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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 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…

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…

Where should we have our backpacking and fly fishing anniversary getaway?

Backpacking and fly fishing sounds like a great way to celebrate your anniversary! My first recommendation would be the Rogue River. There’s a trail that follows along the river for 40+ miles, with camping areas and even lodging you can reserve if you wanted to have a night of luxury. It’s Wild and Scenic River and…

What are your favorite Oregon winter adventures?

During winter, there are tons of activities you can do, from skiing or snowboarding, to snowshoeing, hiking and soaking in hot springs! You can camp in the national forests or wilderness areas, or there are some campgrounds open too, depending on where you want to go. There are also some fun places to stay, like…

Are most mountainous areas in Oregon, particularly the Cascades, free of snow in June?

That’s a great question. Depending on the amount of snow we get this winter and how warm the spring is, much of the Oregon Cascades can still be under snow in June. It’s the time of year, however, when trails do start to open up and there will definitely be some trails free of snow….

With only three days to visit, should we ski Mt. Bachelor or Mt. Hood?

It sounds like you already have an idea of some of the best things to do in Oregon (skiing!), and you really can’t go wrong with either option, but I can offer some more details that might help you decide. March tends to be the best month for skiing in the Cascades! We usually get…

What are the best fall camping spots near Portland?

Everything within 3 hours of Portland right now (October) is going to be gorgeous. So I’ve put together a few lists for you. The Coast: Cape Lookout State Park Nehalem Bay State Park Fort Stevens State Park Lincoln City (~4ish hours) Mount Hood: Devil’s Peak Fire Tower Trillium Lake Timberline Trail Timothy Lake Columbia River…

Where can I hike to a view of all the mountains?

Off the top of my head, I believe the trail you’re referring to is the Larch Mountain trail in the Gorge. From the top on a clear day you can see Mt. Shasta, the Sisters, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens. Larch Mountain has 3 trailheads. The first is…

Should we visit Crater Lake or the Painted Hills?

I’ve fielded quite a few difficult questions, but this might take the cake. My initial response is, “why not both?” If you have time for both, obviously it’s a no-brainer. If not, there is no ultramarine blue that comes close to Crater Lake. I wish I was kidding when I say this but the first…

What are the perfect hikes for our family vacation?

I wish my parents were as cool as you are when I was a kid! So it depends when your vacation will start but if it’s this summer, which I’m assuming it is… here’s a quick list of places you can check out within your six-day trip: From Portland, Head to the Columbia River Gorge…

Is it true Oregon is pet-friendly? Can I hike in most state and local parks with my dog?

You heard correctly, the PNW is a very dog-friendly place. You can hike in any State Park with your dog as long as you keep them on a leash and clean up after them. And if you’re looking for a few different, non-state park hikes, checkout Oregon Hikers Field Guide. In each description of every hike,…

What are the best mountain bike areas in Oregon?

There are SO many places in Oregon to mountain bike, but I’ll try to narrow them down to the BEST. Are you ready? Top 5 recommendations: McKenzie River Trail Oakridge — Alpine Trail Sandy Ridge Trail Surveyors Ridge Tiddlywinks Honorable Mentions: Oakridge — Tire Mountain or Waldo Lake Tyler’s Traverse North Umpqua Trail Black Rock Post…

Where can we fish for trout or catfish near Roseburg?

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife regularly stocks reservoirs and lakes with trout. You can find the schedule of trout stocking for your area online. However, a good bet for catching catfish would be to head over to the Coast and fish in Siltcoos Lake.

Can our family fit hiking, dog sledding and skiing into a 6-day trip near Portland?

If you have a rental car, everything you’ll want to do will be easy! There are a ton of great, kid and adult friendly hikes around the area that I’m sure you’ll love. If you’re looking for vistas and mountain views: Tom Dick and Harry Mountain via Mirror Lake Angels Rest Zig Zag Mountain via…

What outdoorsy things can my dog and I do together in Portland?

October is my favorite month and dogs are my favorite humans — so you’re in good hands. When I first moved to Portland I picked up this book and it’s changed my life. And my dog’s. But really, most of the trails in and around Portland are dog-friendly as long as your dog remains on…

I want to propose to my girlfriend during our 6 days camping around Oregon — where should I pop the question?

First of all, congratulations! When I opened this email, I got goosebumps and butterflies and my heart started racing and I immediately had a million ideas in my mind of where you should go. But first. I’m going to give you my top 5 favorite places in each of those three locations. And then I’m…

What are some good day trips from Portland where I can go hiking in the mountains?

4-5 days in Oregon might not be enough for your mountain-seeking soul, but we’ll work with what we’ve got. From Portland, your options are endless. If you just want to see a mountain, you can hike up to Pittock Mansion through Forest Park and you’ll be able to see Mt. St. Helens, the tip of…

Are there lakes we can kayak in the Eugene and Roseburg area?

I love kayaking — and it’s a great vacation idea! Here are a few spots in that area you might try: Fern Ridge Reservoir is a really big lake just a few miles west of Eugene with nice park areas on the shore and plenty of room for kayaking. Willamette River is not a lake, but the Willamette…

We’ve never been west of the Rockies! What are the cannot-miss spots in Oregon?

I actually grew up in South Dakota so I definitely want you to have an amazing time. And I am absolutely sure you will! Highway 101 down the Coast is an amazing drive. I’d highly, highly recommend this over taking I-5 South. There are tide pools, the Goonies House, crabbing, local surf spots, delicious seafood…