Oregon: Places to Visit

7 Minutes

What’s up, guys?  My name is Ryan and I recently completed a road trip around Oregon and I want to show you my favourite places so here’s my Oregon top 10.

Oregon has to be one of the most beautiful states in all the US, from forest waterfalls to dramatic coastline, Oregon has so much to offer! Let’s start off at the Tamolitch Blue Pool.

Tamolitch Blue Pool

I have been seeing pictures of this place for years now so, I finally decided to go check it out. It’s located about an hour outside of bend Oregon and it’s a fairly easy and beautiful hike through the forest. When you reach the pool you’re gonna be blown away by the blue colour, it’s this perfectly placed spring surrounded by a small amphitheatre of cliffs. When we were there it was a really cloudy day so my camera had a hard time showing how blue it truly is, on a sunny day, the water looks phenomenal. So the reason why the pool is so clear is that it comes from water that filters through porous lava. 

tamolitch blue pool surrounded by fall foliage

Don’t be fooled by the blue water because it’s so freaking cold, it averages around 40 degrees all year round and I wasn’t gonna jump in but we decided to send it and test how cold the water was and after some hesitation, we plunge into the freezing cold water, I mean I just couldn’t believe how cold it was. 

I’d love to come back next summer with a wetsuit to do some snorkelling and cliff jumping.

There is another really cool spot just a few minutes nearby is Koosah and Sahalie Falls. The hike to both of the falls is a 2.6-mile loop and both waterfalls are absolutely gorgeous. Sahalie Falls was featured in Disney’s homeward bound so if you’re in the area gotta check out both these waterfalls. 

Crater Lake

After the falls we’re gonna head over to Crater Lake National Park. Located about a two-hour drive outside of bend Oregon, Crater Lake National Park is home to the deepest lake in the USA with a depth of 1943 feet deep. The lake was formed over 7700 years ago after the eruption of Mt.Mazama. 

One really cool feature at crater lake is Wizard Island, it’s a 755-foot tall volcanic cinder cone that’s located on the western edge of the lake. 

One thing that crater lake is famous for is the pristine clear waters, really would love to go snorkel and scuba dive there. If you visit the national park you have to drive on the rim road, it’ll give you some of the best views of the lake. 

Toketee Falls

After Crater Lake, we’re gonna head over to the nearby Toketee Falls. There are countless beautiful waterfalls in Oregon but what I like about Toketee Falls is the volcanic basalt columns they create such a unique look. 

The trails of the fall is a very short 0.4-mile hike and at the trailhead of the parking lot, there’s this way interesting giant pipe. Anyway, the majority of the hike is a very well maintained stairway that takes you to this beautiful viewpoint, we got there right before sunset and we had the whole waterfall to ourselves. 

One thing I regret doing is not hiking down to the bottom I just didn’t have enough time and I didn’t even know how to get there but needless to say, the view was breathtaking. The waterfall is over 80 feet tall as it cascades down the basalt columns to the pond below. 

One thing I liked about the waterfalls was behind the waterfall there’s this really beautiful almost pitch black gorge that had these little small waterfalls right before they fell off the 80-foot ledge. It was such a beautiful location and if you’re in the area you gotta check it out. 

Samuel H. Boardman

Sameul H Boardman

After Toketee Falls, we’re gonna head over to the coast to visit the Samuel H. Boardman, state scenic corridor, this place inspired me to pack my bags and make the road trip to Oregon. 

It’s home to some of the most beautiful coastlines in the USA and I just can’t say enough good things about this place, we went to this stunning place called natural bridges and it’s famous for its sea arches. There’s a beautiful viewing deck to observe the arches from above and if you’re feeling adventurous you can hike down to them and get a glorious view of the coast. When you’re at such a magical spot and if you’re down in southern Oregon you gotta check out the Samuel Boardman scenic corridor. 

Meyer Beach

After we’re gonna visit one of my favourite places in all of Oregon, Meyer Beach. We were driving up the coast and I was looking for a place to watch the sunset and we randomly came across this beach we pulled over and explored it and I was just blown away by the beauty of the spot. 

The tide had gone out and revealed a massive beach and we had it all to ourselves, I felt like a kid again. We were just running around having a good time. One of my favourite features of the beach was the massive sea stacks, one of them reminded me of Gandalf’s hat, I mean just such a magical time. We spent all the sunset running on the beach & my wife Heather beat me in the race. We also explored the tide pools and then we found another really cool c-stack that had a hole in it with the waves crashing through it. I highly recommend making a pit stop on Meyer Beach if you’re driving up the coast, such a cool and beautiful spot. 

Bandon Beach

After it, we’re going to keep on driving up the coast to visit Banden Beach. I’ve wanted to visit Bandon Beach for years now because there’s this really cool sea stack called wizards hat if you haven’t noticed this trend yet I love rocks and apparently, anything’s shaped like a wizard’s hat.

Anyway, I really had to come to see it so we spent the night at Bandon Beach and we woke up the next morning to see what the town had to offer. We spent all morning just flooring the beach and just having a good time, I was just blown away by all the beautiful sea stacks.

The town of Bandon was also just a charming place, it would be a wonderful spot to retire so you got to add Bandon Beach to your Oregon bucket list.

Sea Lion Caves

After Bandon, we’re gonna make the drive up to the sea lion caves, now known as the largest sea cave in the USA and it’s a site you gotta check out. To get in the cave it’s about 14dollars to get in you’ll walk through the gift shop and then go outside and walk down to the elevator and it takes you down to this cave, I mean it’s just super cool down there. Unfortunately, the time of year that we were there the sea lions were out in the sea feeding but in the wintertime, the cave is full of hundreds of sea lions. Regardless the cave was massive, over 1315 feet long with a rock dome of 125 feet high.

In the cave, there’s a lot of cool features such as history on the cave and then there’s also some sea lion bones that I thought were pretty cool.

Heceta Head Lighthouse

Panaromic view of Heceta Head Lighthouse

After the caves, we’re going to make this short drive over to the Heceta Head Lighthouse. This lighthouse is located 205 feet above the ocean and it casts a light beam that can be seen from 21 miles off the coast making it the brightest light on Oregon’s coastline. The lighthouse stands 56 feet tall and was completed in 1893 by the chance brothers from Birmingham, England. 

To experience a lighthouse you can visit it and get up close. If you want to get a great view, I suggest pulling off at the lighthouse and sea lion beach vantage point it’s literally like one minute drive from the sea lion caves and it’ll give you a wonderful view of the lighthouse and the surrounding beaches. When we were there, I was able to see some sea lions surfing in the waves. 

Columbia River Gorge

After the lighthouse, we’re gonna head inland over to the Columbia River Gorge. Located about 30 miles outside of Portland, it’s a deep canyon of the Columbia River and offers some incredible scenery and waterfalls. One of the most well known is Multnomah Falls, it’s this massive 611-foot tall waterfall with a perfectly placed bridge that makes you feel like you’re in the Lord of the Rings elvish town of Rivendell.

The waterfall is made up of two tiers, the largest is 542 feet tall and the second is a 69 feet drop so if you’re in Portland make sure you make the drive out to Multnomah. 

Mount Hood

After Multnomah Falls we’re gonna head over to the nearby Mount Hood. Located about 90 minutes outside of Portland, Mount Hood is Oregon’s highest point with an elevation of 11,249 feet, it just towers over everywhere. You can see it on the horizon from Portland, I mean just such a behemoth of a mountain. This strata volcano is perpetually covered in snow and is home to 11 glaciers and six ski areas. It’s a potentially active volcano and at last, erupted in 1907. 

If you want to go to a beautiful lake with a perfect view of the volcano, you can visit Trillium Lake. It’s located about seven miles southwest of Mt.Hood and offers a great place to swim and paddleboard during the summertime.

Cannon Beach

After Mt.Hood, we’re gonna head over to the famous Cannon Beach. When you think of Oregon, you might think of this spot. I remember first seeing this beach in Steven Spielberg’s movie The Goonies and I’ve wanted to go there ever since.

It’s famous for its haystack rock, it’s this massive 235foot sea stack that shoots out of the ocean. What’s great is that cannon beach is only about an hour and a half drive from Portland so it’s the perfect getaway. In 2013, it was listed as one of the world’s 100 most beautiful places by national geography and I totally understand why. It’s a wonderful place to relax or jump in the water if you can handle the cold, it’s just a beautiful place that you’ve got to visit on your next trip to Oregon. 


Alright well, that is it for my Oregon top 10, hope you had a good time reading it.

You can also check out my top 25 medieval places to visit in Europe here.

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