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Old 05-18-2017, 08:28 PM   #1
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Boise to west coast

Hi,

I'm looking for guidance on the best route for towing west from Boise ID, to the coast.

I'm thinking HWY 84 to Portland but want to know if there is any better choice.

Thanks in advance.
Mike
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Old 05-18-2017, 08:31 PM   #2
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84 is an easy drive. Did it the opposite direction last summer.
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Old 05-18-2017, 08:57 PM   #3
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As mentioned, I-84 is an easy drive...typical Interstate. I live in Eugene and from here I prefer Hwy 20 to get over to Boise. There is a mountain pass or two, but they are nothing to worry about unless your vehicle is unsafe in some way or it's the middle of winter.

What part of the Pacific Coast are you headed to?
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Old 05-19-2017, 08:39 PM   #4
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Thanks a bunch for the info. We will be headed to Coos Bay from Boise. looks like the 20 would be better than 84. How is the 20 from Bend to interstate 5? We will be traveling in July and the truck is fine. F250 turbo diesel and the 5th wheel is only 8,000 lbs.
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Old 05-20-2017, 12:46 PM   #5
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Hwy 20 is best

We just came back to Eugene from Utah via Boise and took Hwy 20 from Ontario to Bend. If you are going to Coos Bay, when you get to Santiam Junction take Hwy 126 which will take you thru Eugene and then to the coast where you will connect with Hwy 101 south to Coos Bay. Pretty good highways all the way and there is very little traffic from Ontario to Bend. We have a 32' Class C motorhome and tow our car and had no trouble. Just a suggestion though.
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Old 05-20-2017, 01:05 PM   #6
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Highway 20 is a breeze from Bend to I5. Towed it many times with my 36' fifth wheel. Fuel up before leaving Bend or as you pass through Sisters as there aren't too many fuel options along the way for bigger rigs.
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Old 05-20-2017, 01:07 PM   #7
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Jim said it well.

Once you're west of Bend, follow signs to Eugene (Hwy 126) rather than staying on 20 all the way to i5. Once in Eugene you have the choice of continuing west on 126 or taking i5 south to 38...both are easy routes.
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Old 05-20-2017, 01:13 PM   #8
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Ontario take 20 west. Shorter, less traffic and way more scenic. If your not in a hurry, take 26 and at Redmond keep heading west to Sisters and pick up 20.
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Old 05-20-2017, 05:38 PM   #9
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Highway 20.

If you take 20, be sure to stop at Vale and look at the Sears, Home Kit Bed And Breakfast. It was delivered by rail, and had every nail and piece of wood already cut and ready to assemble. 1920, I think. In Burns/Hines, Stop for fuel at Eddy's Fast Break. Good lunch there. If you don't have one in Boise, stop at Big R, kind of interesting. There is nice RV park at the east end of town, as you first come in, after the 395 Junction. Eddy's is at the extreme south end of town. Plenty of room for RV's huge dirt lot. Stop at the BLM office (Just past Eddies, outside of town, two big metal buildings), and ask for some maps of the area, and a minerals pamphlet. They have a good one. Not far off the road west of Riley is Glass Mountain, where you can pick up scads of obsidian. Not too far from there is also an area of petrified wood, and opal. Not to delay you too much on your drive, but a ways south of there, along the OR/NV border is a huge opal mine, that allows picking for a small fee, plus in Plush OR east of Lakeview is the Sun Stone mines, both paid pickings and free areas on BLM land. South of Lakeview in the northern CA (about 45 miles from Lakeview, Davis Creek) forest is a huge area for obsidian needles, rainbow, pink lady and grey and green obsidian, as well as the usual black and mahogany colored obsidian (Lassen Creek campground). Mountains of it, free for the picking. Needles only occur in two places in the world. Some are a yard long, and 3-4 inches thick, and some are fine as hair.
Headed west to Riley (gas station and post office) is the Riley store. Stop in, not much store, but one heck of an Archery shop. Say hi to Dale. Amazing trophies, and a small indoor range. Try to hit the Lifesaver.
Bend is a little further, Used to be the Pearl of the Cascades, but it is getting to be just another big city. Nice overlook as you head into town, long steep drop, so downshift, and put your jake-brake on. The overlook peers down into a volcanic chasm.
The entire state was built from volcanism. An amazing bunch of features. There are even fossils of mammoths and such, but fossils are protected.
On the coast consider a walk to local tide pools, to look at Anemones, Urchins, limpets and star fish. Consider a charter to get bottom fish and or crabbing.do NOT turn you back on the waves. Ever. There are some wildlife theme parks (private) and some university se labs if you look for them. If you stay at a place that has black berries pick scads of them, they are great.
If you go down I-5 toward Grant's Pass, look for "Heaven On Earth" Google it first so you know the exit. Amazing baked goods. It is the only thing there, no services, but the food is what home cooking (on the road) used to mean. Biscuits the size of a soft ball, and cinnamon rolls the size of the size of a dessert plate. the place smells wonderful.
If you go south to Ca from Klamath Falls you will find the Lava Beds, and Capt Jacks Last Stand. A piece of history, the Paiute's homelands, and some of the most incredible lava tube cave systems anywhere. the entire park as mapped caves, some easier then others, some quite easy, and guided tours several times per day. All tours are free, and it is a National Monument. You can even borrow flashlights and bump caps to protect your scalp.
Going west, from the border, keep the rig in Tow/Haul and use your exhaust brake. Lots of steep places. There are many places to stop on the way west on the western slope of the Cascades, at small federal parks and look outs. It is worth stopping at every one. Making time in this area means missing some real treasures.
Personally I try to avoid the bigger cities.
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Old 05-20-2017, 05:48 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by donniedu View Post
Ontario take 20 west. Shorter, less traffic and way more scenic. If your not in a hurry, take 26 and at Redmond keep heading west to Sisters and pick up 20.
26 has some very steep areas, especially going into and out of John Day Area.
If you decide to go south from there on 395 because you don't like 26 after all, it is a very hard climb to the south. John Day, and Prairie City are very nice little towns. Various stories how John Day got it's name, which is also interesting.
Prairie City has a junk/antique/jewlery shop owned by a delightful Russian woman. Across the street is a Restaurant/bar (Oxbow) with a unique bar back/mirror, and a couple of doors west is a wonderful breakfast place (chucks Little Diner).
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Old 05-22-2017, 03:21 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by VTA View Post
Thanks a bunch for the info. We will be headed to Coos Bay from Boise. looks like the 20 would be better than 84. How is the 20 from Bend to interstate 5? We will be traveling in July and the truck is fine. F250 turbo diesel and the 5th wheel is only 8,000 lbs.
Good highway, just keep in mind the Bend/Sisters area is a "prime" recreational destination, and July is the peak of the season. More likely than not you will encounter slow-moving traffic. If you're not in a hurry you'll be fine.
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Old 05-22-2017, 04:11 PM   #12
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20 to I-5.

It isn't bad, and if you are in Boise most of the time, you know mountain roads. Slow down, use your engine for braking and hold back, and downshift on any steep grades. And they are all steep grades. If you go slow enough, you can anticipate some turn outs or campground worth stopping at to look at rivers or lakes. This is an incredible part of the country.
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