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Discovering Oregon’s Natural Wonders: A Road Trip through Coastal Beauty and Mountain Majesty

  • 04.10.2023 10:12
  • Vitalii
Oregon Waterfall

Oregon, a land of unparalleled natural beauty, is a dream destination for travelers seeking a perfect blend of coastal serenity and mountain grandeur. Embark on an unforgettable road trip as we explore the magnificent Columbia River Gorge, the majestic Mount Hood, the dramatic landscapes of Smith Rock State Park, and the stunning jewel of Crater Lake National Park. Get ready for an adventure that promises to leave you in awe at every turn.

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Route Overview:

  • Start: Portland, Oregon
  • End: Haystack Rock, Oregon
  • Duration: 7-8 days (adjustable based on your pace)
  • Best Time: May – October

Columbia River Gorge

Day 1: Portland to Columbia River Gorge
Begin your journey in the vibrant city of Portland. After fueling up with coffee and pastries at one of the city’s charming cafes, hit the road and head east to the Columbia River Gorge, just an hour’s drive away. This iconic natural wonder is a playground for hikers, photographers, and nature enthusiasts.
Must-See Spots: Multnomah Falls, Eagle Creek Trail, and Oneonta Gorge.

Accommodation: Stay at well-rated Westcliff Lodge overlooking the Columbia River.

Day 2: Mount Hood
Rise and shine, and continue your journey to Mount Hood, Oregon’s highest peak. Along the way, you’ll be treated to picturesque landscapes and opportunities for hiking, skiing, or simply enjoying the stunning views.
Must-See Spots: Timberline Lodge, Mirror Lake, and Trillium Lake.

Accommodation: Check in at the Whispering Woods Resort located in Welches. This 3-star hotel offers a Spa, with sauna and hot tub.

Day 3: Smith Rock State Park
Travel south to Smith Rock State Park, a rock climbing and hiking paradise. The dramatic rock formations along the Crooked River are a sight to behold, and the park offers numerous trails suitable for all skill levels.
Must-See Spots: Misery Ridge Trail, Monkey Face, and the Crooked River.

Accommodation: Book one-bedroom apartments at the well-rated 4-star Seventh Mountain Resort in Bend.

Day 4: Crater Lake National Park
Prepare for a picturesque drive to Crater Lake National Park, one of the most iconic natural landmarks in the United States. This pristine, deep blue lake nestled in a collapsed volcano caldera is a must-see destination.
Must-See Spots: Crater Lake Rim Drive, Cleetwood Cove Trail, and Wizard Island.

Accommodation: consider staying at Crater Lake Resort close to the National Park. The property offers one-bedroom cottages with a fully-equipped kitchen.

This part of the road trip through Oregon’s natural wonders offers an extraordinary opportunity to connect with the diverse landscapes that define the Beaver State. From the lush Columbia River Gorge to the towering presence of Mount Hood, the rugged beauty of Smith Rock, and the breathtaking splendor of Crater Lake, Oregon’s natural landmarks are a testament to the wonders of Mother Nature. Pack your bags, hit the road, and discover the magic of Oregon’s coast and mountains for yourself.

Let’s extend the road trip itinerary to include a scenic coastal drive from Depoe Bay through Three Capes to Haystack Rock. This addition will provide you with even more opportunities to explore the stunning Oregon Coast.

Oregon coast

Day 5: Depoe Bay to Cape Kiwanda
Start your day in Depoe Bay with a hearty breakfast at a local café, enjoying the charming harbor views. Spend the morning exploring Depoe Bay, known for its picturesque harbor, whale watching, and the famous Spouting Horn. Depart from Depoe Bay and continue your journey north on Highway 101, which hugs the coastline. Arrive at Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area, known for its colorful sandstone cliffs, dunes, and the iconic Haystack Rock.

Accommodation: Inn at Cape Kiwanda offers guest rooms with a furnished balcony with ocean views and a fireplace. An oceanfront brewery is nearby.

Day 6: Cape Lookout State Park
Head to Cape Lookout State Park, a short drive north along the coast (approx. 30 minutes). Hike the Cape Lookout Trail, a moderate trek that leads you to breathtaking viewpoints overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Explore the park’s lush forested areas and enjoy a picnic lunch. If time allows, venture down to the park’s beach and relax or beachcomb. Drive to Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint, known for its historic Cape Meares Lighthouse and panoramic vistas. Explore the viewpoints and learn about the coastal ecosystem. Continue north on Highway 101 and arrive in the charming town of Tillamook. Consider visiting the Tillamook Creamery for a tour and some delicious cheese samples.

Accommodation: We encourage you to book a cabin in Sheltered Nook On Tillamook Bay.

Day 7: Haystack Rock
Begin your day with a visit to Cape Meares State Park to enjoy the stunning views and hike to the Octopus Tree. Drive to Cannon Beach (approx. 1 hour), one of Oregon’s most iconic coastal towns. Spend the morning exploring the sandy shores and admiring the majestic Haystack Rock, a nesting site for seabirds. Visit the tide pools at low tide to observe fascinating marine life. Enjoy lunch at one of Cannon Beach’s excellent seafood restaurants.

trip through Oregon

Photo by Ruvim Miksanskiy and Katie Musial on Unsplash and 15079075 from Pixabay


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