Adventures in the smoky Northwest
August 16, 2018 7:32 PM   Subscribe

My partner and I have been excitedly awaiting this weekend for a weeklong-ish backpacking trip around the Three Sisters Loop in central Oregon...except that we're not so sure about it now due to the smoky air and possible hindered views. We'll take a last minute look tomorrow and decide whether we do the loop or not. We're looking for alternative suggestions for outdoor fun so we don't sit at home moping for a week! Details within...

What we're looking for:
- Someplace within driving distance of Eugene, OR (we have passports)
- Not too terribly smoky
- 4-5 day backpacking trip OR road trip with hiking/camping options along the way
- Beautiful views
- Not crowded, the more remote the better
- We are seasoned hikers/backpackers and enjoy challenging routes but easier is fine too

What say ye, AskMe? Help us have a beautiful, nature-filled, adventure where we can breathe (relatively) easy and not waste our hard-earned PTO! Thanks all :D
posted by sweetpotato to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Steens Mountain also notable
posted by hortense at 9:39 PM on August 16, 2018

The Coast Range has some great hikes, such as Cape Perpetua, Heceta Head, Marys Peak, Drift Creek Wilderness.

Smoke data and forecast here:

If you do the coast, or the coast range, you're still only 4 hours away from the sisters, so could keep an eye on conditions and zoot over there if things clear up. The forecasts I've seen show no improvement.
posted by at at 10:17 PM on August 16, 2018

What's the altitude like on the hike? I'm not sure if it's the same everywhere, but where I am, the smoke is mainly an inversion layer due something going on with layers of temperature in the air keeping the smoke from venting. Around about 1000m it's a lot clearer and gets better the higher you go.
posted by raeka at 7:11 PM on August 17, 2018

It may be a little late but just in case, the DingoWife and I just drove from Eugene to Sisters yesterday afternoon and it wasn't bad at all (granted, I'm not sure how far we should have been able to see, but we see stopped at a scenic turnoff and felt like we could see pretty far). Woke up in Sisters this morning and the skies are clear blue with a sun that is actually yellow and not that weird salmon-colored affair we'd been getting in Eugene recently. If it's not too late I think you could still come out for a good trip!
posted by DingoMutt at 9:13 AM on August 18, 2018

(Update - it's now about seven in the evening and the smoke has blown in - all three sisters are looking pretty hazy from where I'm sitting right now ... Disregard that last post of mine, I hope you're somewhere nice and smoke free!)
posted by DingoMutt at 7:17 PM on August 18, 2018

Update: we decided to chance it and do the Three Sisters Loop after all! Just like DingoMutt mentioned, there were times it was clear-ish and times when the smoke was bad enough that it smelled like a giant campfire and we could barely see any of the mountains. Oh and the sun was definitely salmon-colored last night. But regardless it was beautiful and fun and we want to return once the fires die down for better views. Thanks to all for the helpful tips and suggestions!
posted by sweetpotato at 8:54 PM on August 23, 2018

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