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Hiking Oregon's Central Coast: Waterfalls, Rainforests and Beaches

Program Number: 4896RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/22/2013 - 9/27/2013; 6/22/2014 - 6/27/2014; 9/7/2014 - 9/12/2014; 9/28/2014 - 10/3/2014;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Florence, Oregon
Price starting at: $849.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Walking/Hiking; Natural History Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

The Oregon Coast abounds in spectacular scenery and diverse natural habitats, from mountains and rainforests to beaches and estuaries. Led by experienced interpreters, immerse yourself in a variety of ecosystems while hiking through a different beautiful landscape each day. Marvel at old-growth forests of towering spruce, hemlock, cedar and Douglas fir. Walk along a mountain creek next to cascading waterfalls, watch for herons and egrets in the estuary, climb a 100-foot dune and more.




Highlights

• Observe and study migratory birds, ospreys, eagles, otters and nutria from superior vantage points during a hike along Waxmyrtle Creek Trail.
• Hike one of the most scenic trails in Oregon — Sweet Creek Trail — which follows a salmon stream through lush forest and past 13 breathtaking waterfalls.
• Ride in a dune buggy across the sands of Oregon Dunes Recreation Area, home to the largest coastal dunes in the Western Hemisphere.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to six miles, varied terrain, including rainforest trails, moderate hills, sand, elevation gains of 1,000 feet over a few miles.



Coordinated by Coastal Journeys Unlimited.




Florence

Sand dunes tower 500 feet above the beach in this area of Oregon’s central Coast, and neighboring Florence offers a perfect point from which to begin an exploration of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, with its lakes and dunes that extend for miles.



Accommodations
Oceanfront resort with swimming pool and spa; all rooms have ocean view with deck or patio.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Mason Marsh

An affinity for lifelong learning is the one constant in Mason Marsh’s eclectic life story — and a passion he has shared with Road Scholar participants since 2008. With a degree in journalism from Whitworth College, he left his hometown of Spokane, Wash, for Alaska and later Oregon, where he worked as a photojournalist. During an assignment aboard a historic tall ship, Mason fell in love with life at sea and signed aboard. While traveling the U.S. West Coast on the Brig Lady Washington, he cut his teeth as an educator by instructing tens of thousands of school children and adults each year. Mason returned to the Pacific Northwest to work as a museum educator at Seattle’s Museum of Flight, and later earned his U.S. Coast Guard captain’s license. He now enjoys leading photography programs for Road Scholar and pursuing images of the Pacific Northwest’s scenic wonders. Mason lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, Julie and son, Cooper. They have two energetic dogs, Cayenne and Chloe.
 
T. McCracken

T. McCracken is a cartoonist, writer, historian and naturalist. Most of her writings are humorous articles, but she is also the author of the book, “Holy Rollers: Murder and Madness in Oregon's Love Cult.” One of the most extraordinary accomplishments in her life was hitchhiking from Cape Town, South Africa to Kisangani, Zaire, and from there taking a barge 1,500 miles down the Congo River to Kinshasa.
 
Joseph Calbreath

Since retiring after 20 years as the popular head meteorologist for KMTR-TV in Eugene, Ore., — and host of the weekly television feature, “Gardening with Joseph” — Joseph Calbreath continues to share his fascination with nature and science with his community. He has taught meteorology on Road Scholar learning adventures since 1997, and his knowledge of the Pacific Northwest has also made him an excellent leader of hikes through the region. Joseph is heavily involved in his community and volunteers each winter as an instructor for the U.S. Forest Service Ski Patrol in the Cascade Mountain Range. With his wife, Catherine, Joseph worked with the various track and field events for the Olympic try-outs at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field in 2012. Joseph and Catherine live in Eugene. They have two married sons, and two beautiful grandchildren.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Driftwood Shores Resort
  Florence, OR 5 nights
 Driftwood Shores Resort
Type: Hotel
  Description: In the heart of the Oregon Coast, spectacular views, 10 miles of un-interrupted beach, golfing, fishing and the Oregon Dunes nearby.
  Contact info: 88416 First Avenue
Florence, OR 97439 USA
phone: 800-422-5091
web: www.driftwoodshores.com
  Room amenities: Ocean view, patio or deck, hairdryers, ironing board/iron, coffee makers, TV.
  Facility amenities: Indoor heated pool and jacuzzi, restaurant and lounge, guest laundry.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior:  Call hotel and identify yourself as with the Road Scholar group.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after:  Call hotel and identify yourself as with the Road Scholar group.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
4 PM check-in at hotel. You will be staying at Driftwood Shores Resort that night.
  End of Program:
Noon check-out from hotel. You will be staying at Driftwood Shores Resort the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Free parking at hotel.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Florence, OR
  Nearest city or town:  Eugene, Oregon
  Nearest highway: Hwy 101
  Nearest airport:  Eugene, Oregon
  From End of Program
  Location: Florence, OR
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Eugene to Florence

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Omnishuttle
phone: 541-461-7959
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Varies depending on airport. Contact shuttle for current rates.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

From Portland, 4 hours. From Eugene, 1 1/2 hours. 

 

Distance:

 

From Portland, 170 miles. From Eugene, 65 miles.

   

Visit their website for more information. www.junctioncity.com/tours/shuttle/index.htm Coastal Journeys Unlimited is not affiliated with this shuttle provider. This information is given for your use only. We do not endorse or guarantee any shuttle provider service.

 

Portland, OR to Eugene

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
City2city
phone: 866-999-8001
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$55 Seniors
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

2 hours 

 

Distance:

 

100 miles

   

If flying into Portland PDX airport, participant can travel on public transportation to Eugene with city2city shuttle. At Eugene, participant may then take Omnishuttle to Florence, as noted above. There is no direct shuttle/ public transportation from Portland to Florence. Call city2city for reservations and info. or email admin@city2cityshuttle.com

 
Driving Directions
  From California or Washington coasts Drive south from WA on Highway 101 or north from California on Hwy 101 to Florence, OR. Florence is located exactly mid-coast: 200 north of CA border and 200 miles south of WA border
  Portland or Eugene to Florence by Car From Downtown Portland (and Washington State via I-5): Follow Interstate 5 south through Portland to Eugene. Take Exit 195B and follow the Beltline Highway to it's junction with Highway 126. Turn right and follow Highway 126 west to Florence. In Florence, turn right onto Highway 101 and follow it north out of town. At Heceta Beach Road, turn right and follow Heceta Beach Road to its end and look for the Driftwood Shores Resort on the right. From Portland International Airport: Follow Interstate 205 south to Interstate 5. Follow I-5 South to Eugene and follow the directions above. From Eugene (and Interstate 5 North): Take Exit 195B and follow the Beltline Highway around Eugene to it's Juction with Highway 126. Turn right and follow Highway 126 to Florence. In Florence, turn right onto Highway 101 and follow it north out of town. At Heceta Beach Road, turn right and follow Heceta Beach Road to its end and look for the Driftwood Shores Resort on the right.
Elevation Note: Highest trail is 800' elevation.

Equipment Requirements: Binoculars, cameras, field guides, appropriate outdoor gear are recommended. A list of suggested equipment will be included in the program preparatory materials.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Welcome to Florence!
(Sunday, September 22)

Note: No hikes on this day.



   
 Arrive To: Check in beginning at 3 in the hotel lobby. Orientation is at 5 p.m. in the meeting room upstairs of the hotel restaurant, (north end of complex).
 Dinner: Dinner at 6 PM.
   
Accommodations: Driftwood Shores Resort
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Geology lecture, Heceta Head Lighthouse hike, China Creek Trail, Hobbit Trail, and Washburne Beach hikes
(Monday, September 23)

Note: Morning hike to lighthouse is 1 mile over good path with steady incline. Afternoon hike is a loop through a rainforest, down a shore pine hillside, and along a flat beach. Afternoon hike is 4 miles total.



   
 Breakfast: Hot breakfast served in the hotel meeting room.
 Morning: Geology lecture in the conference room followed by a lecture on essential outdoor equipment. Short 2-mile hike to historic lighthouse at Heceta Head.
 Lunch: Box lunch at Washburne Campground; sandwiches, cold cuts. chips, dessert and fruit.
 Afternoon: 4-mile loop hike through coastal rainforest and along open beach. Naturalist guides will make stops to explore local flora and fauna.
 Dinner: Buffet served in conference room.
 Evening: Natural History of the Oregon Coast lecture.
   
Accommodations: Driftwood Shores Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Cape Perpetua trails. Ancient forests and soaring headlands hikes.
(Tuesday, September 24)

Note: Cape Perpetua hikes total 6.5 miles over steep rainforest ridges and along rocky shorelines. Trails are uneven and often rocky, but not loose or dangerous. There are options for trail lengths and elevations. Elevation on one option gains almost 1,000 feet.



   
 Breakfast: Hot breakfast served in the hotel meeting room.
 Morning: Field Trip north 25 miles to Cape Perpetua Natural & Scenic Viewing Area Spectacular headland with hike options. 7.5-mile old-growth forest and ocean headland hike with a naturalist guide or two 2-mile hikes with photographer guide along ocean headland and up to ancient spruce tree.
 Lunch: Box Lunch in Field
 Afternoon: Continue hiking around Cape Perpetua. 7.5-mile hikers will continue walk with naturalist while short-hikers will continue their walk with photographer guide. Following hikes the entire group will travel to the top of Cape Perpetua for a 1/2-mile walk along scenic vista trail.
 Dinner: Dinner at resort.
 Evening: Free evening
   
Accommodations: Driftwood Shores Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Siltcoos Lake Trail, Oregon Dunes trail, Estuary Trail
(Wednesday, September 25)

Note: Morning hike is loop trail of 3.5 miles to a lakeside campsite through a thick rainforest. Trail is up-and-down with some steps. Afternoon hikes are in dune environment on good trails. Loops of less than 2 miles in length. Total day mileage is less than 6.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast served in conference room.
 Morning: Siltcoos Lake Trail: 3.5-mile loop trail through beautiful rainforest to dunal lake.
 Lunch: Box lunch in field
 Afternoon: Waxmyrtle Creek Trail along the Estuary and Lagoon Trail easy and flat trails; about 2 miles total. Gorgeous views of estuary and wildlife including migratory birds, ospreys, eagles and otters and nutria! Lagoon Trail, Siltcoos Estuary Trail at Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area; emphasis on western snowy plover endangered species; raptors (bald eagles, osprey, northern harriers, etc) and herons and egrets.
 Dinner: Buffet served at the hotel in conference room.
 Evening: Evening lecture to be determined.
   
Accommodations: Driftwood Shores Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Dune Ride over the largest coastal dunes in the Western Hemisphere!! Then hike the Incredible Sweet Creek Falls Trail.
(Thursday, September 26)

Note: First up this morning is a Dune Ride in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. Some of these dunes reach a height of 600'!! Then hike through an amazing rainforest alongside cascading stream with 13 waterfalls along 1.5 mile trail. Slight elevation gain on rocky trail. Total mileage for morning is 3 miles.



   
 Breakfast: Hot breakfast served in hotel meeting room.
 Morning: Incredible hike! Sweet Creek Trail; 2 miles and 13 cascading waterfalls along salmon stream in beautiful forest! This is one of the prettiest trails in the state!
 Lunch: Picnic lunch in the field.
 Afternoon: After lunch, a short hike to Beaver Creek Falls. 1 mile total. Enjoy a free afternoon to walk on the beach, rest, or explore the coast on your own.
 Dinner: Buffet dinner in the hotel meeting room.
 Evening: Wrap-up gathering in hotel conference room.
   
Accommodations: Driftwood Shores Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Farewell and safe trip home!!
(Friday, September 27)

Note: Individual departures after breakfast. Check-out time is noon. have a safe trip home.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet; variety of cereals, protein dish, pastries, yogurts
 Morning: Ride over the spectacular Oregon Dunes in a large dune buggy. We will return to the hotel by 11 am. Check out by Noon. Travel safe!
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Florence, OR Chamber of Commerce
General information and links to area attractions. For additional information, visit www.florencechamber.com
  General information
Florence and central coast general information For additional information, visit www.florenceoregon.net
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


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