Revealing the 5 Most Stunningly Scenic Drives in Entire Oregon

Oregon boasts stunning natural beauty, ranging from its rugged coastline to its snow-capped mountains, lush forests, and arid deserts. One of the most enjoyable ways to experience Oregon’s varied landscapes is by embarking on a scenic drive. If you’re searching for a quick day excursion or an extended journey, Oregon offers a variety of picturesque routes to choose from. Check out these five incredibly beautiful drives in Oregon that you must see.

Pacific Coast Scenic Byway

Travel along the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway, a 363-mile route that spans from Astoria to Brookings, showcasing Oregon’s entire coastline. During your journey, you’ll be treated to stunning sights of the Pacific Ocean, sandy beaches, rugged cliffs, charming lighthouses, fishing villages, and state parks. Here are some of the top spots to visit on this drive: Cannon Beach, Tillamook Cheese Factory, Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, and Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor. Feel free to take breaks to engage in activities like hiking, surfing, whale watching, and crabbing.

Exploring the Historic Columbia River Highway

This 75-mile route follows the Columbia River Gorge, a national scenic area dividing Oregon and Washington. This highway, constructed between 1913 and 1922, was the first scenic highway in the United States. It showcases numerous engineering marvels and historic landmarks. Driving through this scenic corridor offers breathtaking views of the river, waterfalls, cliffs, and forests. Here are some key stops along this drive: the Vista House, Multnomah Falls, Bonneville Dam, Hood River, and Mosier Twin Tunnels. Feel free to take breaks along the way to engage in activities like hiking, biking, kayaking, and windsurfing.

Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway

The Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway spans 66 miles, encircling the Cascade Range, a volcanic mountain chain that is a prominent feature of central Oregon. Experience breathtaking scenery along this highway with snow-capped peaks, alpine lakes, meadows, and forests. Key attractions along this route are Mount Bachelor, Sparks Lake, Elk Lake, Lava Lake, and the Deschutes River. Feel free to take breaks at different spots to engage in activities like skiing, snowshoeing, fishing, boating, and camping.

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Hells Canyon Scenic Byway

Exploring the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway involves traveling a 208-mile loop around the Wallowa Mountains, a subrange of the Rocky Mountains in northeastern Oregon. Travel along this highway to experience the impressive Hells Canyon, carved by the Snake River along the border with Idaho, the deepest river gorge in North America. While driving through this remote and rugged area, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the canyon, the river, the mountains, and the prairies. Here are some of the key stops on this drive: Joseph, Wallowa Lake, Hells Canyon Overlook, Baker City, and the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. Feel free to take breaks along the way to engage in activities like hiking, rafting, horseback riding, and hunting.

Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway

Connecting the Rogue River and the Umpqua River, the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway spans 172 miles, showcasing two of Oregon’s most picturesque and untamed rivers. Traveling along this highway will treat you to stunning sights of the rivers, waterfalls, rapids, canyons, and forests of the southern Cascade Range. Here are some of the key stops on this drive: Crater Lake National Park, Diamond Lake, Toketee Falls, Steamboat Inn, and Rogue River Gorge. Feel free to take breaks to engage in activities like hiking, fishing, swimming, and relaxing in hot springs.

In conclusion

Oregon provides numerous scenic drives that highlight its natural beauty and diversity. If you’re seeking coastal, mountain, river, or desert landscapes, Oregon has it all. Above, we highlighted five scenic drives in Oregon that showcase the state’s beauty, but there are more to explore. Discover numerous scenic routes waiting to be explored in Oregon. Hit the road and begin your adventure!

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