OREGON HAS IT ALL: high desert in the east, forested mountains, wild ocean along the coast, sweeping river valleys and towering waterfalls. Our State Parks might not be as well known to visitors as Crater Lake, but they’re more than worth visiting.
Smith Rock State ParkTerrebonne, United StatesSmith Rock State Park, in Central Oregon, is a varied natural world in itself. It’s a diorama of different landscapes in a contained area. Jutting rock formations, trees, herons in the creek and incredible colors are harmoniously together within walking distance.
#Oregon #hiking #nature #parks
Smith Rock State Park in central Oregon, north of Bend, offers dramatically different landscapes in a contained area. It is a climber’s paradise. My brother and I hiked up a steep path to the top of the climber-dotted cliffs. Tall pines grew along the creek below. On our walk back, a heron flew low on the water and a river otter kept popping out of the creek.
Ecola State Park
Ecola State ParkCannon Beach, United StatesThe #Oregon coast is untouched even in some of its most visited spots.
Cannon Beach’s Haystack Rock is on the far-right in the background.
#Park #coast #oregoncoast
One of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (National and State) Parks, Ecola is north of the well-known Cannon Beach with its haystack rock. There are miles of walkable trails, with many ways to get down to the beaches. I simply picked one trail and walked down to the sand. The dense forest suddenly opened up for the full roar of the ocean.
Detroit Lake is not far from Salem, the state’s capital; and is technically a reservoir created in 1953. I’ve seen the lake when its water level was so high it almost lapped Oregon Route 22. One year later, after a drought which affected the whole Pacific Northwest, the lake was almost gone. My brother and I walked almost to its very center among the countless tree stumps.
Silver Falls State ParkMarion County, United StatesAwe-inspiring landscape and views in this tucked in State Park. There are a series of waterfalls connected by trails.
Photo not by me as I’m in the photo.
#Oregon #waterfall #hiking
The largest State Park in Oregon, halfway between Detroit Lake and Salem, Silver Falls is famous for 24 miles of paths to ten waterfalls of different size, shape and effect. All around there is green lush vegetation, from sky jutting cedars to thick undergrowth.
Painted HillsMitchell, United StatesI had the impression that the Painted Hills themselves were popping out almost out of nowhere from the landscape within the Park. And what a sight!
#Oregon #landscape #colors #hiking
Painted Hills is in central Oregon, not far from Smith Rock to its east, and is one of the three units of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. The deep rust colors of the landscape form a burnt, eerie landscape that looks like a painted canvas layered on the hilly ground.
Wreck of the Peter IredaleWarrenton, United StatesFort Stevens is a pretty stretch of coastal wide beach and woodland on the Oregon north-west corner.
The Peter Iredale wreck is historic proof of the nickname of this stretch of coast, ‘Graveyard of the Pacific.’
#Oregon #Coast #Park #ship #oregoncoast
Another of the Lewis and Clark Expedition Parks, Fort Stevens is at the very north-western most tip of the state, at the mouth of the Columbia River. The Park is flat yet forested, with few people around during the year. Here you can see a testimony to the many tragedies of these waters: the Wreck of the Peter Iredale.
Yachats State Park
The lava rocks formations of Yachats are tricky to walk on, yet there is a brooding wind-swept beauty here. This spot is not far from Thor’s Well.
Best Travel Credit Cards
Top offers from our partners
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
80,000 bonus points
The Platinum Card®
75,000 bonus points
American Express® Gold Card
60,000 bonus points