Around the incredibly blue and extremely deep lake, lava cliffs soar to heights of up to 2,000 feet.
Rim Drive encircle the lake in a clockwise orientation, just a short distance from the crater’s edge. It starts in Rim Village and is only accessible by car during the summer months.
Snowshoers and cross-country skiers can utilize the unplowed route for winter travel throughout the winter.
In Oregon, Crater Lake National Park is a favorite weekend getaway. Some of Oregon’s best hiking routes can be found here, and two constructed campgrounds are available (most sites are found at the Mazama Campground).
Away from the rim, the national park offers extensive hiking and backpacking options, with gorgeous trails like Watchman Peak providing spectacular views of the caldera.
In the summer, excursions to Wizard Island depart from Cleetwood Cove, where you may learn more about the lake.
Medford, the largest city surrounding Crater Lake, is a hub of activity in and of itself, with jetboat experiences on the Rogue River.
Outside of the national park, there’s a lot more to see in Southern Oregon. Crater Lake is surrounded by various wilderness areas, including the Umpqua National Forest and the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, all of which offer hundreds of miles of hiking trails.
The gorge, which runs between Oregon and Washington, is noted for its breathtaking views and several waterfalls, including Multnomah Falls, the state’s tallest. Hiking and bike paths, as well as camping, are available in the region.
Punchbowl Falls on Eagle Creek is one of the many fantastic sites to strive for in the gorge, which is one of the most popular day trips from Portland.
The Historic Columbia River Highway, which runs through the gorge, moves at a moderate speed than Interstate 84.
3. Cannon Beach
Cannon Beach is a popular tourist destination on Oregon’s northern coast, with a vast expanse of beach and beautiful vistas of jagged coastal rocks. Haystack Rock, the largest of these monoliths, is a striking sight that dominates any visit to this seaside village.
Cannon Beach, one of the nicest tiny towns on the Oregon Coast, is also culturally appealing, with restaurants, boutique stores, and excellent hotels.
The picturesque Ecola State Park and Tillamook Head, located north of Cannon Beach, provide historic and scenic settings to explore.
The picturesque community of Seaside is also accessible from Ecola State Park’s other end, providing even more family-friendly attractions on the Oregon coast.
The Lewis and Clark Saltworks provides further historical information about the Corps of Discovery’s problems and lifestyles.
4. Washington Park, Portland
There are many lovely parks and gardens in Portland, but none have as many attractions as Washington Park. The acclaimed International Rose Test Garden is located near the beautiful Portland Japanese Garden within park grounds.
Each one demonstrates remarkable horticultural knowledge and is a favorite among green thumbs.
Between April and September, a free Washington Park shuttle runs daily within the park, and many public transportation choices serve to reduce the need for parking.
5. Mount Hood National Forest
Mount Hood is an identifiable feature of Oregon, with its top rising to 11,239 feet, making it the state’s highest mountain.
Mount Hood Skibowl offers downhill skiing, as well as scenic hiking trails like the Timberline Trail and magnificent vistas accessible via the Mount Hood Scenic Loop. The mountain’s southwest flank is also crossed by the nation’s longest trail, the Pacific Crest Trail.
In this alpine landscape, the historic hamlet of Government Camp and the surrounding Timberline Lodge are major attractions.
Trillium Lake, with its reflective surface and panoramic view of the mountain, is a picture-perfect backdrop. Mount Hood National Forest stretches from the summit to include waterfalls and hot springs.
Bend is about in the heart of Oregon, surrounded by a combination of national forests, volcanoes, and dry plains. The High Desert Museum in the city offers exhibits about the surrounding dry regions.
Rafting expeditions on the Deschutes River, excursions to the volcanic landscapes of Lava Butte and Newberry National Volcanic Monument, and skiing at the massive Mount Bachelor Ski Area are all popular things to do in Bend.
Smith Rock, which is also nearby, is well-known among climbers for its numerous routes and long history as a rock climbing destination.
Hiking trails in Bend are a terrific way to get out and about and see the sights, and mountain biking paths add to the fun.
Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, which runs through the Deschutes National Forest, is a popular auto-touring route for a more relaxed approach.
The route winds through lakes, mountains, and breathtaking scenery, with numerous picnic and camping opportunities along the way. Tumalo Falls, one of the area’s most famous waterfalls, is just over a 10-mile drive from Bend.
Astoria is a lovely seaside community with breathtaking settings in Oregon’s extreme northwest corner, facing the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean.
It’s the setting for The Goonies, a cult film from the 1980s. The Oregon Film Museum, housed in the historic Clatsop County Jail in Astoria, is a great place to learn more about this film and other Oregon productions.
The Flavel House Museum in Astoria, which is close by, offers historical insight into this well-aged city.
The picturesque Riverfront and the Astoria Column, both offering wonderful views of the area, are two more major Astoria attractions. Astoria also features a thriving downtown district with plenty of personalities.
8. Hood River
Hood River is a picturesque community on the Columbia River’s banks, slightly over an hour east of Portland.
Hood River is an excellent place for sightseeing and outdoor activities including hiking, riding, and camping, despite its reputation as a kiteboarding and windsurfing resort.
The city is also known for its burgeoning culinary culture, which frequently incorporates fresh products from the nearby Hood River Valley. The 35-mile Fruit Loop, which travels from the city, offers even more regional flavors.
Visitors looking for a less strenuous adventure can take the Historic Columbia River Scenic Byway and discover a lush world of waterfalls.
The Mount Hood Railroad leaves Hood River and continues 17 miles to Odell, with Mount Hood visible the entire time.
9. Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, Brookings
The Oregon Coast Trail and several pull-off parking areas, which are easily accessible from US 101 and named after the first Oregon Parks superintendent, connect the beaches, rock formations, and natural beauty that define this part of the coast.
Arch Rock, Indian Sands, and Lone Ranch Beach, one of the nicest beaches on the Oregon coast, are all popular pit stops along this gorgeous stretch.
10. Smith Rock State Park, Terrebonne
Smith Rock State Park in central Oregon is a popular climbing destination for visitors from all over the world. Near Bend, the state park offers approximately 1,000 bolted sport climbs that run alongside a beautiful river canyon.
Climbers aren’t the only ones who visit this outdoor playground; mountain bikers, hikers, and photographers can also be seen exploring over the extended high-desert summer season.
Smith Rock is home to one of the top hiking paths near Bend, Misery Ridge at Smith Rock, which, despite its ominous moniker, offers a breathtaking vista of the Crooked River and canyon walls.
There is an RV-only campground as well as a walk-in area for campers and climbers at Smith Rock State Park.
The Oregon Coast Trail (OCT) runs for approximately 360 miles along the western edge of Oregon, taking in the sights, sounds, and major attractions of the Oregon coast.
The OCT runs south from Fort Stevens State Park to Haystack Rock, Cape Perpetua, Oregon Sand Dunes, and the Samuel H. Boardman Magnificent Corridor, connecting scenic attractions such as Haystack Rock, Cape Perpetua, Oregon Sand Dunes, and the Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor.
While the OCT generally follows the shore, adventurous hikers can anticipate passing through forested headlands, take boat rides across estuaries, and travel along the shoulder of US 101 for parts of the journey.
14. Willamette National Forest
The almost 1.7 million-acre Willamette National Forest is located along the western slopes of the Cascade Mountains. The forest boasts a breathtaking landscape, including multiple volcanoes, mountains, rivers, and some of Oregon’s top hot springs.
Trails and attractions such as the Dee Wright Observatory (a stone tower above McKenzie Pass) and the 280-foot Salt Creek Falls are available to visitors.
The Willamette National Forest also contains the popular Three Sisters Wilderness. There are a lot of national forests to explore in this portion of the state.
The Deschutes National Forest, located directly to the east, is just as popular for recreation. Mount Hood National Forest, to the north, encircles the majestic mountain for which it is named.
15. Newberry National Volcanic Monument
The Newberry Volcanic Monument, located in central Oregon’s Deschutes National Forest, offers a variety of fascinating vistas to explore.
It’s focused on the Newberry Caldera, which encompasses a 1,200-square-mile volcano. Bicycling, hiking, boating, and relaxing in the hot springs are all popular activities in Newberry.
Newberry is home to one of Oregon’s top campgrounds, and guests who book a spot at the popular Little Crater Lake Campground have quick access to the warm waters of Paulina Lake.
Several picturesque hot springs are excavated into the shores of Paulina Lake and are accessible by boat or a moderate trek alongside the water. The Lava Lands Visitor Center is an excellent place to start your visit to the monument.
Between the beaches and the pocket forests, the vast wind-shaped sand dunes provide a unique location to explore on foot or with off-highway vehicles.
Sandboarding at Sand Master Park and the Umpqua Dunes area near Winchester Bay is two popular sites within the dunes.
The Oregon Dunes NRA is located in the Siuslaw National Forest, near Cape Perpetua and the Heceta Head Lighthouse, among other scenic sights.
Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park, located south of Florence, is one of the greatest campgrounds on the Oregon coast for pitching a tent or parking an RV.
Snowy plovers and the limits put in place to safeguard their habitat should be made aware of by visitors to the dunes.
17. Willamette Heritage Center at The Mill, Salem
Salem is the state capital of Oregon and is located in the Willamette Valley. In this city with a population of around 170,000 people, you’ll find historic theaters, family-friendly carousels, and an Enchanted Forest.
Riverfront City Park, the State Capitol building, and the Willamette Heritage Center are among Salem’s other notable attractions.
The Willamette Heritage Center, which spans five acres, is centered on the 1895 Thomas Kay Woolen Mill. Exhibits and explanatory guides bring other ancient wooden buildings to life alongside the enormous red structure.
The Willamette Valley Heritage Center depicts life and industrialization in the late 1800s in the Willamette Valley.
Address: 1313 Mill Street Southeast, Salem, Oregon
18. Hells Canyon National Recreation Area
Hells Canyon, located in the far northeast of the state, is the deepest canyon in the United States and serves as the state’s border with Idaho.
This protected area within the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest is mainly inaccessible, although it provides long outdoor experiences such as rafting and backpacking treks for the brave.
Nature photography, wildlife watching, and fishing are also popular hobbies. At the bottom of the canyon, the Wild and Scenic Snake River is popular for whitewater rafting.
If you thought flying to Oregon is expensive, guess again! Flights from all over the United States to Portland or even smaller Oregon locations like Eugene are actually pretty reasonable.
A round-trip journey from Florida to Oregon took only 5 hours and cost under $300! Of course, it all depends on what day of the week you fly and when you want to go!
You can use the money you save by flying into Oregon to see other regions of this lovely state!
2. You can Relax in the Middle of the Woods in a Secluded Hot Spring
You don’t need to travel to Iceland to bathe in a hot spring! In fact, Oregon is home to some of the world’s top hot springs! A list of hot springs in and around Eugene, Oregon, including the Mount Hood area can be found here.
Most hot springs can only be reached by driving deep into the mountains and then hiking a short distance to a lonely pool in the middle of nowhere!
3. The Willamette Valley in Oregon is Home to over 500 World-Class Vineyards
Do you want to experience wine country without the crowds? Go to Oregon instead of Tuscany or Napa Valley! The Willamette Valley in Oregon is home to over 500 wineries, all of which specialize in world-class Pinot Noir.
You wouldn’t expect to see a winery in Oregon, but they exist and are expanding at a greater rate than ever before! You’ll be driving along a winding Oregon road when you come across a sight straight out of a movie set in Italy.
You’ll see a big manor house where the wine is made, as well as rolling hills with grapevines, perfectly shaped shrubs, lavender, and other plants.
King Estate Winery, for example, has a restaurant and offers tours and tastings. Stay at a boutique hotel in Eugene, such as Inn At The 5th, and you’ll be able to tour all of the area’s vineyards with ease!
4. Oregon has Hundreds of Waterfalls, Many of which are Easily Accessible
Who doesn’t enjoy a beautiful waterfall? Hundreds of waterfalls can be found throughout Oregon, primarily in central and western areas. The Cascades Mountain Range is the finest area to go waterfall chasing.
The Columbia River Gorge, located near Portland, is home to a number of conveniently accessible waterfalls.
Many waterfalls in Oregon may be seen by driving to a parking spot and taking a short walk or hike instead of traveling for miles to get to the major treasure.
If you’re in Eugene, make a point of visiting the legendary McKenzie River area, which is home to beautiful waterfalls and the brilliantly blue McKenzie River that feeds them!
5. There are Deserts in Oregon that Rival those in Arizona and Utah
The Pacific Ocean and waterfalls are usually the first things that come to mind when you think about Oregon. While this is largely correct, the vast bulk of the state is desert!
The Oregon desert is large, desolate, and breathtaking, rivaling anything you’ll find in Arizona or Utah. Head to Bend, Oregon, if you want to experience both desert and city life.
It’s a charming desert village in the middle of the Oregon desert. Take a day trip to Oregon’s painted hills to see fossils and more, or check out the adjacent Smith Rock State Park for incredible vistas and rock climbing if you’re into that!
6. You’ll Have a Hard Time Finding a View of the Ocean that Compares to the South Oregon Coast
While the entire Oregon coast is beautiful, the southern Oregon coast is known for its sea stacks and steep cliff formations.
The perfect way to end a hard day enjoying everything that Oregon has to offer is to watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean while sipping some locally made wine.
If you travel to southern Oregon, make a point of stopping in Bandon, which boasts miles of beautiful beaches, caverns, and panoramic views.
Drive through Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor and stop along the way to see natural arches, bridges, and other sights from the cliffs above. South Oregon should go on your bucket list for 2018 if you want to enjoy coastal scenery like you’ve never seen before!
7. You can Float Down a River in Oregon while Eating Homemade Pizza and Drinking Craft Beer Manufactured Locally
Craft beer, like wine, is popular in Oregon! Local breweries can be found all around Oregon, from north to south, so if you want a delicious locally brewed brew, Oregon is the place for you!
That being said, Grant’s Pass is the only site where you can raft down the river while drinking beer and eating pizza. Grant’s Pass is a small town on the Rogue River in the deep south of Oregon.
The Paddled Pub is a one-of-a-kind event in which you meet up with a group at a local brewery, choose your beer, take a short ride in a van, and then float down a river while sipping it and eating locally sourced food.
You don’t have to do any effort because a guide will do it all for you, and you won’t even need to wear a swimsuit! All you have to do now is sit back and enjoy the view while sipping your beer!
8. Oregon is a Photographer’s Paradise
Oregon’s huge vistas and gastronomic paradises are a photographer’s dream, whether you’re a professional photographer or just a photography enthusiast with a smartphone.
If you’ve had your fill of one type of terrain, drive an hour and you’ll come across something completely different and unique! Small towns like Cottage Grove offer local street art for fun and memorable travel photographs!
Oregon is home to a diverse array of fascinating landscapes, and small towns like Cottage Grove have local street art for fun and memorable trip shots!
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