Sara Paradej is sharing her adventurous Oregon highway journey itinerary and all of the epic hikes that go along with it!
I visited Oregon as a part of a one-month highway journey within the western United States. I used to be mesmerized by the surroundings within the western portion of Oregon: luscious timber climbing in the direction of the sky, vibrant inexperienced moss enveloping forests, and towering waterfalls attractive guests to marvel of their energy.
Whereas most individuals will enterprise to the gorgeous Crater Lake Nationwide Park and the favored waterfalls simply outdoors of Portland, there may be a lot extra to see and do when you’re keen to enterprise out only a bit additional. You’ll be rewarded with an amazing exercise, fewer crowds, and unbelievably lovely views.
Like with a lot of the USA, if you wish to get out to nature, you’ll want a automotive. I additionally suggest that you simply hire a high-clearance automotive (or be further cautious whenever you drive), as lots of the nationwide forest roads include potholes which are just about unavoidable.
This itinerary usually includes a reasonably strenuous hike every day for one week.
You’ll see rainforests, lakes, climb a mountain, and get your fill of waterfalls. If that’s not sufficient for you, these hikes are all tucked into nationwide forests and state parks that provide all kinds of surroundings and hikes of various issue.
Many hikes within the state require the Discovery Pass, which solely prices $5 and is legitimate in each Oregon and Washington Nationwide Forests.
I stayed in two Airbnbs throughout my keep in Oregon: one in Bend, then one in Portland. I used these cities as a base for my travels, as they’re each positioned shut sufficient to parks that I by no means needed to drive greater than two hours to get to my vacation spot for the day.
In case you love tenting, all the locations on this listing provide campgrounds, simply be certain to order a spot!
Right here’s the final word Oregon journey highway journey itinerary!
The Finest Time to Go to
Western Oregon usually has a temperate local weather, that means it most likely gained’t get too scorching or freezing chilly…the catch is that it’s going to probably rain whilst you’re there.
I counsel leaving some wiggle room in your itinerary when you don’t need to hike within the rain. If you wish to decrease the chance of rain, I like to recommend you go to in July or August. I visited in mid-June and it drizzled and/or rained virtually each day—so carry a rain jacket!
The principle perk of visiting on the tail finish of spring was that we had excellent mountaineering temperatures every day (60-70 levels Fahrenheit). Not comfy mountaineering on a wet day? No drawback!
Go to one of many ample espresso retailers and/or breweries in Oregon and take a time off of mountaineering!
My 7-Day Itinerary
- Day 1: Arrive in Bend & Benham Falls Path
- Day 2: Climb Tumalo Mountain
- Day 3: Sparks Lake
- Day 4: Tumalo Falls Path
- Day 5: Silver Falls State Park & Drive to Portland
- Day 6: Ramona Falls Path
- Day 7: Go away Portland
Day One: Arrive in Bend and Benham Falls
Whether or not you’re arriving in Bend through airplane, bus, or driving, you’re going to need to situate your self in your first day.
We stayed on a farm within the Deschutes Nationwide Forest, and I extremely suggest you keep someplace close to or within the Nationwide Forest when you’re in search of an actual nature getaway. I obtained to get up seeing elk grazing in my yard within the morning!
When you’re settled, I like to recommend you search for a close-by hike to get your bearings.
I went on the Benham Falls Path, which was an amazing hike to begin my Oregon journey. All through the hike, you’ll be taught concerning the pure historical past of the realm, see lovely birds, and stroll alongside the dashing Deschutes River.
Despite the fact that it’s solely a 1.5-mile path, you’ll need to account for some further time to sit down and benefit from the views.
In case you’re seeking to eat out for dinner, contemplate the Laughing Planet for a yummy veggie bowl, or Dump City Dumplings when you’re in search of an reasonably priced, filling, and engaging meal.
Day Two: Climb Tumalo Mountain
[Approx. 21 miles from Bend | 25 minutes]
If you’re looking for beautiful views of the Cascades and the forests of central Oregon, look no further. The out and back trail that leads you to the summit of Tumalo Mountain is 3.8 miles and well worth the steep elevation gain.
Along the way, you’ll see colorful wildflowers, get increasingly stunning views of the surrounding mountains, and maybe even get a glimpse of wildlife!
If you are hiking this trail outside the summer months (July and August), the trail will likely be partially or fully covered by snow.
I recommend downloading an app to make sure you’re heading the right way (I use Alltrails) or picking up a physical trail map and using a compass. I hiked in June, and about half of the trail was covered by snow.
Regardless, the views from the top are well worth the work!
For those of you who are looking for beautiful views but don’t want to hike up a mountain, I recommend you visit Mount Bachelor and hop on one of their scenic lift rides. From there, you’ll be able to see Three Sisters peaks, Broken Top, and sprawling forests.
While you’re at Mt. Bachelor, consider zip-lining or mountain biking to really get your fill of adrenaline.
Day Three: Sparks Lake
[Approx. 27 miles from Bend | 35 minutes]
Because you’re most likely sore from climbing Tumalo Mountain, take it simple right this moment at Sparks Lake. This glimmering, large lake presents many lounging and water actions.
When you get to the tip of Forest Highway 46-400 and attain the car parking zone, you possibly can hop out of your automotive and go on to the sandy seashores of the lake. Alternatively, you possibly can hike all or a part of the 19.5-mile Sparks Lake Path to discover a much less crowded space to have a picnic, benefit from the beautiful mountain views, and loosen up.
In case you’re in search of a spot to camp, look no additional. It is a great, family-friendly space to camp with breathtaking views.
Love water sports activities and actions? It is a great spot to do them! Go fishing, hire a kayak or canoe, go waterboarding, and even carry your boat (there’s a 10 MPH velocity restrict!). Given the scale of the lake, you’ll haven’t any drawback spending an entire day adventuring.
Remember that the forest highway that results in Sparks Lake has many potholes. It’s undoubtedly doable with a low clearance automotive, however you’ll need to be further cautious!
Day 4: Tumalo Falls Path
[Approx. 14 miles from Bend | 30 minutes]
The following few days are going to be full of rain forests and waterfalls—so buckle up!
I’m from the Midwest, so my expectations for what constitutes a waterfall are fairly low. As I traveled by means of Oregon, I rapidly discovered that Oregon has excessive requirements for waterfalls. These towering, highly effective, and dashing waterfalls will go away you marveling.
I extremely suggest you go to Tumalo Falls, no matter whether or not you full the complete Tumalo Falls Loop or not.
Tumalo Falls is correct by the car parking zone, so it’s an amazing choice for anybody who’s unable to hike longer distances by means of forests. In case you’re feeling adventurous (and keen to get moist!), you possibly can stroll behind the falls, which I believe is totally price it.
After you’re performed getting the proper image behind Tumalo Falls, get again onto the loop—you continue to have Four extra waterfalls to see! Alongside this path, you’ll be strolling by means of the mossy rainforest, and you could run into some wildlife! Be sure you have your digicam prepared.
Remember that the highway main on to the trailhead car parking zone closes within the winter and may be closed into the spring season.
Whether it is closed, you possibly can nonetheless park your automotive 2.5 miles within the lot simply in entrance of the highway closure signal. Though this provides a complete of 5 miles to your hike, it’s nonetheless undoubtedly well worth the views.
Day 5: Go to Silver Falls State Park
[Approx. 123 miles from Bend | 2 hours and 30 minutes]
& Drive to Portland [Approx. 53 miles from Silver Falls | 1 hour]
It’s time to maneuver from Bend to the way more visited Portland! Whilst you’re driving, you can’t miss the Path of Ten Falls in Silver Falls State Park. This path is a 7.eight mile loop, and as its title suggests, takes you thru a picturesque rainforest hike to 10 totally different waterfalls.
My private favorites had been the South Falls and Double Falls. They’re each tremendous tall, and you’ll even stroll proper beneath the Double Falls!
Silver Falls State Park presents so many various hikes and delightful surroundings for tenting—it’s undoubtedly price a go to for no less than a day.
When you’re prepared to go away, it’s time to get again on the highway and head to Portland. Portland is a vibrant and vigorous metropolis.
Though I didn’t spend a lot time exploring town itself, I do assume it’s price it to stroll round and seize a cup of espresso at a neighborhood espresso store, that are seemingly on each nook. You’ll discover numerous cool road artwork, parks, and Instagram-worthy industrial bridges.
The Final Information to Portland in a Weekend
Portland continues its popularity as a hip and hipster-friendly city. With a plethora of mouth-watering eating places and lovely sights, you possibly can simply spend a number of weekends in Stumptown and nonetheless not see all of it.
Day Six: Ramona Falls
[Approx. 53 miles from Portland | 1 hour and 10 minutes]
I’ve saved the very best for final; Ramona Falls, in my humble opinion, is probably the most lovely waterfall on this itinerary.
The path is positioned within the Mount Hood Nationwide Forest, which implies you additionally get putting views of Mount Hood alongside the best way to the Falls. This 7-mile lollipop loop takes you thru what seems like a fairytale forest, have you ever cross logs over a river, and leads you to the large magnificence that’s Ramona Falls.
As a warning, the forest highway resulting in the trailhead may be very slender and full of potholes—so watch out!
Because you’ve already made the drive to Mount Hood Nationwide Forest, I like to recommend you keep for a picnic with a scenic view—like on the Mirror Lake Loop Path.
To congratulate your self in your laborious work mountaineering your approach by means of Oregon, you need to deal with your self to a pleasant dinner in Portland. Two of my favorites included Clyde Widespread (communal tables, European-style meals) and Navarre (small plates).
Day Seven: Finish of Journey
Fly out of Portland or Proceed to Washington
[By driving, train, flying, or bus!]
Earlier than you permit, choose up some donuts at Blue Star Donuts or Voodoo Donuts (or each!) and a cup of espresso.
In case you’re flying out of Portland, have a secure flight! In case you’re seeking to proceed your journey, contemplate Washington.
An hour and a half outdoors of Portland you can see your self at a large, historic volcano: Mount St. Helens. There are ample hikes to do within the space, and they’re effectively well worth the effort.
Prime Spots to Go to on a Pacific Northwest Highway Journey
Listed here are the highest spots so as to add to your Pacific Northwest highway journey itinerary!
Mount St. Helens is a beautiful addition when you have time!
Though this itinerary was meant to focus on a few of the easily-accessible parks and areas which are much less widespread than different iconic Oregon locations, there’s a motive locations like Crater Lake Nationwide Park and Multnomah Falls are so widespread…they’re gorgeous!
In case you’re visiting Multnomah Falls, cease by Latourell Falls and Oneonta Gorge—they’re very shut by and simply as breathtaking. Lastly, I do extremely suggest you make the drive to the Gifford Pinchot Nationwide Forest in Washington (residence of Mt. St. Helens)—it’s such a simple drive from Portland!
There’s a motive why Oregon’s journey slogan is “Oregon, issues look totally different right here.”
Oregon presents a lush and vibrant escape that’s troublesome to copy. There’s something for everybody: informal day hikers, weekend campers, and long-haul backpackers alike.
Though it’s usually wet, I discovered that the views on the finish of a hike had been at all times price it. So pack a rain jacket and prepare to discover the sweetness Oregon has to supply!