Recommended Stay: 9 to 12 days
Roundtrip Distance from Boise 1540 miles/Total Roundtrip Drive Time: 23 hours
Trip Cost Estimate: $1375 to $1675
Wandervans went on a crazy 9 day trip to the Oregon Coast and the Redwoods We saw a lot of amazing places and had some amazing weather. This is a great trip to take in one of our campervan rentals.
We departed Boise on a Friday and set off on a epic drive to the Oregon Coast. We embarked on an 11 hour drive to the coast. With kid stops and meals we must have been driving for close to 13 hours. Our trip took us from Boise to Burns and then through Christmas Valley and out to Medford and finally down to Crescent City before heading north and reaching our destination in Gold Beach. We stopped at Lake of the Woods outside of Medford and decided that would be worth a visit on another trip. Lake of the Woods would be a great place to stop on the way to or from the Oregon Coast. There are lots of reservable sites and some first come first serve sites too.
After a long drive on Friday we were happy to wake up in Gold Beach. We met up with some family at the Turtle Rock RV Resort. There were showers, bathrooms, and some nice cabins for those family members who were not camping. Turtle Rock also provided some easy access to the beach. We ended up spending a lot of the day walking and exploring the beach and rocks right near our camp. If you are seeking something a little more basic there was ample places to pull off along this part of the coast to park a van and just sleep. We enjoyed a nice quite evening around gold beach and just relaxed and took in the ocean.
Day 3: Gold Beach, OR
On day 3 we got an early breakfast before setting out for Rogue River Jet Boats. The company came highly recommended by a family member and we were not disappointed. Our jet boat trip started in Gold Beach with some great seal viewing in the harbor before beginning our journey up the river. The Rogue River started out wide and placid and then we came upon some giant river banks that would be perfect for some campervan camping. You certainly would have to worry about taking a recreational vehicle out on some of these beaches. We took in some great wildlife and had a great lunch along the way at Cougar Lane Lodge which was right next to the Agness RV Park which looked like a great place to stay along the Rogue River. We ended up spending most of the day along the Rogue River and only managed to see a fraction of all the great spots along the river.
Day 4 Gold Beach, OR
On Day 4 we decide to explore Arch Rock area and hike some of the coastal trail. There is ample parking along the highway. You can see the route we took down to the ocean here. We took our time with two kids so most other people could easily do this hike in half the time. The beach at the end of the hike was nicely tucked into cliffs and we spent quite a bit of time exploring the ocean and rocks.
Day 5: Redwood State Park, CA
On Day 5 we packed up and left Gold Beach behind and headed south to Redwoods National Park. We decided to camp in Mill Creek Campground since it has a lot of first come first serve sites and we did not have any reservations. The campground is a quick drive to a lot of hiking and biking opportunities. We ended up exploring the Last Chance section of the Coastal Trail on our bikes and were not disappointed. You really got away from the crowds on the Last Chance section and took in some very remote sections of Redwood forest. After the ride we headed down to the Battery Point Light House in Crescent City and explored some of the tide pools around the lighthouse. After finding sea stars, anemone, shells, and crabs we started to get hungry for some seafood. After some debating we settled on the Fisherman's Restaurant and had a nice meal with the family.
Day 6: Redwood State Park, CA
On day 6 we decided to head over to Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. The park was only about 10 minutes away from Mill Creek Campground, but we had a spot in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park for one night so we had to make the move. Before checking in we checked out the day use area which had a great beach for the kids to play on. We parked in the day use area and ended up taking the nature trail through the campground to the bridge that leads into Stout Memorial Grove. You can see the trail on the campground map here or the entire trail system in the park brochure here. The Stout Memorial Grove was definatly a highlight. It was nice to access it from the campground since it was a little more peaceful near the beach away from the main parking lot.
Day 7 Redwoods State Park, CA
We certainly could not get enough of the Redwoods and fit in a couple more activities before leaving the Redwoods behind. We checked out the Little Bald Hills ride which has you starting in some great Redwood groves before climbing up into a sparser pine forest. As the trees thinned out a little there were some amazing views up on the summits of the Little Bald Hills. After some lunch we headed out to the Battery Point Lighthouse for one more walk on the beach before heading inland. We only ended up riding 2 of the rides in the park and missed three more great rides. More information can be found here on those additional rides. If you go south of Eureka, CA you will also find great riding in the Humbolt Redwoods State Park and in the Paradise Royal Area.
In the afternoon we packed everything up and began the drive to Cave Junction in Oregon and our stay at Grayback Campground. Grayback Campground was a great place to stay at the bottom of the mountain for visiting the Oregon Caves National Monument. The campground had a nice interpretive trail and some of the sites had river access.
Day 8 Oregon Caves National Monument, OR
We had such nice weather on the rest of our trip and then our luck ran out. We awoke to rain on Day 8. We decided to stick to our original plan and drove up to Oregon Caves National Monument. Once we got to the National Monument we ended up getting only a sneak peak in the main cave since our children are not old enough to visit the whole cave. You will want to make reservations ahead of time for the full cave tour. There were also lots of trails around the monument that would be worth checking. The drizzle and steady rain was not very appealing for hiking with children so we decided to move on and find some place a little dryer. We originally planned to go to Crater Lake National Park on Day 8 after the caves, but they were predicting 3 inches of snow at the park so we decided some place a little warmer might be nice. Western Oregon is known for blue berries so we decided to stop and pick berries as we drove east. We found a nice small farm called Plum Tree Farms that had a great selection of blueberries at some bargain prices.
After getting our fill of blueberries we head towards Lakeview, OR. It was a dry spot on the map and was basically on the way home so we headed that way. Lakeview was certainly a nice little community and there looked like some good exploring for the future in the area. We ended up rolling in late so did not get the full Lakeview experience.
Day 9 Lakeview to Burns, OR
On day 9 we got up early and decided to knock off some more of the drive. We headed to Burns, OR and then head 20 minutes out of town to a nice camp spot up in the trees. We stayed at Idlewild Campground. For only being 20 minutes outside of Burns it was a great spot to camp with our campervan and was very quite with lots of nice places for the kids to ride and a little hiking trail just outside of the campground.
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