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  1. Attractions
    1. Amusement Parks
    2. Aquariums & Zoos
    3. Art Galleries & Studios
    4. Casinos
    5. Movies and TV filmed in Oregon
    6. Museums & Interpretive Centers
    7. Outdoors & Nature
    8. Performing Arts
    9. Shopping
    10. Theater
    11. Tour Companies & Guides
  2. Recreation
    1. Birding
    2. Camping
    3. Cycling
    4. Fishing
    5. Golf
    6. Guides & Charters
      1. Back Country Guides
      2. Bicycle Guides
      3. Charter Boats
      4. Fishing Guides
      5. Hunting Guides
      6. Jet Boat Charters
      7. Outdoor Guides
      8. Whitewater Guides
    7. Hiking
    8. Indoor Sports
    9. Jet Boating
    10. Kayaking
    11. Oregon Winter Trips
    12. Rafting
    13. Snow Sports
    14. Sustainable Travel
  3. Eat & Drink
    1. Artisan Producers
    2. Beer & Breweries
    3. Cideries
    4. Coffee & Tea
    5. Culinary Experiences
    6. Distilleries
    7. Farmers' Markets
    8. Farms & Farm Stays
    9. Oregon Food Trips
    10. Picking & Foraging
    11. Ranches & Ranch Stays
    12. Restaurants
      1. American
      2. Asian Fusion
      3. Cajun / Creole
      4. Chinese
      5. French Bistros
      6. Greek
      7. Irish
      8. Italian
      9. Japanese
      10. Latino
      11. Mediterranean
      12. Pacific Northwest
      13. Pizza
      14. Seafood
      15. Southern
      16. Thai
    13. Seafood
    14. Wineries & Wine
  4. Oregon Heritage
    1. Covered Bridges
    2. Ghost Towns
    3. Heritage Areas
    4. Heritage Museums
    5. Indian Country
    6. Lighthouses
    7. Old West & Oregon Trail
  5. Natural Wonders
    1. Bodies of Water
      1. Lakes & Reservoirs
      2. Rivers
      3. Waterfalls
    2. Forests, Parks & Refuges
      1. National Forests & Parks
      2. National Wildlife Refuges and Areas
      3. State Parks
    3. Mountains & Hills
  6. Events
    1. Animal & Agriculture Events
    2. Culinary Events
    3. Cultural Heritage Events
    4. Exhibit & Lecture Events
    5. Fairs & Festivals
    6. Flower & Garden Events
    7. Oregon Food Trips
    8. Performing Art Events
    9. Snow Sports
    10. Sports Events
    11. Visual Art Events
    12. Volunteer Events
Where
GPS
  1. All Regions
    1. Adams
    2. Adel
    3. Adrian
    4. Agness
    5. Albany
    6. Allegany
    7. Aloha
    8. Alsea
    9. Amity
    10. Antelope
    11. Arch Cape
    12. Arlington
    13. Arock
    14. Ashland
    15. Ashwood
    16. Astoria
    17. Athena
    18. Aumsville
    19. Aurora
    20. Azalea
    21. Baker City
    22. Bandon
    23. Banks
    24. Bates
    25. Bay City
    26. Beatty
    27. Beaver
    28. Beavercreek
    29. Beaverton
    30. Bend
    31. Blachly
    32. Black Butte Ranch
    33. Blodgett
    34. Blue River
    35. Bly
    36. Boardman
    37. Bonanza
    38. Boring
    39. Bridal Veil
    40. Bridgeport
    41. Brightwood
    42. Broadbent
    43. Brogan
    44. Brookings
    45. Brothers
    46. Brownsville
    47. Burns
    48. Butte Falls
    49. Buxton
    50. Camas Valley
    51. Camp Sherman
    52. Canby
    53. Cannon Beach
    54. Canyon City
    55. Canyonville
    56. Carlton
    57. Cascade Locks
    58. Cascadia
    59. Cave Junction
    60. Central Point
    61. Charleston
    62. Chemult
    63. Cheshire
    64. Chiloquin
    65. Christmas Valley
    66. Clackamas
    67. Clatskanie
    68. Cloverdale
    69. Colton
    70. Condon
    71. Coos Bay
    72. Coquille
    73. Corbett
    74. Cornelius
    75. Corvallis
    76. Cottage Grove
    77. Cove
    78. Crabtree
    79. Crane
    80. Crawfordsville
    81. Crescent
    82. Crescent Lake
    83. Creswell
    84. Crooked River
    85. Culp Creek
    86. Culver
    87. Curtin
    88. Dairy
    89. Dallas
    90. Damascus
    91. Days Creek
    92. Dayton
    93. Dayville
    94. Deadwood
    95. Deer Island
    96. Depoe Bay
    97. Detroit
    98. Dexter
    99. Diamond
    100. Diamond Lake
    101. Dillard
    102. Donald
    103. Dorena
    104. Drain
    105. Drewsey
    106. Dufur
    107. Dundee
    108. Durkee
    109. Eagle Creek
    110. Eagle Point
    111. Echo
    112. Eddyville
    113. Elgin
    114. Elkton
    115. Elmira
    116. Enterprise
    117. Estacada
    118. Eugene
    119. Fairview
    120. Fall Creek
    121. Falls City
    122. Fields
    123. Florence
    124. Forest Grove
    125. Fort Klamath
    126. Fort Rock
    127. Fossil
    128. Fox
    129. Frenchglen
    130. Gales Creek
    131. Grandview
    132. Gardiner
    133. Garibaldi
    134. Gaston
    135. Gates
    136. Gearhart
    137. Gervais
    138. Gilchrist
    139. Gladstone
    140. Glendale
    141. Gleneden Beach
    142. Glide
    143. Gold Beach
    144. Gold Hill
    145. Government Camp
    146. Grand Ronde
    147. Grants Pass
    148. Grass Valley
    149. Gresham
    150. Haines
    151. Halfway
    152. Halsey
    153. Hammond
    154. Harbor
    155. Harper
    156. Harrisburg
    157. Hauser
    158. Hebo
    159. Helix
    160. Heppner
    161. Hereford
    162. Hermiston
    163. Hillsboro
    164. Hines
    165. Hood River
    166. Hubbard
    167. Huntington
    168. Idanha
    169. Idleyld Park
    170. Imbler
    171. Imnaha
    172. Independence
    173. Ione
    174. Ironside
    175. Irrigon
    176. Jacksonville
    177. Jamieson
    178. Jefferson
    179. John Day
    180. Jordan Valley
    181. Joseph
    182. Junction City
    183. Juntura
    184. Keizer
    185. Keno
    186. Kent
    187. Kerby
    188. Kimberly
    189. Klamath Falls
    190. La Grande
    191. La Pine
    192. Lafayette
    193. Lake Oswego
    194. Lakeside
    195. Lakeview
    196. Langlois
    197. Leaburg
    198. Lebanon
    199. Lexington
    200. Lincoln City
    201. Logsden
    202. Long Creek
    203. Lorane
    204. Lostine
    205. Lowell
    206. Lyons
    207. Madras
    208. Malin
    209. Manning
    210. Manzanita
    211. Mapleton
    212. Marcola
    213. Marion
    214. Marylhurst
    215. Maupin
    216. McKenzie Bridge
    217. McMinnville
    218. Meacham
    219. Medford
    220. Mehama
    221. Merlin
    222. Merrill
    223. Metolius
    224. Midland
    225. Mikkalo
    226. Mill City
    227. Milton Freewater
    228. Milwaukie
    229. Mitchell
    230. Molalla
    231. Monmouth
    232. Monroe
    233. Monument
    234. Moro
    235. Mosier
    236. Mount Angel
    237. Mount Vernon
    238. Mulino
    239. Murphy
    240. Myrtle Creek
    241. Myrtle Point
    242. Nehalem
    243. Neotsu
    244. Neskowin
    245. Netarts
    246. New Pine Creek
    247. Newberg
    248. Newport
    249. North Bend
    250. North Plains
    251. North Powder
    252. Noti
    253. Nyssa
    254. Oakland
    255. Oakridge
    256. O'Brien
    257. Oceanside
    258. Odell
    259. Ontario
    260. Ophir
    261. Oregon City
    262. Otis
    263. Oxbow
    264. Pacific City
    265. Paisley
    266. Parkdale
    267. Paulina
    268. Pendleton
    269. Philomath
    270. Phoenix
    271. Pilot Rock
    272. Pleasant Hill
    273. Plush
    274. Port Orford
    275. Portland
    276. Post
    277. Powell Butte
    278. Powers
    279. Prairie City
    280. Princeton
    281. Prineville
    282. Prospect
    283. Rainier
    284. Redmond
    285. Reedsport
    286. Remote
    287. Rhododendron
    288. Rice Hill
    289. Richland
    290. Rickreall
    291. Riddle
    292. Riley
    293. Ritter
    294. Riverside
    295. Rockaway Beach
    296. Rogue River
    297. Rome
    298. Rose Lodge
    299. Roseburg
    300. Rufus
    301. Saginaw
    302. Salem
    303. Sandy
    304. Sauvie Island
    305. Scappoose
    306. Scio
    307. Scotts Mills
    308. Scottsburg
    309. Seal Rock
    310. Seaside
    311. Selma
    312. Seneca
    313. Shady Cove
    314. Shaniko
    315. Shedd
    316. Sheridan
    317. Sherwood
    318. Siletz
    319. Silver Lake
    320. Silverton
    321. Sisters
    322. Sixes
    323. South Beach
    324. Sprague River
    325. Spray
    326. Springfield
    327. St. Benedict
    328. St. Helens
    329. St. Paul
    330. Stanfield
    331. Stayton
    332. Steamboat
    333. Sublimity
    334. Summer Lake
    335. Summerville
    336. Sumpter
    337. Sunriver
    338. Sutherlin
    339. Sweet Home
    340. Swisshome
    341. Talent
    342. Tangent
    343. Tenmile
    344. Terrebonne
    345. The Dalles
    346. Thurston
    347. Tidewater
    348. Tigard
    349. Tillamook
    350. Tiller
    351. Timber
    352. Timberline Lodge
    353. Toledo
    354. Tolovana Park
    355. Trail
    356. Troutdale
    357. Tualatin
    358. Turner
    359. Tygh Valley
    360. Ukiah
    361. Umatilla
    362. Umpqua
    363. Union
    364. Unity
    365. Vale
    366. Veneta
    367. Vernonia
    368. Vida
    369. Waldport
    370. Wallowa
    371. Walterville
    372. Walton
    373. Warm Springs
    374. Warren
    375. Warrenton
    376. Wasco
    377. Wedderburn
    378. Welches
    379. West Linn
    380. Westfall
    381. Westfir
    382. Westlake/Dunes City
    383. Weston
    384. Wheeler
    385. White City
    386. Wilbur
    387. Wilderville
    388. Willamina
    389. Williams
    390. Wilsonville
    391. Winchester
    392. Winchester Bay
    393. Winston
    394. Wolf Creek
    395. Wood Village
    396. Woodburn
    397. Yachats
    398. Yamhill
    399. Yoncalla
    400. Zigzag
  2. Central Oregon
    1. Antelope
    2. Ashwood
    3. Bend
    4. Black Butte Ranch
    5. Brothers
    6. Camp Sherman
    7. Crooked River
    8. Culver
    9. Grandview
    10. La Pine
    11. Madras
    12. Maupin
    13. Metolius
    14. Paulina
    15. Post
    16. Powell Butte
    17. Prineville
    18. Redmond
    19. Shaniko
    20. Sisters
    21. Sunriver
    22. Terrebonne
    23. Tygh Valley
    24. Warm Springs
  3. Eastern Oregon
    1. Adams
    2. Adrian
    3. Arlington
    4. Arock
    5. Athena
    6. Baker City
    7. Bates
    8. Boardman
    9. Bridgeport
    10. Brogan
    11. Burns
    12. Canyon City
    13. Condon
    14. Cove
    15. Crane
    16. Dayville
    17. Diamond
    18. Drewsey
    19. Durkee
    20. Echo
    21. Elgin
    22. Enterprise
    23. Fields
    24. Fossil
    25. Fox
    26. Frenchglen
    27. Grass Valley
    28. Haines
    29. Halfway
    30. Harper
    31. Helix
    32. Heppner
    33. Hereford
    34. Hermiston
    35. Hines
    36. Huntington
    37. Imbler
    38. Imnaha
    39. Ione
    40. Ironside
    41. Irrigon
    42. Jamieson
    43. John Day
    44. Jordan Valley
    45. Joseph
    46. Juntura
    47. Kent
    48. Kimberly
    49. La Grande
    50. Lexington
    51. Long Creek
    52. Lostine
    53. Meacham
    54. Mikkalo
    55. Milton Freewater
    56. Mitchell
    57. Monument
    58. Moro
    59. Mount Vernon
    60. North Powder
    61. Nyssa
    62. Ontario
    63. Oxbow
    64. Pendleton
    65. Pilot Rock
    66. Prairie City
    67. Princeton
    68. Richland
    69. Riley
    70. Ritter
    71. Riverside
    72. Rome
    73. Rufus
    74. Seneca
    75. Spray
    76. Stanfield
    77. Summerville
    78. Sumpter
    79. Ukiah
    80. Umatilla
    81. Union
    82. Unity
    83. Vale
    84. Wallowa
    85. Wasco
    86. Westfall
    87. Weston
  4.   The Wallowas
    1. Baker City
    2. Enterprise
    3. Joseph
    4. La Grande
    5. Union
  5. Greater Portland
    1. Aloha
    2. Banks
    3. Beavercreek
    4. Beaverton
    5. Buxton
    6. Clackamas
    7. Clatskanie
    8. Colton
    9. Cornelius
    10. Damascus
    11. Deer Island
    12. Forest Grove
    13. Gales Creek
    14. Gaston
    15. Gladstone
    16. Gresham
    17. Hillsboro
    18. Lake Oswego
    19. Manning
    20. Marylhurst
    21. Milwaukie
    22. North Plains
    23. Oregon City
    24. Portland
    25. Rainier
    26. Sauvie Island
    27. Scappoose
    28. Sherwood
    29. St. Helens
    30. Tigard
    31. Timber
    32. Tualatin
    33. Vernonia
    34. Warren
    35. West Linn
  6. Mt. Hood / The Gorge
    1. Boring
    2. Bridal Veil
    3. Brightwood
    4. Cascade Locks
    5. Corbett
    6. Dufur
    7. Eagle Creek
    8. Estacada
    9. Fairview
    10. Government Camp
    11. Hood River
    12. Mosier
    13. Odell
    14. Parkdale
    15. Rhododendron
    16. Sandy
    17. The Dalles
    18. Timberline Lodge
    19. Troutdale
    20. Welches
    21. Wood Village
    22. Zigzag
  7.   Mt. Hood
    1. Estacada
    2. Fairview
    3. Government Camp
    4. Parkdale
    5. Rhododendron
    6. Sandy
    7. Timberline Lodge
    8. Troutdale
    9. Welches
    10. Wood Village
    11. Zigzag
  8.   The Columbia River Gorge
    1. Cascade Locks
    2. Corbett
    3. Eagle Creek
    4. Hood River
    5. Mosier
    6. Odell
    7. The Dalles
  9. Oregon Coast
    1. Agness
    2. Allegany
    3. Arch Cape
    4. Astoria
    5. Bandon
    6. Bay City
    7. Beaver
    8. Blodgett
    9. Broadbent
    10. Brookings
    11. Cannon Beach
    12. Charleston
    13. Cloverdale
    14. Coos Bay
    15. Coquille
    16. Depoe Bay
    17. Eddyville
    18. Elkton
    19. Florence
    20. Garibaldi
    21. Gearhart
    22. Gleneden Beach
    23. Gold Beach
    24. Hammond
    25. Harbor
    26. Hauser
    27. Hebo
    28. Lakeside
    29. Langlois
    30. Lincoln City
    31. Logsden
    32. Manzanita
    33. Mapleton
    34. Myrtle Point
    35. Nehalem
    36. Neotsu
    37. Neskowin
    38. Netarts
    39. Newport
    40. North Bend
    41. Oceanside
    42. Ophir
    43. Otis
    44. Pacific City
    45. Port Orford
    46. Powers
    47. Reedsport
    48. Remote
    49. Rockaway Beach
    50. Rose Lodge
    51. Seal Rock
    52. Seaside
    53. Siletz
    54. Sixes
    55. South Beach
    56. Tidewater
    57. Tillamook
    58. Toledo
    59. Tolovana Park
    60. Waldport
    61. Warrenton
    62. Wedderburn
    63. Westlake/Dunes City
    64. Wheeler
    65. Winchester Bay
    66. Yachats
  10.   Wild Rivers Coast
    1. Bandon
    2. Brookings
    3. Gold Beach
    4. Langlois
    5. Port Orford
  11.   Yachats, Waldport and Seal Rock
    1. Seal Rock
    2. Waldport
    3. Yachats
  12. Southern Oregon
    1. Adel
    2. Ashland
    3. Azalea
    4. Beatty
    5. Bly
    6. Bonanza
    7. Butte Falls
    8. Camas Valley
    9. Canyonville
    10. Cave Junction
    11. Central Point
    12. Chemult
    13. Chiloquin
    14. Christmas Valley
    15. Crescent
    16. Crescent Lake
    17. Curtin
    18. Dairy
    19. Days Creek
    20. Diamond Lake
    21. Dillard
    22. Drain
    23. Eagle Point
    24. Fort Klamath
    25. Fort Rock
    26. Gardiner
    27. Gilchrist
    28. Glendale
    29. Glide
    30. Gold Hill
    31. Grants Pass
    32. Idleyld Park
    33. Jacksonville
    34. Keno
    35. Kerby
    36. Klamath Falls
    37. Lakeview
    38. Malin
    39. Medford
    40. Merlin
    41. Merrill
    42. Midland
    43. Murphy
    44. Myrtle Creek
    45. New Pine Creek
    46. O'Brien
    47. Oakland
    48. Paisley
    49. Phoenix
    50. Plush
    51. Prospect
    52. Rice Hill
    53. Riddle
    54. Rogue River
    55. Roseburg
    56. Selma
    57. Shady Cove
    58. Silver Lake
    59. Sprague River
    60. Steamboat
    61. Summer Lake
    62. Sutherlin
    63. Talent
    64. Tenmile
    65. Tiller
    66. Trail
    67. Umpqua
    68. White City
    69. Wilbur
    70. Wilderville
    71. Williams
    72. Winchester
    73. Winston
    74. Wolf Creek
    75. Yoncalla
  13. Willamette Valley
    1. Albany
    2. Alsea
    3. Amity
    4. Aumsville
    5. Aurora
    6. Blachly
    7. Blue River
    8. Brownsville
    9. Canby
    10. Carlton
    11. Cascadia
    12. Cheshire
    13. Corvallis
    14. Cottage Grove
    15. Crabtree
    16. Crawfordsville
    17. Creswell
    18. Culp Creek
    19. Dallas
    20. Dayton
    21. Deadwood
    22. Detroit
    23. Dexter
    24. Donald
    25. Dorena
    26. Dundee
    27. Elmira
    28. Eugene
    29. Fall Creek
    30. Falls City
    31. Gates
    32. Gervais
    33. Grand Ronde
    34. Halsey
    35. Harrisburg
    36. Hubbard
    37. Idanha
    38. Independence
    39. Jefferson
    40. Junction City
    41. Keizer
    42. Lafayette
    43. Leaburg
    44. Lebanon
    45. Lorane
    46. Lowell
    47. Lyons
    48. Marcola
    49. Marion
    50. McKenzie Bridge
    51. McMinnville
    52. Mehama
    53. Mill City
    54. Molalla
    55. Monmouth
    56. Monroe
    57. Mount Angel
    58. Mulino
    59. Newberg
    60. Noti
    61. Oakridge
    62. Philomath
    63. Pleasant Hill
    64. Rickreall
    65. Saginaw
    66. Salem
    67. Scio
    68. Scotts Mills
    69. Scottsburg
    70. Shedd
    71. Sheridan
    72. Silverton
    73. Springfield
    74. St. Benedict
    75. St. Paul
    76. Stayton
    77. Sublimity
    78. Sweet Home
    79. Swisshome
    80. Tangent
    81. Thurston
    82. Turner
    83. Veneta
    84. Vida
    85. Walterville
    86. Walton
    87. Westfir
    88. Willamina
    89. Wilsonville
    90. Woodburn
    91. Yamhill
When
to
or enter a date range
  Category Rating

Where should we hike and mountain bike — and avoid crowds?

It sounds like you have quite the adventure planned! That is so exciting.

I recommend checking out Summer Lake Hot Springs. It’s a little out of the way — about two hours southeast of Bend — but I find it less crowded, beautiful, and very peaceful. On your way over from Portland, I’d also suggest stopping along the way at Timberline Lodge (if you’ve ever seen The Shining, you’ll recognize it right away!). You can get a beer there and sit outside on the patio right at the base of Mt. Hood. There are plenty of camping options along Highway 26 and some lakes to check out as well (Trillium Lake and Timothy Lake are not far off the highway).

Bend has lots of whitewater, mountain biking and hiking trails, and lakes. Things should be accessible by early July.

Oakridge is also known for its world-class mountain biking trails, and there are some hot springs near there as well! Oakridge is located near the Willamette Pass, just south of Eugene. If you hit it right, you’ll find a bounty of huckleberries (in late summer). Also, the McKenzie River trail between Bend and Eugene is a classic mountain bike destination. You can probably find friends in Bend to do a car shuttle with (so you can ride 30 miles in one direction), or you could hire Cog Wild to shuttle you. A little further south is the Umpqua River Trail, another mountain biking classic. The Umpqua Hot Springs are nearby too, as well as Mt. Thielsen and Crater Lake. Mt. Thielsen is a great day hike — you can hike up about 4.5 miles and scramble to the summit if you’re comfortable with the exposure, or you could turn around lower down and still get some incredible views. Crater Lake is a must-do, even if you just drive up to the rim and take a peak at the immense, bluest-blue lake. If you go over to the east side of Rim Drive, you could hike Mt. Scott, another great day hike that should not be too crowded, especially if you get an early start.

As for the Oregon Coast, you really can’t go wrong. I’d suggest driving along Highway 101 and stopping along the way to see whatever piques your interest! There are tons of hiking trails, places to camp, and coastal sights to see. I love hiking up Neahkahnie Mountain from Oswald West State Park & Short Sands Beach, and hiking at Cape Lookout, Cascade Head, and Heceta Head Lighthouse.

What places on the Central and South Coast are wheelchair accessible?

Many of the top attractions and viewpoints on the Oregon Coast are wheelchair accessible. Here is a list of some of my favorite Central and South Coast areas that offer wheelchair accessibility:

Depoe Bay Whale Watch Center: This is a facility operated by Oregon State Parks that is one of the best whale watching locations year-round with both indoor and outdoor viewing areas. State Parks personnel are on hand to help visitors spot whales.

Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area: Paved paths offer great views and circle a scenic lighthouse. There’s also a wheelchair accessible intertidal area at Quarry Cove. Seabirds, seals and whales are common sightings.

Cape Perpetua Scenic Area: Variety of paved paths offer views from atop the cape and along a scenic stretch of oceanfront at Cook’s Chasm for views of Spouting Horn and Thor’s Well. A nearby paved overlook offers views of Devil’s Churn. The Visitor Center offers a good whale watching viewpoint.

Heceta Head Lighthouse Highway Viewpoints: Just south of Sea Lion Caves are two small highway-side viewpoints that offer wonderfully scenic views of the beautiful Heceta Head Lighthouse.

Oregon Dunes Day Use Area: Just south of Florence, this dunes overlook offers access to wheelchair accessible viewing areas of the Oregon Dunes.

Shore Acres State Park: A must-stop with paved trails along a cliffside famous for great wave action, seals, sea lions and whales. The formal gardens of a one-time historic estate can also be toured. Nearby, the Simpson Reef overlook is one of the best places to watch seal lions on the entire Oregon Coast. Nearby Cape Arago State Park also offers paved paths and overlooks good for whale watching.

Coquille Point in Bandon: A beautiful overlook of the many rock formations along Bandon’s beautiful beach and a network of paved paths. The nearby Face Rock viewpoint offers more great views and a short paved pathway.

Battle Rock Park in Port Orford: Beautiful view of coastline to the south.

Arch Rock & Spruce Islands Viewpoint: The Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor offers a few nice wheelchair accessible stops, but this is my favorite. A few paved paths (some a little rough) offer great views of a scenic stretch of coastline.

Harris Beach State Park: Paved paths at the day use area of the park offers nice views of the rock strewn shoreline.

Answered by Gary Hayes, Ask Oregon Coast Expert on June 1st, 2017 - Post Your Answer

Where is the best place to have a picnic on the I-5 corridor between Portland and Salem?

What a fun question! Here are my top recommendations.

Memorial Park in Wilsonville. This would be a really easy stop for getting on and off I-5 and a great place to get out and stretch your legs. Heading south from Portland, you’d just take exit 283, then head east for 1 mile. Memorial Park is in the middle of the Portland suburb of Wilsonville but the park itself is big (126 acres) with picnic areas, trails, a creek and even some frontage of the Willamette River. I lived near there several years ago and my kids’ favorite thing to do in the summer was walk to this park and play in the splash park on hot sunny days. (It has covered picnic areas for not-so-sunny days too.)

Champoeg State Heritage Area. This one is about 11 miles west of the freeway, but it’s a really lovely state park. It’s not only in a very pretty area alongside the Willamette River, it also has some very cool historic sites you can visit that might be fun for breaking up your journey. If you go during the summer you can stop and get an ice cream cone at the historic Butteville store, the oldest continuously operating retail establishment in Oregon!

Bauman’s Farm & Garden in Gervais. A farm and garden store might not seem like a great place for a picnic, but this one is. Bauman’s Farm is a family-owned farm, nursery with an on-site bakery and farm store. Their bakery is to die for and they have places to sit down. Buy a homemade cookie or donut to go with your picnic, or in the summer buy fresh produce to enjoy. They’re open year-round, and they’re only 5 miles off the freeway.

Willamette Mission State Park is a peaceful state park about 5 miles west of the freeway. It’s mainly a nature preserve with plenty of open area for picnicing and trails you can walk on. Depending on how much time you have, you can also take a ride on the Wheatland Ferry, which takes cars and people back and forth across the Willamette River at a crossing adjacent to the park. Its’s one of a handful of river ferryboats that are still operating in Oregon. You can just ride over and back, either on foot or with your car, for the fun of it (and for a nominal fee) even if you don’t have a pressing matter on the other side. My kids think riding the ferry is fun, but maybe they’re just easily amused!

If you’re into wine tasting, you might also try having your picnic at Arcane Cellars instead of Willamette Mission State Park. Arcane Cellars is just across the river from Willamette Mission State Park and the Wheatland Ferry. It’s family-owned by friendly folks and they make great small-batch Oregon wine. They have a tasting room, a covered patio area and picnic areas for visitors. They also have a very charming winery cat who greeted me when I visited there. If you visit on a weekday that’s in the off season (i.e., not the summer) you will want to check with them to verify that they’ll be open, or make an appointment. Like many small Oregon wineries, they have limited hours during the off season.

I hope you have a pleasant drive and find a good spot for your picnic. Enjoy your visit to the Willamette Valley!

Where can we fish for spring chinook?

Head to the ocean off the North and Central Coast for wild salmon. Or cast a line at one of the many rivers in northwest Oregon stocked with hatchery chinook. Daily limits are enforced.

Keep in mind that in 2017 chinook fishing is prohibited in parts of the South Coast. Due to a low forecast for chinook salmon returning to the Klamath River, ocean chinook fishing is closed for the season from Humbug Mountain (south of Port Orford) to northern California. This ensures healthy chinook numbers for years to come. And the closure doesn’t apply to coastal rivers and streams, such as the Umpqua River.

Consult ODFW for seasons and limits for specific locations. For more information about 2017 Oregon fishing regulations, see here: http://www.eregulations.com/oregon/fishing/

Answered by David Johnson, Ask Oregon Fishing Expert on May 9th, 2017 - Post Your Answer

Can we visit Multnomah Falls and Mt. Hood in the same day?

Driving a loop through the Gorge and up over Mt. Hood is actually a perfect, popular and picturesque day trip from Portland. The total drive time is approximately three hours, so you’ll have time to for multiple stops.

Keep in mind that the Gorge waterfall corridor around Multnomah Falls is extremely popular, especially on a weekend. But, here are some tips to help you beat those crowds and be rewarded with waterfalls and mountain views.

Wake up early and explore the Gorge waterfalls first. I’d recommend a quick drive by-type visit so you can save time. Then head to Hood River for an early lunch.  From Hood River, drive south on Hwy 35 for a scenic drive to the Tamanawas Falls trailhead (the website mentions an impassable landslide, but it’s been cleared).  You will see some other visitors here, but no crowd control needed. The beautiful 5-mile round-trip hike climbs slightly along a bouncy little creek to an impressive 100-foot waterfall with plenty of picture potential. You can even duck in behind the waterfall and enjoy a snack. Afterwards, continue up Hwy 35 to for close-up Mt. Hood views.  Stop anywhere along the way for photos. Finally, jump onto Hwy 26 and stop by at Timberline Lodge for sweeping cascade panoramas, or continue on Hwy 26 for the last hour’s drive back to Portland.

Alternatively, you can skip driving and join a shuttle for guided tours of the area. Happy trails!

Is May a good time for hiking in Southern Oregon?

Thanks for your question! In Southern Oregon, May is an excellent month for hiking, as it’s not too hot yet, but most trails have dried out from spring rain showers. One of my favorites is the Rogue River Trail. This epic trail is 40 miles, following the Wild and Scenic section of the river, but can be an out-and-back of much less, of course. If it’s already warm, opt for the opposite bank of the river, where the Rainie Falls Trail offers more shade. This 3.5-mile hike is perfect for an afternoon activity.

For more shade, consider hiking a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail, where it runs just south of Ashland. From Mt. Ashland’s parking lot (at the ski resort), it’s easy to access the trail, and take it about three miles to the Grouse Gap shelter. You’ll enjoy great views of Mt. Shasta, too!

We also like hiking in the direction of Crater Lake, by Prospect. The Upper Rogue Trail is a good bet on Highway 62, or you can go bouldering at Mill Creek and Avenue of the Boulders. In the late spring, the falls are really rushing! If you go all the way to Crater Lake, head toward Roseburg near the north entrance, and enjoy the ‘waterfalls highway’…there are many stops with short hikes to scenic waterfalls.

If you want to go to the west side of Southern Oregon, you can hike amid the redwoods along the Chetco River near Brookings.

What’s the best time to see sea lion pups?

May and June is typically the birthing and pupping time for Steller sea lions. During this time, the sea lions usually seek offshore rocks, islands and reefs like those at Cape Arago and are less likely to be inside the Sea Lion Caves. You might see nursing pups on the rocky shelf, below the southern viewpoint at Sea Lion Caves. California sea lions are also abundant on the Oregon Coast, but nearly all of these are males. For maximum sea lion activity, winter is the best time to visit Sea Lion Caves. As breeding season approached in spring, the sea lions leave the cave and remain in rookeries and outdoor haul out areas along the Coast until stormy weather in fall has them seek shelter within the cave.

Shore Acres State Park in Coos Bay and Yaquina Head in Newport are great areas for viewpoints that overlook Pacific harbor seal birthing and pupping areas in March and April. It is much more common to see nursing seals and seal pups than sea lions who prefer more isolated haul outs like those at Simpson Reef off Cape Arago.

Answered by Gary Hayes, Ask Oregon Coast Expert on April 20th, 2017 - Post Your Answer

Where should we have our backpacking and fly fishing anniversary getaway?

Backpacking and fly fishing sounds like a great way to celebrate your anniversary! My first recommendation would be the Rogue River. There’s a trail that follows along the river for 40+ miles, with camping areas and even lodging you can reserve if you wanted to have a night of luxury. It’s Wild and Scenic River and is absolutely beautiful — as well as a world-class fly fishing river.

My second recommendation would be the Umpqua River. This gorgeous river is also known for amazing fly fishing and beauty. It has about 70 miles of trail along the river. There could be rhododendron in bloom in early June!

The reason I recommend the Rogue over the Umpqua is that it’s a little bit farther south and may have better weather. We’ve had a huge snow year in Oregon, so I’m not sure how long it will take the trail along the Umpqua to melt out (since it’s at a higher elevation). The two rivers are probably equal in terms of fly fishing and scenery. You really can’t go wrong with either one. Both would have plenty of greenery and rugged mountains as well.

What is great day trip from Eugene?

Have you visited the Oregon Coast? It’s beautiful, and from Eugene it’s an easy one hour drive to Florence, which has all kinds of things to do — giant sand dunes to explore, a historic lighthouse, nice beaches, some pretty hikes. Your kids might like going for dune buggy rides or going sandboarding (like snowboarding, but down sand dunes!). You can visit the Sea Lion Caves or go whale watching. Or just walk on the beach, which is one of my favorite things to do when I go to the Coast. Eugene, Cascades & Coast has some great ideas about exploring the region of the coast that’s just west of Eugene.

You could also head the other direction from Eugene — east into the Cascades — and hit a couple of easy but beautiful waterfall hikes. Sahalie & Koosah falls are easy to get to and not very strenuous, but gorgeous. You can hike to both waterfalls from the same trailhead, With all the water we’ve had this winter and spring, the flow over the falls should be spectacular this time of year! Takoda’s Restaurant in the little town of Rainbow is a great place to go for lunch if you head that direction.

You could also head north to the Woodburn Tulip Festival. It’s only open at this time of year, and though the blooming season is often over by late April, this season it has been extended to May 7, so if it’s something that you’re interested in, you should take the chance to do it now! You’ll be able to see acres and acres of gorgeous tulips and get some great photos. (Although be warned, it can be busy on the weekends)

I hope you have a great visit to Eugene this weekend and you get some good exploring in!

Where can I fish near old-growth trees?

On the Oregon Coast, Oswald West State Park between Manzanita and Cannon Beach has some nice old-growth trees. The closest rivers with good fishing are the Necanicum River to the north and the Nehalem and North Fork Nehalem rivers to the south.

In Greater Portland, Oxbow Park along the Sandy River has old-growth trees and has a lot of good fishing access.

Answered by David Johnson, Ask Oregon Fishing Expert on March 29th, 2017 - Post Your Answer
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