The Pacific Northwest state of Oregon is sandwiched between California and Washington. The Coast Range of mountains extends north to south, and the Willamette River Valley west of this range is the most populous area of the state and boasts the majority of Oregon hotels for your stay. The Valley is bounded on the east by the snow-covered Cascades. You will find Portland, Eugene and Salem, all stretching along I-5 in this verdant valley.
Portland is tucked into the northwestern corner of the state and all outdoor activities reign here, including hiking, biking, skiing, windsurfing, fishing and more. It’s no surprise that the city which is home to the International Rose Test Garden would also be the site for the annual Portland Rose Festival, with its popular parade. Nearby Mt. Hood National Forest is a terrific locale, extending from the Columbia River Gorge southward, with its renowned 11,240 foot tall mountain, popular with climbers.
Capital city Salem is about 50 miles south of Portland, with a metro population of about 400,000. Continue another 75 miles or so, and you come to Eugene, home to the University of Oregon. Both of these cities carry on the outdoor theme of the entire state, with Eugene having a vibrant arts and counterculture community.
Eastern Oregon brings you to the mile-deep Hells Canyon surrounded by 10,000 ft high mountains, and to the colorful Painted Hills, part of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Southern Oregon is home to Crater Lake National Park, which features the purest lake surrounded by sheer cliffs. Follow the steps of the famous explorers and of Native Americans at Lewis & Clark National Historical Park, at the mouth of the Columbia River. Rock climb with the best at Smith Rock State Park, just one of the plethora of fine Oregon State Parks available.
Willamette River Valley Scenic Bikeway is 132 miles winding through the most beautiful Oregon scenery, and with the right gear you can ride it year-round. There are many routes for exploring this green state’s abundant attractions – make a plan today!