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May 4, 2007 10:20 AM

I-5 > Route 97: Sacramento, CA to Washington State

hope it's OK to cross post this both on the California and Pacific Northwest boards, since I'm not getting any responses over on CA:

I'll be driving with friends from Sacramento to George, Washington for the Sasquatch music festival later this month, and am looking for some neat places to stop & eat. 55% of the trip is in California, 40% in Oregon and 5% in Washington.

We start on I-5 N from Sacramento, turning onto I97, from which we'll slowly make our way up through the northernmost reaches of California, through Oregon (I've heard there are a lot of nice waterfalls and hot springs along the road up through Bend) and then to George, Washington, just over the border.

Any ideas, intrepid eaters of the Pacific Northwest? El-cheapo roadside diners to interesting "only-in-x" places of any price point are all appreciated.

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  1. I don't know of many nice waterfals along 97 near Bend, but Bend has some good restaurants. Little has changed recently, though, and a search of the PNW chowhound board for "Bend" will glean them.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Steve K

      Thanks Steve! Yes, in my waterfalls book and map there are several nice ones not far off the road west of Bend. Also the Oregon Parks page gives hiking directions to a few.

      1. re: hewn

        US97 in Oregon up to Bend runs straight and level through pine forests. North of there it enters dryer lands, crossing some canyons as it approaches the Columbia River. Shortly before Bend, to the east, there is the Newberry Crater. The waterfalls and springs are mostly to the west, roughly half way between 97 and I5, on the west side of the Cascade crest. They are along rivers like the upper Rogue west of Crater Lake, and the upper Umpqua. So a side trip to these sights might take you over to the I5 corridor and back. The Cascade Lakes loop is closer to Bend.

        Eats in Bend have been mentioned. The Madras area is supposed to have good Mexican. Someone recently reviewed a nice Italian place in Klamath Falls. Other than that I have not found much about this area on this board.

        In Washington, I'd suggest searching for threads mentioning Yakima and Ellensburg. People traveling EW on I90 often stop in the Ellensburg area, while Yakima is an agricultural valley, known for orchards, hops, and produce.

        In my experience through out this area, a taco truck is as good a lunch time stop as anything else.


        1. re: paulj

          Your concert at the Gorge (near George) is about 150 miles into Washington, 20% of the direct route. Side trips on roads like Or 62, 138, 58 could add 200 miles to that.

    2. Redding might not be far enough into your trip to stop for dinner, but if it fits your schedule, check out Jacks Bar & Grill. It's a classic dive, probably hasn't changed a bit since it opened in 1938 (except maybe that the bordello upstairs is closed now). The menu is short and sweet: steak, prawns, scallops, and fried chicken. You don't need to read any farther than the steaks, because they're some of the best you'll ever have. Be prepared for a wait for a table, but it's worth it!

      1. It's worth stopping in Dunsmuir for one of two places: Sengthong's (which is Laotian-Thai) and Cafe Maddalena (Mediterranean-Californian) - I've had good meals at both but am unsure of the opperating hours of Sengthong's (only ate there in the evening once).