July 2022 update
After a couple years' cancellation due to COVID, the Hawaiian Festival ("4 Days of Aloha") returned to Esther Short Park in 2021, which I missed. In 2022 it was held the weekend of July 21-24. The first 2 days were classes & workshops, Thurs night was a party, Fri night was a concert. Saturday festivities were performers & dancers all day, as well as vendors. Sunday was a 5K/10K run, and a multi-cultural program representing the many peoples of Hawaii. All events/days had a ticket price. I had determined to go on Saturday. In previous years the Saturday festivities were free, but it costed me $10 to get in. I got my ticket ahead online, but plenty of people were buying them at the gate.
On my way into downtown at 6th St, I saw a handicapped sign with an arrow. Considering the amount of traffic and the probable difficulty of finding parking, I followed the sign. Not only did I encounter handicapped parking, it was in a garage (costed me $4 for the day), so that my car was protected from becoming an oven.
Part 1 of the Oregon Trail took us as far as Baker City OR. The state of Oregon has provided great Oregon Trail pavilions/kiosks all along the ways to the End of the Oregon Trail. This next section of the trail includes info/photos from Haines OR to Fort Vancouver WA via the Columbia River, including:
Here are some links for a quick review/overview of the Oregon Trail:
An option to driving west from Baker City on I-84 (actually, 84 is traveling north-south between Baker & La Grande), is to travel the back way (Hwy 30) to get to the tiny hamlet of Haines OR. Along the main street is a long park or two that have historic cabins and historic information, as well as picnicking and a bus stop. Turn east on 3rd St to get to Eastern Oregon Museum. It has such limited hours I haven't managed to get there yet.
North Powder OR--roughly 1500 mi from Independence MO on today's roads, about 1700 mi on the OR Trail
Travel north on Hwy 30 from Haines, or north on I-84 from Baker City to the small community of North Powder. As you exit I-84, you'll be on 2nd St. A left on E St takes you past the library, the fire dept, and a cute little church. Continue north on 2nd St and it becomes Hwy 237, the back way to Union OR. See also
Union OR--Union County Museum
Union has a great museum (3 or 4 buildings) of local history, including a good collection of cowboy displays, Victorian life, antiques, and exhibits highlighting natural and Native American history. They had a copy of the excellent reference Maps of the Oregon Trail by Gregory M. Franzwa, copyright 1982, and Powerful Rockey: The Blue Mountains and the Oregon Trail by John W. Evans, copyright 1990, (which I bought, it also includes maps). For more info and photos of Union OR, see
Charles H. Reynolds Rest Area just east of La Grande OR
Located just at the foot of the mountains as you enter the Grande Ronde Valley on I-84, it's a little east of where Hwy 203 from Union OR meets I-84. About "the Blues", the Blue Mountains:
La Grande OR--25 mi through Ladd Canyon from North Powder OR
I tried to follow the signs from I-84 to the Oregon Trail site . . . it was confusing. I finally found the little marker at B Ave & Cedar St: it's just on the corner of somebody's yard. Very near there is Birnie Park, with a path of Oregon Trail monuments and a symbolic (un)covered wagon climbing structure.
Hilgard Junction State Park OR
Their site says the restrooms are flushing and accessible. There are two parts of the park--one on either side of the road. The park is right on the Grande Ronde River, swim with care.
Blue Mountain Crossing, 9 mi west of La Grande OR
I had a hard time finding this place, instructions don't seem clear. Here's my stab at it: take exit 248 off I-84; at the stop sign veer to the right toward Kamela, going NW on Old Emigrant Hill Scenic Frontage Rd a ways til it goes under the highway and crosses Dry Creek, then take a right on Oregon Trail Road, 1843--it's not far off I-84, only 3 mi total, I think. I was so enthused because it's supposed to be a handicapped accessible trail with interpretive signs, but I was sadly disappointed, because unfortunately it was closed when I went.
Meacham OR--20 to 25 mi west of La Grande OR, mountain town near the pass
I've seen the signs for Meacham indicating an Oregon Trail site, but with no mention how far off the highway it is, I didn't dare start a tangent I'd be sorry for. On the map it doesn't look that far. Take exit 238 off I-84 and follow the signs to Meacham, the road to Meacham parallels the highway for awhile, becomes old Hwy 30. There is a sign "Historical Marker Ahead" as you round the bend and come downhill to parallel the RR tracks. A little further there's a sign for the historical marker pointing to the right off the road (before you come to Main St which is to the right and crosses the RR tracks).
Emigrant Springs State Park--26 mi west of La Grande, 24 mi east of Pendleton (2.5 mi west of Meacham)
Mid way between Pendleton & La Grande, up in the cool (or cold snowy) mountains, Emigrant Springs is a pleasant place to visit in summer, picnic, learn more about the Oregon Trail, camp, ride horses, take in the beauty of tall timber . . .
Deadman Pass Rest Area--just before heading down the steep hills into the Pendleton area
Whitman Mission and Fort Walla Walla, Walla Walla WA
The Whitmans were important in the development of the Oregon Trail from a trader/trapper track to a wagon road. After only a couple years the main Oregon Trail did not include the tangental trip to the mission, except for those in necessity. After the mission was attacked through the clash of cultures and misunderstandings, it was abandoned. There are yet a few memories of the genesis of the Oregon Trail in the Walla Walla area, and at Fort Walla Walla museum.
Whitman Mission National Historic Site, Walla Walla WA
The Tamastslikt Cultural Institute and Pendleton OR
Descending Emigrant Hill has improved even since I was a child, imagine how it would have been in a covered wagon without a paved road or an efficient braking system! But no doubt the view was as spectacular then as it is now.
At the bottom of that hill is the comprehensive Arrowhead Travel Plaza, Wildhorse Casino Resort, and the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute, a museum of the region's Native Americans. Part of its presentation is the effect of the Oregon Trail on Native Americans. Very interesting exhibits, including both sights and sounds. Unfortunately, they ask that no photos or recordings be taken of the exhibits. They generally have an annual Pow Wow, and other events. I believe they participate in the Pendleton Round-up each year.
Echo OR (a bit south of I-84), and Echo Meadows (where ruts can be seen)
Last I was there, Echo was a pretty cute little town. There's an Oregon Trail driving tour through Echo, I tried it 2-3 times and was only partly successful. Not enough signs and no mileage clues. A map with key and annotations/directions is available from the the city and/or museum (which has limited hours--you can request them to mail brochures), but I haven't had a chance to try it out since I obtained the brochure. I did at least find Echo Meadows, though I didn't have the energy to get out of the car at the time.
Stanfield Rest Area, 20 mi west of Pendleton on I-84
I happened to have gone to the eastbound pull-off when I stopped for photos. Here's a link to a map of Oregon Rest Areas, listed by route, with amenities:
Cecil OR--14 mi south on Hwy 74, from I-84 (between Arlington and Boardman)
I saw the sign for an Oregon Trail site 13 mi south on Hwy 74 (not every sign is so nice about giving mileage), so on a whim I took off. I didn't know at the time that Cecil was only another mile, and might have had some kind of marker. But, I got some photos of the one 13 mi from the freeway.
Arlington OR--73 mi west of Pendleton via I-84
If you and/or the kids need a nice break on the drive along the Columbia River (I-84), Arlington has a great park with lots of fun amenities. Of interest to this post is the Oregon Trail pavilion. For more info and photos of Arlington, see the beginning of the topmost post below. From Arlington you can take Hwy 19 south to get to another Old Oregon Trail site, and off 19 it looks like you can get to the Oregon Trail Fourmile Canyon Historic Site
Columbia Hills State Park, Maryhill Museum, & Maryhill State Park WA
Across the Columbia River from the Oregon Trail are other views of the trail. For more info, see
Biggs Junction OR & Deschutes River State Recreation Area
Biggs Junction is mostly a travel & truck stop with appropriate services thereto. Dated 7-16-2022: EZ Trip travel plaza had Shell gas (I think), convenience store, and Subway. Pilot Trave Center had gas, convenience store, McDonalds, and Cinnabon. TA Express had Chevron, convenience store, Krispy Krunch Chicken, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell. Dinty's Market & Deli, across from EZ Trip travel plaza, also had a motel. Circle K with 76 gas (I think) is next to Dinty's. Next to TA Express is Three Rivers Inn. All the travel centers had facilities and space for trucks/big rigs. Up the hill from EZ Trip was a truck repair. The Mini Mart was closed. Biggs Nu Vu motel looked like wasn't open, but was being painted, so maybe it was.
Deschutes River State Recreation Area seems an oasis--a pleasant green place to picnic, camp, hike on the east side of the Deschutes, boat ramp on the west side of the Deschutes. Waterfowl to be seen either side.
The Dalles OR--126 mi west of Pendleton via I-84
The Dalles has a series of murals, some of which depict the Oregon Trail. On the west end of town the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center shares a building with the Wasco County Historical Museum. The former covers a wide range of historic, prehistoric, natural and human history. The latter focuses more on local history. They have a raptor program as well. The space is available as an event venue. Check out the upcoming cool public events they are sponsoring!
Memaloose rest area & campground, west of The Dalles OR
Access is only westbound. If traveling east, take exit 76 and travel west on I-84 for 3 mi. There are picnic tables, including at least a couple with windbreaks, right along the river, but high above it. There's an accessible picnic table right at the parking lot of the rest stop, to get to the ones along the river involves some fairly steep declines (inclines on the way back to your vehicle), so a person in a wheelchair may need a pusher or a motor. More about the campground at
Hood River—about 150 mi west of Pendleton by modern roads, that is, I-84
The 4-fold flyer “End of the Oregon Trail Loop Tour” says there’s a “Dog River” (now called “Hood River”) interpretive exhibit the Hood River Info Center can give information about, and “Hood River County Historical Museum--The Oregon Trail is featured including an exhibit of covered wagon models,” in Hood River. My annotated map “The Oregon Trail: Following the route of the Oregon Trail in Oregon” also mentions Hood River.
“End of the Oregon Trail Loop Tour” says there’s a “Cascade Wayside Exhibit –Interpretive exhibit of the treacherous voyage down river.” There’s a Historical Museum in Cascade Locks, but it’s not wheelchair accessible. “The Oregon Trail: Following the route of the Oregon Trail in Oregon” says, “Many emigrants portaged their goods around the Cascades of the Columbia. It is difficult to imagine the treacherous series of rapids and cataracts quieted today by dams.”
“The Oregon Trail: Following the route of the Oregon Trail in Oregon” says, "By the late 1840s, most emigrants choosing the water route moved away from the Columbia at the mouth of the Sandy River and continued overland. Two interpretive signs at the main entrance to the Columbia Gorge Factory Stores and another at the Harlow House, one of Troutdale’s oldest homes, describe Troutdale’s place on the Oregon Trail and its history as the gateway to the eastern Willamette Valley.”
Fort Vancouver WA
Many pioneers of the Oregon Country stopped over for supplies at Fort Vancouver on the north side of the Columbia River (goods raised or made at the fort, or shipped there by ship). Remember, many had had to lighten their load and leave precious items along the trail or barter them with Native Americans. From Fort Vancouver folks could cross the Columbia River to the south and make their way to settle in the fertile Willamette Valley. For more info and photos about Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, see
We finally got a much anticipated reservation for the Petroglyph tour at Columbia Hills State Park. They start early to beat the heat (9am is early for me when I have a couple hours' drive to get there--we were warned to include extra time for roadwork or other delays). Tours last up to 2 hours, and that left us time to explore more of Maryhill a little further east on Hwy 14.
Columbia Hills State Park
There are 4 roads off Hwy 14 in the Columbia Hills State Park, listed west to east:
1. Dalles Mtn Ranch--trails, historic buildings, vehicle, fantastic views of Mt Hood on the way back to Hwy 14
2. Columbia Hills Historical State Park/Horsethief Lake--picnic, camp, boat launch, petroglyphs, etc.
3. Horsethief Butte Trailhead--trail & rock climbing, interpretive sign, vault toilet
4. Crawford Oaks Trailhead--trails, sheltered picnic tables, vault toilet
Dalles Mtn Ranch
Hardly off Hwy 14 a sign announces 3 mi to get to Dalles Mountain Ranch, just as the road turns to dirt/gravel, winding washboards. I kept going and going up into the hills (losing sight of the river and Mt Hood), but when I finally got to a fork in the road, wasn't sure which way to go, and after choosing left (because to the right looked like someone's ranch), I saw another sign for another mile to get somewhere, and I decided it was time and opportunity to turn around. From the map I see if I'd gone a bit further on the right hand of the fork I would have come to the Dalles Mountain Ranch Trailhead. Apparently that ranch is historic, not a currently working one.
The excellent views of Mt Hood are breathtaking as you drive back down to Hwy 14.
Columbia Hills Historical State Park/Horsethief Lake
Family & group friendly place to spend the day(s). Rows of trees planted as windbreaks gives one clue about the area. While the day-use area has green well-watered great grassy areas, the golden hills interrupted by abrupt rocky outcrops give another clue about the climate. It can get very hot.
Further down the road from the picnic/campground is the parking for the petroglyphs. There are petroglyphs you can see right by the gravel parking, but if you want to join the ranger-guided tour to see the celebrated "She Who Watches", register ahead early. It's a hike, inaccessible to wheelchairs and perhaps a bit strenuous for those who don't hike regularly. The gravel parking is not wheelchair friendly--the large, rounded rocks are deeply spread. Beyond that parking area, across the RR tracks is a small almost unimproved boat launch (parking not allowed, drive back across the tracks to park). There are pay stations at all the parking areas. More than one ranger assured me that with a handicapped placard/plate there is no parking fee.
Horsethief Butte Trailhead
Crawford Oaks Trailhead
Views from Hwy 14 west of Columbia Hills Historical State Park
Maryhill Museum & State Park, and Stonehenge Replica & War Memorial
Maryhill Museum of Art--an eclectic collection of the arts and history
A walk east along/above the Columbia River at Maryhill Museum of Art
Views and interpretive signs, including info about the region, its history, Native Americans, & Lewis & Clark ... photos courtesy Juli Spruill.
Stonehenge Replica, War Memorial
"Stonehenge . . . the first monument in our nation to military personel who gace their lies in World War I. Memorializing 13 young Klickitat County men, it also serces as lasting reminder of the works of Samuel Hill, patron of this region. He established a townsite here, with post office, hotel, general store, nearly 10 miles of experimental paved roads, and the Maryhill Museum three miles to the west--all on his own land. His tomb is 50 yards distant, on the opposite side of this monument.
"The design duplicates in size and original form England's famous Stonehenge (dated 1900-1350 BC) on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire. When Hill, a Quaker pacifist, bisited England during the 1914-1918 conflict, saw Stonehenge and was told it had been used for human sacrifices to pagan gods, he remarked: "After all our civilization, the flower of humanity still is being sacrificed to the god of war on fields of battle." From that inspiration came this monument, built by Hill. On July 4, 1918 the altar stone was dedicated. The full structure was completed and dedicated May 30, 1929.
"Today the sacrifice legend is generally discredited. Current belief is that Stonehenge was a device used by stone-age astronomers to measure time and mark seasons of the year by observing positions of the sun and moon. The diagram at left suggests how the original may have been used by its ingenious builders."
Maryhill State Park WA--on the north side of the Columbia River, off Hwy 97
Day-use area has picnic tables & grills, water faucets, restrooms, group picnic shelters, swimming, boating, horseshoes, interpretive signs (including a brief bit about Lewis & Clark, and the Oregon Trail). Campground has group camp, group kitchen, restrooms/showers, water faucets, tent sites (including handicapped) & RV facilities. In season there are generally fruit stands in the area. Biggs OR (not big, basically a pit stop) is just over the river at the intersection of Hwy 97 and I-84, in case you need supplies, or, Goldendale WA is 15 mi north on Hwy 97. Photos courtesy Juli Spruill.
Westward Home--what great views of Mt Hood!
photos courtesy Juli Spruill
We followed the guidance of the Google Gal, and then the line of cars hoping to find parking at the Northwest Pirate Festival. It was after noon by the time we arrived from the Portland area, so parking was at a premium. We kept asking for disabled parking, and finally a guy showed us a spot through the employee gate where he said we could park. We made a side trip to the restroom, then down the paved road to the gravel parking and gate to the event below. Beside the parking, half the event was graveled with huge cobbles, so that it took vigilance as well as my motor to get me through the least worst parts. We saw some other disabled folk in wheelchairs, some manual, accompanied by care givers. I don't know how they managed.
The Northwest Pirate Festival was held at the Thurston County Fairgrounds, 3054 Carpenter Rd SE, Lacey, WA 98503--between Long Lake and Hicks Lake. Long Lake Park is next to the Fairgrounds, Wanschers Park is on the west side of Hicks Lake. Both offer trails & picnicking, swimming offered at Long Lake Park, fishing at Wanschers Park. Woodland Creek Community Park at 6729 Pacific Ave SE, Lacey, WA 98503--west of Carpenter Rd, where you turn off Pacific Ave SE to get to the Fairgrounds--looks like a great family-friendly place with lots of amenities.
Just past the entrance to Thurston County Fairgrounds is Boat Launch St, for the boat ramp on Long Lake.
Northwest Pirate Festival, Lacey WA
Vendors--period costumes & accoutrements, jewelry & crafts, hair braiding, fortune telling, storytelling, massage on the spot, weaponry . . . and food!
The Crow's Nest--pub and performances
Bonnie's Roost performers
No Quarter Arena--Boom Pirates shows & Raptor Events
Pirate Connections at home and abroad
I got all enthused about Pirate Food and Pirate stories, and the related topics of ships, the ocean, and other stories of the high seas . . . so here's what we did for the weekend, and some further pursuits:
What Did Pirates Eat at Sea?’
The romanticization of bad guys, like pirates, highwaymen, the mafia . . . continues . . .
As the fires of 2021 caused havoc with my travel plans, in Klamath Falls I made some adjustments. I found it wasn't that far to drive from there down Hwy 97 to Mt Shasta. Along the way is the terrific Mt. Shasta Vista Point, but as suspected, it was shrouded in smoke. I promised myself I would go see Mt Shasta in 2022 after the clearing of winter snows and before the fire season. To check out Hwy 97 from Klamath Falls OR toward Weed CA, scroll down at
Spring of 2022 was so rainy in Portland metro, I began to worry whether Mt Shasta would be hidden in the clouds. But I was able to get some reasonable photos, even though much of the picturesque snow on the mountain had already melted. In the photos below the temp was 81 degrees at 7pm along I-5 near Yreka CA.
City of Mt Shasta CA
Coming into town from the north I detoured to see Mt Shasta City Park.
Best Western Plus Tree House, Mt Shasta CA--Lake St just as you come off or on I-5, exit 738
On my previous trip I had noted this hotel boasted mountain views, and I was determined to get one of those rooms. I had to overlook the rooftops from my room, but I could crop those with the processor of my mind. The hotel has some history and lodge-like decor, has been updated to accommodate wheelchairs (though some of the ramps could be challenging for a manual wheelchair without extra power), it's close enough to downtown I could wheel up the street. No complimentary breakfast, restaurant on-site and another across the street. Not far to options for eating.
The original Black Bear Diner, 401 W Lake St, Mt Shasta, CA 96067
Weed CA--at the intersection of Hwy 97 and I-5; exits 745 (Vista Drive) and 747 (Main St) off I-5
About 10 mi north of Mt Shasta is Weed CA, with more great views of Mt Shasta, services, and history. Vista Drive is newer development. More historic is Main Street and its vicinity.
I didn't take the time to explore Yreka CA on my way north from Mt Shasta CA to Ashland OR, though I wondered if I'd be sorry as I passed by, especially the historic part of town. But you just can't do everything! Nevertheless, I had picked up a card about the Siskiyou Scenic Bicycle Tour that was held in 2022 by the Yreka Rotary Club--drawn to the picture, and thinking they probably have it yearly.
The drive north from Mt Shasta CA to Ashland OR had its interests. The Klamath River meets I-5 at about Hornbrook CA, they travel together for a bit, then the Klamath heads west and southwest with Hwy 96 (Klamath River Hwy), and suddenly north again to meet the Pacific Ocean at Klamath CA and the Redwoods. I passed by a hay shelter proclaiming the State of Jefferson just north of Grenada CA. Almost precisely at the CA/OR border the golden browns of the "Golden State" gave way to the forest green timber of Oregon, as the highway climbs up the Siskiyou Mountains to the pass (4 mi north of CA, 4310' above sea level). The lupines along the way were bloomin' beautiful. I noted Canadian truckers in Southern Oregon--I hadn't realized they drove that far south.
Ashland OR--77 mi north of Mt Shasta CA
Siskiyou Blvd is a divided street, northbound on one side and southbound on the other. Traveling north on Siskiyou I passed Southern Oregon University, then Triangle Park (both on the left). Northbound Siskiyou becomes Lithia Way, and Main Street makes another of its mysterious moves by turning east where it butts into southbound Siskiyou. There's a little triangular plaza at that juncture--Ashland has a few triangle-shaped parks/plazas. Ashland Fire & Rescue is on the Lithia Way corner and the Library is on the south going side.
Continuing north on Lithia Way, turn right on Pioneer St to access 4 hour public parking. I suggest taking a walk or roll the opposite way on Pioneer Street to Main Street. On Main and Pioneer is the Chamber of Commerce plaza with info, art, maps, & directions. From there you can decide whether to walk/roll Main Street shops, head up the Pioneer St hill to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, or walk opposing traffic toward the Saturday Market on Oak Street, Downtown Plaza (a triangle that Main St encircles), and at the tip where Main St meets Winburn Way is one end of the lovely Lithia Park (100 acres of beauty along Ashland Creek with accessible paths, ponds, playground, picnics, restroom, memorial, bandshell, tennis courts, etc.). Across from that end of Lithia Park is the Lithia Artisans Market (weekends 10-5 Mar-Dec), Calle Guanajuato with its mural, restaurants, and park (also along Ashland Creek). Across the main part of Main St from Calle Guanajuato Park is Bluebird Park (which has stairs down).
Note: Siskiyou Blvd and the Main St extension of it are also known as Hwy 99.
Caution: the steps up to the Library are a clue that from that side of Main St west is a strenuous uphill push.
Lithia Park & Calle Guanajuato Park--not to be missed if you are in Ashland OR
Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland OR
I called and got specific instructions for handicapped parking. When I got in line they were so quick to bring me in that I didn't have time to get daylight pictures of the plaza. No photos were allowed in the theater even before the play started. It was a rather rainy night I saw "The Tempest", seated under the balcony feeling bad for the actors. I brought something for my legs, however I should have dressed a little more warmly. The company put on a good production. Only 3 of the actors seemed like they were giving speeches, 2 of those with very limited parts. I wished I could have seen "Once on This Island" (Haitian culture) as well, but because of COVID it would only have been like a concert, and I needed to be on the road anyway.
Best Western Windsor Inn, 2520 Ashland St, Ashland, OR 97520
Quaint architecture, landscaping, and decor befitting the Shakespeare Festival. Staff was friendly and helpful. I reserved a 2 queen ADA room. I did have to have a guy close the curtains, which were behind furniture, take out a couple extra non-essential pieces (ottomans) that were blocking access to the sink, and set the hand-held shower within reach. The complimentary breakfast ended so early I missed it. I suspect they end it early to encourage patronage of the restaurant on-site. I was ok with that, except that I wanted to be able to review their complimentary breakfast. The ramp from the handy handicapped parking spot onto the sidewalk was a little tricky in a wheelchair because of complex slopes. During the busy season I understand parking is really at a premium.
Oaktree Northwest Bar & Grill, 2510 Ashland St, Ashland, OR 97520, by BW Windsor Inn
The decor and menu was so similar to the Black Bear Diner I had just eaten at that I asked if they were affiliated. No. If there's comfort food there surely must be comfort places to obtain it, and this was one of those. The food was good, too. I took it to go, as I had a long way to go. I treated myself to desserts, eating half and saving half, almost forgot to take a photo.
Garfield Park and Science Works, Ashland OR
As the Google Gal guided me on the scenic route from Ashland City to my hotel via Main St, I noticed these two intriguing places.
Central Point OR--exit 33, Pine St
On the way home, north on I-5, I took exit 33 in an effort to scope out possible views of Mt McLoughlin, to the east. It was a rainy day, so of course I couldn't see Mt McLoughlin, but on the east side of I-5 is the Jackson County fairgrounds which has a large area free of trees, and on the west side is Mountain View Plaza--which seems promising. Other points of interest in the area on the map to the east: Agate Lake County Park, Southern Oregon Speedway, and Prescott Park. Central Point is at the north end of Medford (with all its amenities), so only 10-12 mi north of Ashland OR.
Gold Hill OR--14 mi, 20 min northwest of Medford on I-5; map says its only 1/2 hr to Shady Cove OR via Hwy 234 and Hwy 62, 2.5-3 hrs to Crater Lake depending on route.
Another place I hoped to check out on my way was Gold Hill. It just happened to be their Gold Dust Days celebration (1st Sat June), coming to a close by the time I got there, perhaps in part because it was rainy. After exiting for Gold Hill from I-5 going north on the Access Rd, take Lampman Rd to the left to reach Ben Hur Lampman Park; go south on the Access Rd to Rogue Valley Zipline Adventures, and Laurel Hill Golf Course. Rogue Rafting Co is at 404 2nd Ave. Fishing Oregon Guide Service is north of Hwy 99/Blackwell Rd at 207 Upper River Rd; continue north on Upper River Rd to Gold Hill Whitewater Center. East of town on 2nd Ave/Hwy 99/Blackwell Rd is a KOA. Gold Hill Sports Park is not far up the hill on Hwy 234, and it's not too much further up Hwy 234 to Tilomikh Falls, and a little beyond that to Gold Nugget Wayside and Dillon Falls. Somewhat further up Hwy 234 (Sams Valley Hwy) is the Dodge Bridge county park, with accessible restroom, parking, and fishing platform. This is not an exhaustive list, but a fair taste of Gold Hill adventures.
Valley of the Rogue State Park--abt 10 min, 6 mi west of Gold Hill OR;
17 min, 11 mi east of Grants Pass
The Applegate Trail pavilion in the day-use area of Valley of the Rogue State Park
I really wanted to make this stop for the connection to the Oregon Trail, which I intend to add part 2, maybe 3, July 2022. Part 1 at
Fort Vancouver National Historic Site and Pearson Air Museum
Updated June 2022--more photos at bottom
The Village for laborers, a couple cabins reconstructed at Fort Vancouver
Officers Row update, 6-23-2022
We decided to explore Officers Row one day, and parked behind the O.O. Howard House as a sort of midpoint. There's a lovely park area there, a plaza with bistro tables & benches that would be so nice a place for lunch (a coffee/food truck was parked in the parking lot), and an heritage rose garden. We happened into the Director of Education, and what a happy happenstance! She was so helpful and informative. The O.O. Howard House is mostly offices, but she let us see the hallway, marked a map with what was open. We planned our loop route and set out.