Ski Oregon Conditions & Events

The Latest Updates As of May 15,  counties across Oregon are entering Phase 1 of the governor’s framework for reopening. Timberline Ski Area is currently open for summer skiing, June 1, 2020 through September 7 (Labor Day). Timberline Ski Area Guests: Before purchasing a lift ticket or a public Summer Pass, guests who are not part of a summer ski or snowboard camp and wish to ski or snowboard, will need to get a complimentary but mandatory daily reservation. Reservations are available beginning at 2:00pm each day for the following day and runs until ski area capacity is reached. If all the daily reservations are not allocated, skiers and snowboarders will be able to get a reservation at Timberline before purchasing a lift ticket or using their public Summer Pass. While the resort is still refining its social distancing processes, they anticipate reservations being available for most summer guests.For initial summer operations starting Monday, June 1st: Operating hours are 8am – 2pm Norm’s runs through Wednesday, then will be reassessed. Blossom Park will be open with two small jumps and some basic jibs Daily summer lift ticket is $75 (must be purchased at window) Public Summer Pass – $899 Palmer is expected to open by the end of the week June 29th Timberline Freestyle Park Opens Located in the legendary Palmer Park Zone Serviced with handle tow Geared for progression Open to the public and camps Additional resort statuses: Mt. Bachelor is now closed following a late season reopening for passholders from May 16–24, 2020. Stay tuned for summer operation plans. Mt. Hood Meadows With the USFS lifting restrictions on the Mt. Hood National Forest, starting Friday May 29 the resort will allow parking at trail heads and on nearby roads. Uphill travel is allowed, but not encouraged. Find more information on uphill travel here. Willamette Pass is closed for the season. There is no hiking, sledding, tubing or uphill traffic allowed within the Resort Boundary. Mt. Hood Skibowl adventure park will open for summer operation on June 24th! As of now, all uphill travel is prohibited on Mt. Hood Skibowl Property. Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort is closed for the season. ALMR will continue to plow and sand the 73 Road to the ski area so that you can get outside, enjoy the fresh air, and stay active and healthy. Trail use is free of charge. Mt. Ashland The resort is now closed for the season. You are welcome to head up and enjoy all of the snow on the ground. Passes are e on sale for $324 adult passes for the 2020-2021 season which reflects no price increase over last year. All remaining vouchers and other ticket products dated to expire this season will be honored next season. Summit Ski Area is closed for the season. Ferguson Ridge is closed for the season. Cooper Spur Mountain Resort is closed for the season. Follow the Cooper Spur website for updates and to see the new resort webcam. Hoodoo Ski Area is  closed for the season. Warner Canyon is closed for the 2019/2020 season. Stay up-to-date by subscribing to the Ski Oregon email newsletter for events, deals and info all winter long. Stay in the Know Be sure to subscribe to the Ski Oregon email newsletter for updates throughout the winter. Ski and Snowboard Safety Skiers and snowboarders should always follow the Skier’s Responsibility Code, which exists to raise awareness that there are elements of risk in snow sports that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce: Always stay in control and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects. People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them. You must not stop where you obstruct a trail or are not visible from above. Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others. Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment. Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas. Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely. Similarly, those skiing in steep and ungroomed terrain should be familiar with Deep Snow Safety and become informed on traveling and recreating in avalanche terrain. Find more tips on skiing and snowboarding safety here. Avalanche forecasts are available through the Northwest Avalanche Center (Mt. Hood), Central Oregon Avalanche Center, and Wallowa Avalanche Center in Eastern Oregon.

Long Weekend at Black Butte Ranch

Over the past half century, a lot has changed in Central Oregon. But deep in the woods, west of Sisters, a timelessness carries on between families and nature at Black Butte Ranch. Hundreds of thousands of acres of fragrant Cascade forests, brooding volcanoes and twinkling lakes surround the property, making it an ideal base for a long weekend of adventure-first pampering. You don’t need to go far with two golf courses and hiking, biking, and horseback-riding options pretty much right outside your door. Visitors have been making memories here for 50 years, but with three well-spent days, you can take in the best. Day One: Biking, Fishing and Golfing Resist the urge to laze around that first morning and make a plan to explore the area. It’s easy to get around the Ranch by bike, so bring your own or rent one from the on-site Glaze Meadow Rental Shop, which will even deliver the bike to your door. Start the day at the recently renovated Lakeside Bistro, where you can enjoy a fresh-baked pastry and coffee with panoramic views of the region’s stunning Cascade peaks: Broken Top, Three Sisters, Mt. Washington, Mt. Jefferson, Three-Fingered Jack and of course Black Butte.  Saturday mornings you can take a free guided lesson to learn the mechanics of casting with a fly-fishing rod. The Lakeside Activity Center rents five-weights for $40 a day and sells flies, too. That big lake out front is Phalarope Lake, and it does have trout. Rules say you have to cast from the shore, and for that you’ll need a license. Drive through the ponderosas to Camp Sherman for some time on the Metolius River. Frigid and clear, it’s one of the more gorgeous rivers for fly-fishing.  As for golfers, they’re going to want to get going, too, with more than 14,000 yards of holes to play over the weekend. Start at Big Meadow Golf Course, a Robert Muir Graves design with elevated greens and awesome views of 7,844-foot Three Fingered Jack at hole 14. If you time it right, you can check out the new putting course designed by architect John Fought, slated to open in summer 2020. Visit Robert’s Pub, featuring a casual menu with dishes like a beer-braised corned beef sandwich and Oregon rockfish and chips, along with your favorite craft beer and wines from the extensive regional list. Burn off extra energy by playing ping pong at the Lakeside Activity Center Game Room center before calling it a night. Day Two: Hiking, Family Games and Spa Time Today’s a big day with a 4-mile hike up Black Butte, a 6,436-foot volcano formed about 1.5 million years ago. The 2-mile trail is steep, climbing about 1,600 vertical feet to your reward: 360-degree summit views of the Cascades lined up for their glamour shots.  A lot of the land you can see from Black Butte is good horseback-riding country, too. You can keep it quick with an hour-long ride under the aspens and pines for about 3 leisurely miles, or go for a whole day deep into the Deschutes National Forest around you, stopping for lunch along the way. Black Butte Stables back at the Ranch by the General Store can arrange it all for you.  From your basecamp, let the kids go for a swim or get everyone together for some pickleball or bocce ball at the Glaze Meadow Recreation Center’s family fun zone, where you can also rent the necessary equipment. No matter what you choose, try to get back in time for a bourbon-oil massage or sugar-scrub treatment at the peaceful Black Butte Spa located inside the Glaze Meadow Recreation Center. (You can also opt for poolside service at the recently renovated Lakeside Pool, the heart of the ranch in the summertime.) With a kids’ wading pool, infinity pool, gorgeous views and walkup food-and-drink service at the Bistro — not to mention a hot tub, sauna and gym — you’ll be hard-pressed to leave. (If you want to lap swim, you can do that in the indoor pool at the Glaze Meadow Recreation Center, which has a fun water slide for kids.)  Tonight, send the kids off to the lodge’s Parents’ Night Out camp for games, movies and ice cream while you enjoy a quiet evening meal at the Lodge Restaurant, pairing your favorite Oregon pinot noir with cocoa-rubbed pork tenderloin.  Day Three: Car-free Paths, Paddleboarding and a Sunset Celebration Wake up! Someone wants to go for a run or bike ride, which is easy with more than 18 miles of paved, car-free paths to choose from at the ranch. For a more adventurous workout, venture just beyond the ranch onto the Suttle Tie Trail, which stretches for 4.6 miles parallel to Highway 20 to beautiful Suttle Lake. Afterward, it’s time for more golf. The second championship course here, Glaze Meadow Golf Course, is one of the state’s best — with a large putting green, a driving range and a short game practice area as well as a beautiful deck to soak up the views year-round. The highlight of this 7,007-yard course is still hole 12, a 600-yard par five, with the icy flanks of 7,795-foot Mt. Washington on full display. The Lakeside Bistro does a great lunch, some of the best views in Central Oregon to accompany scratch-made pizzas, local Angus beef burgers and daily specials. In the afternoon, rent a stand-up paddleboard and explore Phalarope Lake, or let the kids do a camp to tie-dye some shirts and shoot arrows. There’s also disc golf and a treasure hunt. Make sure to head into town and check out the Western facades and storefronts in Sisters, a town that Black Butte helped shape. In the 1970s, the founding fathers of Black Butte Ranch offered merchants in Sisters $5,000 and free architectural help to create a “theme” look to the town. The adopted 1880s theme returned the architecture to its roots and made Sisters a unique draw for generations of visitors to come. Stop by the General Store in the afternoon for an ice cream or a coffee; in 2020 the 50-year-old store is getting an update with a broader selection while keeping the same charm and amazing views. To cap your day, head upstairs in the Lodge to the Aspen Lounge for sunset cocktails and killer views. Then sit down at the iconic Lodge Restaurant for a chef-prepared salmon dinner with sweeping views — a perfect place to celebrate a special event, or the end of a dream vacation. Arrange to have the rental shop come get your bikes, maybe take one last soak in the Lakeside hot tub, and call it good as you head off into a well-earned sleep.  If You Go: Year-round, you’ll find a host of annual events happening at Black Butte Ranch and in nearby Sisters. (Note that events through fall 2020 have been postponed until 2021.) Typically each year, springtime brings Easter Brunch; Mom’s Brunch and free golf for moms on Mother’s Day; and the big opening of pools and ranch activities on Memorial Day Weekend. Summer brings Father’s Day Golf (dads get a free gift); the world-famous Sisters Rodeo; July 4th celebrations; and the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (which comes to the ranch the Friday before the main event). Fall ushers in Labor Day, the Sisters Folk Festival and Thanksgiving celebrations; and winter is all about Ski & Stay deals, Christmas dinner, carriage rides and a memorable New Year’s Eve celebration.

Reward Yourself with Oregon Vine Perks

There’s nothing like tasting Oregon wine while overlooking a vineyard — the terroir is palpable in your glass and among the grapevines. Time spent apart from tasting rooms hasn’t been easy. For many, those special moments in Oregon wine country define their days off. Local wineries offer a sense of community that is hard to duplicate. Yet as we stay home and stay local, there are still ways to show our love. Although we can’t visit all of our favorite vineyards right now, we can continue to support Oregon wineries during temporary COVID-19 closures by purchasing bottles. Now there’s extra incentive: Oregon Vine Perks, a new statewide loyalty program launched by  Oregon Wine, offers incredible rewards for supporting the state’s winemakers. The Oregon Vine Perks Pass unlocks two-for-one-tastings, discounts and VIP treatment at participating wineries across the state. (The pass is valid once tasting rooms reopen through April 30, 2021.) To qualify, one simply spends $250 or more on Oregon wine from May 1 to July 1, 2020, and uploads receipts as proof. The purchases can happen at a winery, grocery store, wine shop, restaurant cellar sale or website — they just have to be Oregon wine. More than 100 wineries across the state offer Oregon Vine Perks benefits, from the Columbia Gorge to Portland’s urban wineries to the Willamette and Umpqua valleys and beyond. This exciting launch is part of Oregon Wine Month, an annual statewide celebration that takes place every May. It looks a little different this year as Oregon Wine [Inside] Month, with virtual events, curated offers, wine delivery resources and recipes for your kitchen at home. Ready to support your favorite Oregon wineries and discover some more? Reward yourself with Oregon Vine Perks and start sipping. What to Expect at Oregon Tasting Rooms Currently non-essential travel is not allowed in Oregon, and it’s still important to stay local to your county and community. Find local wineries near you via the Oregon Wine Board. As Oregon wineries gradually begin to reopen, visitors will note new operational guidelines for tasting rooms. Physical distancing protocols limit occupancy and reinforce the need for face coverings and frequent hand washing. Many wineries will continue to offer curbside pickup and encourage touch-free payments. To ensure an enjoyable experience once tasting rooms reopen, consider these steps: Make a reservation for tastings ahead of time. (Call and check online.) Bring your own face covering and use it when not seated at a table. Practice social distancing with 6 feet between you and others. Be prepared for changes and follow signage. It’s possible that reception areas will move outdoors, customer traffic patterns are established or flights could be poured at one time. Show your gratitude for the staff — they’re working hard to follow new guidelines while preserving the Oregon wine experience that we know and love. The following video by Stoller Family Estate in Dayton gives a fun, musical take on wineries reopening — with a few new rules. 

How to Explore the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument

As you wander through its oak savannas, juniper-dotted slopes, undulating wildflower meadows and stands of old-growth conifers, it’s easy to detect the incredible biodiversity of Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. “What I like to do when I’m hiking around here is notice the edges,” says public-lands advocate Shannon Browne. “Really pay attention when you come to the edge of a forest and a meadow opens up before you. In Cascade-Siskiyou, you’re often leaving one ecosystem and entering another.” Among national monuments — and despite its close proximity to Ashland and Interstate 5 — Cascade-Siskiyou is an underrated treasure. Bisected by a stunning 43-mile stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail, it offers fishing and boating on rippling Hyatt Lake and eye-popping views from scenic overlooks at Hobart Bluff, Soda Mountain and Pilot Rock. But even on summer weekends its trails are rarely crowded. If you’re looking to get away from it all, this is one of  Southern Oregon’s ideal destinations.  An Ecological Treasure Preserved Twenty years ago, on June 9, 2000, President Clinton established the national monument, which President Obama expanded by 48,000 acres in 2017, bringing the total to 114,000 acres of ecological wonder.  “The monument’s geological story is truly unique,” says Browne, who until recently served as the executive director of Friends of Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. She notes that it preserves an area with several distinct climate zones, where the arid 210,000-square-mile Great Basin meets the ancient Siskiyou Mountains, the much younger Cascade volcanic range and the fertile Rogue River Valley. “This history has helped to create the diversity of life that thrives here.”  Among its vast array of inhabitants are snowshoe hares, yellow-bellied marmots, mountain lions, river otters, black bear and elk. More than 200 bird species have been identified, from northern spotted owls to willow flycatchers and from rufous hummingbirds to California towhees. They all make their homes amid a landscape of western juniper, incense cedar, ponderosa pine, bigleaf maple, Pacific madrone, Oregon white oak and quaking aspen trees. What to See and Do If you’ve driven up I-5 from California to Oregon, you’ve actually passed through the southwestern corner of the monument, which stretches from just south of Ashland for about 15 miles east to the Soda Mountain Wilderness — a small parcel that extends across Oregon’s southern border. The monument is also bisected east to west by Highway 66, Green Springs Highway, which leads from Ashland to Klamath Falls. While it is vast, Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument is easy to get to.  If you’re short on time, Browne suggests making the 1.5-mile trek up to 5,500-foot Hobart Bluff, where you’ll be treated to 360-degree views of everything from the densely forested Rogue Valley to the snowy crown of California’s Mt. Shasta (75 miles south) to the high juniper and sagebrush desert of the Klamath Basin. With a bit more time, you can embark on the 2.8-mile round-trip hike to the base of Pilot Rock, a 25-million-year-old volcanic plug that rises 570 feet above the landscape. It’s a fairly easy trek to the base; only mountaineers with the proper gear and experience should consider attempting the steep ascent to the summit.    Another favorite spot for soaking up the monument’s majesty is the observation tower atop Soda Mountain, which you reach via a moderately challenging 4-mile round-trip ramble with a nearly 900-foot elevation gain. It’s located in the remote 24,100-acre Soda Mountain Wilderness. From the tower you can spy Pilot Rock to the west as well as a vast swatch of the Klamath Basin looking east. One of the most accessible areas within the monument is Hyatt Lake, an 8-square-mile reservoir that you can hike or drive to from Green Springs along a fairly level 4.5-mile span of the Pacific Crest Trail. Framed by snowcapped Mt. McLoughlin just 18 miles north, this azure no-wake-permitted lake is a terrific spot for summer recreation, with 56 sites for tent camping (reservations required), a dock and boat ramps. It’s ideal for kayaking, swimming and fishing for trout and smallmouth bass. Eat and Stay Ashland, Medford and Klamath Falls are nearby bases with dozens of lodging options, but you’ll also find a few intriguing, one-of-a-kind lodgings in or just outside the monument. Near Hyatt Lake, the elegantly rustic, pet-welcoming Green Springs Inn & Cabins features eight rooms in the main lodge as well as nine spacious cabins with full kitchens, decks and Jacuzzi tubs. There’s also a lively restaurant serving elevated pub fare.  In the northwestern reaches of the monument, 12 miles from Ashland, Willow-Witt Ranch offers immersive, sustainable farm stays, with accommodations ranging from a beautifully appointed three-bedroom home and a cozier studio bungalow to furnished wall tents (sturdy canvas tents with vertical walls) and traditional tent sites. Guests can take engaging tours of the farm or go on hikes with the ranch’s adorable pack goats. With full amenities, Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites makes another comfy base camp, on the east side of Ashland along the road heading up to the monument.  And just off I-5 a few miles from the Pilot Rock trailhead, Callahan’s Mountain Lodge is a great option for a romantic getaway. Many rooms are outfitted with wood-burning stone fireplaces and jetted tubs. The excellent restaurant serves prodigious steaks and seafood platters. For a hearty breakfast before setting out on a hike, look to Ashland’s hip and sleekly modern Hither Coffee & Goods, which serves first-rate coffee and tasty breakfast fare — think ricotta–stone fruit tartines and fried-egg biscuit sandwiches with cheddar and bacon. After a day of exploring nature, stop by Caldera Brewery & Restaurant, just off Highway 66 on the way back to Ashland, for a refreshingly hoppy pint of Dry Hop Orange Session IPA and a black bean–quinoa or white-truffle beef burger with a side of fries. Keep It Sustainable Especially in the more remote areas of the national monument, it’s important to pack your Ten Essentials and plan out a route in advance, ensuring that your physical skills and experience are a match with the adventure you’ve planned. Stay on designated trails, maintain a respectful distance from wildlife, say hello to others you meet on the trail and leave the space cleaner than you found it. Because this is an uncrowded park, it’s prudent to let someone know about your plans before you set out on a hike. Find more ways to Take Care Out There while exploring the state’s natural treasure responsibly. If You Go: Like other national monuments managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Cascade-Siskiyou lacks visitor centers and museums, but there is a small but helpful BLM contact station on Highway 66 next to the Green Springs Inn & Cabins. It’s open Memorial Day through Labor Day, when rangers are on hand and offer occasional interpretive programs. Year-round on weekdays, you can find information from the BLM District Office in Medford. Be sure to download the official monument guide, produced by the BLM and Friends of Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, whose website offers a wealth of guidance on visiting the monument. The organization is also partnering with Southern Oregon University’s Schneider Museum of Art in summer 2020 to present the exhibition “Celebrating Wild Beauty,” showcasing digital video installations (including a mesmerizing 24-hour time-lapse video) as well as paintings, photography, printmaking and other media depicting the monument. Check the Friends of Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument calendar for dates and additional upcoming events. For excellent trail tips, pick up a copy of William Sullivan’s 100 Hikes in Southern Oregon, which includes all of the treks here and more.  Another invaluable resource is the Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, which maintains miles of trails and offers guided hikes within the monument, often with a focus on biodiversity such as “fungus and lichens” and “flowers and pollinators.” Visit the site’s event page for details.

Oregon’s Lushest Gardens

Gardens not only make the world a more beautiful place, they’re good for you. In fact, plants make life healthier. Researchers have found that people who spend time outdoors basking in the beauty of plants — in gardens, parks and other green spaces — benefit from increased activity, leading to improved physical health, reduced stress and lower health care costs. Thanks to our mild oceanic climate, warm summers and wet winters, Oregon is one of the most botanically lush states in the nation, ranking fifth nationally for plant species diversity. That makes Oregon a great place to get a heaping dose of natural goodness.  The Portland Region alone has over 150 public gardens, plant nurseries and gardening stores. Beyond the metropolitan area, the Willamette Valley is home to an enormous plant nursery and greenhouse industry in addition to being the epicenter for wine. Elsewhere around the state, naturalists will appreciate the state’s healthy assortment of native plants that thrive in just about every climate — from scrappy beach scrub on the Coast to the shrub-steppe grasslands in the high desert.  Here’s a lineup of some of the loveliest gardens and lushest landscapes Oregon has to offer. Portland Region: Plant-landia Tops among the Rose City’s must-see gardens is  Lan Su Chinese Garden in Old Town/Chinatown, celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2020, and the Portland Japanese Garden, which expanded significantly in 2017. Japanese architect Kengo Kuma — best known for designing Tokyo’s new Olympic Games stadium — transformed part of the land and new facilities designed for visitors interested in Japanese gardening and culture. Nearby, the International Rose Test Garden attracts visitors with its endless variety of showy and fragrant blooms in early summer.  About a 25-minute drive south of Stumptown, the Rogerson Clematis Garden in West Linn showcases North America’s most comprehensive collection of clematis. This plant species spans many diverse flowering vines and woody shrubs of all shapes, colors and sizes, and it grows on every continent (except Antarctica) — from the frozen tundra of Siberia to the jungles of Papua New Guinea. In all, the garden showcases nearly 100 varieties of clematis growing among over 1,900 plants in 14 unique planting areas, with large wayfinding signage that came from a Travel Oregon local tourism grant.  Willamette Valley: Stimulate the Senses It’s not just wine that will put a rosy glow on your face in the valley. From spring to fall, the Owen Rose Garden in Eugene is a prime place to commune with nature, relax and feel good. Set along the Willamette River, the garden sprawls over 8 acres and has more than 4,500 rose bushes and climbing roses in 400 varieties, planted along accessible gravel paths with benches and a pergola-lined, paved walkway. Another prominent garden feature is the Oregon Heritage Cherry Tree. Planted in 1847, it’s believed to be the country’s oldest and largest Black Tartarian, an heirloom variety of cherry tree prized for its large, sweet, rich fruit.      Also in the Willamette Valley, spectacular specialty-themed gardens shine at the Oregon Garden, an extraordinary 80-acre botanical garden in Silverton, about 12 miles northeast of Salem. The Sensory Garden, for example, is a therapeutic space full of aromatic and textural plants set in a visually stunning garden with a 20-foot-long rain curtain. The Medicinal Garden showcases rosemary, wall germander, lavender, oregano and coneflower among a collection of plants used to treat ailments of the body. The Oregon Garden offers much more to inspire the imagination: 20-plus themed areas, each displaying the diverse botanical beauty that is capable of growing in the Willamette Valley and throughout the Pacific Northwest. Oregon Coast: Find Bliss on the Bluff Ocean air has long been revered for its health benefits. The negative ions in the salty spray accelerate the body’s ability to absorb oxygen and balance levels of serotonin, a chemical linked with mood and stress. What’s good for landlubbers is doubly good for plants.  Perched on a rugged sandstone cliff high above the Pacific Ocean, Shore Acres State Park was built in 1905 as a private estate with luxurious gardens planted with trees, shrubs and flowers brought from around the world aboard the sailing ships of pioneer lumberman and shipbuilder Louis J. Simpson. Today the park features 5 acres of plantings, including a formal English rose garden and a Japanese-style garden built around a 100-foot lily pond that Claude Monet would have envied. Taking full advantage of Oregon’s mild coastal climate, Shore Acres is resplendent in every season. Hardy bulbs — daffodils and tulips — by the thousands start blooming in late winter to early spring, followed by hundreds of rhododendrons and azaleas, and dahlias that dazzle from summer well into the fall. Also on the Coast, Darlingtonia State Natural Site in Florence dedicates its 18 acres of accessible gardens to showcasing and protecting a single species: the rare cobra lily, a carnivorous plant that is the only member of the pitcher plant family (Sarraceniaceae) in Oregon. Columbia River Gorge: Gorgeous Geology With its scorching summers, frosty winters and tempestuous winds, the Columbia Gorge might seem too challenging for life to take root. However, for Native Americans, who have lived here for well over 10,000 years, this landscape has been a great storehouse of life-sustaining flora and fauna.  The Columbia Gorge Discovery Center in The Dalles celebrates the region’s rich cultural and natural history. Once the site of a concrete-mix plant, the center’s grounds are now home to an interpretive center and a 50-acre panorama, including a pond, wetlands, and scenic vistas of the Columbia River and Klickitat Hills. An accessible paved interpretive trail is perfect for bicycling, jogging or strolling while learning about the native plant restoration project. From early spring to late fall, the grounds are graced with over 100 species of blooming indigenous plant species resistant to the harsh, windblown environment. Cottonwoods, willows, cattails and sedges give shelter and food to turtles, ducks, geese, eagles, raccoons and songbirds.  Southern Oregon: Pristine Preserve In the fertile Rogue Valley, Pacifica: A Garden in the Siskiyous covers nearly 500 acres in the remote town of Williams, 15 miles south of Grants Pass. The garden is divided into two parts: a 250-acre botanic garden and the 200-acre Klamath-Siskiyou Nature Center. The nature center features native vegetation on acreage that hasn’t been farmed or grazed for many years — and the plan is to keep it that way. Hikers can explore over 4 miles of mostly easygoing interpretive trails and experience a variety of undisturbed habitats — from riparian to chaparral, oak savanna to cool montane — each supporting different types of native birds and plants.  In contrast, the botanic garden showcases landscaped gardens, such as the Rock Garden by renowned rock garden designer Josef Halda, who constructed a 60-foot rock waterfall to showcase native alpine plants. The Western Native Plant Garden was constructed with the home gardener in mind, showing ways native plants can be used to create screens, borders and all-season color in home landscapes.  Eastern Oregon: High-Desert Oasis The mild, maritime climate of Western Oregon contrasts greatly with Eastern Oregon’s much drier high-desert landscape. Plants that survive here must be hardy enough to withstand great seasonal variations in temperature or have the help of a farmer’s nurturing hand.   The River to Hills Farm Loop is a 60-mile route that extends from Boardman to Pendleton and many points in between. Over 20 farm stands along the way offer blueberries, lavender and the incomparably sweet Hermiston watermelons and cantaloupes. The loop features one formal garden: Bennett Botanical Garden in Hermiston. This verdant outdoor event space and 5-acre garden features lush green grass, mature shade trees, blooming shrubs and annual color. Created by Doug Bennett, a landscape designer, and Kris Bennett, owner of a local floral-design studio, the garden is open to the public by appointment only. Central Oregon: Fun in the Sun Sunbirds flock to the resort and residential community of Sunriver for its 300 days of annual sunshine and a variety of activities including hiking, biking, golfing and paddling the Deschutes River. Located next to Lake Aspen and nestled among 8 acres of pine forest, wetland and meadow habitats, Sunriver Nature Center & Observatory has a botanical garden loaded with pollinator-friendly wildflowers: larkspur, lupine, yarrow, fireweed, desert paintbrush and sagebrush. Naturalists lead botanical hikes around the grounds, pointing out the grasses, shrubs, fungi, mosses and lichen native to the region’s unique semi-arid climate. From sandy beaches to dense forests, high desert to lush valleys, Oregon has the floral diversity to please master gardeners and budding naturalists alike.

Ultimate Family Retreat to Oregon’s Lakeside

Home to 23 miles of shoreline, the quiet coastal town of Lakeside — tucked away just off the Pacific Ocean — is my family’s hidden getaway. In fact, in the 1940s, Lakeside was a popular retreat for Hollywood celebrities. Today it still feels worlds apart from the rest of Oregon and the adjacent coastline, giving us the ability to go from shoreline to shoreline (ocean and lake) in one vacation or even one day. The first time we discovered Lakeside, we’d planned a trip to the beach, then adjusted plans when a rainstorm approached. The more sheltered lakefront was perfect for a day of paddling. After that we were sold and have returned many times since.  Ready to discover it for yourself? Here’s how to spend a long weekend settling in. (Note: Call businesses before visiting to see if they are open. Best bet is to plan now for a future trip, when it’s safe to travel.)  Day 1: Fishing, Paddling and Pizza Many visitors don’t realize that just inland of the coastline near Lakeside — about 30 minutes north of Coos Bay and 3.5 hours south of Portland — is an entire system of winding, meandering finger lakes including its largest, Tenmile Lake, with opportunities for fishing, swimming, paddling and wildlife watching.  On your arrival day to Lakeside, get to know the lake system. My family and I like to bring our own stand-up paddleboards and kayaks and launch directly from Ringo’s Lakeside Marina, the only year-round marina on the lakes. You can rent watercraft there and pick up fishing licenses. We don’t fish ourselves, but when our kids were small, they enjoyed hanging out by the marina to see what others brought in. Families looking to fish can try their luck for largemouth bass plus impressive numbers of panfish — including crappie, yellow perch, bluegill and bullhead catfish — in addition to stocked rainbow trout and native cutthroat trout. From the public dock, families also can kayak Tenmile Creek for a different sort of experience that keeps you closer to the shoreline and in easy spotting distance of birds and other wildlife. We paddleboard with each family member paddling their own board, but kayak rentals include tandems and singles. Keep your eyes peeled for bald eagles, which we’ve spotted more than once. You’ll need $3 for the day-use permit at the Tenmile boat ramp, and packing a picnic lunch is always a good idea. For dinner, you’re close to Osprey Point Pub & Pizza, located at Osprey Point RV Resort, and Up the Creek Tavern, where parents can grab a cocktail or craft beer and not stress over keeping the kids too quiet, thanks to the relaxed atmosphere. The burgers are a hit with our teens, and there’s a kids’ menu for little ones. Fishing on the Lakeside dock is a favorite pastime for anglers of all ages. (Photo by Steve Dimock) Day 2: Sand Hikes, Sand Dollars and Burgers The sand beckons today. Directly along Oregon’s stretch of coastal Highway 101 lies the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, which offers 40 miles of sandy hills and valleys awaiting exploration. The biggest of these dunes are just outside of Lakeside at Eel Creek Campground. Off-road vehicles are not allowed along this stretch of “seafront Sahara,” but there are picnic tables and restrooms to use for the $5 parking fee. It’s a half-mile walk through the campground to the open dunes, where the possibilities are limited only by your daring (and your leg muscles — climbing up the sand is hard!). A great way to explore is to get out on a hike. Head up to Tahkenitch Creek, located about 9 miles north of Reedsport. Due to the expanse of the dunes, this area is still within the National Recreation Area limits. It’s well marked along Highway 101, and at one point the trail crosses a deep creek that kids love to splash in. The banks are steep and sandy, making them fun to run down. The hike is 2 miles round-trip to the ocean, where visitors will find the best part of this hike: dozens of sand dollars that you may find at low tide. Bring a backpack or basket for collecting; our kids enjoyed displaying the sand dollars on their windowsills in their rooms afterward.  Want another option? The 5.5-mile out-and-back John Dellenback Dunes Trail is just two minutes away from the campground back on Highway 101. You’ll go through dunes on this trail, too, and it’s known for wildflowers. By evening you’ll have worked up an appetite for dinner, and lucky for you, Tenmile Grub and Lakeside Cafe (temporarily closed, but check back for reopening) both offer casual fare including burgers and salads less than a 5-minute drive away.   Day 3: ATV Thrills, Wildlife and Whales You did the hard work of hiking and sandboarding the dunes yesterday, and now it’s time to enjoy the dunes from the comfort and fun of a guided dune-buggy tour. Why go with a guide? These experts add ecological education, awareness and safety along with the thrill. Or opt for a pedal-powered tour of this stretch of pristine coastline; find inspiration and resources about fat biking 100 miles of Oregon Coast. Remember to keep beach safety in mind: Beware of sneaker waves and stay off rocks and small, enclosed beaches. Please be respectful and do not touch the wildlife or the sensitive micro-environments you encounter. As you make your way north toward Reedsport, stop in at the Umpqua River Lighthouse, where you can book a tour and see the inside of its signature red-and-white Fresnel lens, one of two in the world still used today. Umpqua Discovery Center in Reedsport is a great way to acquaint yourself with the area’s flora and fauna and local history. We especially liked learning about the area’s native history and present-day Native population. There’s whale-watching information as well — you can see whales along the Coast year-round, but you’ll spot the most during the spring and winter migrations.  Just north of Reedsport you’ll find Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area, right along the highway and well worth the stop if elk are out and about. Just take a look through the telescope viewer or bring your own binoculars. Families can enjoy a snack on the benches and check out the large information panels.  Dune buggy tours offer safe thrills for all ages. (Photo by Erik Urdahl) Where to Stay If you prefer the comforts of home, rent a vacation house along the Tenmile network of lakes. Or for rustic camping right next to the dunes, opt for Eel Creek Campground. William M. Tugman State Park on Eel Lake offers yurt rentals, though families should note that motorized sports in the area can add some noise to the campground experience. Alternatively, the Seadrift Motel offers a traditional motel experience. If You Go: Gear rentals are available in Winchester Bay, Reedsport and North Bend. We recommend Spinreel Dune Buggy and ATV Rental. Time your visit to coincide with any of the following annual events (plan for 2021): Crawdad Festival (May), Oregon’s Free Fishing Days (June and August), Lakeside Brewfest (June), Lakeside’s Independence Day Celebration including fireworks over the lake, and the Columbia Drag Boat Race (August).  If you’re camping, bring waterproof layers and a rain canopy for your site. Lakeside does enjoy ample sunshine, but weather is fickle on the Coast, so it’s best to be prepared.

A Hiker’s Guide to the Owyhee Canyonlands

 

 

This short, scenic stroll takes you through Leslie Gulch to an incredible natural amphitheater set among honeycombed rock faces. Hike an additional — and steep — .75 miles beyond the amphitheater for some amazing views of the canyonlands and nearby Lake Owyhee.  Oregon is a place of well-known and oversize natural beauty. Towering Mt. Hood. Plunging Multnomah Falls. The rugged Oregon Coast. The deep, deep blue of Crater Lake.  But while many of the wonders of Oregon have become incredibly and deservedly popular, there are still some secret and special places out there. Places where wild rivers have carved monumental canyons through ancient volcanic ruins. Places where petroglyphs etched eons ago hide beneath soaring rock walls. Places where cellphones barely work, where bighorn sheep perch on high cliffs and where pitch-black nighttime skies shimmer with stars. Places like the Owyhee Canyonlands.  Located along the far eastern border of Oregon — about six hours from Portland and 4.5 hours from Bend — the Owyhee Canyonlands unfold over more than 2 million acres. Cut by just three paved roads, it’s considered one of the largest expanses of undeveloped land in the lower 48 states.  Named to honor three Hawaiian members of a fur-trapping party who were lost in the region in 1819, the Owyhee River has sculpted the land into stunning canyons amidst colorful remnant volcanic features, rock formations and rolling sagebrush hills. Pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, badgers, horned lizards and rattlesnakes are just a few of the wild creatures who call the Owyhee Canyonlands home.  Though it’s a rugged and isolated place, the Owyhee Canyonlands is nevertheless a hiker’s paradise — and one that is accessible to hikers of just about any ability. You won’t need a monstrous pack with days and days of supplies. Instead, a decent hiking setup, some scenic car-camping sites for home base and a healthy dose of appreciation for one of the most unique pockets of Oregon will be more than enough to help you discover and explore the Owyhee Canyonlands.  Top Treks Driving around the Owyhee Canyonlands can give you a good glimpse of the region’s beauty. But to really get to know the place, grab a pack and head out on two feet. Trails in these parts can be rugged and steep, and since it’s such a remote area, it’s even more important to prepare. Plan ahead, be ready with your Ten Essentials and make sure you choose hikes that match the abilities of those in your group since the landscape is rough and hospitals are far.  (Photo by George Ostertag / Alamy Stock Photo) Juniper Gulch Up to 2.3 miles, 1,300 feet elevation gain. Easy to moderate This short, scenic stroll takes you through Leslie Gulch to an incredible natural amphitheater set among honeycombed rock faces. Hike an additional — and steep — .75 miles beyond the amphitheater for some amazing views of the canyonlands and nearby Lake Owyhee.  (Photo by Greg Vaughn / Alamy Stock Photo) Succor Creek 28.7 miles, 3,809 feet elevation gain. Moderate to difficult Bite off a chunk of this moderate out-and-back trail along this deep, rocky and stunning canyon, popular among rockhounds and wildlife watchers. Be on lookout for thunder eggs as well as coyotes, pronghorn, wild horses and maybe even a rattler or two. Prepare to drive along a 15-mile dirt road from Highway 201 to the park, and know the abilities of your group since park staff and volunteers are not stationed at the site. Please pack out what you pack in and observe fire restrictions. (Photo by Spring Images / Alamy Stock Photo) Timber Gulch 1.2 miles, 350 feet elevation gain. Easy  You’ll feel humbled surrounded by the 200-foot cliffs that form the amphitheater on this mild hike, which makes for a nice way to start or end your day. (Photo by Dave Sherrill) Painted Canyon Loop 8.5 miles, 1,200 feet elevation gain. Expert This is the granddaddy of hiking trails in the Owyhee Canyonlands — the one to hike if you want to experience colorful, soaring canyon walls; rock towers and spires; old-growth sagebrush; and everything else that makes this area unforgettable. It’s also a challenging hike, best suited for those with experience in route finding and rough terrain. (Photo by George Ostertag / Alamy Stock Photo) Jordan Craters 1 mile, 150 feet elevation gain if you hike into the crater. Easy  Traipse around Jordan Craters for a captivating look at one of the youngest lava flows in Oregon. The lava spewed out of the Coffee Pot Crater and created a fascinating field full of caves, tubes and other volcanic signatures.   Getting There and Getting Around Unless you live in Southeastern Oregon, the Owyhee Canyonlands are going to be a bit of a haul, but every mile will be worth it. The region stretches roughly from the tiny town of Adrian in the north to Jordan Valley in the south.  There are just a few paved roads in the area. Most roads that provide access are rough gravel and dirt — which can quickly turn into sucking, immobilizing mud that can strand your car if you’re not careful. Make sure you plan ahead: Check weather and road conditions before you travel, and be aware that some areas are only accessible by high-clearance or four-wheel-drive vehicles and may not be suitable for RVs or trailers.  When to Go You can avoid most chances of that rain and mud if you travel to the Owyhee Canyonlands in the summer, but you’ll also deal with some high temperatures. Instead, plan a trip for late summer or early fall, when temperatures are cooler. Where to Stay There’s only one way to get a true Owyhee Canyonlands experience, and that’s by sleeping under the stars. The area is popular with backpackers, but it’s also home to several rustic campgrounds that offer up some of the characteristic natural beauty that the Owyhee Canyonlands are known for. Even better: They’re located within striking distance of some of the best hikes around. Check conditions and availability in advance, and know that not all roads and camping areas can accommodate RVs or trailers. RV campers may try Succor Creek State Natural Area, which has no electrical hookups or water but is most accessible to RVs — and is also a top spot to find thunder eggs, Oregon’s state rock. (If you’re looking for a hotel or motel instead, the closest city is Ontario, 30 miles north. Try the Clarion Ontario or The Ontario Inn.) Here’s where to camp.    Rockhounding paradise: Surrounded by some of the signature cliffs and rocky outcrops that define the Owyhee Canyonlands, Succor Creek State Natural Area  is a quiet campground with primitive campsites. Rockhounds set out from here in search of geodes, and the creek and surrounding vegetation also draw in birds from far and wide.    Rocky spires and rolling hills: The geologic setting of the stripped-down campground at Slocum Creek may be enough to keep you at camp all day. Rocky bronze spires reach up out of rolling green hills, while honeycombed formations evoke intrigue. It’s also a great home base for several nearby hikes.    Rivers and wildlife galore: Named for the three rivers that meet here — the North Fork Owyhee, the Middle Fork Owyhee and the Owyhee — Three Forks Recreation Site is set deep in the heart of the Owyhee Canyonlands. It’s an ideal spot for relaxing in scenic terrain, possibly spotting a bighorn sheep or antelope, and hiking up to Three Forks Hot Springs for a soak.    Sheer cliffs and truly remote: About as remote and undeveloped a camping area as you can find in Oregon (with a bit of a challenging drive), Anderson Crossing is primitive and offers only dispersed camping. That said, it also serves as the starting point for a strenuous hike up to Louse Canyon, carved out by the West Little Owyhee River. Colorful sheer cliffs, chill river-water pools and wildlife-spotting opportunities abound.    If You Go: The Owyhee Canyonlands is an incredible pocket of natural beauty and wonder in Southeastern Oregon. Its remoteness makes it attractive, but it also requires some extra preparation. Know that cellphone service can be very limited, and roadside amenities are few and far between. It’s wise to travel with extra supplies, including water and fuel, and make sure your spare tire is in good shape. When exploring this and any natural area, take steps to leave the space cleaner than you found it, say hello to those you meet on the trail and be sure to Take Care Out There.

What Reopening Oregon Means for You

Curious about what’s reopening in Oregon? Well, it depends on the county. Across the state, counties are entering Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the governor’s framework for a phased reopening, pending approval by the Oregon Health Authority. Gov. Kate Brown released Executive Order 20-25, known as “Strong and Safe Oregon,” which details outdoor recreation and travel. Included in the new executive order are details about how individuals may go outside for non-contact recreational activities while continuing to minimize non-essential travel. Private and public campgrounds will also have the option of reopening if they are able to comply with Oregon Health Authority guidance. As public life and businesses begin to reopen, Oregonians need to make informed decisions and be prepared for the “new normal.” Even if your community is in Phase 1 reopening, it’s important to stay local and maintain physical distancing. We’re all in this together. Tillamook County Status: Phase 2 (effective June 8) Cities: Bay City, Cloverdale, Garibaldi, Manzanita, Nehalem, Neskowin, Netarts, Oceanside, Pacific City, Rockaway Beach, Tillamook, Wheeler Resources: Tillamook County website Yamhill County Status: Phase 2 (effective June 6) Cities: Amity, Carlton, Dayton, Dundee, Lafayette, McMinnville, Newberg, Sheridan, Willamina, Yamhill Resources: Yamhill County website; ways to support McMinnville businesses Baseline reopening statewide The term “Baseline” refers to statewide guidelines that include counties not entering Phase 1 ⁠— you might think of this as Phase 0. New guidelines for Baseline reopening take effect starting May 15. While several restrictions remain, such as restaurants open for takeout only, Baseline counties will also see some changes. Outdoor recreation: The governor’s new statewide directive allows for recreation sites to reopen if land managers believe safety measures can be met. Day-use areas are gradually reopening at Oregon State Parks and other sites. Most camping remains closed, including dispersed camping in state forests. This page provides updates about outdoor sites and the protocols visitors should take while recreating. Retail: Oregon retail stores are allowed to reopen with reduced occupancy to ensure physical distancing, clear signage about COVID-19, frequent sanitation and required face coverings. Additional recommendations are also provided. Gatherings: Local cultural, civic and faith gatherings are allowed for up to 25 people provided physical distancing can be in place. Local social gatherings over 10 people are prohibited and those under 10 people must use physical distancing. Read the full details about Baseline reopening on the governor’s website. Phase 1 reopening For Phase 1, counties will need to have declining COVID-19 prevalence, a contact tracing system and isolation facilities. Their health region will need to meet the minimum testing regimen and have sufficient health care capacity and personal protective equipment (PPE) supply. Statewide sector guidelines must also be finalized. Restaurants: In counties that reopen, restaurants and bars will space tables at least six feet apart and require employees to wear face coverings. Additionally, all on-site consumption of food and drinks will end by 10 p.m. For all counties in Oregon, food takeout and delivery are allowed and residents are encouraged to support local businesses. Gatherings: As part of Phase 1, groups of only up to 25 people will be able to gather together ⁠locally — with no travel. All large gatherings are canceled or significantly modified through at least September 2020. Read the full details about Phase 1 on the governor’s website. Sherman County Status: Phase 2 (effective June 6) Cities: Biggs Junction, Grass Valley, Moro, Rufus, Wasco Resources: Sherman County website Umatilla County Status: Phase 1 (Application for Phase 2 under review) Cities: Adams, Athena, Echo, Helix, Hermiston, Milton-Freewater, Pendleton, Pilot Rock, Stanfield, Ukiah, Umatilla, Weston Resources: Umatilla County website Union County Status: Phase 2 (effective June 5) Cities: Cove, Elgin, Imbler, Island City, La Grande, North Powder, Summerville, Union Resources: Union County website Wallowa County Status: Phase 2 (effective June 5) Cities: Enterprise, Joseph, Imnaha, Lostine, Maxville, Minam, Wallowa Resources: Wallowa County website Wheeler County Status: Phase 2 (effective June 5) Cities: Clarno, Fossil, Mitchell, Spray Resources: Wheeler County website What this means for visitors Currently non-essential travel is not allowed and it’s still important to stay local. Continue to avoid overnight and non-essential trips, including recreational day trips to destinations outside of your community. Those who reside in a county that has not reopened are asked to be thoughtful and stay home. Essential travel: Generally, essential travel refers to going distances for work, caring for family or other vulnerable populations, or the need to acquire essential items like food and supplies, medical care and prescriptions, emergency services, shelter and legal or financial necessities. Non-essential travel: Overall, non-essential travel is not crucial to the functioning of society during a crisis. This includes outdoor recreation activities as well as vacations and other leisure activities. Non-essential travel is not allowed in Phase 1. It is currently unclear when non-essential travel will be allowed again; specifics of Phase 2 depend on data from Phase 1. Review the reopening guidance for the public to help restart public life while maintaining healthy Oregon communities. Oregon counties reopening As of June 5, 2020, the Oregon Health Authority approved nine counties to reopen for Phase 1 and 26 counties for Phase 2 (with a staggered roll-out). It is also reviewing applications for six counties to enter Phase 2. Officials will continue to review applications as well as monitor the progress of reopening counties. Multnomah County is currently the only county at Baseline status. Eastern Oregon Harney County Status: Phase (effective June 6) Cities: Burns, Diamond, Hines, Fields, Frenchglen Resources: Harney County website Malheur County Status: Phase 2 (effective June 6) Cities: Adrian, Jordan Valley, Nyssa, Ontario, Rome, Vale Resources: Malheur County website Morrow County Status: Phase 2 (effective June 5) Cities: Boardman, Heppner, Ione, Irrigon, Lexington Resources: Morrow County website Wasco County Status: Phase 2 (effective June 5) Cities: Antelope, Dufur, Maupin, Mosier, Shaniko, Tygh Valley, The Dalles Resources: Wasco County website Wasco County Status: Phase 2 (effective June 5) Cities: Antelope, Dufur, Maupin, Mosier, Shaniko, Tygh Valley, The Dalles Resources: Wasco County website; Columbia River Gorge takeout and delivery Washington County Status: Phase 1 Cities: Aloha, Banks, Beaverton, Bethany, Cornelius, Durham, Forest Grove, Gaston, Hillsboro, King City, Lake Oswego, North Plains, Rivergrove, Sherwood, Tigard, Tualatin, Wilsonville Resources: Washington County website; Tualatin Valley businesses open right now Douglas County Status: Phase 2 (effective June 5) Cities: Canyonville, Drain, Elkton, Glendale, Glide, Lookingglass, Myrtle Creek, Oakland, Reedsport, Riddle, Roseburg, Scottsburg, Sutherlin, Winston, Yoncalla Resources: Douglas County website Lane County Status: Phase 2 (effective June 5) Cities: Blue River, Cheshire, Coburg, Cottage Grove, Creswell, Dexter, Dunes City, Elmira, Eugene, Florence, Junction City, Lowell, Marcola, Mapleton, McKenzie Bridge, Oakridge, Springfield, Veneta, Vida, Westfir Resources: Lane County website; support Lane County businesses  Lincoln County Status: Phase 1 Cities: Agate Beach, Depoe Bay, Lincoln City, Newport, Otis, Otter Rock, Seal Rock, Siletz, Tidewater, Toledo, Waldport, Yachats Resources: Lincoln County website Linn County Status: Phase 2 (effective June 5) Cities: Albany, Brownsville, Crafordsville, Fox Valley, Gates, Halsey, Harrisburg, Idanha, Lebanon, Lyons, Mill City, Millersburg, Peoria, Scio, Shedd, Sodaville, Sweet Home, Tangent, Waterloo Resources: Linn County website; Albany businesses open right now Marion County Status: Phase 1 Cities: Aumsville, Aurora, Brooks, Breitenbush, Detroit, Donald, Gates, Gervais, Hubbard, Idanha, Jefferson, Keizer, Mill City, Mt. Angel, St. Paul, Salem, Scotts Mills, Silverton, Stayton, Sublimity, Turner, Woodburn Resources: Marion County website; Jefferson Delivers Polk County Status: Phase 1 Cities: Dallas, Falls City, Grand Ronde, Independence, Monmouth, Rickreall, Salem, Willamina Resources: Polk County website Klamath County Status: Phase 2 (effective June 5) Cities: Bly, Bonanza, Chiloquin, Klamath Falls, Malin, Merrill Resources: Klamath County website Lake County Status: Phase 2 (effective June 5) Cities: Christmas Valley, Lakeview, Paisley, Plush, Fort Rock, Silver Lake Resources: Lake County website Baker County Status: Phase 2 (effective June 6) Cities: Baker City, Greenhorn, Haines, Halfway, Huntington, Richland, Sumpter, Unity Resources: Baker County website Gilliam County Status: Phase 2 (effective June 6) Cities: Arlington, Condon, Lonerock, Mayville, Rock Creek Resources: Gilliam County website Grant County Status: Phase 2 (effective June 5) Cities: Canyon City, Dayville Granite, John Day, Kimberly, Long Creek, Monument, Mount Vernon, Prairie City, Seneca Resources: Grant County website Central Oregon Crook County Status: Phase 2 (effective June 6) Cities: Lone Pine, Prineville, Powell Butte Resources: Crook County website Deschutes County Status: Phase 1 (Application for Phase 2 under review) Cities: Bend, Black Butte Ranch, La Pine, Redmond, Sisters, Sunriver, Terrebonne Resources: Deschutes County website; Bend businesses offering takeout Jefferson County Status: Phase 1 (Application for Phase 2 under review) Cities: Camp Sherman, Culver, Madras, Metolius, Warm Springs Resources: Jefferson County website Mt. Hood & the Gorge Clackamas County Status: Phase 1 Cities: Barlow, Canby, Estacada, Gladstone, Government Camp, Happy Valley, Johnson City, Lake Oswego, Milwaukie, Molalla, Oregon City, Rivergrove, Sandy, Tualatin, West Linn, Wilsonville Resources: Clackamas County website; Clackamas County map of open businesses Hood River County Status: Phase 1 Cities: Cascade Locks, Hood River, Odell, Parkdale Resources: Hood River County website; Hood River businesses offering takeout Multnomah County Status: Baseline Cities: Corbett, Fairview, Gresham, Maywood Park, Milwaukie, Portland, Troutdale, Wood Village Resources: Multnomah County website; Columbia River Gorge takeout and delivery Portland Region Clackamas County Status: Phase 1 Cities: Barlow, Canby, Estacada, Gladstone, Government Camp, Happy Valley, Johnson City, Lake Oswego, Milwaukie, Molalla, Oregon City, Rivergrove, Sandy, Tualatin, West Linn, Wilsonville Resources: Clackamas County website; Clackamas County map of open businesses; Made in Oregon City local shops Columbia County Status: Phase 2 (effective June 6) Cities: Clatskanie, Columbia City, Prescott, Rainier, St. Helens, Scappoose, Vernonia Resources: Columbia County website Multnomah County Status: Baseline Cities: Corbett, Fairview, Gresham, Maywood Park, Milwaukie, Portland, Troutdale, Wood Village Resources: Multnomah County website; PDX 2 Go restaurants offering takeout Oregon Coast Clatsop County Status: Phase 2 (effective June 6) Cities: Arch Cape, Astoria, Cannon Beach, Gearhart, Jewell, Seaside, Warrenton Resources: Clatsop County website Coos County Status: Phase 2 (effective June 6) Cities: Bandon, Charleston, Coos Bay, Coquille, Lakeside, Myrtle Point, North Bend, Powers Resources: Coos County website; Reedsport – Winchester Bay to go Curry County Status: Phase 2 (effective June 5) Cities: Agness, Brookings, Gold Beach, Langlois, Port Orford Resources: Curry County website Willamette Valley Benton County Status: Phase 2 (effective June 5) Cities: Adair Village, Albany, Alsea, Corvallis, Monroe, Philomath Resources: Benton County website; Corvallis businesses open right now Clackamas County Status: Phase 1 Cities: Barlow, Canby, Estacada, Gladstone, Government Camp, Happy Valley, Johnson City, Lake Oswego, Milwaukie, Molalla, Oregon City, Rivergrove, Sandy, Tualatin, West Linn, Wilsonville Resources: Clackamas County website; Clackamas County map of open businesses Lane County Status: Phase 2 (effective June 5) Cities: Blue River, Cheshire, Coburg, Cottage Grove, Creswell, Dexter, Dunes City, Elmira, Eugene, Florence, Junction City, Lowell, Marcola, Mapleton, McKenzie Bridge, Oakridge, Springfield, Veneta, Vida, Westfir Resources: Lane County website; support Lane County businesses  Southern Oregon Douglas County Status: Phase 2 (effective June 5) Cities: Canyonville, Drain, Elkton, Glendale, Glide, Lookingglass, Myrtle Creek, Oakland, Reedsport, Riddle, Roseburg, Scottsburg, Sutherlin, Winston, Yoncalla Resources: Douglas County website Jackson County Status: Phase 2 (effective June 5) Cities: Ashland, Butte Falls, Central Point, Eagle Point, Gold Hill, Jacksonville, Medford, Phoenix, Prospect, Rogue River, Shady Cove, Talent Resources: Jackson County website; Jacksonville restaurants open for takeout Josephine County Status: Phase 2 (effective June 6) Cities: Cave Junction, Grants Pass, Kerby, Merlin, Wolf Creek Resources: Josephine County website Phase 2 reopening For Phase 2, counties will need to have completed 21 days in Phase 1 and are succeeding in controlling the spread of the virus. Find specifics about the process here. Indoor and outdoor entertainment facilities: Operations are allowed to reopen if activities are limited to parties of 10 people of fewer, physical distancing measures are maintained, and employees wear face coverings and thoroughly sanitize facilities, among other details. Drop-in childcare and contact sports remain prohibited. Zoos, museums and outdoor gardens have additional guidelines and recommendations, including a phone reservation system and designated greeters. Restaurants and bars: Businesses must determine maximum occupancy to maintain physical distancing requirements and enforce them, such as with table spacing, party sizes and sanitation. All on-site consumption of food and drinks must end by midnight. Self-service operations and pre-set tableware are prohibited. Venues and events: Operators of venues and events are required to assign a physical distancing monitor and limit capacity to a maximum of 250 people, including staff, based on a determination of capacity, among other details. Gatherings: The gathering size limit is a maximum of 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors, except for venues, restaurants and bars, indoor and outdoor entertainment facilities and fitness-related organizations, which are subject to a determination of capacity at a maximum of 250. Read the full details about Phase 2 via the Oregon Health Authority.

Oregon Pear and Hazelnut Crisp and Baking Tips

With people staying at home during COVID-19, baking is suddenly the hottest craze.  My Instagram feed is full of scones, pies, breads and muffins — and I couldn’t love it more. As a lifelong baker, I love seeing people discover the joy of baking. There’s nothing like taking a few basic ingredients and making them into something delicious.  Are you looking to hop on the baking bandwagon? I have the perfect place to start plus a few tips and tricks for your journey.  My stay-at-home baking began with a deep dive into Travel Oregon’s archived recipe books. In the 2006 Oregon Bounty Recipes were a collection of autumn-inspired dishes from some of Oregon’s top chefs. The one that caught my eye? A delectable Oregon Pear and Hazelnut Crisp recipe from Mother’s Bistro & Bar in Portland on page 65. It showcases delicious local pears and hazelnuts (or filberts as we call them in Oregon) with enticing hints of cinnamon and ginger in every bite. Fun fact: Crisps gained popularity during World War II when flour and sugar were rationed. Crisp filling 10 medium Oregon Bartlett, Anjou, or Bosc pears, peeled, cored and cut into cubes or slices  ¼ cup sugar  Pinch cinnamon  Pinch ginger  Preheat oven to 375 degrees  Butter a 2 quart, 2-inch deep baking dish  In a medium mixing bowl, combine the pears, sugar, cinnamon and ginger. Pour into prepared dish. Set aside and make crisp topping.  Hazelnuts and pears are just some of Oregon’s many locally grown ingredients. Oregon Pear and Hazelnut Crisp Mother’s Bistro & Bar  Lisa Schroeder, Chef/Owner Crisp topping 1 ½ cups uncooked oats  1 ½ cups light brown sugar  1 ½ cups all-purpose flour  1 ¼ cups Oregon hazelnuts, roughly chopped   Pinch cinnamon  Pinch dry ginger  ½ pound unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes  In a medium mixing bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, flour, hazelnuts, cinnamon and ginger. Using a pastry blender or heavy whisk, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly but holds together when squeezed between your finger. (It’s okay if the mixture is not totally homogenized – little bits of butter are fine).  Spread topping on pears in the baking dish, making sure the fruit is evenly covered. Place in a preheated oven and bake for approximately 45 minutes.   Remove from oven and serve warm with vanilla ice cream.   Bonus points if you serve the crisp with Oregon-made ice cream. Freeze and Enjoy Later Did you know that most baked goods freeze exceptionally well? This is a great way to enjoy your hard work after the pandemic ends and life speeds back up. It’s also a lifesaver for me because I live by myself and never want to waste anything (or eat it all in a few days).   To freeze bread and cake (un-frosted), wrap in plastic wrap or freezer paper and then wrap again in aluminum foil (heavy duty foil is best for long-term storage). Place the wrapped bread/cake in a freezer safe container or zip top plastic bag. Label the container with the item name and date, and you’re all set! To thaw, simply remove items from the freezer the night before and place them in the refrigerator. Frozen bread/cake is best consumed within three months.  (Tip: When freezing a loaf of bread, slice the bread before freezing it so you can grab slices individually and don’t need to thaw the entire loaf.)  To freeze cookies, simply wrap the cookies altogether in freezer paper or aluminum foil and place in a freezer-safe container. Label and date the container and consume within three months.  Shop local Oregonians are lucky to have easy access to locally grown ingredients. We don’t have to go far to find Oregon-made baked goods and ingredients. Here are a few places to look before baking. Finding Flour Flour has never been so popular! If you’ve searched high and low for flour at your local supermarket and come up empty handed, try reaching out directly to the mill.  Oregon is the home to amazing mills like Bob’s Red Mill and Camas Country Mill.    Another great option is checking with your favorite local farmers market vendor like the small family-run Gee Creek Farm. Gee Creek Farm is continuing to sell its organic flours at two Portland Farmers Market’s as well as offering local delivery and pick-up at area co-ops. Support bakers Looking for a shortcut? In addition to selling delicious pastries, some bakeries like Grand Central Bakery and The Sparrow Bakery also sell dough and u-bake pastries to bake at home. This is a great way to get homemade pastries without the messy kitchen, and it also supports your local bakery.  It’s best to give your favorite bakery a call and ask what they’re offering during this unique time.  Happy baking!  Baking tips Whether you’re baking the crisp or another Oregon chef’s treat, here are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way. Measure ALL your ingredients and set them aside before you begin. Since we’re all making fewer trips to the supermarket during the pandemic, I measure my ingredients several days in advance. This gives me ample time to put things on my shopping list and avoid last-minute trips.  Remember that a tablespoon (tbsp) and teaspoon (tsp) are abbreviated differently and make a HUGE difference. No one wants 1 tbsp of salt.  Check the expiration dates for all your ingredients, especially leavening ingredients like yeast, baking powder, and baking soda that may have been sitting in your cupboard for a while.   Use ingredients at room temperature unless specified by the recipe – this includes milk, eggs, and butter. (To get eggs to room temperature quickly, place in a bowl and fill the bowl with lukewarm water and let sit for 5-10 minutes.)   Always preheat the oven.

Vineyard Hikes, History and Community at Eola Hills Winery

At many Oregon wineries, you may be content to sip your favorite pinot noir, soak up the stunning views and head home for the day. At Eola Hills Wine Cellars in Salem, however, a day of wine tasting can be much more. You could be “wiking” — yes, wine hiking — along one of the property’s vineyard trails. You could be pedaling through wine country on one of Eola’s organized bike rides; cuddling with animals and enjoying yoga and pampering during the winery’s annual wellness weekend; or blissing out at one of its summer concerts, winemaker dinners or even its yearly all-inclusive European trips for true aficionados. There’s a lot to love about Eola Hills — one of the Willamette Valley’s heritage wineries, celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2021. Here’s what to look for on your next visit. More Than Pinot Noir You’ll find plenty of Eola Hills bottles at your local wine shop (or online), but the best selection is at either of the two tasting rooms. Both are in the mid-Willamette Valley near Salem, just under an hour south of Portland. Head to the Rickreall tasting room for a rustic barrel-room vibe and private garden, or plan an escape to Eola Hills’ Legacy Estate Vineyard 6 miles east, with gorgeous views, special flights and pairings, and even a campsite available as an add-on to special events for a deluxe overnight glamping experience. Both tasting rooms offer much more than just pinot noir and chardonnay, with more than a dozen varietals and styles including rose, muscat, pinot gris, riesling, gewurztraminer, zinfandel, sauvignon blanc, merlot, syrah, tempranillo, traditional Portugese port and more.  Eola produces these wines from its own estate vineyards — spanning more than 325 acres in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA — as well as those sourced from up to a dozen vineyards throughout the Willamette Valley, Southern Oregon and the Columbia River Gorge. “I’ve always felt if you’re going to build a wine club and tasting room appealing to a broad array of people, you’d better have some variety for them,” says Tom Huggins, who founded the vineyard in 1982 after working as an insurance agent for local wineries and vineyards. “We’ve gone to where the grapes grow best — that’s why we have so many different varietals.”  Everyday Wines at a Great Price While Eola’s list of awards is long, the wine isn’t for elite drinkers only. Whether it’s for a picnic, a dinner party or a Tuesday evening at home, Eola wines can be found starting at $14, with a fantastic bottle of pinot noir priced at $20. “It’s a great value; that’s what we like to be known for,” Huggins says. Steve Anderson started as Eola’s assistant winemaker in 1993 and has been the head winemaker since 2000. He enjoys his freedom to work on special releases, like his latest small-lot reserve bottling — a slightly fizzy and sweet moscato made from a limited planting of Muscat Ottonel white-wine grapes he’s had in the vineyard since 1996. While the batch is exclusive, he’s always striving to make it accessible. “We’d rather have you enjoy the wine than wish you could afford the wine,” Anderson says.  Pioneers in Winemaking Consistency makes for quality wine, and with 25 years under one winemaker, Eola Hills has it down pat. “I’ve been doing it so long,” Anderson says. “I’ve seen rainy years, dry years. It’s just easier to deal with the vagaries of weather when you’ve been on the job for so long.” As one of Oregon’s pioneer winemakers, Anderson has been a mentor to newer winemakers as they’ve had to deal with harvests under wildfires and other tests of Mother Nature. Eola also lends its fermentation tanks and other equipment to eight local vineyards and cider makers to use for their own labels in its custom-crush program.    Unique Events to Explore While wine is always the focus, Eola knows visitors love to have fun while sipping, so they’ve always sought to curate dynamic experiences. “We do a lot of things that diversify ourselves,” Huggins says. “You have to be creative in this business or you don’t survive.” During the summer, the Legacy Estate Vineyard draws visitors with activities that are hard to resist. Check before visiting in 2020, but typically Monday nights are for yoga in the vineyard, when rosé is the drink of choice. Visitors can meander Legacy Estate’s 165-acre forested property on one of two dog-friendly “wiking” trails, combining two Oregon pastimes — wine and hiking. How about traveling to Europe with Eola’s founder and winemaker for an all-inclusive guided tour of premier wine-lovers’ sites? Look for information about the next exclusive trip in 2021.  More iconic Eola events (call the winery to check in 2020) include the annual Twilight in the Vines wine-pairing dinner series; the Summer Uncorked concert series with views of the rolling hills (and an apres-concert dinner as an option); and the Bike Oregon Wine Country bike series during Sundays in August, with 45-mile and 70-mile course options. With wine tastings at a few wineries along the way as well as refueling stations and gourmet breakfast, lunch, snacks and salmon barbecue feast at the finish line — not to mention a support vehicle for easy transport of wine bottles home — it’s the ultimate way to show your love for Oregon wine country. Finally, Eola Hills’ Thrive Wellness Weekend with Barre3 includes spa treatments, yoga and barre sessions and a chance to pet cuddly animals as you sip special-release wines. Up for the ultimate wine-country wedding? Eola’s tasting rooms make for a perfect setting for nuptials too.