You just arrived in Oregon for your 13-week assignment. You’re ready to take on this new challenge and find new places to explore while you’re at it. A state filled with high mountain peaks, lush forests and vast deserts, “Travel Oregon” has a beautiful must-see list for all the adventurers out there.
- The Oregon Coast
There’s no question as to why the 400 mile Oregon coast is one of the most famous coastlines nationwide. With 500-feet sand dunes, 11 lighthouses, and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, this drive is worth the mileage. While on the road, make a stop at Cannon Beach to see Haystack Rock. During low tide, you can wade in close to see vibrant sea stars and other marine life.
- Mt. Hood – Mt. Hood National Forest
Mt Hood stands at 11,250 feet, making it the tallest volcano in Oregon. If that’s not enough to get you to visit the national forest, you can also check out McNeil Point, Paradise Parks, and the Elk Meadows. Here you can go camping, hiking, fishing, and skiing. With slopes practically available year-round, anytime is a good time for adventure.
- The Columbia River Gorge
The Columbia River Gorge is a drive you have to make while in Oregon. Deemed the country’s largest National Scenic Area, there is nothing short of adventure to find here. While on the “King of Roads” you should stop to marvel at the Bonneville Dam, Bridge of the Gods, and of course the 620-foot Multnomah Falls. Also, take a break at any of the craft breweries you’ll find along the way.
- Crater Lake – Crater Lake National Park
Home to the deepest lake in the USA and one of the clearest bodies of water in the world, there is no question as to why Crater Lake is on this list. In the Spring, check out the Castle Crest Wildflower trail to see flowers in bloom. In the Fall or Summer, hike through Garfield Peak and the Pinnacles Overlook. During the winter, take a ranger-led snowshoe walk around the lake for absolutely free. No matter the season, there are plenty of activities to do year-round.
- Painted Hills – John Day Fossil Beds National Monument
Created from “ancient eruptions” that solidified minerals into colorful bands, this multicolored hill is one of the few in the world. Geologists have even studied this landmark back to millions of years ago. Here you can walk through history along the Painted Cove Trail. Or if you prefer a birds-eye view, hike the Painted Hills Overlook Trail to see the entire valley.
- Wallowa Mountains
If you have a love for hiking, then the Wallowa Mountains were made for you. With more than 500 miles of hiking trails, ranging over summits, lakes, valleys, and meadows, this land is a backpacker’s playground. Not a fan of hiking? Visit the Wallowa lake by boat, visit the M. Crow general store, or take a gondola ride to the peak of Mt. Howard.
- Smith Rock State Park
Although Smith Rock is known as the “birthplace of American sport climbing,” there are plenty of other things you can do here. Golfing, climbing, hiking, caving, paddle boarding, skiing, cycling, and even drinking at one of their 24 breweries. If you’re a fan of NASA, we suggest you traverse the Newberry Crater National Volcanic Monument. You too can train to walk on the moon, just like the astronauts.
Oregon offers a little bit of everything for every kind of adventurer. From mountains to deserts, it is time to start exploring.
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