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Old 01-28-2018, 07:19 AM   #1
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PNW Trip and Campground Advice Needed

I'm preparing a trip to Oregon/Washington this summer and taking a good friend and my father (71 and 84 years old respectively). My father is a train buff and hoping to find something related to that interest and my friend has never seen the PNW so he's open to whatever the experience brings. I'm looking to mostly sightsee from the truck as both of them have limited walking ability. My thoughts are to start near Crescent City, CA then travel up the coast to the Olympic National Park area then possibly along the Columbia River, back down to Bend, past Crater Lake and finally to the Grants Pass area. This route isn't etched in stone and is simply a tentative plan. I have a 33' fifth wheel and concerned with finding campgrounds that will accommodate larger rigs and still provide scenic beauty. I expect most of our time will be staying close to the camp site enjoying each others company around the camp fire.
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Old 01-28-2018, 09:02 AM   #2
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You can camp at Barview Jetty between Garibaldi and Rockaway Beach in Oregon. There is an old steam engine that goes between the two towns that you can ride. If you fish or crab you can do both in the immediate vicinity. The park has full hook ups and plenty of room for your 5er. Make reservations early since it fills up fast.

Highway 97 is a great trip south.
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Old 01-28-2018, 09:44 AM   #3
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Try these.

https://www.nps.gov/laro/index.htm have a S&B on the lake. Be sure and see Grand Coulee Dam.

Inland NW Rail Museum

https://www.trainmuseum.org/
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Old 01-28-2018, 10:01 AM   #4
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You did not say which route you were taking to Cresent City. Passing thru Sacramento is the California State RR Museum. Oregon and Washington have many FHU state parks and most will take a rig your size. You will need reservations on the coast during the summer. In the Columbia Gorge Oregon's Viento SP and Memaloose SP are great for rail buffs...others complain about the trains running thru the park all night.
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Old 01-28-2018, 10:52 AM   #5
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You did not say which route you were taking to Cresent City. Passing thru Sacramento is the California State RR Museum. Oregon and Washington have many FHU state parks and most will take a rig your size. You will need reservations on the coast during the summer. In the Columbia Gorge Oregon's Viento SP and Memaloose SP are great for rail buffs...others complain about the trains running thru the park all night.
We will be starting in Grants Pass, OR. We can make the loop in either direct but thought about wrapping up the last night near Crater lake. Pretty flexible. Scenic wilderness is high on my list, however.

Edit: I should add that the trains are not a problem, at least for a night or two.
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Old 01-28-2018, 11:00 AM   #6
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Go either way but the Oregon coast is generally better going south .. pull outs are all on the ocean side and 101 is a busy highway thatís more difficult to cross both lanes to head north
Enjoy the trip !
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Old 01-28-2018, 11:05 AM   #7
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Go either way but the Oregon coast is generally better going south .. pull outs are all on the ocean side and 101 is a busy highway thatís more difficult to cross both lanes to head north
Enjoy the trip !
Oh ya, good point!
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Old 01-28-2018, 11:13 AM   #8
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X2 on direction of travel
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Old 01-28-2018, 12:58 PM   #9
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Perhaps one of these rides could be worked into your trip:

6 Unforgettable Train Rides In Oregon
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Old 01-28-2018, 01:05 PM   #10
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Portland OR has a railroad museum and they used to, not sure if now, house one of the biggest steam locomotives still in existence.
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Old 01-28-2018, 02:07 PM   #11
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Man, these are all great! Saving me endless hours of internet time.

Still worried about finding good campgrounds that'll fit my rig and not simply a glorified parking lot. Looking forward to some quiet campfires.
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Old 01-28-2018, 02:25 PM   #12
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Definitely head south down the coast. Book State Parks NOW, many should take your size rig. "If" you get stuck for a place and don't mind an odd night of no hookups, maybe check out "freecampsites.net", "Boondockerswelcome" and possibly "Harvesthosts". Just in case you can't get an official CG because they are booked up.

FWIW: We spent 43 days travelling around Oregon and Washington 2 years ago, and by our preferred choice for flexibility and travelling serendipitously, we only paid for 3 nights CG, 2 of which were in Seattle area!
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Old 01-28-2018, 02:49 PM   #13
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Still worried about finding good campgrounds that'll fit my rig and not simply a glorified parking lot. Looking forward to some quiet campfires.
Your 33' is not considered big nowadays. Choose any state park along the way and you can have those campfires (if no fire ban).

For the Oregon Coast we like to stay at three different state parks - one at the northern end, one mid-way and one south. Then you don't spend a lot of driving time and you can explore the whole coast.

For Crater Lake we enjoyed Joseph H. Stewart State Re. Area or Collier Memorial State Park has a excellent logging museum which is very interesting. Both are a reasonable drive to Crater Lake.

Sounds like a nice trip you're planning but get on some reservations soon if your days are limited.
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Old 01-28-2018, 06:51 PM   #14
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I see this is going to be more nerve racking than I had anticipated. Not in the respect that I can't find available sites but the sheer numbers of campgrounds, state and federal, not to mention private, is overwhelming. When my wife and I travel, we are always on the move so campground accommodations aren't highly important. This trip, however, is entirely different and I can see spending a lot more time at our camp site thus placing higher importance on campground quality. I must sound like a whiner. I mean, complaining about an over abundance of available camping... really? I think it may be time to throw caution to the wind, pick campgrounds roughly a half days drive apart and hope for the best. I'm not opposed to taking advantage of free camping and it may come to that. We'll see.

If anyone has personal favorites along 97, along the Columbia River to the coast and down 101, let me know cuz I may just go off your recommendation and make reservations.

Note: I am a disabled vet so I have half price camping at federal campgrounds but I don't have to alter my route to take advantage of that.

Thanks everyone. I have read and logged everything everyone has said. Thank you!
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