On the Road: The Oregon Coast, California Redwoods & Crater Lake

Explore ancient redwood forests, see the clear waters of America’s deepest lake and learn about unique Northwest landscapes alongside experts.
Rating (4.96)
Program No. 16188RJ
10 days
Starts at
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10 days
9 nights
24 meals
9 B 7 L 8 D
Check-in, Program Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Portland, OR
Clarion Hotel Portland International Airport

Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration 4:45 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table in the hotel meeting room to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, other important information, and to confirm when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation 5:15 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. On the Road programs are journeys that take participants to multiple study sites in a region with a number of overnight stays. Lectures, talks, discussions, field trips, and on-board commentary amplify the program theme. Some journeys involve great distances and may take hours, others are much shorter. Long or short, On the Road journeys are learning experiences that make the most of our time together. Field trips and lectures will be led by our Group Leader unless otherwise specified. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: In our meeting space at the hotel, we’ll have a buffet dinner with coffee, tea, and water.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the full day ahead. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

Portland Coffee/Tea, Brooks Wines, Alder House of Glass
Newport, OR
Agate Beach Inn

Activity note: Walking about 1 mile throughout the day; paved pathways. Getting on and off luxury coach; driving approx. 150 miles total; about 3 hours, total.

Breakfast: At the hotel, our breakfast buffet includes hot and cold items plus coffee and tea.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we’ll begin our morning by learning about the coffee and tea culture of Portland by touring a local establishment.

Lunch: As we travel to Newport, we’ll stop along the way at Brooks Wines for a tour, wine tasting, and lunch.

Afternoon: We will continue our motorcoach journey down the Oregon Coast paying attention to its ever-changing spectacular viewpoints. We will make a stop at Alder House of Glass in Lincoln City, OR and have the opportunity watch an artist blow glass in the hot shop. Afterwards, we'll continue our transfer via motorcoach to Newport, OR where we will check into the hotel.

Dinner: We will enjoy a lovely meal at a local restaurant near the bay.

Evening: At leisure. Our hotel has a complimentary wine reception every evening from 5-6pm should you be interested.

Hatfield Marine Science Center, Yaquina Head Light House
Newport, OR
Agate Beach Inn

Activity note: Walking about 1.5 miles on paved pathways.

Breakfast: Fresh eggs scrambled, Canadian bacon, potatoes O'Brien, toast with butter and assorted jams, served with fresh fruit garnish, coffee and tea

Morning: We’ll begin our morning at the hotel with a lecture on Oregon's coastal geology. Then we make our way to Hatfield Marine Science Center for a field trip to explore the rocky inter-tidal habitat, see some of the creatures that live there, and learn about environmental forces that make this ever-changing habitat a challenging place. We will have a chance to handle and observe critters that may be there such as snails, sea urchins, barnacles, crabs, and sea anemones. We will learn about each animal's habitat, anatomy, diet, and more.

Lunch: We will enjoy lunch at Izzy's Pizza and Salad Bar which receives rave reviews from our participants- proving that the West Coast has great pizza too!

Afternoon: After lunch we will visit Yaquina Head Lighthouse, which was built in August of 1873 and stands at 93 feet tall on the beautifully rocky western headland. We’ll admire the sea on a guided walk around the premises led by our instructor.

Dinner: Our motorcoach will take us to Nye Beach where you will have an opportunity to explore the shops and take advantage of beach access if you wish. Dinner will be on your own in Nye Beach. Your group leader will be happy to provide you with recommendations if you wish.

Evening: After dinner, we’ll rendezvous at a predetermined time and place and board our motorcoach for transfer back to the hotel.

Cape Perpetua, Heceta Head Lighthouse, Sand dunes
Bandon, OR
Bandon Inn

Activity note: Getting on and off luxury coach; driving a total of 124 miles. Drive one hour to Cape Perpetua/Heceta Head Lighthouse. Walking approximately 2 miles on maintained trails during a 2 hour time frame. Drive 2 hours to hotel.

Breakfast: Hard boiled eggs, carrot raisin muffin, Bob's Re Mill Oatmeal served with fresh sliced fruit and nuts. Coffee and tea.

Morning: After breakfast we will check out of the hotel, board our luxury motorcoach and drive to Cape Perpetua. We will set out on an interpretive walk led by our instructor. As we walk the trail on the way to the summit 800 feet above sea level, we’ll learn about native wildflowers, trees, and animals before soaking in the beautiful views from atop Cape Perpetua. Once we return to the motorcoach we will drive 15 minutes to Heceta Head Lighthouse where we will have a 1 1/2 mile round trip interpretive walk led by our instructor. We will have the chance to see the light house from a distance and take advantage of the breathtaking views and photo opportunities.

Lunch: Enjoy lunch on your own. Your group leader will be happy to provide recommendations.

Afternoon: After lunch we’ll travel to the Oregon Dunes, the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in North America, which extends 60 miles along the coast from Florence to Coos Bay. One can't see these dunes from the highway, so upon arrival we’ll climb aboard a giant dune buggy for a thrilling ride over the mountains of sand. The ride will culminate in a stop atop one of the highest dunes in North America, a whopping 600 feet high! When our ride ends, we’ll continue our transfer to Bandon Inn.

Dinner: We will enjoy dinner together at a popular restaurant in Bandon, OR.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

Rogue River Jet Boats, California’s Towering Redwoods
Eureka, CA
Red Lion Eureka

Activity note: Walking about 1/2 mile; approx. 1/2 hour; flat, maintained trail loop. Driving approximately 210 miles; about 5 hours. Getting on/off boats; ride is about 64 miles roundtrip; approx. 2.5 hours one way.

Breakfast: Our hotel will provide to-go breakfasts for us to enjoy on our way to Gold Beach, OR.

Morning: We’ll board our motorcoach after checking out of the hotel and transfer to the dock on the Rogue River where we’ll climb into a jet boat for a thrilling ride up the wild and scenic river. Our boat’s captain will navigate the rapids in this gorgeous river valley while we keep our eyes peeled for osprey and other wildlife. The jet boat ride will be a dynamic introduction to the southern Oregon Coast's backcountry. Our instructor will provide commentary on the beautiful coastal trees that will line our route while aboard.

Lunch: We will enjoy a charming meal at Singing Springs Ranch on a stop during our jet boat trip.

Afternoon: Continuing our travel south, we’ll have an on-board lecture given by our instructor as we have our first encounter with the majestic redwoods of the coast. These trees in northern California are some of the world's tallest anywhere and we will enjoy several rest stops along the way to get a closer look at them. We’ll check into the hotel upon arrival in Eureka, CA.

Dinner: We will enjoy dinner in a private dinning space at our hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Walk Among Redwoods, Regional Ecology
Eureka, CA
Red Lion Eureka

Activity note: Walking about 1/2 mile; approx. 1/2 hour; flat, maintained trail. Driving approx. 70 miles; about 1.5 hours.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Setting out, we’ll begin by traveling on the world-famous scenic drive, The Avenue of the Giants. Our instructor will provide narration along the 31 miles of lush redwood groves. It’s considered by many to be, by far, the most outstanding display of these giant trees in the entire 500 mile redwood belt. We’ll also stop at some point to get off the motorcoach and take a short loop walk overshadowed by these giant redwoods – a perfect picture taking opportunity!

Lunch: We will enjoy boxed lunches while dinning among the redwoods.

Afternoon: We’ll continue our exploration of the redwood forest while our instructor points out interesting aspects of this forest of giants. Along the way we’ll also make a stop at the scenic Victorian Village in Ferndale, which is a living history museum of Victorian and other architectural treasures.

Dinner: We will enjoy a relaxing dinner in a private dining space at our hotel.

Evening: The remainder of the evening will be at leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

California Redwoods, Alpaca Farm
Grants Pass, OR
Riverside Inn

Activity note: Walking about 1/2 mile on uneven farm land. Possibility of walking and standing in direct sunlight for up to 1 hour, carrying an umbrella is recommended for shade. Driving approx. 158 miles; about 3.5 hours.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Heading back up north through the spectacular redwoods, we’ll stop at the Jedediah Smith State Park, renowned for its beauty. As we look around, we will learn from our instructor about the old growth redwood forests and the history of the park.

Lunch: At the park, we’ll have boxed lunches.

Afternoon: In the afternoon we will stop at a world-class alpaca ranch where we will have a tour of the facilities, meet the owners and their Alpacas and learn about their business and day to day life. If you decide you might want to try raising Alpacas they will be happy to tell you how to get started!

Dinner: We will enjoy a delicious meal at a local restaurant in Grants Pass.

Evening: The remainder of the evening will be at leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

Crater Lake National Park
La Pine, OR
Best Western Newberry Station

Activity note: Walking less than 1/2 mile; about 1/2 hour; paved trails. Driving approx. 191 miles; about 4 hours.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Once checked out of the hotel, we’ll board our motorcoach and transfer to Crater Lake while listening to a lecture en route about the crater.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll enjoy plated meal plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Crater Lake’s sublime beauty is a sort of legend. 36 cliff-lined miles in circumference and 6 miles across, this caldera was formed by the eruption and ensuing collapse of Mt. Mazama almost 7,700 years ago. Along our drive on the crater’s rim road, we’ll stop to take a breathtaking look from the brink of this iconic northwestern natural landform. We’ll then complete our transfer and check into the hotel.

Dinner: We will enjoy a meal together at the hotel.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

Lava Lands Walk, Multnomah Falls, To Portland
Portland, OR
Clarion Hotel Portland International Airport

Activity note: Walking about 1 mile; up to 1 hour depending on walking route; paved trail with minimal elevation change. Driving approx. 236 miles; about 4.5 hours.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After checking out, we’ll board our motorcoach and transfer to Newberry National Volcanic Monument's Lava Lands Visitor Center for a walk through a lava flow with our Group Leader and a private interpretive expert. This visit will tie together much of what we have learned throughout our travels, from geology to climate and everything in between.

Lunch: At a local diner along the way in Redmond, OR, we’ll have plated meals with coffee, tea, and water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll travel on to independently explore the wonderful museum at the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. Continuing, we’ll skirt the flanks of Mt. Hood on our way to the Columbia River Gorge and thundering Multnomah Falls, the state's highest waterfall. We’ll get off the motorcoach and go for a walk with our Group Leader along a pleasant trail to get a better look. We’ll then carry on to our accommodation and check in.

Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll enjoy a tasty farewell dinner with coffee, tea, water; and other beverages available for purchase. We will share some of your favorite experiences from the program with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: We’ll then gather for a final wrap-up session to review the adventures we went on together. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departures in the morning.

Program Concludes
Portland, OR

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we’ll have a hot breakfast buffet. This concludes our program.

Morning: We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!

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