Ask Oregon Questions & Answers
I’m going to Crater Lake the beginning of July. What can I expect for weather? We will be there two days but in Oregon for two weeks. What else are must-sees in the area between there and Portland, or Portland and Seattle? We like the outdoors.
Glad to hear you’re focusing some of your visit on Crater Lake. It’s perhaps Oregon’s most unique feature and an attraction I always recommend.
July in Southern Oregon is quite warm, upper 80s to 90-some degrees, occasionally peaking in the 100s. But Crater Lake is more than 6,000 feet above sea level, so it’s relatively cool even in summer. Temperatures plummet in the evenings, so bring long pants and a jacket to wear. And for all its beauty, Crater Lake has swarms of mosquitoes during summer evenings. Repellent is essential if you’re there once the sun goes down.
Activities at the park range from guided hikes to fly-fishing excursions to stargazing in the summer. Check the nonprofit park trust’s website, www.craterlaketrust.org, for events not listed on the government’s website. Here’s an example of recreation that I wrote for the Mail Tribune newspaper in July 2010.
There’s plenty more to see on the way to Portland from Crater Lake via Highways 97 and 26. But consider a longer stay in Southern Oregon for the Oregon Caves National Monument, whitewater rafting on the Rogue River, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, outdoor Britt Festivals concerts in historic Jacksonville, hiking, biking, fishing, wine tasting and world-famous artisan foods.
We will be there in early June this year. Any suggestions for special places to see or extra special things to do during this time?
June is the very best time to visit the Zumualt Preserve, the vast prairielands owned by The Nature Conservancy in northeastern Oregon. Along with native wildflower species, you’ll see raptors of all kinds and it is sanctuary for elk and wolves, too. June is also when the Grande Ronde River is really flowing, offering a great ride for anyone who wants to adventure through some of the most wild and scenic places in all of Oregon.
We are trying to plan a trip for later this year. We want to take in some more of Portland’s best, especially the scenic aspects of the Oregon Coast and perhaps some other spectacular sites (we love state and Nat’l Parks, great landscapes, farmland, trees, green space, etc.). We’re also trying to figure out how many days to try to set aside (5 – 12 days, max).
Highway 101 runs along the entire Oregon coast, from Washington State to California. There are state parks worth visiting along the entire stretch. Especially scenic are the stretches between Cannon Beach and Manzanita on the North Coast, and near Coos Bay on the South Coast (especially Shore Acres State Park).
If you’re also interested in history, Lewis and Clark National Historic Park on the North Coast is fantastic, and also includes beautiful scenery. Astoria, Oregon, on the very NW tip of the state is a great place to start exploring the coast.
Closer to Portland, you might want to plan to visit Oregon’s wine country for rolling hills, beautiful farm land, and of course picturesque wineries! Learn more here.
Also not far from Portland, the Columbia River Gorge has some of the most impressive landscapes in the state.
|General Travel, Wine|
I’m looking to plan an anniversary trip for last week in July. Would like to stay somewhere near the coast that includes breakfast and would like to be close to horseback ride options. Other interests would be wine tasting and zoos/aquariums. Any Ideas?
One great trip is to fly into Portland, and drive through Oregon wine country (look around Yamhill County, and Hwy. 18), do a few tastings and maybe stay one night on the way. Try this site.
Then, arrive at the coast and head south, to Newport, which is home to the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Here’s one B & B I’ve heard great things about. About 10 miles south of there, near Waldport, is a great little spot called the Cliff House. The owners’ names are Bud and Sharon.
|Coast, General Travel|
Hiking is my most favorite outdoor activity so you have come to the right place. My favorite place to go hiking to see wildflowers, is Mary’s Peak. It is located in the Willamette Valley and I have included this website so you can further read about the area. You can read even more here and, for Pocket Guide info on wildflowers, go here. This guide can be purchased at many places in Corvallis just east of Mary’s Peak, as you can see on the website.
Also, may I suggest you check out Gathering Together Farms for lunch when you are finished with your hike. Using all local and homegrown ingredients, they are the most natural choice for a meal all grown and prepared right here in the Willamette Valley. I have enjoyed their wood fired pizzas and potato donuts myself many times. Here is their link to provide you with directions and hours they are open.
I hope this helps and please let me know if you would like further information as I know of a few hikes that include guides that teach about wildflowers along the way as well.
We only have about 9 days to spend in Oregon. We enjoy the outdoors and can handle full days. Any recommendations as to where to focus our trip to get the most out of our limited time? Also, what is the best summer month to visit?
I have to tout Oregon’s only national park, Crater Lake, which is located in my region. It’s beautiful in all seasons but most accessible in summer. If you’re flying into Portland, you probably will want to take into account four to five hours of driving time to the southern part of the state.
The best summer month to visit most of Oregon is August. However, Southern Oregon is much warmer than other parts of the state with a dry climate and temperatures usually in the 90s, peaking in the 100s, but that makes Crater Lake with its elevation a great place to cool off (although lots of mosquitoes come out at night there).
Southern Oregon also boasts great whitewater rafting on the Rogue River, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, outdoor Britt Festivals concerts in historic Jacksonville, hiking, biking, fishing, wine tasting, and world-famous artisan foods. Enjoy your stay.
|General Travel, Southern Oregon|
We are making a trip from Morro Bay, California to Portland, Oregon. We will be traveling in a motorhome with two 13-year-old boys and three adults, as well as two small dogs. What would you suggest we see and do? We will be leaving Morro Bay on April 6 and need to return to Morro Bay on April 15.
I can’t speak highly enough of Oregon Caves. A recent article in the Mail Tribune newspaper highlighted that the monument, along with Crater Lake, are among visitors’ favorites.
I gather that if you’re driving inland to the caves, you’ll be taking Interstate 5 north. If that’s the case, consider a 10-minute detour south from Grants Pass to stay at Valley of the Rogue State park, one of Oregon’s premiere campgrounds. It’s right on the banks of the Rogue River and has extensive and very well maintained facilities.
If you were visiting in summer, I would suggest continuing on to Crater Lake, Oregon’s only national park, but snow can make the park difficult to access this time of year. If you’re up for a snow day, though, the park rangers offer free snowshoe hikes on the weekends and provide the snowshoes.
If you decide to travel that way, take Highway 97 to central Oregon then Highway 26 through the Warm Springs Indian Reservation and Mount Hood National Forest to Portland.
|Portland, Southern Oregon|
Just outside of downtown Portland are several high quality courses that are fully equipped to greet the “spontaneous golfer” with rental clubs and needed gear. Pumpkin Ridge and The Reserve are west of the city and both clubs have hosted several PGA and USGA Professional tournaments. Langdon Farms, which is just south of Portland proper too provides a great golf experience and solid test of play. All three courses are open to he public and will help you take advance of a free afternoon for golf.