Description - Oregon has been broken into nine geographic travel regions. This breakdown should help facilitate your search for an outdoor recreation site. The regions include: the North Coast, the Central Coast, the South Coast, the Portland Metro Area, the Columbia River Gorge/Mt. Hood Area, the Willamette Valley, Southern Oregon, Central Oregon and Eastern Oregon.
Copyright: Zander Higbie-Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
The view from Ecola Point
- Every region in this diverse state offers some unique attractions. In 1913, Governor George Oswald declared Oregon's beaches public property. Nearly 400 miles of coastline is open to public access year round. Portland's parks, rivers and nearby forests offer excellent outdoor recreation opportunities within an urban setting. The Willamette Valley lies between the Coast Range and the Cascades. Visitors go to the Willamette Valley to experience an abundance of recreational opportunities, to explore the area's progressive cities, and to tour the valley's wine country. The centerpiece of Southern Oregon is Crater Lake National Park, Oregons only National Park. Mount Hood serves as one of the most popular recreation areas in the Pacific Northwest. Mount Hood is the tallest of Oregon's Cascade peaks and rises to 11,239 feet above the beautiful Columbia River Gorge. Located on the east side of the Cascade Mountain Range, several rivers, forests and mountain slopes create a recreational playground in Central Oregon. With a relatively small population, Eastern Oregon is truly one of the west's last great wide open spaces. Eastern Oregon is a land of high deserts cut by mountain ranges and canyons.
Recreation - Recreation opportunities are as vast as the natural terrain in this state. Highlights include a number of white-water 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.
Climate - The climate in Oregon varies by region. The coastal region and west of the Cascades is generally temperate and wet. Temperatures rarely rise above 85 degrees F during the warmest months and rarely dip below freezing during the winter. Along the coast expect rain and wind during the fall, winter and spring months.
The mountains receive heavy precipitation and cool temperatures throughout the year. Conditions become more extreme the higher you climb. If visiting the region 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 a high desert. Precipitation received annually accumulates to less than 10 inches of rain. Summer temperatures often reach 90 degrees in the lower elevations. Winters can be bitterly cold here, although there is little humidity.
Oregon is located in the Pacific Northwest, between California and Washington.