Oregon Holiday and Vacation Travel Information
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.
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 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.
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.
Crater Lake National Park
Description - This National Park facility protects the caldera of an ancient volcano, named Mt. Mazama long after its eruption nearly 8,000 years ago. This caldera is a product of plate tectonics and an exhibit of exceptional beauty created by powerful natural forces. After the eruption 5,000-feet of Mt. Mazama's summit collapsed forming a large crater. The crater was sealed by subsequent lava flows and began to fill with water. Today Crater Lake reaches depths of 1,900 feet.
Attractions - The biggest attraction at this park is no secret. It is the lake formed by the collapse of an ancient volcano and the surrounding mountainous terrain. Crater Lake has always been an attraction and focus of human awe. Before European descendants came to the region the lake was the basis of much local Native American legend. The stories of its creation have been passed down through the centuries. In 1902 it was recognized as a national treasure and designated as the fifth National Park.
A variety of facilities have been constructed within Crater Lake National Park. Rim Drive leads 33 miles around the circumference of Crater Lake and is open during the short summers. Many of the picnic areas, wayside exhibits and scenic overlooks are accessible from Rim Drive. A commercial boat launch lies on the northeastern shore of Crater lake. (Reservations and early arrivals are recommended for boat rides in July and August.) Several trails descend to the lake or ascend to viewpoint above the lake from Rim Drive. The Pacific Crest Trail leads through the western side of the park extending 30 miles from boundary to boundary. There are also two campgrounds within the park boundaries, both south of the lake, in addition to two lodges with many amenities.
Recreation - A good place to begin your visit to Crater Lake is at one of the two visitor centers. The Steel Information Center lies south of Rim Drive next to park headquarters and is open year-round. In summer the Rim Village Visitor Center is open along Rim Drive on the southern side of the caldera. After gathering information on the park and its facilities visitors can make educated decisions about what recreation opportunities to pursue. Hiking, backpacking, camping, picnicking and sight seeing are popular pursuits within the park. Boating and scenic driving around Rim Drive can be enjoyed by visitors during the summer months. In winter snowshoeing and cross-country skiing provide solitude and a little-known view of the park.
Climate - Most visitors come to Crater Lake National Park during the months of July through mid-September, when the weather is generally mild with little precipitation. Due to the elevation of the park (6,500 ft. at Park Headquarters and 7,100 ft. at Rim Village), weather conditions may change quickly and a warm jacket and wool sweater are always recommended items to carry. During the winter months, from October through June, weather conditions make preparing for extreme winter conditions necessary. Blizzards, high winds, extreme cold and low visibility dominate the weather patterns. Visitors should come with cold weather gear.
Location - Crater Lake National Park is located in southern Oregon on the crest of the Cascade Range, 100 miles from the Pacific coast.
Mount Hood National Forest
The Cascade Range Forest reserve was established in 1893, and divided into several National Forests in 1908, when the northern portion was merged with the Bull Run Reserve (city watershed) and named Oregon National Forest. The name was changed again to Mt. Hood National Forest in 1924. Some popular destinations that offer rewarding visits are Timberline Lodge, built in 1937 high on Mt. Hood, Lost Lake, Trillium Lake, Timothy Lake, Rock Creek Reservoir and portions of the Old Oregon Trail, including Barlow Road.
There are 189,200 acres of designated wilderness in Wilderness Areas on the Forest. The largest is the Mt. Hood Wilderness, which includes the mountain's peak and upper slopes. Others are Badger Creek, Salmon-Huckleberry, Hatfield, and Bull-of-the-Woods. Olallie Scenic Area is a lightly roaded lake basin that provides a primitive recreational experience.
Attractions - The Mt. Hood extends south from the strikingly beautiful Columbia River Gorge across more than sixty miles of forested mountains, lakes and streams to Olallie Scenic Area, a high lake basin under the slopes of Mt. Jefferson.
Some popular destinations that offer rewarding visits are Timberline Lodge, built in 1937 high on Mt. Hood, Lost Lake, Trillium Lake, Timothy Lake, Rock Creek Reservoir and portions of the Old Oregon Trail, including Barlow Road.
There are 189,200 acres of designated wilderness in Wilderness Areas on the Forest. The largest is the Mt. Hood Wilderness, which includes the mountain's peak and upper slopes. Others are Badger Creek, Salmon-Huckleberry, Hatfield, and Bull-of-the-Woods. Olallie Scenic Area is a lightly surfaced road lake basin that provides a primitive recreational experience.
Recreation - The many visitors to the Mt. Hood National Forest enjoy fishing, camping, boating and hiking in the summer, hunting in the fall, and skiing and other snow sports in the winter. Berry-picking and mushroom collection are popular, and for many area residents, a trip in December to cut the family's Christmas tree is a long standing tradition.
Climate - Climate on the Mt. Hood 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. Although snow is possible in the lowest elevations, it is infrequent. Late spring, summer and early autumn tend to bring clear, sunny days with moderate temperatures.
Location - The Mt. Hood is located twenty miles east of the city of Portland and the northern Willamette River valley. The Forest stretches about 60 miles south from the Columbia River. The Forest Headquarters is located in Sandy, with District offices in Dufur, Estacada, Mt. Hood-Parkdale, Welches, and Zigzag, Oregon.
Other National Parks in Oregon you can visit from your vacation rental by owner:
Crooked River National Grassland
Deschutes National Forest
Fort Clatsop National Memorial
Fremont National Forest
John Day Fossil Beds National Monument
Malheur National Forest
McLoughlin House National Historic Site
Newberry National Volcanic Monument
Ochoco National Forest
Oregon Caves National Monument
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
Rogue River National Forest
Siskiyou National Forest
Siuslaw National Forest
Umatilla National Forest
Umpqua National Forest
Wallowa-Whitman National Forest
Willamette National Forest
Winema National Forest