Best Places To Visit In Oregon

The best places to visit in Oregon are not always the same for everyone. Oregon is a great state with a rich history. The state has incredible weather and landscape.

Best Places To Visit In Oregon

There is a high quality of life and the right city has plenty of things to see and do. Oregon has moist rainforests, mountains, and fertile valleys. In Oregon, the great basin merges with high lava plains. 

Boardman State Scenic Corridor

Boardman State Scenic Corridor has craggy bluffs, secluded beaches, and offshore rock formations. You will be able to enjoy picnic areas, viewpoints, and trailheads.

There are so many ways you can enjoy Boardman State Park. You can hike by picking a trailhead and exploring its features. The Cape is an excellent spot to enjoy whale watching and enjoy the sunsets.

The whales head Beach is an oceanfront picnic area that can help you get gorgeous views and an easy flat path to the beach. There is a natural bridge that helps you follow a short trail to one of the best viewpoints in the park.

I can say confidently that Boardman state park is a scenic corridor that boasts the most dramatic coastal landscape. It is a treasure trove of beloved vistas and little gems.

Mount Hood

Mount Hood is the highest mountain in Oregon State. The mountain stands at approximately 11240 feet. I always have a great time here because it’s home to ski resorts, summer relaxation areas, and historic tourist attractions.

Mount Hood offers lift-served skiing in North America. The mountain has six ski areas which are Summit, Timberline, Ski Bowl, Cooper Spur, Snow Bunny, and Mount Hood Meadows.

Scenic charms in the national forest range from waterfalls, glaciers, and hot springs. During winters the snow draws people to the slopes.

Mount Hood National Forest offers climbing opportunities, hiking trails, and numerous campgrounds.

The Mountain has Timberline Lodge which has modern amenities. This lodge operates seven lifts and five quads of express chairs.

The forest service operates more than 80 camping areas. There are picnic tables, vault toilets, and fire rings.

Mt. Hood Meadows offers a wide scope of skiing and snowboarding terrain. Meadows also offer guided tours, clinics, and concerts.

Mt. Hood Ski bowl offers night skiing with more than half of the routes lit. They also feature Cosmic Tubing. It is one of the best places to visit in Oregon.

There is a Cultural Center and a museum where you get the mid-nineteenth century history of the area.

Tumalo Falls

Tumalo is a waterfall that has a day-use picnic site and a toilet. The beautiful fall is 97 feet. Admire the immense single drop waterfall from an upriver viewpoint.

You will be required to pay a fee or a pass to use the site. It is a family-friendly 1-mile round trip if you just visit the upper viewpoint. The waterfall is a short walk from the trailhead parking.

There is a canyon below the waterfall where conifer-covered ridges frame Tumalo Creek. If you want to visit the waterfall itself you will need to hike near the creek. The ascent gain is so gradual that you hardly notice.

You can walk with your dog at North Fork Trail but not on Swampy Lakes Trail.

Tulip Field in Woodburn

Tulip Field in Woodburn is a farm that features 40 acres of color in bloom. You will get a clear view of vineyards, distant mountains, and gardens throughout the year.

There are over 200 acres of outdoor space for activities. You can stroll through the neatly cultivated fields. There are rows of many colors, red, pink, yellow, orange, purple, and multicolored petals.

The tulips are organized into sections of color. You will love the idyllic backdrop of Mount Hood. Touring the landscape by a tractor is allowed.

Enjoy the hot air balloon and buy tulip bulbs, flowers, or potted plants. You are required to have nice shoes because the field sometimes is muddy.

Visitors are allowed to taste wine from the local winery. You will find food and entertainment for the whole family.

The farm has a wide assortment of activities for kids; they have a mini carnival with bouncy houses. Adults enjoy booths set up featuring arts and baked goods.

The Haystack Rocks 

Haystack is home to diverse birdlife and colorful tide pools. It is located about 1.5 miles south of downtown Cannon Beach. The rock was formed by lava flows emanating from the Blue Mountains.

These basalt sea stalks rise 235 feet from the edge of the shoreline. You can find colorful sea stars and other fascinating tide pool creatures.

You can observe Puffins on Haystack Rock. You will also be able to watch a variety of birds all year round. Haystack Rock is part of Oregon Island National Wildlife Refuge.

Rock and climbing above the barnacle line are strictly prohibited. Collecting plants or animals is also not allowed. You are only allowed to explore the exceptional natural area.

Walk only on sand and bare rock to avoid destroying sea life. Starfish, sea slugs, sea anemones, crabs, and limpets are some of the intertidal animals you will find here.

Toketee Falls

Toketee is one of the most photographed waterfalls in Oregon State. The falls are named after the Chinook word meaning graceful. Water pours from 113 feet and splashes downwards.

An hour from Roseburg you will see a well-signposted car park. Take a walk to the Toketee lookout and above the river, you will catch a glimpse of the thundering waterfall.

The conditions down to the waterfall are dangerous, stick to the trail. At the edge, there is a steep hill but it is manageable. You can follow the path down; there are plenty of roots to hold on to. Exercise caution and act only within your abilities.

Once at the bottom there is a water edge with the most incredible sights. There is a large plunge pool with incredible angular Basalt rock formations.

Swimming is allowed, you can reward yourself with that. Inexperienced swimmers may not enjoy many laps.   

Opal Creek

Opal Creek is a wilderness located in the Willamette National Forest. The wilderness features steep and rugged forested hillsides. Be guaranteed to see trees that have been here for 500 years.

You can take a 7-mile loop hike through an old-growth forest. There are a ton of rivers, a waterfall, and an emerald pool to jump into.

We enjoyed the rock outcroppings and ledges to jump off. We also made time for a picnic, there is plenty of room.

A large fire damaged the forest in 2020. Some trees survived but most infrastructures were damaged. To access the wilderness, you need a self-issue permit.

The wilderness forms the largest standing tract of low elevation old-growth forest. You may be lucky to spot mammals, reptiles, fish, bears, elk, and owls.

Japanese Garden in Portland

Portland Japanese Garden is a 12-acre land that has eight separate gardens. Each represents different styles of traditional Japanese gardening techniques.

The gardens feature essential elements like stone, water, and plants. The Kashintei Tea House will offer you the opportunity to experience a traditional tea ceremony.

Enjoy the landscape as you pass through a roofed lower gate and walk to the entrance. At times they offer free guided tours.

There are fairytale-worthy bridges, shimmering pools, and pearl-pink weeping cherry. Stroll the gently curved pathways and browse the special exhibition in the cultural village.

Garden staff displays bonsai species and styles. It is not easy to traverse the steep, rocky pathway leading to the sand and stone garden. 

Oneonta Gorge

Oneonta Gorge is a slot canyon painted with lichen. The rocky creek bed serves as a trail that takes 0.3 miles to the base of Lower Oneonta Falls.

The pool is at the bottom of a 100-foot drop. You will find a logjam and pools that invite travelers for a swim. Commode – high stumble lies between the trailhead and the falls.

From Oneonta Creek descend to the bed by a set of stairs along the west wall of the canyon. In the 80s no logs blocked the creek and the walk was at low water. In the 90s logs jammed the canyon and created deep pools above it.

Note that there are no restrooms in this trailhead. The creek bed is very rocky and the trail is very busy especially on hot summer weekends. Don’t climb the small cliff next to the falls. 

Alvord Desert

Alvord is a desert that is quiet with no wind. You can spend your time basking in this cold and dreamy oasis.

Alvord was a giant lake that extended 100 miles and 200 feet down. There are five notable springs around the perimeter of the desert.

The springs include Mickey Hot Spring, Tule Springs, Buckbrush Springs, Bolax Lake, and Alvord Hot Spring.

The Mickey Hot Springs is at the north and Borax Lake to the south. You can set a camp at night and enjoy the booming sounds throughout the night. The sounds are heard because there is seismic activity beneath the floor.

This landscape is 5 miles wide and 10 miles long. Clear skies allow visitors to enjoy bright stary nights.

Make sure you have enough gas and note that cell phone receptions are virtually nonexistent. Avoid visiting the area during heavy rains. Even if you have a four-wheel vehicle, you can get stuck there. 

Driving, hiking, and biking are allowed. If you camp at the Alvord Hot Spring you will use the hot springs for 24 hours.

Wild horses drink from the springs, you may be lucky to see some. Bighorn sheep can also be seen, mule deer, elk, and pronghorn.

Thor’s Well

Thor’s Well is located outside Yachats Oregon. It is a native hole that seems to be draining the sea. It is one of the best places to visit in Oregon.

It is funny seeing a bottomless sinkhole swallowing the unbroken stream of seawater. Some people call it the drainpipe of the pacific.

Researchers say that the well started as a sea cave dug by the waves and the roof collapsed. This brought an opening at the bottom and the top through which the ocean sprays.

Photographers and nature lovers visit the site often but take precautions not to be swept right into the maelstrom.

To the left, there is an overpass bridge and beneath it, there is a spouting horn in the cook chasm. Be cautious since you are walking on the jagged slippery rock. Many tide pools and sea creatures are hiding on the rocks.

Sneaker waves can cause injuries. Make sure you have good shoes, check the tides, and don’t skip the chance to wander to cook’s Chasm.

Umpqua Hot Springs

Umpqua Hot Springs is located in the Cascade Mountain range Southern Oregon. The trailhead is made of dirt and gravel. 

Plan your visit during clear weather. Purchase the right Pacific Northwest pass. Make sure that you have proper shoes, the trail is fairly steep. Don’t drink the water from the pools.  

The place is usually rainy and wet, carry gear in a waterproof bag. Once at the pool, choose the closer ones to the top, they are the warmest. Umpqua has larger and rounder pools that stack upon one another.

If you want to ease yourself, there is an outhouse up the rail but you will have to carry your toilet paper. 

Wallowa Mountains

Wallowa Mountains are also recognized as the Alps of Oregon. The mountains are home to the tallest peaks outside of the Cascades and are approximately 9,838 feet. There are greater than 500 miles of hiking trails.

You will be able to traverse to summits, hanging valleys, ice fields, and alpine lakes. There are two notable peaks namely the Sacajawea and the Matterhorn.

Use the notable backpacking loops. The mountain receives lots of snow. It also has rocks that quickly fall down the mountain.

Ice Lake spreads out below from a trail that climbs to the Matterhorn. Enjoy full meadows speckled with wildflowers. 

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Final Thoughts

There are so many regions to explore in Oregon. The State is lush and very inspiring with great adventures.

Always pack a raincoat no matter the time of the year. The coast is usually very cold. There is also good wine, beer, and healthy foods all over Oregon.

The state is not expensive and the people are extremely nice. I hope this post on the best places to visit in Oregon gave you helpful ideas on where to visit. Enjoy your trip and also follow me on Visiting Travelers Pinterest.    

Best Places To Visit In Oregon guide


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