- Every region within Oregon contains numerous attractions for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy. The northwestern quadrant of the state contains the Mt. Hood National Forest and the southern bank of the Columbia River Gorge. The Pacific Crest Trail enters the state within this forest and leads south along the Cascade Mountain Range.
Copyright: Zander Higbie - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
The view from Cape Falcon toward Nehalem Bay on the North Coast
Southwestern Oregon's most popular attraction is Crater Lake National Park. This site preserves a lake formed in a dormant volcano's caldera. The Rogue River is well known by outdoor and water-activity enthusiasts throughout the world.
The Willamette Valley lies in central western Oregon and attracts many visitors each year. This area includes the Cascade Mountains to the east and the coastal region to the west. The McKenzie River is a wonderful venue for a myriad of water-based activities.
Central Oregon is well known for its rocky landscape and dry climate. The area lies within the rain shadow of the Cascades, which helps to create light powder snow. Smith Rock draws photographers and rock climbers from around the western U.S. This region harbors the Deschutes River, which supports water-based activities of all types.
Eastern Oregon boasts desert canyons and gorges as well as excellent whitewater opportunities on the Snake and Owyhee Rivers. The western side of Hells Canyon National Recreation Area lies in the northeast corner of this region.
Recreation - Recreation opportunities are as vast as the natural terrain in this state. Highlights include a number of whitewater opportunities throughout the state including kayaking, rafting and angling. The western portion of the state is comprised of 400 miles of coastline, which provides unending opportunities for water sports, scenic driving and photography. Hiking and backpacking are enjoyed by most visitors to Oregon's vast National Forest system.
Climate - The climate in Oregon varies greatly by region. The coastal region and the regions west of the Cascade Range are generally temperate and wet. Temperatures in the western portion of the state rarely rise above 85 degrees F during the warmest months and rarely dip below freezing during the winter.
The Cascades receive high amounts of precipitation throughout the year. Conditions become more extreme the higher you climb. During the winter months, expect very heavy snow and cold temperatures. During the summer months be prepared for afternoon thunderstorms and chilly evening temperatures. Snow may be encountered on high country trails throughout the summer months.
Eastern Oregon is generally high desert broken by several mountain ranges. Annual precipitation accumulates to less than 10 inches except for in the mountain ranges which receive higher amounts of winter snow and summer rain. Eastern Oregon experiences much greater temperature extremes than Western Oregon. Summer temperatures often reach 90 degrees F at the lower elevations and winter temperatures commonly drop well below freezing.
Oregon is located in the Pacific Northwest, between California and Washington.