We suggest a variety of day trips – all guaranteed to leave you with a memorable experience. Most of these destinations can also be reached on two or four wheels. Adventures vary from hiking to a pristine mountain waterfall or through an old growth forest to visiting an old mining ghost town – or dining at one of Oregon’s best wineries (click on titles below to display info).
1. Tidbits Mountain.
(Ride / Hike) We’ll follow Hwy. 126 east up the McKenzie River Valley to Blue River, then past Blue River Reservoir and 7 miles up a gravel road to the old growth forest trailhead. We'll hike through this amazing old growth forest with Rhododendron undergrowth up to the peak with a spectacular 360-degree vista of the highest snow-covered peaks of the Oregon Cascades. This is a great lunch spot. Then it's back down to the trailhead and back down the gravel road – heading west along the McKenzie River and Camp Creek Road, home in time for dinner.
2.Sisters and Lava Fields.
Follow the winding Hwy #126 up to Santiam Pass with stops at the McKenzie Bridge Forest Service Ranger Station, at the Sahalie Falls and Clear Lake. Cross the pass over to the E-side of the mountains and into the western cowboy town of Sisters, OR. – Lunch in Sisters (great burgers!), then follow the small mountain road #242 to the famous Lava Fields (no worries, the last eruption happened 10,000 years ago!). This is a real treat for the geologically inclined adventurers amongst you. Spectacular views from the Lava Tower. Ride back home following the historic Hwy. 242 (old wagon trail across the mountains).
3. Oregon Coast and Sand Dunes.
(Ride only) We'll take Highway 36 and Stage Coach Road to the coastal town of Florence (Oregon, not Italy). After a lunch of fresh seafood in Old Town Florence, we’ll pick a fish right off the boat to take home for dinner. (Hope you like Salmon!) We'll visit the Oregon Dunes State Park “South Jetty,” ride out to the mouth of the Siuslaw River, and see the dunes as well as miles of empty sandy beaches to play on. Take a swim in the frigid waters of the Pacific Ocean, if you are brave. We'll ride home on Highway 126 to a delicious dinner of fresh grilled Salmon.
4. King Estate Winery and Kentucky Falls.
(Ride / Short Hike) We start with coffee in town, then take Fox Hollow Road to Lorane Highway, on to the vineyards of King Estate Winery, where we’ll have a gourmet lunch and do wine tasting of some of the best Pinot Noirs in the world. We’ll enjoy the view, then pack up and ride along the Siuslaw River to the spectacular Kentucky Falls, with a short hike down to the falls. Then back home for another great dinner.
5. Bohemia Mountain and Umpqua River.
(Ride / Hike) On this trip, the direction is south, to the Bohemia Mountain, southeast of Cottage Grove. It is an easy dual sport ride to an old goldmining “ghost town”. A short hike up to the rocky peak with great vistas of the Umpqua National Forest. Then back down the mountain to Steamboat Springs for lunch at the banks of the Umpqua River. On the way home we’ll view the fish ladders of the Umpqua River.
6. Warm Springs Indian Museum and Metolius River.
(Ride only) This is going to be a long and wonderful day. We’ll ride east across the mountains to the Warm Springs Indian Museum. This will really give you a good sense of the area’s Native American history. We’ll have lunch there, then follow the Crooked River Canyon up to the headwaters of the Metolius River, and on to Camp Sherman, where we’ll have dinner out at a wonderful restaurant.
7. Quartzville Bypass, Breitenbush and Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood.
(Ride only) We can’t possibly let you go back home without showing you our snow covered Mt. Hood – and we have chosen some of the best motorcycle roads to get there. Lunch at the beautiful Timberline Lodge, then following different, equally curvy and beautiful roads through Silverton, Sweet Home, and Crawfordsville back home.
8. Lilian Falls.
(Ride / Hike) We’ll ride through Jasper to see the historic covered bridge, then follow Highway 58 and “Aufderheide” to Oakridge and to the trailhead. The hike up to the waterfalls leads through old growth forest. We'll have lunch on the rocks at the falls!
9. Crater Lake National Park.
(Ride only)Crater Lake is Oregon’s blue gem in the mountains, a site of incredible beauty. This is a long day ride. We take Highway. 58 east across the mountains, then follow Highway 97 south to the National Park. There is a full circle road around the rim that will take about two hours – with spectacular vistas of the lake. On the way home we stay west of the mountains, following Highway 138 via Diamond Lake and along the Umpqua River, with dinner at Steamboat Springs.
(Ride / Hike) We can’t forget showing you beautiful Tracktown USA (Eugene). We'll explore the many trails along the Willamette River, the Rose Garden, the University of Oregon campus and sport center, the football stadium, Hendrick’s Park, 5th St. Market, Oakway Center, and a hike up to the top of Spencer’s Butte for a great view of the entire valley. Lunch out in town and shopping at the mall.
Enjoy these treats if you have chosen the “B” group below and decided to travel on your own for 3-4 days:
- Mt. Saint Helens: An active volcano, last erupted in May of 1980
- Joseph and Wallowa Lake & Hell’s Canyon: in the NE corner of Oregon, surrounded by the ‘Oregon Alps’ – the home of Chief Joseph and his tribe, the Nez Pierce. Hell’s Canyon is 9,293 feet deep vs. Grand Canyon North rim at 6,000 feet.
- John Day Fossil Beds National Monument & Painted Hills. Enjoy the treasures of the High Desert east of the mountains, where the climate is much more arid than on our green west side. This changes everything: the light, the trees, the colors. Hot days, cold nights with the occasional summer thunderstorm.
- Columbia River Gorge: Following the Columbia River east as it cuts through the Cascade Mountains
When you were born, you cried
and the world rejoiced.
Live your life
so that when you die,
the world cries and you rejoice.