Oregon undoubtedly earns its spot as among the finest street journeys within the American West, as there’s a lot to see each inland and on the coast. Driving via the state offers you the chance to see all its pure and artifical sights, however with the flexibleness of a journey plan catered to your pursuits.

Whereas this itinerary solely covers just a few of the highlights, these 10 locations — from mountains to seashores to hipster cities — are a great abstract of the state.

Be aware: The itinerary goes from south to north, so you should definitely reverse this in the event you’re coming from Washington State!

Crater Lake

For the primary cease in your street journey, head to Crater Lake Nationwide Park. The spherical lake fashioned over 7,000 years in the past, when an eruption brought on a mountain peak to develop into the deepest lake within the nation!

You may soak up views of the lake from quite a few angles, because of the Rim Drive. This 33-mile route highlights the perimeter’s panorama and has greater than 30 overlooks for the proper view.

The perfect time to go to Crater Lake is throughout the summer time, as winter clouds could make the lake exhausting to see. You may all the time test the Nationwide Park Service’s Crater Lake Webcam to see if it’s seen. It’s value spending a day right here, however discovering close by lodging might be troublesome, because the lake is in the course of a nationwide park. Nonetheless, tenting is all the time an choice in the event you’re a fan of the outside.

North Umpqua

Drive about an hour northwest of Crater Lake and also you’ll be alongside the North Umpqua River. This area has a wide range of waterfalls and different pure sights, however listed here are just a few that make it value visiting:

  • Watson Falls – With a drop of practically 300 ft, this is without doubt one of the tallest falls within the state! You may simply see the falls whereas strolling alongside a 0.4-mile path.
  • Toketee Falls – The hike to those falls is lower than a mile round-trip, and the views are nicely value it! Be aware: You might discover a bent fence alongside your hike, the results of folks scaling it to get to the underside. The Nationwide Park Service advises towards crossing the fence, on account of security issues.
  • Umpqua Scorching Springs – Right here you’ll be able to soak within the forest environment from the consolation of a naturally heated pool.


Picture credit score: Massive Mountain Heli

Drive about two hours north and also you’ll be in Bend. With round 20 breweries, this city of 80,000 folks is ideal in the event you’re into the craft beer scene.

If you wish to discover extra of what the realm has to supply, take a drive southeast via the Cascade Lakes Nationwide Scenic Byway. This 66-mile drive has loads of stopping locations so that you can admire Mt. Bachelor and a number of the Cascade Lakes. The entire street is open seasonally, so summer time via early fall is the perfect time to drive it.

Among the best methods to see the mountainous panorama, although, is by air, on an airplane or helicopter tour.

John Day Fossil Beds Nationwide Monument

About two hours northeast of Bend are the John Day Fossil Beds. This nationwide monument is a file of 40 million years of historical past packed in colourful rock. These distinctive formations include animal and plant fossils, plus geological proof of previous climates and ecosystems.

The monument has three models: Sheep Rock, Painted Hills, and Clarno. Every has its personal distinctive options and mountain climbing trails for an immersive expertise. They’re round 1-2 hours away from one another, so make this a multiday cease to get the complete expertise!

Additionally, via reveals and a working lab on the customer heart, you’ll be able to study and work together with Oregon’s pure evolution. 

Mt. Hood

Drive about 2.5 hours west and you may go to Mt. Hood, Oregon’s tallest mountain. See it and plenty of lovely waterfalls alongside the Columbia River Gorge by doing a part of the Mount Hood Scenic Loop, which connects Portland, Hood River (often called the windsurfing capital of the world), and the Mount Hood Nationwide Forest.

There may be a lot to do within the space, which has the nation’s longest ski season and plenty of trails for mountain biking and mountain climbing.

Silver Falls State Park

After Mt. Hood, head about two hours southwest to Silver Falls State Park, probably the most famend locations in the entire state. And with so many waterfalls packed into greater than 9,000 acres of land, it’s straightforward to see why. Listed here are just a few of the hikes you’ll be able to traverse to entry the waterfalls:

  • Maple Ridge Loop (2.6 miles) – This quick hike begins above the 177-foot South Falls and continues till the Decrease South Falls. You may stroll a one-mile model of this loop by turning again on the backside of South Falls.
  • Winter Falls Loop (5 miles) – This loop offers you entry to seven falls, together with Double Falls, Drake Falls, and Center North Falls.
  • Path of Ten Falls (7.2 miles) – As that is the longest of the three loops, you’ll see a number of the greatest waterfalls the state has to supply by strolling this one! The 7.2-mile loop takes you previous 10 waterfalls and is generally unpaved. It’s a reasonable hike in style with vacationers, with round 800 ft of elevation.

Cape Kiwanda

Now that you simply’ve loved a whole lot of what inland Oregon has to supply, head about 2 hours west to see what the coast’s all about. On the northern coast, you’ll discover Cape Kiwanda, part of the Three Capes Scenic Loop. This cape is most recognized for its wonderful year-round waves, however it additionally presents mountain climbing trails, ample house for hold gliding, and locations to eat and drink. 

Cannon Seashore

In case your perfect Oregon street journey features a picturesque sundown on the seaside, Cannon Seashore is a must-see, about an hour and a half up the coast from Cape Kiwanda. You may simply spend a few days right here visiting any of the 4 state parks close to the seaside. You’ll even have simply nearly as good of a time enjoyable on the seaside and admiring the surroundings. When you’re right here, you should definitely go to the 235-foot Haystack Rock, one of many state’s most distinguished landmarks.


For a glance right into a previous, you solely have to journey half-hour from Cannon Seashore to Astoria, the oldest metropolis in Oregon. Discover the historic riverfront by using the Historic Trolley or by strolling alongside the Astoria River Path. Because the backdrop for The Goonies, motion pictures are part of town’s tradition, so discover movies made in Oregon by visiting the Oregon Movie Museum. Historic downtown Astoria additionally presents a lot to do, with breweries, native eating places, and unbiased outlets for a basic small-town coastal expertise.

One factor you undoubtedly don’t wish to miss is the Astoria Bridge, which is the continent’s longest steady truss bridge!


For the ultimate cease, drive round 2 hours alongside the Washington/Oregon border to get to Portland. Whereas Salem is Oregon’s political capital, Portland stakes its declare because the hipster capital of the Pacific Northwest. Contemplating town’s motto is “Preserve Portland bizarre,” you might be certain to seek out many distinctive and thrilling issues to do on the town.

Websites like town’s Japanese Backyard and Chinese language Backyard are nice in the event you nonetheless need a style of nature in the course of the hustle and bustle of metropolis life. Listed here are just a few different concepts on your Portland itinerary:

  • Powell’s Books – This bookstore is heaven for voracious reader, because it’s the biggest unbiased bookstore on this planet.
  • The Grotto – This Catholic outside shrine is positioned in northeast Portland and encompasses a selection statues, in addition to a botanical backyard.
  • Bridges – Portland is house to 12 bridges, every with a particular look. When you have the time to marvel at a number of the metropolis’s city creations, take a look at the Hawthorne Bridge, Fremont Bridge, or Tilikum Crossing (which is the biggest car-free bridge within the nation.)

A singular technique to see town is thru Portland’s 4T path (which stands for path, tram, trolley, and prepare.) Although this self-guided path is about 4.5 miles lengthy and will be troublesome to navigate, it offers you a self-guided metropolis expertise like no different. In the event you actually wish to discover the character of the realm, a brief 30-minute drive from town will take you to Multnomah Falls, the place you’ll be able to see the fantastic thing about nature by marveling on the 611-foot waterfall; trails and vantage factors will full your expertise.

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As you’ll be able to see from this itinerary, Oregon isn’t a one-stop state! There may be tons to see, so undoubtedly carve out time for this particular a part of the nation. Is there a must-see location in Oregon? Let me know!

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