The Oregon Coast ever beckons--and you can get there several ways from Portland OR:
North on I-5 to Longview WA, then Hwy 30 to Astoria
Take Hwy 18 from Portland to Lincoln City
There are a couple more tortuous routes, but these are the main ones.
Aug 2021, we traveled I-5 south to Hwy 38, then west to Reedsport. We stopped at Oak Grove Rest Area, milepost 206 on I-5 southbound. Photos below.
Here’s a handy map and list of Oregon Rest Areas, with brief descriptions.
Hwy 38 & the Umpqua River
In late December of 2020 our trip included Hwy 38, and we took the following photos.
Scottsburg, Hwy 38 on the Umpqua River
Scottsburg is an interesting historic little hamlet along Hwy 38, which is a bit narrow for getting good photos. They have been building what appears will be a beautiful bridge across the Umpqua River there. We did get some photos of the county park over the river, beyond the bridge. Late December 2020 we had traveled that way & took photos of Umpqua Wayside a bit further west.
Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area--just east of Reedsport
Every time we drove to or through Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area, just east of Reedsport on Hwy 38, there were either no elk in view, or none close enough to hardly discern in a photo. When I mentioned that to our fellow travelers this trip, who frequently drive that road, they were totally surprised, and said they always saw elk. Well, they must have some attractive force, because this time we saw lots of elk, to my utter delight!
We’ve traveled through Reedsport on a couple trips, mentioned on our way home—scroll to the end of
But first, look around Reedsport. Their centennial was 2019, and in Aug 2021 things looked beauteous. Turn right at the Post Office with the cool statue of an elk (N. 3rd St), next right again onto Water Ave where there's RV camping (a small logging display, the fabulous fish fence and picnic tables, and other facilities for their annual Salmon Derby Labor Day weekend), then left at Riverfront Way to get to the Umpqua River access/boat launch and a bit further is the Umpqua Discovery Center (museum). When done there, return to the main road through town to find gas, groceries, restaurants, parks, a place to stay, auto repair . . .
On the north end of Reedsport Hwy 101 crosses Bolon Island, and with curiosity killing me, I exited for Bolon Island Tideways State Wayside and/or Tide Ways Island Memorial Park. I didn't find much--gravel parking, boat ramp, and porta potty. I don't recall seeing a sign about Jedediah Smith, and I think I would have remembered. Other people have seen it, though. I think I just didn't go far enough.
This was my Crabbing on the Coast trip of Aug 2021. I spent about a week exploring the Oregon Coast, traveled both north and south of Reedsport, and saw so much I found it necessitated 4 posts. This is the 4th of the 4. The first 3 posts:
North of Reedsport--as far as Florence, about a half hour drive if you don't stop, detour, or slow down
Oregon Dunes Day Use Area--15 min north of Reedsport
Not to be missed! Great accessible views, lots of sand in the restroom, trails not really wheelchair accessible.
Carter Lake (not Crater Lake)
There's a day use area, a boat ramp, and a campground amongst hills and trees. I thought the road in the campground not great for large RVs. Here’s some info and reservations
Siltcoos, Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
There are so many things named Siltcoos in this area it can be confusing. To reach this place, be sure the sign says Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. Small day use area, kayak the river, hike the dunes if able, about 4 campgrounds.
Westlake Boat Ramp, Lane County Park--Dune City OR
There's more to explore on the Dune City Hall website, but here are a couple that are pertinent.
Tyee Campground—5 mi south of Florence OR
A small campground near Dune City OR
Jessie M Honeyman Memorial State Park--about 4 mi south of Florence OR
The ranger station is off Hwy 101 to the east. East on Canary Rd off, Hwy 101, is the Group Camp, West Woahink Recreational Meeting Hall that can be reserved, and East Woahink Lake Day Use Area; on the west side of Hwy 101 are Cleawox Lake Day-Use Area including restroom and bathhouse, the sand dunes, and the campgrounds (including showers).
South Jetty Dunes and Beach--just over the river from Florence OR
We went here for our Dune Buggy adventure, but there was more to see beyond where we bugged off for the excitement of riding the sand dunes. I had seen mention of an accessible fishing pier out that way, but the ever-encroaching sand made access to it pretty much impossible for a solo person in a manual wheelchair when I was there.
South of Reedsport--as far as Bandon, about an hour drive if you don't stop to gawk, eat, or wander
Here's an interesting link for the Southern Oregon Coast
Winchester Bay, Salmon Harbor--about 5 mi southwest of Reedsport OR, just off Hwy 101
We drove around Umpqua Lighthouse State Park through Winchester Bay, of which I made brief mention, including about 9 photos, at bottom of my Dune Buggy post, but I wanted to show more than an honorable mention of the place.
Myrtlewood Factory—3 mi north of North Bend OR, Hwy 101
I’ve always been so curious, but still didn’t have time to look inside.
North Bend boardwalk
We took a trip to the coast winter break of 2020 (late December), but due to COVID, weather, and time constraints, we didn’t get to see all I wanted to. So this trip I managed to include a little more.
Coos Bay OR
Bandon—West Coast Game Park Safari
I did a little touring around the area of Bandon, beside touring the Game Farm. I'm including some photos. An intriguing aspect of Bandon is cranberry growing. I can't resist posting some neat links.
Though we have visited Bandon a few times, we’d never made it to the Game Farm--I was so anxious to go. We all enjoyed our time there. It’s wheelchair accessible, though I took some care of where I rolled, as part of the park has free roaming, pet-able animals. With a manual chair it was helpful to have a pusher at times.
I traveled north from Florence OR to Newport. It's about the most spectacular coastline in the Pacific Northwest. Below are the astounding sites I saw:
Roadside Viewpoint between Florence and Sea Lion Caves
As the road climbs from sea level up toward Heceta Head, there's a wondrous viewpoint (or three) on the west side of the road, overlooking the ocean and Lily Lake below.
Heceta Lighthouse and Sealion Beach Vantage Point--I could have watched this scene practically all day, except there are still so many other exceptional things to see! I made a slide show so you can look at one or many pics (to see the subtle differences in the waves)--out of 46 shots, I got it down to 7-8, with great difficulty.
Heceta Head Lighthouse & State Scenic Viewpoint
Vault toilets & porta potties, limited picnic tables. Hike, picnic, fish, spend some time at the beach.
I ran out of camera battery for this, but below is one photo and some info about
Muriel O. Ponsler Memorial State Scenic Viewpoint
Tokatee Klootchman State Wayside/Natural Site
Apparently Tenmile is a good place to hunt for agates.
This is another Pacific place so pleasant to picnic, ponder, or just sit and watch the ocean in wonder, it's hard to leave. I took a lot of photos, but made myself narrow them down for this post.
Strawberry Hill Wayside
Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint & Neptune Beach South
Cook’s Chasm & Thor's Well
Another place so fascinating along the Oregon coast you can hardly drag yourself away . . . wheelchair accessible in part: views from the bridge above are wondrous.
Cape Perpetua Visitor Center
Cape Perpetua continued--Lookout (Overlook, Campground) & Cape Cove Trailhead
Seal Rock/Seal Rock State Recreation Site--between Waldport and Newport OR
Ona Beach/Brian Booth State Park—8 mi south of Newport OR
Lost Creek State Park--7 mi south of Newport OR
From their website it doesn't look like it has wheelchair accessibility.
When I arranged to go Crabbing in Waldport OR in early August 2021 it was so near the date I couldn't find ADA accommodations any closer, so I stayed in Florence OR--which turned out to be a convenient base from which to explore both north as far as Newport and south even as far as Bandon. I had stayed in Florence on another trip, so this is an addendum to that trip:
Following are fotos of places I was able to see this trip while in Florence.
Harbor Vista County Campground & Park
North Jetty Beach just beyond Harbor Vista County Campground & Park, and views of the Siuslaw River
Heceta Beach County Park and
Driftwood Shores Resort & Conference Center--looks great on their website!
88416 1st Ave, Florence, OR 97439, on the way to Heceta Beach County Park
Sutton Boat Launch, right off Hwy 101 north of Florence proper
Darlingtonia State Natural Site--about 5 mi north of Florence proper, only .1 mi off Hwy 101
Fred Meyer & Sandmaster Dunes Park
Munsel Landing County Park--take Munsel Lake Rd (just north of Fred Meyer) east abt 1 mi
Munsel Lake Rd park--across from 31st St
Ocean Dunes Golf Links--3345 Munsel Lake Road, Florence, OR 97439
Three Rivers Casino--5647 Highway 126, Florence, Oregon 97439
A&W-- 1690 Highway 101 N, Florence, OR
Miller Park-- 1651 18th Street, Florence, OR 97439
Only a block north and 2 blocks west of A&W, a great family place to picnic & play
Quality Inn, 2475 HWY 101, Florence, Oregon 97439 Phone: 541-997-7797
In the vicinity of Quality Inn, Florence OR--within abt ½ mi or so radius there are several places to get food--pizza, burgers, chicken, Mexican, Asian, American ...
Holiday Bowl had a great review Aug 2021, a note it was closed Sept 2021; try (541) 997-3332
Car Wash & Shine
Take 27th St (corner with Holiday Bowl and Car Wash & Shine) west from Hwy 101 toward Airport Lane, turn south on Kingwood St before Airport Lane, or you can take 10th St from Hwy 101 & go north on Kingwood St to get to Airport Lane, and the Museum as well
In August of 2021 I went to see Olympic National Park in WA. A week spent on the WA peninsula was too much to comprise a single post, so I divided it in two:
Prologue: Kalaloch WA north to Forks WA, and a bit about Queets and such south of Kalaloch
Queets, Ashenbrenner, South Beach, Kalaloch area, Ruby Beach, Bogachiel State Park
Queets, Ashenbrenner picnic spot, and South Beach are all actually south of Kalaloch. According to the literature, the map, and ranger, Queets wasn't the right adventure for me—it’s an iffy area to travel for the less-than-intrepid, and I had too much else to explore. I took a few photos and let that be enough.
Ashenbrenner Picnic Area is about 3 mi north of Queets, at the entrance of South Beach WA. I didn’t see picnic tables from the parking, but from the satellite it looks like a grassy strip through the forest, not wheelchair friendly. The popularity of South Beach is easy to understand, as the view of the ocean is terrific; it’s not a large campground and doesn't have accessible facilities. For the rest, see links and photos below.
Queets, South Beach, Kalaloch & more campgrounds
Forks WA--including Rialto Beach, Mora Campground, and La Push
I suppose technically Forks might not be considered a coastal town. It doesn’t have a harbor, it's more of a timber town. But the beaches are not that far away, beside the Hoh Rainforest. Things to know: Forks motels fill up fast (one suggested trying La Push if you're in a spot), you can access free Wifi in the parking behind the library, and Forks has a small airport across from the Forks Timber Museum next to the Visitor Center/Chamber of Commerce. Tillicum Park offers a day full of family fun, and Calawah River Park at the north end of Forks (on the south bank of the river) offers a place for pets to run unleashed, as well as for boats to launch. Outdoor recreational outfitters, tours, and guides are available in Forks.
Rialto Beach near Forks WA
Mora Campground WA
I ended up in a little emergency situation and was able to car camp at Mora Campground (all the accommodations in Forks full), as well as recharge my cell phone (in the restroom) . . . so grateful to the rangers at Mora, and thankful for the providential provision.
La Push WA
North of the bridge at the north end of Forks WA Hwy 110 heads west out to La Push, and forks to Mora Campground and Rialto Beach. You can get supplies along the way, or you can get them at La Push. Nearly 40 years before this trip to La Push we stayed over a night or two there. The facilities at that time weren't particularly impressive, but I was favorably impressed with what I saw this time. The RV spots had thoughtful rail fences delineating the spots, beside the other niceties and amenities.
Port Angeles WA--with brief mention of the Olympics
You might say Port Angeles is a city set upon the hills—where the foothills of the Olympics come to meet the coastal waters that divide the US and Canada (the Straits of Juan de Fuca): an arm of the ocean that reaches around to Seattle’s Puget Sound, elbows down to Tacoma, and fingers even to Olympia WA. The Olympic mountains are an ever-present sight from Port Angeles and Sequim, and from their foothills so is the astounding vantage of that salty waterway. From Port Angeles you can be awed by the mountain grandeur of Hurricane Ridge, partake of the Port’s life, take a ferry to Canada’s Vancouver Island—though COVID precautions prevented my hoped-for Victoria BC side trip in Aug of 2021. I stayed 3 nights at the Olympic Lodge in Port Angeles while I surveyed PA plus nearby Sequim (about 15 mi to the east) and its environs.
For more info and photos of the Olympics, see
Kids 14 and under can fish at Lincoln Park Pond, catch and releasehttps://www.cityofpa.us/Facilities?clear=False
Olympic Lodge https://www.olympiclodge.com/
Olympic Lodge, Port Angeles WA
Olympic National Park is just up the mountains from Port Angeles
cool 3 min video
The Olympics from Port Angeles WA
Lauridsen Blvd, Port Angeles
Race Street, Port Angeles WA
various landmarks in Port Angeles WA
Pier & Port, wharf & waterfront, Port Angeles WA
Sequim WA--including Dungeness Spit, John Wayne Marina, Sequim Bay State Park, Jamestown/Blyn, and Discovery Bay
Sequim Prairie, as it was called, was not the first choice of homesteaders in the 1800s, my grandfather told me. The homesteaders chose first the fertile and well-watered valleys in the foothills of the Olympics. My grandfather’s grandparents came in the early 1890s, and he lived in the area most of his nearly 99 years, raised his family there (my dad and siblings). We loved to visit whenever we could. I even lived there for about a year during a transitional phase of my life. Come see how much Sequim has to offer!
In the late 1900s word of Sequim’s mild climate in the rain shadow of the Olympics made it blossom as a place to retire. Sequim Prairie has changed a lot in the last 30 odd years.
A word about the Olympic Discovery Trail that offers a paved way for hiking and wheeling from Port Townsend to La Push on the Pacific Ocean. Although many signs along Hwy 101 indicate that it is wheelchair accessible, it’s not entirely. A thorough survey and mapping of wheelchair appropriate parts, both motorized and manual, would be helpful, but the second link below gives some textual descriptions. Below are a few photos I took as I crossed intersections with the Olympic Discovery Trail.
What to do in Sequim, concerts, festivals/events, including the 126+ year Irrigation Festival
Regional TransitThe Chamber of Commerce is on the east end of the city (see photos below).
Olympic Game Farm--free-roaming fotos; fencing obscured the camera's capture of caged carnivores, and I had to roll up my windows or some of the herbivores would just about climb in the car to get free food! You can buy bread there, but can't bring your own. With windows up I had reflective issues.
Carrie Blake Park and Haller Playfields, et al
John Wayne Marina (John Wayne's Waterfront Resort)
Sequim Bay State Park
Jamestown/Blyn, Discovery Bay, Gardiner, Miller Peninsula State Park, Diamond Point
Dungeness, Railroad Bridge Park, and views from the north and west of Sequim proper
Dungeness village, 3 Crabs Rd, Cline Spit/Marine Dr
views of the Olympics from Lotzgesell Rd
A bit further west on Lotzgesell Rd from the turn to Dungeness Rec area it intersects with Kitchen-Dick Rd which connects with Hwy 101. A short drive west from that intersection is Dryke Rd to the north, access to Robin Hill Farm County Park . . . hiking amid the forest, "rolling meadows", ponds, and the Olympic Discovery Trail. See
Dungeness Recreation Area and Dungeness Wildlife Refuge
Railroad Bridge Park and vicinity
Sequim Ave off Washington St has several places of note: Sequim Civic Center and the public restroom/parking across from it, Sequim Museum & Arts, Sequim HS complex (including the old historic HS building), a branch of North Olympic Library System, 6 churches at least, and becomes Sequim-Dungeness Way to the village of Dungeness. Before reaching Dungeness, E Anderson Rd heads west, from which you can take Lotzgesell Rd to reach the Olympic Game Farm (via Ward Rd), Dungeness Recreation Area and Dungeness Wildlife Refuge (via Voice of America Rd).
Sequim has many accommodations, some with restaurants within rolling/strolling. A few are pictured below. Not pictured is the Olympic View Inn (good reviews); for years it was the Red Ranch Inn.
https://olympicviewinn.com/ click on “Sequim” to see 4 good videos of things to do
Sequim revisited, June 2022
An unexpected family circumstance brought me back to Sequim, so I availed myself the opportunity to take more photos of the town, as well as my accommodations and chance to try the Big Elk Restaurant that had intrigued me before. I wheeled a mile each way up and down Washington (the main street); the south side is less unfriendly for a wheelchair. Though mostly flat (except some driveways), I was glad enough to have an electric chair. Big Foot waves from Jungle Jane's on S. 9th Ave.
On the drive up to Sequim I took the Tacoma Narrows bridge to Gig Harbor (no toll that direction), but decided to return south via Hwy 101 down the Hood Canal. It's a pretty drive even in the rain and fog, with some cute little towns such as Quilicene and Hoodsport (as well as State Parks & recreation), but I was too tired to stop for photos. An added benefit of going that way is not having to pay the toll to cross the bridge. Google said travel time was about the same, but that may depend on whether you get behind a slow logging truck. Don't be in a hurry to rush out of the allure of the Pacific Northwest. An additional plus for me is that driving south on that stretch is on the uphill side rather than the Hood Canal side of the snaky narrow road.
The Big Elk Restaurant, Sequim WA
I bought the real elk burger, and it was big and delicious. Of course I got clam chowder. Succumbed to temptation and got a slice of cheesecake and strawberry rhubarb pie--ok, but not made in house.
Holiday Inn Express & Suites, 1441 E Washington Street (east edge of town), Sequim WA
It wasn't easy, especially at the last minute, to find ADA accommodations with a roll-in shower in Sequim. The Holiday Inn was pleasant (though I wasn't crazy about the wallpaper in the hallways), had various amenities such as for business meetings and so forth. A nice rooftop garden patio with bistro tables and a shelter. Pool, exercise room, laundry with front load washer (only the 2nd hotel I've seen with such, for the sake of persons in a wheelchair). I got a double queen ADA with roll-in shower, which also had a fold-out couch. It was nice to have covers that actually covered my shoulders at night. Big frig and freezer. Friendly and helpful staff--I had to have them close the curtains for me (furniture in the way), move the microwave so I could reach it, and put the hand-held shower in reach. They brought some shampoo etc to the room because those on the wall of the shower were not amenable to a person in a wheelchair. The manager was anxious for my input for upcoming remodels, which was very encouraging. Breakfast ends early, 9am! Encouraging one to go:
Right next to the Holiday Inn is the Black Bear Diner with beauteous landscaping and outdoor dining.
I determined to go to the Olympics the summer of 2021, not in Japan (though that would have been the chance of a lifetime), but the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. Following are photos of what I could explore, and links to more. I traveled around the Washington peninsula from east to west, and didn't have to pay for the tollbridge going that direction. This post is about the Olympic Mountains; the towns and beaches I explored are featured in the following post: "Forks, Port Angeles, and Sequim WA--Coastal Towns and their Surrounds" https://www.travelpacificnw.com/accessible-travel-blog/forks-port-angeles-and-sequim-wa-coastal-towns-and-their-surrounds
Olympic National Park Visitor Center--3002 Mt Angeles Rd, Port Angeles, WA
List of places to go: https://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/conditions.htm
Area Info, links to details: https://www.olympicnationalparks.com/discover/area-information/
1939 Guidebook https://www.nps.gov/parkhistory/online_books/brochures/1939/olym/sec1.htm
Hurricane Ridge--continue up the road for abt 17 mi, figure abt 45 min, depending whether you make stops at the view points. You'll need to pay or show a pass. A pass gets you past the pay point more quickly. I think I counted about 15 short guardrails top to bottom. One of many Olympic roads not really suitable for a huge RV. The sign at the beginning of the descent wisely advises shifting down to 2nd gear. You'll be on the steep precipitive side of the road in the decline.
Elwha Valley--Madison Falls is only about 10 mi from Port Angeles. Go west on Hwy 101 to Olympic Hot Springs Road, which follows the river south upstream and you'll get tantalizing glimpses along the way.
Harness your enthusiasm when you see the sign that says 50 mi between Port Angeles and Forks WA ... don't think in terms of freeway speeds! The highways of the Olympic Peninsula are often narrow, winding, undulating, and sometimes a line of vacation vehicles, logging trucks, and various others. "City" buses also connect communities and points of interest.
I stopped at