Week of January 1-8, 1996
Budget travel in the Pacific Northwest
Q: I am looking to travel to the Washington/Oregon area in the spring. What is the best way to go about finding inexpensive travel and lodging arrangements in the Pacific Northwest?
Eau Claire, WI
A: I have a few choice spots to suggest for solitude, scenery, and cheap digs in the Pacific Northwest. For great hiking, try heading to central Oregon's Three Sisters Wilderness, a cluster of glacier-clad volcanoes about 25 miles west of Bend. You'll have your pick of about a dozen campgrounds and trailheads along the 20-mile stretch of Route 46 between Mount Bachelor Ski Area and Deshutes Bridge Campground, so your strategy here should be just point and hike.
A particularly inspired four-mile route follows Fall Creek from Sparks Lake to Green Lakes Basin, at the foot of South Sister via the Newberry Lava Flow--a colossal jumble of glassy obsidian boulders. From Green Lakes, the nontechnical ascent of South Sister, Oregon's third tallest peak, is a straight shot--just be sure to stay west of Lewis Glacier on the way up. For trail maps and campground information, contact the Deshutes National Forest's Bend Ranger District at 503-388-5664.
If you're looking to explore the Northwest on two wheels, we recommend driving east from Bend to McCall, Idaho's rock-hopping haven about 100 miles north of Boise. Start with the Hazard Lake/Hard Creek loop, a rocky, eight-mile, mostly single-track ride among alpine lakes and cirques. To find the trailhead, drive 25 miles west of McCall to Hazard Lake Campground via Brundage Mountain Road. Camp there or head northeast of town to Burgdorf Hot Springs and treat yourself to something a little more plush. Richard and Elizabeth Tidmarsh operate 11 rustic cabins with wood stoves and kerosene lamps for $15 per person per night; all you'll need to bring is your own bedding, cookware, and food. For reservations, write to Burgdorf Hot Springs Resort, General Delivery, McCall, ID 83638; there's no phone. For maps, trail information, and the latest road conditions, contact the McCall Ranger District at 208-634-0400.
For other suggestions on where to go in the Pacific Northwest, check out "Northwestern Exposure" in the Destinations section of our September 1994 issue.