrinth. It was actually quite relaxing to stroll through the sand while admiring the unique shapes as the sound of the waves could be heard crashing in the distance. Although mesmerizing to witness, the pretty patterns are fleeting as the waves destroy them during high tide.

Circles in the Sand event in Florence.


Pat also tried his hand at crabbing while we were in Florence. He caught a bunch but, unfortunately, they were either not the right size or sex to keep as you can only keep males of a certain size. He had fun, though.


Pat's fresh crab catch.


 

On October18th, we made our way out of Oregon and into Northern California. We made our home at the Crescent City/Redwoods KOA Holiday in Crescent City, CA for a 4-night stay. This RV resort is close to Redwood National Park. We visited the Trees of Mystery nature attraction, where we felt honored to be in the presence of these majestic giant redwoods.


Trees of Mystery


We spent some time walking the trails at the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, a natural wonder that preserves ancient old-growth redwood trees along the Smith River. The trees are said to be an average age of 500-700 years and create an awe-inspiring forest canopy. We thought the forest looked familiar, and we later found out it was the setting for Starwars : Episode VI - Return of the Jedi.


Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park


We took a break from the forest and enjoyed some time by the ocean. We hiked a really cool trail to the remote "Secret Beach". The stunning emerald-colored water and striking rock formations near the shore were reminiscent of beautiful beaches we had seen during our visit to Portugal.


Trail to Secret Beach

 

We left Crescent City on October 22nd and stayed 2 nights at Benbow KOA in Garberville, CA before arriving at the San Francisco RV Park in Pacifica, CA. We spent 10 nights in the San Francisco area. Since we had previously stayed at this park, we spent most of our time doing some of the same things we had done before. We love staying at this RV park because it is right on the ocean, and there are some hiking trails and a bike path nearby. The bike ride was especially fun. Our E-bikes really made the ride into the city and over the Golden Gate Bridge more enjoyable.