Our planning strategy is basically to determine how much we want to see in a particular area within a 2 hour radius or so, then determine how many nights to book in that area based on those sites. One night stays are just for passing through, so a minimum of two nights for 1 day of exploring is required. Since we aren’t able to maneuver the travel trailer into most of the sites of interest, normally we’re looking at 2-4 nights per area depending on what we want to see (and whether or not Mike needs clean skivvies).
We had a series of stops in OR that allowed us to visit the Bend area, Crater Lake, and Lava Butte (Deschutes National Forest). We generally have a target for the exploring days, but also do a lot of wandering just because something looks interesting. Rarely have we been disappointed!
We picked up a National Park Pass (America The Beautiful is the theme this year) in OR, and were able to use it at several locations – it’s about halfway to paying for itself!
Crater Lake was definitely one of our favorite sites so far. We’ve been lucky enough to see Tahoe on a previous getaway and this was just as beautiful, though each of them holds their own unique draw. Caira got her first mini-introduction to snow there at Crater Lake and she was pretty indifferent. The one downside to Crater Lake is that their pup policy is pretty restrictive. Basically, you can visit and check out sites but the dogs have to stay on leash and within 50 feet of a paved road – so no hard core hiking at that location for those with furry friends.