Description - The West Cascades Scenic Byway isn't the shortest route between Portland and Eugene, but this 220-mile scenic alternative offers some of the best "up-close and personal" views of thundering waterfalls, lush ancient forests, rushing whitewater, and cool, placid lakes. The byway frequently intersects major routes that can reconnect motorists to I-5 or Highway 97. These connections offer options to take shorter loops. The byway ends near the timber towns of Westfir and Oakridge.
The northernmost access to the byway begins in the historic logging and hydropower city of Estacada, located only 40 minutes from Portland. From the very start, travelers are immersed in old growth forest, skimming the edge of the breathtaking Clackamas River. From here, the byway winds through the Western Cascades and breathtaking snowcapped volcanic peaks.
Although two segments of the byway - Forest Roads 46 and 19 - are closed in the winter due to snow, the rest of the byway offers access to a range of winter sports. These winter sport facilities range from the most rustic, primitive facilities to highly developed, full-service facilities.
- The West Cascades Scenic Byway is known for it's archaeology, cultural, historical, natural, recreational and scenic attractions.
Recreation - Camping, hiking, swimming, picnicking, boating and biking are just some of the activities that can be found along The West Cascades Scenic Byway.
Climate - Climate in this region changes with elevation. The area receives a high amount of precipitation. Much of the precipitation comes from October to April in the form of rain at the low elevations and as wet heavy snow in the higher elevations. Winter temperatures are normally cool at the lower elevations and cold at the higher elevations. Although snow is possible in the lowest elevations, it is infrequent and does not stay on the ground for long. Late spring, summer and early autumn bring the best chance for clear, sunny days and bring moderate temperatures.
West Cascades Scenic Byway is located in the Willamette Valley region of Oregon. This byway starts in the city of Estacada and travel south to Oakridge.
Directions from : There are several ways to access this byway:
- From Portland: Travel south to Milwaukee (located at the south end of Portland) and take SR 224 east to Eagle Creek, and then head south to Estacada. This is the northernmost access to the scenic byway.
- From the south: Exit I-5 just south of Eugene and travel southeast on Highway 58. Just before the city of Oakridge, turn north toward Westfir where the byway begins.
- From Eugene: Take the Highway 126 east exit from Interstate 5. Continue east on Highway 126 to Blue River. Continue 5 miles, where you then enter the byway. You can either turn south on Forest Road 19 or continue on Highway 126 to travel north.
- From Salem: Take Highway 22 east and travel through Mill City and Gates. Continue to Detroit Lake, and then you can either turn north at the junction of Forest Road 46 or continue south on Highway 22 to travel the byway.