OR CA 2013 Trip
Posted Tuesday, August 9, 2016 06:48 PM

2013 Trip to Southern Oregon and Northern California
The objective was to see Crater Lake NP.  Because Redwood NP was just across the OR state line, it was added to our list.  And because Lassen Volcanic NP was not far, we added it too.  So we went for three NP's and whatever else was around that we could work in.
We flew from Shreveport to Denver to Medford.  Quick list of what we did:

Jetboat Excursion on the Rogue River at Grants Pass OR
Redwood National and State Parks
Lassen Volcanic NP at lower end of the Cascades
Lake Almanor and Chester CA
Lava Tube at Old Station CA
MacArthur-Burney Falls Memorial St Park
Castle Crag SP
Mt. Shasta
Lava Beds National Monument
Lower Klamath NWR
Tule Lake Area
Crater Lake NP
Diamond Lake OR
Rogue River

Next morning went to Grants Pass for Jetboat lunch tour (3.5 hr) conducted by the Rogue River Hellgate Jetboat Excursions. Took group picture in the boat at the bridge over the beautiful Rogue River (one of original 8 Wild and Scenic rivers).  Had lunch at OK Corral along the Rogue River.  The jet boat wouldn't start for the return trip so we waited for a replacement part and ended up getting back late.  Did not charge us for group photo as compensation for boat trouble.  I was really impressed with the Rogue.

Headed for Crescent City CA  down Hwy 199 which was our entry into the Redwood NP/SP area.  I say that because there are state parks (1920's) that predate Redwood NP.  These were created by CA in order to preserve the vanishing redwoods being cut by loggers.  Later in 1968 Redwood NP was created to help protect the coastal redwood range.  Hence there are a multitude of visitor centers (VC) in the area -- some state and some federal.   That means that there are many chances to get cancellations for National Park Passports.

Crescent City may be familiar to some because of the tsunami of 1964 which originated from the Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964 which did extensive damage to the city.  There are many tsunami warning signs in the area which we duly noted.

On the way to Crescent City we stopped at the Hiouchi Information Center in Jedediah Smith Redwoods SP.  We found out that there was a ranger-led tour the next morning to Enderts Beach which would be at low tide which is needed in order to see all of the wildlife in the tidal pools.  Other state parks were Del Norte and Prairie Creek.  

We drove down narrow Howland Hill road to get to Stout Grove.  Then went down a side trail to the South Fork of the Smith River.  Nice.  Also did the Simpson-Reed Grove.  At these two groves we saw lots of tall redwoods and ferns.

The next morning we had a beautiful view of Crescent City from Crescent Beach Overlook before the fog rolled in.  We then accompanied a park ranger down to the beach to see the tidal pools with anemone, star fish, etc.   Neat.  Would do it again given the chance.
The views were great down the coast until we got to the Klamath River Overlook.  Fog.  We also did the High Bluff Overlook.

In The Lost World: Jurassic Park(1997) movie, some of the scenes were shot at Fern Canyon.  Once I saw pictures I just had to go even as I read warnings about how remote it was.  In Prairie Creek Redwoods SP we bounced down unpaved and narrow Davison Road until we finally got to Gold Bluffs Beach.  We then walked a trail to Fern Canyon.   It was worth it.  Especially when we ran across a herd of Roosevelt Elk that I had searched Olympic NP for in 2005.  It was great. We then saw many bucks at Elk Prairie across from the Prairie Creek VC.
Did the trail to Lady Bird Johnson Grove and did part of the Redwood Creek Trail but stopped after crossing the creek.  Beautiful!

As part of the visit to Kuchel VC we went to the beach checking for driftwood.
When we asked about the tallest tree in the parks...370' or more, we were told that info was not public....vandals would damage it!!!!

We could have spent more than two days here but had to move on.

Drove scenic route to Redding CA in preparation for trip to Lassen Volcanic NP a park with our lowest expectations.

We entered the park on the Redding side to find a beautiful lake called Manzanita.  Did the lake trail.  Then drove to Lake Helen a glacial lake with 600-700 inches of snow per year making it the snowiest place in CA.  We drove on to Chester and Lake Almanor which are outside the park.  The next day we went back to Lassen Peak which had an eruption cycle during 1915 to 1921.  Had Mt St Helens not happened we would be saying that Lassen Peak was the most recent volcanic eruption in the Cascades.  We did part of the Lassen Peak Trail.  We then took a trail to Bumpass Hell which was like a poor mans Yellowstone mud pots and all.

We left the park on the way to Old Station to see the lava tube called Subway Cave.  We then visited McArthur-Burney Falls.  Neat.  We then stopped at Castle Crag SP to see the pinnacles there before lodging at Weed.
The next day was dedicated to South Klamath NWR, Lava Beds NM and Tule Lake Internment Camp where Japanese were held in the 40's.

We had booked a lake tour contingent on the Rim Road  being open.  So that was the main reason for visiting Crater Lake last.  But that didn't work because of thunderstorms and nearby fires with attendant smoke.  We hiked all the way down to the waters edge on Cleetwood Trail  before the tour was cancelled.

We were somewhat lucky in that we could actually see the water but not blue whereas a couple told us they were there yesterday and could not see that there was water in the crater.  Now that is bad.  They say the water is really blue but you can't prove it by us.
So we decided to drive the Rim Road exploring what we could see.  This included Cloudcap Overlook,  Plaikni Falls,  abandoned Historic East Entrance down Pinnacles Rd, Sun Notch, Vidae Falls and back to the Steel VC for Annie Springs Trail.  We, of course, visited Rim Village.
We left the park through the North Entrance to visit the Diamond Lake area.  It should be noted that the Rogue River begins in the northwest part of Crater Lake NP.   We then followed the Rogue River back to Medford with one stop at the Lost River Reservoir.  We flew back through Denver to Shreveport.

Since we started with the Rogue  and ended with the same, I decided to call this the Rogue River Tour.

Although not extreme tides like at the Fundy Bay, one must check the tide tables for tidal pool consideration.

Based on the weather I have also decided that NP experience rating is Redwood, Lassen Volcanic then Crater Lake.

Lassen Volcanic is very underrated.

Before you give me any credit for finding a lot of these places, look up Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway that I discovered while planning this trip.  It starts at Lake Almanor in CA then goes up to Southern OR passing through Crater Lake passing as many volcanic sites as possible.