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Can I go golfing in Oregon during November?

November can be a glorious time to play golf in Oregon. You just have to be prepared for weather changing on you even during the course of your round. But then, that is what makes it a memorable adventure.

Most of the golf courses along the coast line and in and around the Portland area are open year-round. And down in the Medford area and Southern Oregon, there are some courses that remain open year-round. Only the Central Oregon market is closed due to the weather being cold with possible snow — it’s a destination in the high desert where the skiing is as famous as the golf experience.

Answered by Noel Lucky, Ask Oregon Golf Expert on October 2nd, 2013 - Post Your Answer

What is the weather like on the Oregon Coast during the holiday season? We’ll be in the Lincoln City area.

Temperatures in December and January on the Oregon Coast are typically mild, ranging from low temperatures in the high 30s to high temperatures in the low 50s. Weather can vary greatly this time of year, so be prepared for warmer or colder conditions. You should also be prepared for rain. This is typically the wettest month on the Central Coast with precipitation in double digits (averaging over 11 inches in December). Come prepared and you will enjoy a season like no other. Huge crashing waves, wildlife sightings and maybe experiencing a famous Oregon Coast storm are all possibilities.

You will be arriving during the peak of winter whale watching season and the week of December 26-through January 1, a program called Whale Watching Spoken Here is conducted at over 25 of the coast’s best whale watching sites. Trained volunteers assist visitors in spotting migrating Gray Whales. The Whale Watch Center in Depoe Bay, less than a half hour south of Lincoln City, is one of the best spots for seeing whales year round. The seawall at Depoe Bay and the nearby wayside of Boiler Bay are great locations for watching crashing waves. The seawall at Depoe Bay has “spouting horns,” the coast’s answer to geysers, where when surf is up, water is forced through small channels in lava rock and shoots through small openings high into the air. A little further south is Devils Punchbowl at Otter Rock, another of the coast’s best spots for watching winter waves.

Happy exploring!

Answered by Gary Hayes, Ask Oregon Coast Expert on October 2nd, 2013 - Post Your Answer

Is September a good time to visit the Painted Hills?

September is an excellent time to visit the Painted Hills, since the days will still be sunny but cooler and more comfortable for seeing the sites. The main site of the Painted Hills, one of 3 units in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is just outside of Mitchell, OR. This is where you’ll find the closest lodging as well as restaurants.

This website gives you a great overview of the area with photos. http://mitchelloregon.us/

Here are links to available lodging:

The Oregon Hotel http://www.theoregonhotel.net/

Painted Hills Vacation Rentals http://www.paintedhillsvacation.com/accommodations.htm

Sky Hook Motel http://www.visiteasternoregon.com/entry/skyhook-motel/

The Painted Hills Cottage http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p164794

Answered by Lynne Curry, Ask Oregon Eastern Oregon Expert on September 5th, 2013 - Post Your Answer

We want to go camping near good breweries in Eugene. What do you suggest?

Thanks for the question!  There are a couple of camping options near Eugene.  I think the best one is Armitage County Park.  It’s about equal distance to Hop Valley and Agrarian Ales.  You could actually bike to both, there is a very wide shoulder or bike lanes.  The campground is also conveniently located to Coburg Road which runs right into downtown Eugene and close to Interstate 5.  The price is a little on the expensive side because the sites are really catered to RV camping.  Some other campgrounds that are just a little further away from the city center are Schwarz Park in Cottage Grove on Dorena Lake, Sharps Creek in Cottage Grove and Richardson Park along the shores of Fern Ridge.

I hope this helps.  There are more options if you look for sites near Fall Creek Reservoir, Blue River Reservoir and out towards the coast in the Whittaker Recreation Area (not the same Whittaker as the new Brewery District in Eugene).

Answered by Cari Soong, Ask Oregon Outdoor Adventure Expert on September 5th, 2013 - Post Your Answer

When is the best time to visit Crater Lake?

Timing your visit to Crater Lake depends on which activities you most enjoy. Summer, obviously, is the most popular time to visit because the park is most accessible. In addition to viewing the lake from the rim or by boat in the caldera, there are opportunities for hiking, camping and learning about the lake’s history and unique ecology.

In wintertime, outdoor activities turn to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing (free, guided hikes are offered by volunteer rangers generally from November to April). Crater Lake officials always say winter is the park’s dominant season, considering that it is snow-shrouded most years from October to May.

I would recommend visiting both times of year.

Answered by Sarah Lemon on September 5th, 2013 - Post Your Answer

When is harvest at the wineries?

If I could predict when harvest would be, I’d be a rich man ;-)

In all seriousness though, harvest typically happens sometime between September and October every year. The weather in spring and summer will have a huge impact on how the grapes ripen. Harvest time can also be one of the best times of year to visit — if the rains hold off, you’ll have some amazing vineyard views, and sweeping landscapes … and you might catch some wineries in the middle of production, getting an opportunity to see things that don’t happen year round. Also, keep in mind that Labor Day is a fairly high traffic wine tasting holiday, so that weekend can be busy.

Answered by Ryan Reichert, Ask Oregon Wine Expert on July 31st, 2013 - Post Your Answer

When is the best time of year to visit the Columbia River Gorge?

To be honest, there really isn’t a BAD time to visit the Columbia Gorge. There are a few months in the winter, when ice can be an issue, but even then the waterfalls are beautiful when they are half frozen over.

For wildflowers, the best time to visit is generally in late April through June. April is also peak bloom time for the orchards of the Hood River Valley and around The Dalles.

For the best weather (i.e. least chance of rain) late July through August are always a safe bet.

My favorite time of year in the Gorge is the fall, from about mid-September through the month of October. Most of the summer crowds are gone, the fall foliage puts on a stunning show (consistently one of the best in the US), and the bounty of the harvest is at its peak in the Hood River Valley. The weather is usually still pretty pleasant too.

What places on the Oregon Coast commemorate the Lewis & Clark expedition?

The Lewis and Clark National Historical Park encompasses several sites along the Lower Columbia River in both Oregon and Washington. Just south of Astoria is Fort Clatsop, featuring a visitor center and a full-size re-creation of the explorer’s fort built to endure the winter of 1806.

There are several other sites you may find interesting further south along the Oregon Coast. The explorers set up a salt making camp in the area of present day Seaside during their winter on the coast. There is a commemorative “salt cairn” just off Seaside’s oceanfront promenade at Lewis and Clark Way. A large bronze sculpture of Lewis and Clark sits at the center of Seaside’s automobile turnaround at the beach. The explorers sent a party over Tillamook Head from the salt camp to find a whale they had heard was beached on the other side of the headland and that route can be hiked today from Seaside to Ecola State Park in Cannon Beach. In Cannon Beach, a small pocket park called Whale Park commemorates the explorers visit to the area where the whale was found on the south side of the creek Clark named Ecola, the native term for whale. There is interpretive signage on the north side of the creek at Les Shirley Park.

Happy exploring the explorers!

Answered by Gary Hayes, Ask Oregon Coast Expert on July 31st, 2013 - Post Your Answer

Where should I start a hike on the McKenzie River Trail?

Great question! The McKenzie River Trail is one that is near and dear to my heart. I like to think of the trail as 3 different sections. The upper portion begins at Clear Lake. You can hike around the lake which is very beautiful (or rent row boats by the hour). The trail continues on from the southwest corner of the lake and before you know it you’re at Sahalie Falls and then Koosah Falls. These two waterfalls will impress you and the trail around here is very lush and picturesque. If you continue hiking down the trail you will notice that after a while the river disappears (it goes underground for a few miles). You can continue through this section, or after Koosah Falls loop back up the trail to your car at Clear Lake and shuttle to the next trailhead which would be at Trailbridge Reservoir. Take a right at the stop sign after you cross the river and head up the road to a parking area. Follow the trail on the right and in about 1.5 miles you’ll reach Tamolitch Falls aka Blue Pool. This is an out-and-back trail. If you still have time after these two hikes I would continue west on Highway 126 and stop at Belknap Hot Springs Resort. Here you can either give in to temptation and pay the $7 for an hour of relaxation in the swimming pool fed by natural hot springs, tour the beautiful property or hike a few miles down the trail (westward).

So the three sections in summary:

Upper McKenzie: Clear Lake to Koosah Falls (beautiful, scenic, waterfalls) Parking available at Clear Lake Resort, Sahalie Falls and Koosah Falls

Middle McKenzie: Trailbridge to Tamolitch (fire and ice, forest and lava, and beautiful Blue Pool)
Parking available at Trailbridge Reservoir

Lower McKenzie: Belknap Hot Springs to McKenzie Bridge (hot springs, and lush forest)
Parking available at Belknap Hot Springs Resort, Deer Creek Rd, or the McKenzie River Ranger Station

Which breweries should we visit in Bend?

Bend, Oregon–let’s see, I think if I recall correctly, they have a brewery there. Kidding. Bend has gone insane. There are currently have, depending on how you count, around 18 breweries in Central Oregon, and ten or so in Bend proper. The difficulty is not finding breweries, it’s choosing which ones to go to.

The first thing I’d recommend is getting the Bend Ale Trail app if you have a smart phone. It has listings of all the breweries and a map that helps you navigate around. Then you have the hard choices. Deschutes is definitely a must–it’s one of the best breweries in the US, and a bit of a pilgrimage to see the original downtown brewpub. If you want to stay downtown, Bend Brewing is another venerable favorite and just around the corner.

I’d recommend three other places. Definitely try Crux Fermentation Project, which just opened last year. It’s Larry Sidor’s new brewery–he was the master brewer at Deschutes for ten years prior to starting Crux. (Inversion, Green Lakes, the Abyss, Hop Henge, etc etc–all his.) It’s in a bit of a no-man’s land, but the pub is gorgeous and fun. Next, you might try to stop in at Boneyard, which is on the walkable outskirts of downtown. Boneyard is an IPA house, which I know is not your sweet spot. But it’s also the “it” brewery in Oregon right now–they have the most popular IPA from Bend to Portland, which is really saying something. A funky little place named after the brewer’s efforts to cobble together his brewery by picking the “bones” of other breweries. (They only have a tasting room with limited hours, so plan ahead.) Finally, Worthy Brewing is brand-new, and a place I haven’t yet visited. But it’s a big project helmed by Chad Kennedy, who was formerly the longtime brewer at Laurelwood in Portland. He’s a really fantastic brewer.

Those are my best bets, but Silver Moon and 10 Barrel are really good, too. Bend is a great town for beer, and you can’t go wrong–it’s easy as Sunday Morning. Best of luck, and cheers.

Answered by Jeff Alworth, Ask Oregon Beer Expert on July 3rd, 2013 - Post Your Answer
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