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What stops should we make from Eugene to the South Coast to Ashland?

You have a great route picked out! There is so much to do in the outdoors in Oregon from Eugene through the southern part of the state. You’re going to love it. Here’s what not to miss: If you go from Eugene to the coast, make your first stop Reedsport, to check out the amazing…

What are your favorite breweries off Interstate 5?

You’ll be headed through some wonderful brewery country there. If you’re traveling F-Su, you might consider Agrarian Ales, an absolutely wonderful farmhouse brewery that uses local ingredients and has a lovely outdoor dining area with a great view of their hop fields. They’re just off I-5 north of Eugene. Another great choice is Corvallis’ Block 15,…

Is a wilderness trip in September doable in terms of weather, hunting season, etc.?

September is a great time to visit Oregon and explore the mountains! It’s definitely doable, but weather can be a huge question mark. Often, September is filled with warm, summer-like days and crisp, cool nights. However, it’s not uncommon to see snow falling in September, especially at higher elevations. If you’re planning on day hikes,…

What’s a beautiful place near Baker City where I can propose to my girlfriend?

What exciting news! Baker City is a pretty amazing place with a lot of beautiful vistas nearby, and even more if you have extra time to explore. The downtown area has some beautiful cityscapes, including in front of the historic Geiser Grand Hotel. There are some lovely valley views along the Elkhorns as you drive…

What are some dog-friendly parks near Canyonville?

Thanks for you question! Directly in Canyonville, there are several parks that are dog-friendly. Charles V Stanton Park is right off I-5 (hard to miss), and fairly large, but does get some freeway noise. If you take Tiller Trail Highway, however, you arrive at two smaller parks, Herberts Pond Park and Canyonville County Park (this…

Is there camping along Route 204 between Elgin and Tollgate?

Thanks for asking! There are a few campgrounds close to Highway 204 as you travel across the Blue Mountains. On the western side there is Camp Meadowwood Springs and as you move progressively east there is Woodward Campground near the summit and then further west Woodland Campground. A little further off the highway are two…

What are the ultimate Oregon half-day, full-day and overnight backcountry hikes?

I definitely have some suggestions. Here are some of my favorite half-day, full-day and overnight backpacking hikes: Half-Day Hikes Tumalo Mountain (Bend, Central Oregon): Tumalo is about 4-miles round-trip. The trail up Tumalo starts from Dutchman Flat parking area on Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway and offers a steady climb rewarded with alpine wildflowers and beautiful views of Broken…

Are there places to paddleboard near McMinnville?

Good question! Depends on what you define as “near.” I know lots of  folks paddleboard on the Willamette River…which isn’t right in McMinnville, but isn’t that far away, either. There are multiple places to put in/take out on the Willamette. I know people paddleboard from Wallace Marine Park in Salem, which is maybe 30 minutes…

Which Portland luxury hotels should we consider for our family reunion?

My first two recommendations would be either the Kimpton Riverplace or The Nines. Both are located in or near downtown Portland with access to MAX lightrail or streetcar as well as beautiful catered banquet rooms. Kimpton RiverPlace Hotel (1510 SW Harbor Way) is located on the waterfront next to Tom McCall Park and is a six-minute…

For kids that have never seen the ocean, what places should we visit?

The Oregon Coast is 363 miles of family friendly, but there are some great stops known for being kid-rrific. The town of Seaside is one of Oregon’s first beach resort towns and it is still known as one of the best family destinations in the Pacific Northwest. There is a lot of family friendly shopping,…

Are there campsites near the Painted Hills with restrooms?

Sounds like a really fun trip! The Painted Hills are one of my favorite places in Oregon, with a landscape that is both majestic and a little surreal when the sunlight hits it just right. One of the best campgrounds near the Painted Hills is the Clyde Holliday State Recreation Site, located between John Day…

Can you see the Gorge waterfalls from a vehicle?

The Columbia Gorge offers some pretty stunning sights that are easily accessible.  To see a panorama of the Columbia River and learn a bit about its history, visit the Vista House at Crown Point off the Historic Columbia River Highway. Depending on your mobility, you may be able to snap some photos at the first…

What’s the best hiking trail near Madras?

I suggest the 7-mile Tam-a-láu Trail loop hike near Lake Billy Chinook. It features a mile-long climb to the top of a lava plateau called the Peninsula, which separates the Deschutes River and Crooked River arms of Lake Billy Chinook. Hikers are treated to bird’s-eye views of the reservoir and the dramatic cliffs and plateaus that line…

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

It sounds like you have quite the adventure planned! That is so exciting. I recommend checking out Summer Lake Hot Springs. It’s a little out of the way — about two hours southeast of Bend — but I find it less crowded, beautiful, and very peaceful. On your way over from Portland, I’d also suggest stopping along the way…

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

Many of the top attractions and viewpoints on the Oregon Coast are wheelchair accessible. Here is a list of some of my favorite Central and South Coast areas that offer wheelchair accessibility: Depoe Bay Whale Watch Center: This is a facility operated by Oregon State Parks that is one of the best whale watching locations…

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

What a fun question! Here are my top recommendations. Memorial Park in Wilsonville. This would be a really easy stop for getting on and off I-5 and a great place to get out and stretch your legs. Heading south from Portland, you’d just take exit 283, then head east for 1 mile. Memorial Park is…

Where can we fish for spring chinook?

Head to the ocean off the North and Central Coast for wild salmon. Or cast a line at one of the many rivers in northwest Oregon stocked with hatchery chinook. Daily limits are enforced. Keep in mind that in 2017 chinook fishing is prohibited in parts of the South Coast. Due to a low forecast…

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

Driving a loop through the Gorge and up over Mt. Hood is actually a perfect, popular and picturesque day trip from Portland. The total drive time is approximately three hours, so you’ll have time to for multiple stops. Keep in mind that the Gorge waterfall corridor around Multnomah Falls is extremely popular, especially on a…

Is May a good time for hiking in Southern Oregon?

Thanks for your question! In Southern Oregon, May is an excellent month for hiking, as it’s not too hot yet, but most trails have dried out from spring rain showers. One of my favorites is the Rogue River Trail. This epic trail is 40 miles, following the Wild and Scenic section of the river, but…

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

May and June is typically the birthing and pupping time for Steller sea lions. During this time, the sea lions usually seek offshore rocks, islands and reefs like those at Cape Arago and are less likely to be inside the Sea Lion Caves. You might see nursing pups on the rocky shelf, below the southern…