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The Final Oregon Bucket Listing – Greatest Issues to Do in Oregon

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We’re currently homeless! Well, sort of. We’re spending time with some friends and family in Atlanta while transitioning between Portland and NYC. We just put our application in for an apartment!

When we lived in Portland, we wanted to use it as a home base to explore all of the PNW. It turned out that there was so much to see in Oregon, that we spent most our time in the state. We still left so much unexplored! That just means we have plenty to look forward to when we go back to visit.

The Ultimate Oregon Bucket List in Regions - Greater Portland, the Gorge, Oregon Coast, Willamette Valley, Central Oregon, Eastern Oregon, and Southern Oregon // localadventurer.com

There were over a thousand places in Oregon we wanted to explore, including all the waterfalls, state parks, mountains, lakes, breweries, etc. For the sake of making this post easier to digest, this is condensed list of 101 things to do divided by region. You can click the links for more info on each destination or region.

Last Updated: Aug 18, 2017

THE ULTIMATE OREGON BUCKET LIST

GREATER PORTLAND

  1. ☒ International Rose Test Garden (best to visit in June)
  2. Pittock Mansion, Portland – best view of the city IMO
  3. ☒ Powell’s Books
  4. ☒ Tom McCall Waterfront Park (for Cherry Blossom season)
  5. ☒ Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival (Mar-May)

Pittock Mansion View - The Ultimate Oregon Bucket List // localadventurer.com

We didn’t put as much from Portland because we think the best part of Oregon is the outdoors. If it’s not your first visit to the city, you can check out our 101 list of things to do in pdx.

THE GORGE (COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE)

  1. ☒ Drive the Historic Columbia River Highway – 22 miles of waterfalls and lush forests
  2. Angels Rest
  3. Elowah Falls Hike + Continue to Munra Point Hike
  4. ☐ Eagle Creek Trail
  5. Latourell Falls
  6. Oneonta Gorge + Triple Falls Hike
  7. ☒ Multnomah Falls – really crowded with tourists but still worth one visit.
  8. Rowena Crest Viewpoint + Hikes
  9. Tom McCall Point Hike / Rowena Crest Trailhead
  10. ☒ Vista House
  11. Wahclella Falls
  12. Dog Mountain Hike, Washington side (best in spring)

Wahclella Falls, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon Waterfalls + The Ultimate Oregon Bucket List // localadventurer.comMunra Point Hike, Columbia River Gorge + Your Essential Oregon Bucket List // localadventurer.com

NOTE: Most of the Gorge is closed due to the Eagle Creek Fire damage. The exits off the highway are all closed. They are hoping to reopen in the Spring of 2018.

MOUNT HOOD

  1. ☐ Bald Mountain Hike (2.0 mi RT, 550 ft, easy)
  2. Hood River Fruit Loop
  3. ☒ Hood River Lavender Farm or Lavender Valley Lavender Farm
  4. ☐ Mirror Lake
  5. ☐ Mt Hood Meadows Ski Resort
  6. ☐ Ramona Falls, Mt Hood National Forest
  7. ☐ Timberline Lodge – famous for being in the Shining.
  8. ☐ Timberline Trail – Most popular backpacking trail around Hood.
  9. Trillium Lake, Mt Hood National Forest – popular snowshoe spot in winter

Trillium Lake, Mt Hood National Forest + All the Best Places to Visit in Oregon // localadventurer.com

OREGON COAST

  1. Astoria
  2. ☒ Bandon – Wizard Hat, Howling Dog, and more
  3. ☒ Cannon Beach + Haystack Rock
  4. ☒ Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area + Haystack Rock 2
  5. ☒ Cape Lookout State Park
  6. Drift Creek Falls Hike
  7. ☒ Ecola State Park – hike to the beach
  8. ☒ Face Rock State Scenic Park (can see Haystack Rock 3 in a distance)
  9. ☒ Florence Sand Rail Tour
  10. ☒ Gold Beach – Shark Fin Rock
  11. ☒ Harris Beach State Park
  12. ☒ Heceta Head Light
  13. ☐ Kentucky Falls, Siuslaw National Forest
  14. ☐ Lewis and Clark National and State Historical Parks
  15. ☒ Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area: Try Sandboarding
  16. ☒ Oswald West State Park
  17. Samuel H Boardman State Park
  18. ☒ Sea Lion Caves – Largest sea cave in the US
  19. ☐ Sweet Creek Falls, Siuslaw National Forest
  20. Thor’s Well in Cape Perpetua
  21. ☒ Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site
  22. ☒ Yaquina Head Light – lots of great tide-pooling

Thor's Well, Cape Perpetua Scenic Area + Your Ultimate Oregon Bucket List // localadventurer.comHaystack Rock, Cannon Beach + All the Best Places to Visit in Oregon // localadventurer.com

You can do all 363 miles of the Oregon Coast! Check out our Road Trip guide.

CENTRAL OREGON

  1. ☒ Bend – stop by Crux Brewery
  2. ☐ Cascade Lakes Scenic Highway (66 mi, 3-5 hours, Jun-Oct)
  3. ☐ Chush Falls Hike, Three Sisters Wilderness (5 mi, easy)
  4. ☒ Lost Lake – the lake that disappears every year
  5. ☐ Mount Bachelor – ski area
  6. ☒ Sahalie Falls + Koosah Falls
  7. ☐ Skylight Cave, Three Sisters Wilderness
  8. Smith Rock State Park, Terrebonne
  9. ☒ Sisters Loop Hike
  10. ☐ South Sister Summit Hike
  11. ☐ Sparks Lake, Deschutes National Forest
  12. ☐ Steelhead Falls, Terrebonne – swimming hole and cliff jumping
  13. ☐ Richardsons Rock Ranch – authentic experience digging for thunder eggs.
  14. ☐ Tumalo Falls, Deschutes National Forest
  15. ☐ White River Falls State Park
  16. ☐ Whychus Creek Falls, Deschutes National Forest

Smith Rock State Park + Your Essential Guide to Oregon // localadventurer.com

WILLAMETTE VALLEY

  1. ☐ Enchanted Forest Theme Park
  2. Silver Falls State Park, Trail of Ten Falls
  3. ☐ Abiqua Falls – you need a 4 wheel drive with high clearance
  4. ☐ Breitenbush Hot Springs
  5. ☐ Cougar Hot Springs / Terwilliger Hot Springs
  6. ☐ Diamond Creek Falls, Willamette National Forest
  7. ☒ Opal Creek, Willamette National Forest
  8. ☐ Proxy Falls, Willamette National Forest
  9. ☐ Salt Creek Falls, Willamette National Forest
  10. ☐ Sweet Creek Falls
  11. ☐ Tamolitch Blue Pool, Willamette National Forest
  12. ☐ Trestle Creek Falls, Umpqua National Forest
  13. ☐ Tamolitch Blue Pool, Willamette National Forest
  14. ☐ Waldo Lake
  15. ☒ Willamette Valley Wine Tour

North Falls, Trail of Ten Falls Hike, Silver Falls State Park + Your Ultimate Oregon Bucket List // localadventurer.com

EASTERN OREGON

  1. Alvord Dessert
  2. ☐ Cottonwood Canyon State Park – Oregon’s largest state park.
  3. ☐ Eagle Cap Summit, Wallowas (19 mi RT, 4000 ft, difficult)
  4. ☐ Glacier Lake, Wallowas
  5. John Day Fossil Beds National Monument (includes Painted Hills)
  6. ☒ Wallowa Lake, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest
  7. ☐ Ice Falls + Ice Lake, Wallowas
  8. ☒ Leslie Gulch, Jordan Valley
  9. ☐ Steens Mountain Wilderness
  10. ☒ Succor Creek State Natural Area
  11. ☐ Thorp Creek Hike, Wallowas (9.9 mi RT, 2830 ft, moderate)
  12. ☒ Hells Canyon Overlook
  13. ☒ Boardman Tree Farm
  14. ☒ Pendleton
  15. ☐ National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center

Hells Canyon + All the Best Places to Visit in Oregon // localadventurer.comJohn Day Fossil Beds Painted Hills Unit + Your Essential Guide to Oregon // localadventurer.com

Check out our Eastern Oregon Road Trip Guide for more ideas.

SOUTHERN OREGON

  1. Crater Lake National Park + Mount Mazama
  2. ☐ Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve
  3. ☐ Hike / Raft Rogue River
  4. ☐ Summer Lake Hot Springs
  5. ☐ Tate Creek Slide, Rogue River
  6. ☐ Toketee Falls
  7. ☐ Umpqua Hot Springs

Crater Lake National Park and Mount Mazama + The Best Things to Do in Oregon // localadventurer.com

ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR FIRST TIME VISITORS

  • Each region has very different climates and road conditions. Be sure to do some research to find the best times to visit each area. In high elevations, roads may be closed until late summer. Certain parts of the state are more developed than others. Check road conditions to see if you need a four-wheel drive and high clearance vehicle. In Eastern Oregon, for example, you will run into more dirt/gravel roads.
  • Waterfalls are gushing in the winter, but you also get the rainiest weather. If you go in early summer you can get decent weather and the waterfalls aren’t dried up to a trickle compared to late summer.
  • We always recommend being prepared with layers (especially a rain jacket) and waterproof shoes that give you support (HERS + HIS).
  • Pick up an Oregon State Park Pass, NW Forest Pass, America the Beautiful Pass to save money when visiting all the parks.
  • Our go-to camera set up: Canon 5D Mark III + 35mm + 70-200mm

DID YOU ENJOY THE POST? PIN IT FOR LATER

101 Things to Do in Oregon by Region - Greater Portland, the Gorge, Oregon Coast, Willamette Valley, Central Oregon, Eastern Oregon, and Southern Oregon // localadventurer.comYour Essential Oregon Bucket List - All the Best Places to Visit in Oregon State // localadventurer.comAll the Best Places to Visit in Oregon divided into Greater Portland, the Gorge, Oregon Coast, Willamette Valley, Central Oregon, Eastern Oregon, and Southern Oregon // localadventurer.com

All the Best Places to Visit in Oregon divided into Greater Portland, the Gorge, Oregon Coast, Willamette Valley, Central Oregon, Eastern Oregon, and Southern Oregon // localadventurer.com101 Things to Do in Oregon by Region - Greater Portland, the Gorge, Oregon Coast, Willamette Valley, Central Oregon, Eastern Oregon, and Southern Oregon // localadventurer.comThe Ultimate Oregon Bucket List in Regions - Greater Portland, the Gorge, Oregon Coast, Willamette Valley, Central Oregon, Eastern Oregon, and Southern Oregon // localadventurer.com

Have you visited Oregon? What’s at the top of your list?

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“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust

“Meet

ESTHER + JACOB

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 50 travel blogs in the world. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They move to a new city every year and currently live in Portland, Oregon.

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