Steve and I have been lucky enough to visit Oregon several times and explore some of the beautiful hiking trails and viewpoints throughout the state. Oregon has some of the most beautiful waterfalls, gorgeous beach scenery, desert adventures, and wonderful mountain views in this country. There are so many things I could write about, but I narrowed it down to 13 of my favorite things we’ve seen and done in Oregon.
1. Abiqua Falls – It was a very rough road to get to the parking lot of this waterfall. We drove a high clearance, 4WD truck and it still felt like the car might be destroyed. It was a short hike on a rugged, steep, and slippery trail. When we arrived, the waterfall was absolutely breathtaking as the late afternoon sun rays poured through the trees to light up a magical scene.
2. Wahclella Falls – This is an amazing waterfall located in the Columbia River Gorge. It is a relatively easy 2.4 mile round trip hike in a beautiful, lush forest. The waterfall itself is powerful and covers you in refreshing mist if you get too close!
3. Trillium Lake and Lost Lake – These are two great spots to view Mount Hood. We camped at both of these lakes during our van trip and really enjoyed the stunning views. Lost Lake was very crowded on a summer weekend. If you go for a day trip, make sure to arrive early to claim one of the lakefront day use spots. Trillium Lake was a bit more rustic and much more calm and peaceful.
Here is a photo of the Milky Way over Lost Lake taken by my talented husband Steve Walasavage.
4. Punch Bowl Falls – The 3.8 mile round trip hike to this waterfall is a stunning walk through an incredibly beautiful northwestern forest. When we went, it was drizzling and the hills were draped in thick fog. There is an awesome view of the falls from above and then another after you climb down to the bottom. I really loved this hike!
5. Samuel H. Boardman State Park – This is a beautiful stretch of the rugged Oregon coast with stunning views and precarious hikes. I wrote more about Samuel H Boardman State Park in this blog post!
6. Toketee Falls – This was a very quick 0.8 mile round trip hike. It leads to a viewing platform with an amazing view of the falls. The waterfall is stunning and the basalt columns give it a really unique look!
7. Tamolitch Blue Pool – We woke up early to make the 2.1 mile hike to the Blue Pool (4.2 miles round trip). The hike was easy and beautiful, weaving through lovely forest scenes and crossing perfect rivers. When we arrived, the view of this dazzling blue pool completely blew me away! There were only a handful of people there when we arrived and we scrambled down the steep slope to the edge of the pool. After some trepidation, we dove in. It was some of the coldest water I’ve ever felt! But the rush of being in such a beautiful place and the refreshing jolt of jumping in made this an unforgettable experience. On our hike back to the car, hundreds of hikers were coming in and the parking lot was completely full. Be sure to get up early to do this hike. It’s worth it!
8. Multnomah Falls – This is one of the most accessible and beautiful waterfalls I’ve ever been to. It can be crowded with tourists and gets very busy, but the scenery is breathtaking and it is definitely worth a visit if you are ever in the Columbia River Gorge! (Photo by Steve Walasavage)
9. The Painted Hills – Most of the time we’ve spent in Oregon was at the coast, in the woods, or exploring waterfalls. However, there are some really beautiful desert areas. A few years ago we drove out to the Painted Hills in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. The unique sand hills and rainbow of colors were really incredible! Watch out for rattlesnakes if you visit this spot.
10. Tamanawas Falls – This was a very pretty waterfall on a relatively easy trail (3.6 miles round trip). We didn’t have much time to spend at this waterfall, but enjoyed the hike and the lovely view of the falls!
11. Rowena Crest – This is a beautiful lookout over an incredible winding road. It’s straight out of a car commercial (in fact they were filming a car commercial the day we were there!) We also went in April when the wild flowers were unbelievable.
12. Susan Creek Falls – Unfortunately this waterfall was swarming with mosquitoes when we visited this spring. However, it was still a gorgeous hike and I would love to back in a different season!
13. Crater Lake – This is one of the first national parks I ever visited! The lake was formed by a volcano that collapsed around 7,700 years ago. It is also the deepest lake in the United States at 1,949 feet deep! We only spent one afternoon there, but I’d love to go back to explore and do some hiking!
What are your favorite spots in Oregon? Have you been to any of the locations listed in this blog? Do you have recommendations of places to visit in Oregon that aren’t in this post? Let me know in the comments or on Instagram (@carrieoutdoors).