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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
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  Category Rating

What are the best places to take photographs on the Coast?

If enter Oregon at Brookings, you may want to make Harris Beach State Park your first stop, especially if you are there during low tide. Harris Beach is one of Oregon’s seven Marine Gardens that are protected intertidal areas. There are also interesting rock formations and this is a good marine life and bird-watching area. In any case, you will want to save some time for exploring the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, a 12-mile stretch of coast beginning just north of Brookings. There are several great stops. The easiest ones with great scenic bang for the buck include Whaleshead Beach, Natural Bridges and the Arch Rock Viewpoint. If you have time for a short hike, there may be none better than Thunder Rock Cove made a little longer by continuing to Secret Beach.

The drive north to Port Orford is scenic and you will be tempted to stop, but my favorite stops for photography include the Otter Point State Recreation Site just north of Gold Beach and the Cape Blanco Lighthouse. I would take at least a full day in the Bandon area. The beach at Bandon is one of the best for photography with dramatic rocky spires and other rock formations along the shoreline and just offshore. Seals are frequently seen below Coquille Point at Elephant Rock. The Coquille River Lighthouse is just north of town and is worth a visit. North of Bandon, you can follow the Bandon to Charleston Tour Route to Cape Arago – a must stop for photographers. You’ll find it hard to pull yourself away from the amazing views along the paved walkways and hiking trails at Shore Acres State Park. The short hike from Shore Acres to Simpson Reef is one of my favorites. Simpson Reef is one of the best places on the Oregon Coast to observe seals and sea lions. Bring your longest lens for amazing shots. You can also drive to Simpson Reef and then the end of the Cape at Cape Arago State Park for more great views. If it’s low tide, the South Cove is a remarkable tidepool area.

The Oregon Dunes is the next amazing natural area as you travel north. Much of the easily accessed areas are set aside for ATVs, so as a photographer, I prefer places like the Oregon Dunes Day Use Overlook (with dune access) and Honeyman State Park for shooting. The best dunes photography I’ve enjoyed requires hiking the John Dellenback Dunes Trail near the Eel Lake Campground,

I’d reserve another full day for the Heceta Head Lighthouse, Cape Perpetua and Yachats area. There are highway viewpoints of the Heceta Head Lighthouse just past Sea Lion Caves, but it is worth the half-mile hike up to the beautiful lighthouse from the State Park. You could spend days within the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, but not to miss are Spouting Horn and Thor’s Well at Cooks Chasm and Devils Churn just to the north. These are best a mid-to-high tides for the most exciting ocean action, but this is great tidepool area too. On cloudy or overcast days, the rainforest trails make a nice option.

As you continue north, I like to check out Seal Rock State Recreation Site. There are scenic overlooks and the beach can be quite interesting especially at low tide. I would save a majority of my time on this leg of your journey for the natural areas near Newport. The Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site offer good views of the beautiful Yaquina Bay Bridge and Oregon’s only wooden lighthouse. Just north of town is the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, great for scenic photography including a pretty lighthouse and marine life and bird watching. If you can plan your visit for low tide, a stairway leads to another of Oregon’s Marine Gardens, a great place to photograph purple sea urchins. Just north of Newport is the Devils Punchbowl State Natural Area, another must stop. You’ll also want to check out the view from the Cape Foulweather lookout.

If you have time, follow the Three Capes Scenic Route turning off at Pacific City for views of Cape Kiwanda and Cape Lookout, though the easiest stop for lots of scenic opportunity is Cape Meares with its lighthouse. For the rest of the North Oregon Coast, I would reserve most of my time for the area near Cannon Beach. There’s an amazing viewpoint as you travel north of Manzanita and the highway climbs the edge of Neahkahnie Mountain. Potential stops as you continue include Short Sand Beach, a short walk away in Oswald West State Park and Hug Point – a must stop if its low tide where a picturesque waterfall flows onto the beach just around the point north of the parking area. Cannon Beach itself is home to Haystack Rock, great for tidepools or for framing as a foreground at sunset, along with the rocky spires known as The Needles nearby. Watch the grassy flanks of Haystack Rock for Tufted Puffins. It’s one of the best places to see the colorful birds in the Northwest. Ecola State Park would be my other don’t miss stop. The main viewpoint is fabulous and the Indian Beach area is also amazing.

Lastly, you probably won’t want to miss photographing the remains of the 1906 shipwreck Peter Iredale in Fort Steven State Park as you approach Astoria.

Answered by Gary Hayes, Ask Oregon Coast Expert on May 16th, 2015 - Post Your Answer

Where are the best places for rock hounds near Salem?

Fun question! There are a few places in the Willamette Valley that are known as being great for rockhounding.

The areas surrounding the South Santiam River, the Calapooia River, and Quartzville creek (all of these are about an hour southeast of Salem) are popular with rockhounders and folks who pan for gold as well. Also, check out this website and this BLM brochure for the Quartzville Mining Corridor.

Another fun place for rock-lovers is called Holleywood Ranch. It’s located in the hills outside of Sweet Home (again, southeast of Salem, near to the other locations I’m mentioning). It is a piece of private land that happens to have huge deposits of petrified wood and rocks. They’ve opened it up to the public for folks who want to come pay a small fee and dig for their own petrified wood. It’s a fascinating place!

For more information, the Bureau of Land Management provides great resources on rockhounding in Oregon and might be able to help you track down more locations.

Can I pack skydiving, hiking, camping and paragliding into 10 days in Oregon?

Ten days is the perfect amount of time to have the greatest vacation, ever.

If you’re starting in Portland, I’d recommend taking a day to check out the city. It sounds like you and I like all of the same things, so I’m going to give you a hot and fast list of what I would do.

Day 1: Portland

  • Voodoo Doughnuts
  • Stumptown Coffee
  • The International Rose Garden at Washington Park
  • Pittock Mansion

Day 2-3: Skydiving, then the Oregon Coast

  • Check out Skydive Oregon in Molalla. I’ve jumped here before and on a clear day, you can see every volcano on the horizon from Mt. Rainier, to Mt. Hood, St. Helens, Thielsen, Shasta, St. Helens and Bachelor.
  • After your nerves settle, I’d head for the Coast. Lincoln City, to be specific.
  • Check out Devil’s Lake State Park, set up camp and then hit the beach. Lincoln City has great beaches and a lot of fun things to do.
  • You can go glass blowing, paragliding, surfing (get a wet suit- it will be cold-but fun!) and my favorite, hiking!
  • Check out Cascade Head. If you don’t and you see a photo of it at any other point in your life, you’ll seriously regret not going.
  • Camp for a night or two or just stay here the whole time because it’s awesome.

Day 4: More Coast

Just under two hours driving, if you head south on the 101 toward Florence, you’ll find plenty, and I mean PLENTY, of things to keep you occupied. From lighthouses to more paragliding outfitters and surf shops, to Cape Perpetua and the Hobbit Trail to Seal Rock and the Newport Historic Bay District, this drive won’t disappoint. I’d recommend finding a crab shack somewhere along the way to feast more than just your eyes. Yum!

One of my favorite places to camp on the Coast is Honeyman State Park just South of Florence, OR.

Day 5: Southern Oregon

Get some coffee. You might need it by now.

From Florence, I’d head South down the Coast toward Reedsport and then start heading SE toward Roseburg. This little town (Roseburg) is adorable. It’s a great place to check out and a good place to stop for lunch before you continue heading East toward Crater Lake National Park. You’ll drive through Umpqua National Park to get there, which is phenomenal in itself, but also has one of the most beautiful hot springs in the entire state (in my opinion), the Umpqua Hot Springs. From here, you can head south toward Crater Lake, passing Mt. Thielsen and Diamond Lake.

You should definitely stop at the hot springs. And then decide to stay at Diamond Lake campground or drive the extra 12 miles to Crater Lake National Park.

…Honestly, I’d probably check out Diamond Lake first. And, if you’re feeling salty, the hike to the top of Thielsen isn’t bad. It’s long but even if you don’t make it to the top, the views are unbeatable and the air is crisp enough to get you recharged from all the driving.

Day 6: Crater Lake National Park

Okay. This place. Woofta. It’s hard for me to explain in words just how amazing this place is. I actually started crying the first time I saw it. I don’t know why. I don’t know how. I just don’t know. It was beautiful. It was insanely blue. It was huge. And now I tell everyone I can to go visit it and explore the trails and fire lookouts and cliff jumping and camping this place has to offer because I think it seriously changed me. I think I’m going back this weekend.

Day 7:  Maybe stay in Crater Lake another night?

Day 8: Drive North toward Bend. 

Alright, next up, Beertopia, USA. aka Bend, Oregon. Just under a 2 hour drive from Crater Lake National Park and along a windy, emerald green tunnel through Umpqua National Forest, you’ll get to Bend and wonder why you’ve never been here before. You can also stop at the hot springs again if you want! Bend has everything from the Deschutes River running through the middle of town, to more micro breweries and beer than you’ll know what to do with. There’s also Mt. Bachelor, the Cascade Lakes and Smith Rock. If you’re into rock climbing or want an awesome day hike, head to Smith Rock State Park and head up the Misery Ridge trail. It’s about 4 miles round trip but gives you unbeatable views of the area with a handful of (yep, you guessed it) more volcanoes on the horizon.

Not into climbing? Check out Tumalo Falls, the lava fields (and caves) and/or check out downtown Bend.

Day 9: Columbia River Gorge OR Mt. Hood 

This one’s up to you. I love them both and they’re both in the way of you getting back to Portland.

  • If you’re looking for waterfalls, paddle boarding, kite surfing or wineries… I’d head towards Hood River and then drive through the Gorge.
  • If you camp here, check out Eagle Creek Campground.
  • If you’re looking for killer mountain views, a walk through the hotel they filmed The Shining at or pristine alpine lakes, I’d head toward Mt. Hood National Forest.
  • If you camp here, check out Frog Lake, Lost Lake or stay in Government camp and rent a cabin.

Day 10: WHOAH!

What a trip, huh? Sounds like you might be ready for a hot shower and your own bed.

Answered by Kristen Mohror on May 3rd, 2015 - Post Your Answer

What is the best way to experience the beautiful surroundings of Crater Lake in May?

Glad you’re making the trip up! Crater Lake is absolutely worth the visit in the off-season. Some winters, it’s still covered in snow in March and April, but this year, it’s very manageable. The closest true town to Crater Lake is Prospect, Oregon, which has lodging options. We love the Prospect Historic Hotel for an B&B option, or nearby in Union Creek, the Union Creek Resort offers rustic cabins in a wooded setting. Either way, be sure to stop by Beckie’s Cafe for homemade berry pie!

There are also options to stay at Crater Lake National Park. Crater Lake Lodge is the quintessential lodge experience, and in the off-season, you may even get a reservation (it fills up fast in summer). Nearby, the cabins at Mazama offer additional lodging, but bear in mind that this area of the park does not have lake views, and may not be open.

Otherwise, another good option for you is staying in Ashland and commuting up to the park for the day (about a two-hour drive, with nice stops for hikes around Union Creek). Ashland has wonderful dining and shopping, and a fun, vibrant arts scene. I’d be happy to recommend lodging here if you’d be interested.

What is the best place to go kayaking on the Coast?

That’s a tough one. There are a wide variety of kayaking opportunities along Oregon’s 363-mile coastline and the “best” would really be determined by your skill level and the type of paddling experience you are after. There are scenic bays, rivers and estuaries, especially in Tillamook County; there are large lakes, notably in the Florence area; and there are whitewater thrills on the wild rivers of the South Oregon Coast. There is also some great ocean kayaking all along the coast for experienced kayakers and even some scenic ocean kayaking, including guided tours, suitable for less experienced paddlers.

For guided tours or recommendations from the experts, you should check into Kayak Tillamook and South Coast Tours.

Answered by Gary Hayes, Ask Oregon Coast Expert on April 22nd, 2015 - Post Your Answer

How much clothing should a Louisianian wear when hiking to Oneonta Gorge in March?

Fleece is king here, as is dressing in layers. The weather in March can be a bit unpredictable — bright sunshine one minute, thunderstorms the next. So just be prepared for a bit of everything.

I wouldn’t suggest going down to Oneonta Gorge it in spring unless you are in waterproof clothing. If 50 degrees is cold for you, than that water is going to be downright frigid. We were just at our local river the other day, when it was 60+ degrees outside, and my hand got really cold just reaching in for a rock. The temperature also tends to be a lot colder back in Oneonta Gorge. Generally, this is only a hike I would suggest doing on a hot summer day, otherwise you risk hypothermia pretty fast. The water will be at least waist deep.

However, you can hike up Oneonta Gorge a bit without getting so wet. There are also LOTS of other stunning waterfall hikes in the area that don’t require getting so wet, and if you head a little further east, depending on how warm the spring has been, you can also catch some stunning wildflower displays at places like Rowena Crest and Mosier.

Is May it a good time to hike Crater Lake?

First things first: Winter rules Crater Lake National Park. It can start closing seasonal roads in mid-October and last through June. An average year sees 44 feet of snow dropped on the park. Obviously 2015 hasn’t been an average year. So with that in mind, things can change dramatically but if I were to place a bet… I think it will be open. You might get cold. But the road should be open. Please review current conditions before your visit. Highway 62 and the road to Rim Village (Munson Valley Road) are plowed and open all year. However, snowy and icy road conditions can occur anytime, resulting in temporary road closures.

If you’re looking to camp, I’d recommend Mazama Campground and Lost Creek Campground. Both Campground loops and sites open as snow removal progresses. But keep in mind that snowmelt can last through June and while snow persists, mosquitoes may be numerous. And at Crater Lake… they’re pretty numerous. For more on the current weather at Crater Lake, click here.

As far as hiking trails go, this is where things get fun!

There is so much to see and there are so many trails to hike. Here are a few of the best hikes I’ve been on and my all-time favorite hikes near Crater Lake.

  1. Wizard Island:

This hike is unlike anything else. To get started, check the park tour boat schedule and buy a ticket. You’ll begin your hike down the rim to Cleetwood Cove and then ride the boat to Wizard Island. When you get there, you’ll be invited to hike to the 6,940-foot top of the island… which will show you how it got its name. Afterwards, you’ll ride the boat back to Cleetwood Cove and hike the steepest part of the outing back to your car. Or you could stay, take in the sunset, swim in the clear, icy-blue water or have a picnic on the rocks.

  1. Pacific Crest Trail

Beginning from the west at Seven Lakes trailhead, head toward Devil’s Peak. Or, alternatively, head for the south part of the wilderness and hike the trail up Mount McLoughlin, Southern Oregon’s highest mountain.

  1. Mount Scott

The highest point inside the park is actually Oregon’s 10th highest mountain. Crazy, right?  Fortunately, it’s a relatively easy five-mile round-trip hike that gets lots of use when accessible, which isn’t usually until July through early October.

Other hikes to include:

  1. The Watchman’s Tower
  2. The Pinnacles
  3. Mt. Thielsen
Answered by Kristen Mohror on April 17th, 2015 - Post Your Answer

Where is a beautiful place to pop the question?

This is an unusual request, but I’ll do my best! Will you be in the outdoors a lot? Because the most off-the-beaten path locations will probably be outside. On that line of thought, my first idea is Mt. Ashland. Any time of year, the Mt. Ashland access road is accessible, and in spring and summer, it’s possible to hike and picnic up there (or ski in winter). The historic lodge will not be open in the off-season, but if you drive to the end of the parking lot and drive or walk up the dirt road, you can get to a nice trail that leads to the summit (you hike up the back). It’s a beautiful spot for a proposal, and only about a mile hike.

Otherwise, another nice spot is Lithia Park in Ashland. It does get crowded, depending on the weather and day, but if you go to the top of the park (park above the playground and walk up the trail), the upper duck pond area is rarely crowded. In the summer and fall, the stand of trees across the street from the upper duck pond is a nice area, too.

In the Applegate area, any of the wineries on the Applegate Wine Trail are scenic, and often not crowded. It would be easy to take a walk from the tasting area into the vines for a proposal. Hope this helps!

How should we spend 48 hours on the Oregon Coast?

Two days traveling the Oregon Coast means severely limit stopping and spending any time at the many attractions along the 363-mile coastline. Newport or Yachats make a good first overnight stop to explore some of the amazing scenic areas on the Central Oregon Coast. Top scenic attractions to make time for include Devils Punchbowl, Yaquina Head (Newport area) and the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area (just south of Yachats)

I would spend my second night in Bandon after a stop at the three amazing State Parks on Cape Arago southwest of Coos Bay. The beach at Bandon is decorated with dramatic rock formations and is one of the most scenic beaches of any adjacent to an Oregon Coast town. You could rejoin I-5 via OR 42 E from Bandon, but if you choose to travel further south along the coast, make time for visiting the Cape Blanco Lighthouse and the viewpoints along the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor.

Answered by Gary Hayes, Ask Oregon Coast Expert on April 10th, 2015 - Post Your Answer

When are the wildflowers in full bloom?

First blooms usually start appearing around mid to late April, and continuing until the hot (well, hot for Oregon) weather arrives sometime in early July. To catch a nice selection of wildflowers, I would probably suggest sometime in early to mid May. The exception to this is the higher elevations around Mt. Hood, where the lupine usually hit peak in mid to late June. It’s all dependent on weather conditions, and how long it stays cold. I think the wildflowers in the Columbia River Gorge are really spectacular in the first couple of weeks of May, when the bleeding hearts are blooming, along with a variety of other things.

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