Road Scholar 16188

Explore ancient redwood forests and geologically diverse caves. See the clear waters of America’s deepest lake and learn about unique Northwest landscapes alongside experts. From the jagged alpine terrain of the Cascade Mountains to mossy rainforests and wave-battered headlands, discover why the Northwest landscape is as awe-inspiring as it is unique. Learn alongside experts as you explore some of the world’s grandest natural wonders.

* At Crater Lake, marvel at a massive volcanic caldera holding the deepest lake in the U.S., then descend into Oregon Caves National Monument.
* Race the wind over a sea of sand in a dune buggy and meet the marine life at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.
* Touch trees rooted when Caesar ruled Rome in the world’s largest remaining stand of virgin redwoods.

DAY 1 – Welcome to Portland
Fly to Portland and take the courtesy shuttle to the hotel. Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 3:00 p.m.

(D) Program Registration 4:00 p.m. Orientation. The Group Leader will review the up-to-date program schedule, and answer questions. In our meeting space at the hotel, we’ll have a buffet dinner. Hotel: Holiday Inn Portland Airport (I-205)

DAY 2 - Yaquina Head Lighthouse, Oregon Coast Aquarium, Florence OR
Activity note: Walking about 1 mile throughout the day; paved pathways. Driving approx. 200 miles total; about 3 hours, total.

(BLD) At the hotel, we’ll have a hot buffet breakfast an egg dish, breakfast meats and potatoes, plus various juices, coffee, tea, water. After checking out of the hotel, we’ll begin our motorcoach journey down the Oregon Coast paying attention to its ever-changing spectacular viewpoints. As we travel to Newport, we’ll stop along the way at Yaquina Head Lighthouse, which was built in August of 1873 and stands at 93 feet tall on the beautifully rocky western headland. We’ll have a walk around the premises led by our Group Leader and admire the area.

At a local restaurant enroute, we’ll enjoy a tasty buffet. As a way to prepare for our upcoming beach explorations, we’ll go on a field trip to the Oregon Coast Aquarium where we’ll walk with an aquarium staff member through acrylic tunnels surrounded by several feet of sea water and come face to face with large sharks, rockfish and bat rays. As we explore the many exhibits, we’ll experience a unique way to enjoy the charming sea life of the northwest coast. We’ll also have some time for independent exploration after the group activity. Afterwards, we’ll continue our transfer via motorcoach to Florence where we will check-into the hotel.

At the hotel overlooking the waves, we’ll have buffet meals. Hotel: Driftwood Shores (2 NIGHTS)

DAY 3 - Oregon’s Coastal Geology, Cape Perpetua
Activity note: Walking about 1/2 mile; approx. 1/2 hour; maintained trail at Cape Perpetua. Driving approx. 50 miles; about 1.5 hours.

(BLD) We’ll begin our morning at the hotel with a lecture on Oregon's coastal geology given by our Group Leader. Then we will set out from the hotel via motorcoach to begin our day's adventure in Florence’s Old Town where we will learn about the history of the city.

Lunch has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like in Florence. Next, we’ll rendezvous at a predetermined time and place for transfer to a trailhead before setting out on an interpretive walk led by our marine biologist Group Leader. 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. We’ll then return to the hotel.

At the hotel, we’ll have plated meals. We’ll then gather at the hotel for a lecture on the natural history of the Oregon coast.

DAY 4 - Cruise the Dunes, Southern Oregon Coast (Gold Beach)
Activity note: Minimal walking throughout the day. Driving approx. 80 miles; about 2 hours. Dune ride is less than 1 hour; some bumpy parts, but mostly smooth.

(BLD) Once checked out of the hotel, 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.

At a local restaurant in Bandon, OR, overlooking the scenic Oregon Coast, we’ll have plated meals. Carrying on, we’ll travel to the little remote sea town of Gold Beach where the Rogue River meets the Pacific Ocean and check into the hotel.

At a local restaurant in Gold Beach, we’ll have plated Dinner. Hotel: Gold Beach Resort

DAY 5 - Rogue River Jet Boats, California’s Towering Redwoods (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.

(BLD) 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 Group Leader will provide commentary on the beautiful coastal trees that will line our route while aboard.

At a charming restaurant in Agness, a pleasant little town of 75 people, we’ll have a tasty buffet meal. Continuing our travel south, we’ll have an onboard lecture given by our biologist Group Leader 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 is on your own to explore local. Hotel: Best Western Bayshore Inn (2 NIGHTS)

DAY 6 - Walk Among Redwoods, Regional Ecology
Activity note: Walking about 1/2 mile; approx. 1/2 hour; flat, maintained trail. Driving approx. 70 miles; about 1.5 hours.

(BLD) Our redwood expert will meet us at the hotel and join us throughout the day’s adventures. Setting out, we’ll begin by traveling on the world-famous scenic drive, The Avenue of the Giants, 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!

Among the redwoods, we’ll have boxed lunches. We’ll continue our exploration of the redwood forest with our local expert as she points out interesting aspects of this forest of giants. Along the way we’ll also make a stop at the scenic Victorian Village, which is a living history museum of Victorian and other architectural treasures.

At the historic (and rustic) Samoa Cookhouse, where Eureka's loggers and lumbermen have enjoyed hearty family-style meals for generations, we’ll have a tasty family-style meal together. Afterwards, we’ll get to have a look at the Cookhouse’s museum led by our Group Leader. We’ll then return to the hotel where the remainder of the evening will be at leisure.

DAY 7 - Coast to Caves, Voyage to the Oregon Caves (Cave Junction)
Activity note: Walking about 1 mile in the caves; approx. 1.5 hours; moderate to difficult walking with some inclines, rocky and uneven parts depending on route choice. Safety procedures will be covered before the walk. Driving approx. 158 miles; about 3.5 hours.

(BLD) 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 Group Leader about the old growth redwood forests and the history of the park.

At the park, we’ll have boxed lunches. After transferring, we’ll then begin venturing deep inside the earth to explore a marble cave at the Oregon Caves National Monument. We’ll learn about the geology, history and science of this cave, which is recognized as one of the most geologically unique and botanically diverse in the U.S. Be sure to bring your sense of adventure! We’ll then check into and explore the Oregon Caves Chateau, one of Southern Oregon's most charming lodges. With rustic rooms, this unique 5-story historic landmark, covered with beautiful bark siding, is one of the West's most intriguing lodges. The Oregon Caves Chateau was featured in the PBS TV special and book "Great Lodges of the American West" for its old fashioned charm and architectural elegance. A local expert will lead us around the chateau. In the Chateau’s restaurant, we’ll sit down for a delicious plated meal. Hotel: Oregon Caves Chateau

DAY 8 - Crater Lake National Park
Activity note: Walking less than 1/2 mile; about 1/2 hour; paved trails. Driving approx. 191 miles; about 4 hours.

(BLD) Once checked out of the Chateau, we’ll board our motorcoach and transfer to Crater Lake while listening to a lecture enroute about the crater. At a local restaurant, we’ll enjoy plated Lunch with a soup and salad bar.

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. At the hotel, we’ll have a pizza buffet with various beverages. Hotel: Best Western Newberry Station

DAY 9 - Lava Lands Walk, Multnomah Falls, To Portland
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.

(BLD) 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.

At a local diner along the way in Redmond, OR, we’ll have plated lunch. 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.

At the hotel, we’ll enjoy a tasty plated farewell dinner. 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. Hotel: Holiday Inn Portland Airport (I-205)

DAY 10 - Program Concludes Portland, OR
(B) At the hotel, we’ll have a hot breakfast buffet. This concludes our program.