The Best Natural Attractions in Oregon
The Oregon Coast: Rocky headlands, offshore islands and haystack rocks, natural arches, caves full of sea lions, giant sand dunes, and dozens of state parks make this one of the most spectacular coastlines in the country. The only drawback is that the water is too cold for swimming.
Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area: Carved by ice-age floodwaters up to 1,200 feet deep, the Columbia Gorge is a unique feature of the Oregon landscape. Waterfalls by the dozen cascade from the basalt cliffs of the gorge, and highways on both the Washington and Oregon sides of the Columbia River provide countless memorable views.
Mount Hood: As Oregon's tallest mountain and the closest Cascade peak to Portland, Mount Hood is a recreational mecca 12 months a year. Hiking trails, lakes and rivers, and year-round skiing make this one of the most appealing natural attractions in the state.
Crater Lake National Park: At 1,932 feet deep, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States, and its sapphire-blue waters are a bewitchingly beautiful sight when seen from the rim of the volcanic caldera that forms the lake.
Central Oregon Lava Lands: Throughout central Oregon and the central Cascades region, from the lava fields of McKenzie Pass to the obsidian flows of Newberry National Volcanic Monument, you'll find dramatic examples of the volcanic activity that gave rise to the Cascade Range.
Hells Canyon: Deeper than the Grand Canyon, this massive gorge along the Oregon-Idaho border is remote and inaccessible, and that is just what makes it fascinating. You can gaze down into it from on high, float its waters, or hike its trails.
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