The Pacific Northwest is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise with so many places to hike, bike, paddle, and explore. Boasting a stunning coastline, snowcapped mountains, countless waterfalls, rivers, and more, Oregon is a wonderland to discover. Check out these five reasons to explore the great outdoors in Oregon.
Drive Oregon’s Scenic Coastline
When most think about driving the west coast, California’s Pacific Coast Highway is the first thing that comes to mind. Head a little further north and explore the wonder that is the Oregon coastline. Filled with beautiful misty beaches, landmarks like the famous Haystack Rock, capes, and lookout points that will leave you speechless, the Oregon coast holds some of the most majestic spots in the Pacific Northwest. This is not a drive you’ll want to rush through, but rather take your time to pull over at the scenic overlooks. Get out and hike. Explore the natural treasures the coast holds. From trails along jagged cliffs overlooking the sea below, lighthouse-dotted capes, and natural wonders like natural bridges and caves, this landscape is absolutely magical.
Marvel at the Incredible Crater Lake National Park
Oregon is home to the deepest lake in the country, Crater Lake. Not only is the vivid blue hue of this water captivating, it is also some of the purest water in the world because it is primarily comprised of rain and melted snow. Crater Lake is no ordinary lake, but rather was formed from an erupting volcano that collapsed. The Rim Drive in Crater Lake National Park allows visitors to go around the entire circumference of this exquisite lake to see if from many different vantage points. This park has some amazing hiking trails and depending on the season, visitors can take a boat ride to Wizard Island in the middle of the lake.
Explore Oregon’s Longest Lava Tube
Within Newberry National Volcanic monument lies Oregon’s longest lava tube, Lava River Cave. This interesting spot formed by flowing lava is located just south of Bend is worth a trip to check out. Grab a flashlight and a headlamp and go down into the cave to walk through the mile-long lava tube. Dress warm as it gets chilly even in the summer due to the lack of sunlight. After you make your way through the lava tube, take the shuttle up to Lava Butte, which is a cinder cone that is 500 feet above the Lava Lands Visitor Center. A short hike at the top provides sweeping views of the area.
Chase Waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge
The Oregon coast is one of the most gorgeous drives in the state, but the drive through the Columbia River Gorge is strong contender when it comes to its own kind of beauty. If waterfalls are your thing, you’ll be in heaven with so many waterfalls to discover on this drive. While Multnomah Falls may be the best-known waterfall in the Columbia River Gorge, there are lots of waterfalls to see in this area. From Bridal Veil Falls to Wahkeena Falls to Latourell Falls to Horsetail Falls, there are so many spots to pull over to see waterfalls that are just a short hike away. This area also boasts some beautiful lavender fields around this area that smell absolutely heavenly.
Check out the Fruit Loop and Mt. Hood
Nestled along Oregon’s Hood River is the Hood River Fruit Loop. This part of the state is filled with orchards and farms producing many types of fruit. A 35-mile loop around the Hood River is a great way to try the freshest fruit in the area. The first fruit trees in the Hood River Fruit Loop were planted in the mid-1800s, so this area has a strong history of farming and growing terrific fruit.
With so much fruit being grown here, enjoy locally made goods such as fresh apple cider or fruit pies. There are numerous wineries, breweries, fruit stands, and more in the Fruit Loop. There is also U-Pick style farms where you can pick your own blueberries, apples, raspberries, and many more types of fruit. From the Fruit Loop you can see the snowcapped Mt. Hood in the distance. It towers over the area providing exquisite views. For winter sports lovers, Mt. Hood is a great destination to have fun skiing, snowboarding, and more in the snow.
If you’re looking for a good dose of nature, adventures, and beautiful views, Oregon is the spot for you. The different seasons offer different types of fun in the state. From winter sports to hiking to waterfalls in the warmer months, Oregon offers lots of adventure year round. With so much to explore, the state will keep you coming back for more.