Oregon – Day 3 – Bend to Grants Pass

Hey Guys!

This post continues our 10 day journey through the incredible state of Oregon!

Read Day 1 here & Day 2 here & Read my 10 Day Oregon Itinerary here

We checked out out of our hotel and headed to our next destination.

A shot of our hotel, the Riverhouse on the Deschutes

But first, was must have breakfast. So, we headed to Chick fil A in Bend!

We actually started off at McKay’s Cottage but the wait was so long that we decided to leave.

Tip: McKay’s Cottage sits in an old 1916 bungalow and since 2010, has been named best breakfast in Bend….read reviews here.

Sadly, we didn’t have a lot of time to spend in Bend.…we had Tumalo Falls on the list but didn’t have time to make it. Another popular choice is the High Desert Museum.

After eating breakfast, we headed to our first stop of the day, Crater Lake National Park.

Crater Lake is located 1.5 hrs from Bend.

As we were driving, we passed the cinder cone at the Newberry National Volcanic Monument.

On this drive, you will pass through Sunriver, La Pine, Crescent, Chemult and Beaver Marsh.

Oregon has had it’s share of fires over the years….we passed through several forests on our trip that had been burned.

Oregon also some of the most beautiful trees that I’ve ever seen!

Passing through the small town of Crescent.

We saw a sign for the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway.

The scenic byway is a 500-mile byway that travels from Oregon to California through dense, mountainous forests, broad wetlands, clear streams, and pastoral farms and ranches.

After driving for almost 2 hrs, we finally arrived to Crater Lake.

Our first stop was having our picture taken in front of the national park sign!

This is a must for us when we visit any national park!

We entered the park at the north entrance but there are three entrances to the park.

Tip: The north entrance and the rim drive are both closed during the winter to cars

After our pictures in front of the sign, we continued our drive into the park.

You will have to pay an entrance fee of $30 to enter the park. However, it is good for 7 days.

Tip: They do not accept cash

You can see the remnants of several fires that have burned in Crater Lake.

A total of ten fires consumed over 20 thousand acres in 2017.

From 1999 to 2018, there has been an average of 16.1 fires that have occurred per year within Crater Lake National Park. Most fires are ignited by lightning but every year an average of two fires are human caused.

We were shocked to see that there was still snow on the ground in July!

The average snowfall in the park is approx. 41 ft and the greatest cumulative snowfall for one season was 879 inches in the winter of 1932-33!

Tip: Download the Crater Lake Park app to help guide you through the park

The park is beautiful!

Snow covered mountains and gorgeous coniferous trees around every turn!

We pulled over at the first overlook that we came to which was called Merriam Point.

Once we parked and reached the overlook, I was awestruck by the beauty and sheer size of this place!

It’s hard to describe and pictures will never do it justice!

The lake is a deep, dark blue color…I’ve never seen water so blue!

At 1,943 feet deep, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States!

The lake was formed when Mt Mazama erupted, then collapsed to form the caldera, and finally precipitation filled the caldera.

Click here for the best things to do in the park

The views from this overlook are breathtaking!

A shot of Wizard Island.

Wizard Island is a 763-foot cinder cone created when Crater Lake first filled with water after the volcano collapsed. It rises 767 feet above Crater Lake’s surface.

It may not look very big when compared with the size of the lake, but the land area of the island is over 300 acres! The volcanic crater at the top, known as the “Witches Cauldron,” is 500 feet wide and 90 feet deep.

During the summer, Wizard Island boat tours combine a tour of the lake’s perimeter with three hours to spend on the island…however, to reach the boat, you will need to hike the Cleetwood Cove Trail, one of the park’s steepest trails. The trail is 2.2 mi round trip with a 700-foot elevation change.

The trees here had crazy looking roots!

There was slick sand all around the crater so be sure to have on good shoes!

A map of the park

After leaving this overlook, we continued our drive of the rim.

The historic Rim Drive includes 33 miles of lake views, panoramic vistas, forests and meadows…along the way, there are 30 overlooks.

Click here for a mile by mile guide of the drive

After a few minutes of driving, we pulled over at the next overlook.

The views were just incredible!

I couldn’t get over how blue the lake was!

The water in Crater Lake is also some of the clearest water in the world. In fact, you can see over 100 feet down into the water from the shore!

Click here to read about 10 things you probably didn’t know about Crater Lake

There are two non-native species of fish that exist in the lake, the kokanee salmon and the rainbow trout.

We had beautiful blue skies when we visited and the lake was so still that we were able to capture some awesome reflection shots!

After leaving here, we continued our drive around the lake.

Once again, we pulled over at one of the many overlooks to admire the views of the lake.

The views were different from each of the overlooks we stopped at.

There are several different trailheads that start at this pullover….Watchman Lookout, North Junction and the Pacific Crest Trail.

Click here for the best hikes in the park, here for best day hikes & here for waterfalls in or near the park

After leaving here, we headed to one of the two visitor centers in the park to purchase our usual souvenir coffee cup and a t shirt.

After making our purchases, we drove back to the lake and ate our lunch…..leftover pizza!

Click here for a map of the park

After lunch, we continued our drive around the lake.

We stopped when we saw all of this snow! We couldn’t miss having our picture made in front of this snow drift!

As we continued our drive, we drove right alongside the lake with sheer drop offs on one side!

We spotted one of the tour boats below!

I loved all the trees in Oregon!!

We reached an area where we couldn’t drive any further….apparently, part of the rim drive was closed due to construction.

Tip: There are two lodges in Crater Lake National Park and several hotels and motels outside the park.

So, at this point, we decided to head to our next stop, Tokeetee Falls.

Leaving the park

On the way to our next stop, we spotted a scenic overlook for Diamond Lake so we made a quick stop.

The lake is nestled between the Cascade shield volcanoes of Mount Thielsen and Mount Bailey. It is one of the largest in the Cascades, at 3,040 acres with a maximum depth of 52 feet.

A short while later, we arrived at the parking lot for Tokeetee Falls.

Tokeetee Falls is located approx 30 mins from Crater Lake.

The hike to the falls is only 0.8 miles round trip.

The trail passes through an old-growth stand of Douglas-fir, Western red cedar, big leaf maple, and Pacific yew.

The North Umpqua Wild and Scenic River is visible at several points, cascading through a narrow rock gorge.

There are nearly 200 stairs along this short 0.4 mi trail!

The trail ends at a sturdy viewing platform overlooking a two-tiered falls.

The upper descent drops 40 feet, and the lower falls plunges 80 feet over a sheer wall of columnar basalt. 

This short hike is worth it! The waterfall is so beautiful!

Tip: 15 mins from this falls is the Umpqua Hot Springs…Click here for the 11 best hot springs in Oregon

After this falls, we headed to our next stop, Watson Falls.

Watson Falls is located 7 mins from Tokeetee Falls.

The hike to the falls is 0.8 miles round trip.

The trail takes you along the water and through the trees.

Part of the trail is along a wooden boardwalk

I loved all the ferns and moss covered rocks!

This is also a must do hike! The falls are incredible!

Read reviews here

It is the 3rd tallest waterfall in Oregon at 272 ft!!

After leaving here, we headed to our hotel in Grants Pass.

Our hotel was located 2 hrs from the falls and it was already almost 5 pm when we headed that way!

At least the drive was a beautiful one! I have honestly never seen so many coniferous trees in my life!

On the way to our hotel, we passed the cute little town of Rogue River…they were having their annual Rooster Crow Festival! 😂

Shortly before 7, we finally made it to our hotel, the Weasku Inn.

This place was awesome!

The Inn was built in 1924 along the banks of the scenic Rogue River. It was a vacation retreat to many Hollywood personalities such as Clark Gable, Carol Lombard, Walt Disney and Bing Crosby. President Herbert Hoover and author Zane Grey also stayed here.

Clark Gable, whose framed photos can be found throughout the lodge, was a frequent visitor and fisher.

After his wife, Carole Lombard, was killed in a plane crash in 1942, Gable reportedly locked himself in his regular room, No. 4, and did not emerge for three weeks.

Travel and Leisure Magazine named this historic landmark “One of the top 25 Lodges in the United States” and recently, in “1,000 Places to See Before You Die: A Traveler’s Life List”, Patricia Shultz declared the Weasku Inn one of those “must see” places.

Read reviews here & read about the history of the Inn here

The original fireplace

More shots of the inside of the Inn

After getting checked in, we headed to our cabin.

These cabins are not historic as the original cabins were demolished years ago. There’s only one historic cabin left on the property.

The inside of the cabin is beautiful!

It had vaulted ceilings, a king size bed, a huge bathroom and a balcony facing the river.

The river looked more like stream but we didn’t care! We loved it here!

A couple of pictures of the outside of the historic lodge and the grounds

After getting settled into our room and taking way too many pictures, we headed to a nearby restaurant for dinner.

The hotel recommended Wild River Brewing & Pizza Company so that’s where we headed.

I ordered the beef dip sandwich and my hubby ordered the fish and chips.

The food was average.

I wished we had stuck with our first choice, the River’s Edge Restaurant.

Read reviews here, Click here for the best restaurants in Grants Pass, & Click here to read about the history of Grants Pass

After dinner, we headed back to our hotel.

In the evening, the hotel offers complimentary chocolate chip cookies…so good!

They also offer complimentary wine and homemade appetizers in the afternoon and free s’mores packages!

If you get hungry, they offer a few snacks as well that you can purchase.

After returning to our room, we sat outside on the deck for a while and listened to the sounds of the water gently flowing alongside of our cabin.

Later, we called it a night! The beds were so comfy!!

Thanks for reading!

Stay tuned for Day 4!

Read Day 1 here & Day 2 here – Read my 10 Day Oregon Itinerary here






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