Oregon is pretty big. It’s the ninth largest state in the U.S., covering nearly 100,000 square miles. There are a lot of places to explore. So it’s no wonder that everyone who visits Oregon has a different story to tell. From fly-fishing along the North Umpqua River to meteor shower viewings from a mountaintop, Oregon has a lot to offer. We asked some of the state’s best known travelers to share some of their favorite spots. Take a look at the My Oregon series and maybe you’ll be inspired to embark on your own adventure.
An avid fly fisherman and photographer based at Mt. Hood, Darcy Bacha travels the world shooting beautiful snowscapes, finding many of the best spots near his home in Oregon.
Just a five-minute drive from my house is one of my favorite places in Oregon. Lolo Pass offers some of the best views of Mt. Hood. Last year we experienced record heat and low snowfall. This photo shows the snowfields at an all-time low in the 11 years I’ve lived here. I shot this photo from Lolo Pass on October 24, 2015, the day before snow started falling for the 2016 winter season. Luckily this past season Mt. Hood and the rest of the Cascades got packed with fresh snow.
One of Mt. Hood’s most prominent characters is Illumination Rock. The spire is located just west of Crater Rock. Its a relatively easy hike. You can either purchase a climbing ticket from Timberline Lodge and hike from the top of Palmer, which takes about an hour and a half, or start from the parking lot at the lodge, which would add a couple more hours to your trip. Sometimes when Portland is cloudy, the top of Mt. Hood is still sticking above the weather. This particular evening, my friend Sammy and I got real lucky while hitting this massive jump. We were on top of the clouds.
A tiny cold stream pours into a sometimes 80-degree Steamboat Creek. 80-degree water is lethal to steelhead trout, so by the hundreds they nose right up to this cold stream of relief. Steamboat is a tributary of the North Umpqua River, one of Oregon’s most fabled steelhead fly fishing rivers.
Cascade Lakes Scenic Highway
High alpine lakes are one of Oregon’s gems. Surrounded by snow-covered volcanoes and massive ponderosa pine trees, the beauty alone is worth the drive. Fly fishing is just an added bonus. If you’re lucky, you might wake up at one of the many campgrounds surrounding the area blanketed with a thick layer of fog and coyotes howling in the distance.