Oregon Road Trip

Are you seeking an adventure combining stunning natural landscapes, vibrant cities, and unique attractions? If so, an Oregon road trip might be just what you need. Oregon is a state that has it all, from the rugged coastline to the snow-capped mountains to the lush forests and pristine lakes. With so much to see and do, planning the perfect Oregon road trip itinerary can be overwhelming. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Whether a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, I will share the ultimate Oregon road trip guide who will help you make the most of your journey. This road trip has something for everyone, from exploring Portland’s foodie scene to hiking in the Columbia River Gorge to soaking in remote hot springs.

By the end of this article, you’ll have all the information you need to plan an epic road trip through Oregon. You’ll learn about the best places, most scenic routes, and top activities. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and prepare for an unforgettable adventure through one of America’s most beautiful states.

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Oregon Road Trip Overview

If you’re looking for a scenic road trip, Oregon offers plenty of options. The state is famous for its natural beauty, stunning coastlines, lush forests, and towering mountains. An Oregon road trip is an excellent way to explore the state’s diverse landscapes and unique attractions.

Scenic Byways

Oregon is home to several scenic byways perfect for a road trip. The Pacific Coast Scenic Byway is one of the most popular, stretching over 363 miles from Astoria to Brookings. This route offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, with stops at iconic landmarks like Cannon Beach and Cape Perpetua. Another popular route is the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, which winds through the Deschutes National Forest and past several stunning mountain lakes.

Oregon Road Trip Map

Planning an Oregon road trip can be overwhelming, but a map can help you visualize your route and maximize your time. Several Oregon road trip itineraries are available online, each with unique attractions and highlights. Whether you’re interested in hiking, wine tasting, or exploring small towns, there’s an itinerary.

Planning Your Oregon Road Trip

Planning a road trip can be both exciting and overwhelming. Itinerary planning is the first step in planning your Oregon road trip. Start by deciding on the length of your journey and the places you want to visit. Consider the time of year you plan to travel, as some attractions may be closed or inaccessible during certain seasons.

Once you know your itinerary, start researching the best road trip routes. There are several routes, each with unique attractions and scenery. Consider the distance between each destination and plan your driving time accordingly.

When planning your Oregon road trip, be sure to take into account the time you will spend at each destination. Some places may require more time than others, so plan accordingly. Make a list of must-see attractions and prioritize them based on your interests.

It’s also essential to plan for accommodations and meals. Research hotels, campgrounds, and restaurants along your route and make reservations in advance. Consider packing snacks and drinks for the road to save time and money.

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Iconic Oregon Routes

Iconic Oregon Routes

If you’re planning an Oregon road trip, there are a few routes that you simply need to catch. Here are some of the most iconic streets in the state that offer breathtaking scenery and unforgettable experiences.

Pacific Coast Scenic Byway

The Pacific Coast Scenic Byway is a 363-mile stretch of highway along the Oregon coast. This route takes you through charming coastal towns, past towering cliffs, and along pristine beaches. You’ll also see the famous Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach, one of the 7 Wonders of Oregon.

Mount Hood Scenic Byway

Through the center of the Cascade Mountains lies the 105-mile Mount Hood Scenic Byway. En route, you will pass by several picturesque viewpoints and witness the majestic Mount Hood, the highest peak in Oregon. Known for its wineries and fruit orchards, the Hood River Valley is also traversed by this route.

Columbia River Gorge

The Columbia River Gorge is a 70-mile-long canyon that runs along the Columbia River. The gorge is home to several waterfalls, including the famous Multnomah Falls, another of the 7 Wonders of Oregon. You can take the Historic Columbia River Highway to see the waterfalls and enjoy stunning gorge views.

Outback Scenic Byway

The Outback Scenic Byway is a 171-mile route that takes you through the high desert of eastern Oregon. This route offers a stark contrast to the lush forests and coastline of western Oregon. Along the way, you’ll be able to see Steens Mountain and the Alvord Desert, which are both unique natural wonders.

Oregon Must-Visit Destinations

There are a few places in Oregon that you must see if you’re organizing a road trip. Oregon offers something for everyone, from vibrant metropolises to tranquil state parks.


The vibrant city of Portland is a must-visit destination on any Oregon road trip. With its quirky neighborhoods, delicious food scene, and unique attractions, Portland always has something to see and do. Check out the famous Powell’s City of Books, the International Rose Test Garden, and the Portland Art Museum.

Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park is one of Oregon’s most stunning natural wonders. Towering cliffs surround the deep blue lake, the deepest in the United States. Hike along the Rim Trail for breathtaking lake views and the surrounding landscape.

Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach is a picturesque coastal town with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. The iconic Haystack Rock is a must-see attraction and a popular birdwatching spot. Take a stroll along the beach and watch the sunset over the ocean.


Bend is a charming town located in central Oregon. It’s known for its outdoor activities, craft beer scene, and stunning natural beauty. Hike in Smith Rock State Park or mountain biking along the Deschutes River Trail.


Astoria is a historic town located on the northern coast of Oregon. It’s home to several museums, including the Columbia River Maritime Museum and the Flavel House Museum. Take a stroll along the waterfront and enjoy views of the Columbia River.

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Oregon Outdoor Activities

Oregon is the place to be if you’re looking for an adventure in the great outdoors. With its stunning waterfalls, state parks, and miles of hiking trails, there’s no shortage of outdoor activities.

One of the most popular activities in Oregon is hiking. With over 50 mountain ranges and 361 parks, many trails exist to explore. Some of the most popular hikes in Oregon include the Multnomah Falls Hike, which takes you to one of the tallest waterfalls in the state, and the Tamolitch Blue Pool Hike, which leads you to a stunning turquoise pool that’s perfect for swimming.

If you’re looking for something more adventurous, Oregon has plenty of opportunities for rock climbing, kayaking, and white water rafting. The Smith Rock State Park is a popular destination for rock climbers, while the Rogue River is an excellent spot for kayaking and rafting.

For those who prefer a more relaxed pace, Oregon also has many opportunities for fishing, camping, and picnicking. The state is home to various lakes and rivers, including the Deschutes River, known for its excellent fly fishing.

Oregon’s Culinary Scene

When it comes to culinary delights, Oregon has a lot to offer. The state’s culinary scene is diverse and unique, from farm-to-table restaurants to local breweries and wineries.

For good reason, Oregon wine is one of the state’s most famous exports. The Willamette Valley is home to some of the best Pinot Noir vineyards in the world. You can take a scenic road trip through the valley and stop at the many wineries. If you want a unique wine experience, try the wine caves at Sokol Blosser Winery.

But wine isn’t the only thing Oregon has to offer. The state is also known for its local cuisine. The Portland food scene is incredibly vibrant, with various restaurants offering everything from traditional American fare to international cuisine. You can find everything from classic burgers to vegan sushi.

If you want a more casual dining experience, try one of Oregon’s many food trucks. Portland has a thriving food truck scene, with over 500 food trucks. You can find everything from tacos to Thai food.

Oregon is also home to many local breweries. The state has over 200 breweries, making it one of the top beer destinations in the country. You can take a brewery tour and sample some of the best craft beer in the world.

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Oregon Cultural Attractions

Oregon is a state rich in cultural attractions. From museums to local events, there is something for everyone. One of the most popular cultural attractions is the Oregon Film Museum. This museum is located in Astoria and celebrates the state’s rich history in the film industry. It features exhibits on making famous films such as “The Goonies” and “Free Willy.”

Another tremendous cultural attraction in Oregon is the local culture. Oregon is known for its laid-back and friendly atmosphere. The locals are welcoming and always happy to share their knowledge of the area. Many local events are held throughout the year, such as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland and the Portland Rose Festival. These events are a great way to experience the local culture and meet new people.

If you’re interested in history, many museums throughout the state showcase Oregon’s past. The Oregon Historical Society Museum in Portland is one such museum. It features exhibits on the state’s history, including the Lewis and Clark expedition and the Oregon Trail. The museum also has a research library where visitors can learn more about the state’s past.

Do I Need A Car For An Oregon Road Trip?

Yes, you will need a car for an Oregon road trip. While public transportation options are available, having your vehicle is more convenient and flexible. Driving is the best way to explore Oregon’s scenic routes, national parks, and hidden gems.

Before embarking on your road trip, ensure you have all the necessary road trip essentials, such as a valid driver’s license, a GPS or map, and more. Familiarizing yourself with Oregon’s traffic laws and road conditions is also essential.

When renting a car, consider the size and type of vehicle you will need for your trip. If you plan on exploring Oregon’s backcountry roads, a four-wheel-drive car may be necessary. On the other hand, if you plan on sticking to the main highways, a smaller car may suffice.

One Week Oregon Road Trip Itinerary

If you have one week to explore Oregon, you can cover the ground and see some of the most iconic landmarks. Here’s a suggested itinerary for a one-week Oregon road trip:

Day 1: Portland to Hood River

  • Start your day in Portland, where you can grab breakfast and coffee at one of the city’s many cafes.
  • Drive east on I-84 to the Columbia River Gorge, where you can stop at various viewpoints and waterfalls.
  • Spend the afternoon in Hood River, a charming town known for its windsurfing and kiteboarding.

Day 2: Hood River to Bend

  • Drive south on Highway 35 to Mount Hood, where you can hike, ski, or snowboard, depending on the season.
  • Continue to Smith Rock State Park, a popular destination for rock climbing and hiking.
  • Spend the night in Bend, a vibrant city with plenty of breweries and outdoor activities.

Day 3: Bend to Crater Lake

  • Drive south to Crater Lake National Park, where you can hike, swim, or take a boat tour of the lake.
  • Spend the night in the park or nearby.

Day 4: Crater Lake to Ashland

  • Spend the morning exploring more of Crater Lake National Park.
  • Drive south to Ashland, a charming town known for its Shakespeare Festival and outdoor recreation.

Day 5: Ashland to Bandon

  • Drive west to the Oregon Coast, where you can stop at various viewpoints and beaches.
  • Spend the night in Bandon, a small town known for its picturesque coastline and golf courses.

Day 6: Bandon to Newport

  • Continue north on the Oregon Coast to Newport, where you can visit the Oregon Coast Aquarium and Yaquina Head Lighthouse.
  • Spend the night in Newport or nearby.

Day 7: Newport to Portland

  • Spend the morning exploring more of Newport.
  • Drive back to Portland, where you can catch a flight or explore the city more.

This one-week Oregon road trip itinerary covers a lot of ground and includes some of the state’s most iconic destinations. Of course, you can customize this itinerary to fit your interests and schedule. Just make sure to give yourself enough time to experience each destination fully.

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Safety And Emergency Information

When planning a road trip in Oregon, it’s crucial to prioritize your safety. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Always wear your seatbelt and make sure all passengers do the same.
  • Follow posted speed limits and be aware of changing road conditions, especially in winter when snow and ice can make roads slippery.
  • Avoid distracted driving, such as texting or using your phone while behind the wheel.
  • Take regular breaks to avoid fatigue and stay alert on long drives.
  • Keep a first aid kit and emergency supplies in your vehicle, including water, non-perishable food, blankets, and a flashlight.

In case of an emergency, it’s important to have the right contacts on hand. Here are some emergency contacts to keep in mind:

  • For life-threatening emergencies, call 911.
  • Call the Oregon Department of Transportation at 1-800-977-6368 or visit their TripCheck website for up-to-date road conditions and travel information for non-emergency roadside assistance.

Following these safety tips and being prepared for emergencies, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable road trip in Oregon.

Travel Photography Tips

If you’re planning an Oregon road trip, you’re in for a treat. Oregon has scenic views, perfect for capturing moments with your camera. Here are a few photography tips to help you make the most of your trip:

  • Plan your route: Research the best places to take photos and plan your itinerary accordingly. This will help you maximize your time and take advantage of all great photo opportunities.
  • Bring the right gear: Make sure you have the right equipment for the type of photography you want to do. If you plan to take landscape photos, consider bringing a wide-angle lens. If you’re planning to take portraits, consider getting a portrait lens. Remember to bring extra batteries and memory cards.
  • Use natural light: The best time to take photos is during the golden hour, the hour after sunrise, and the hour before sunset. The light is soft and warm during this time, making great photos. If you’re taking pictures during the day, avoid harsh midday light.
  • Look for unique angles: Feel free to experiment with different angles and perspectives. Get low or climb high to get a fantastic view of your subject. This will help you create more exciting and dynamic photos.
  • Edit your photos: Remember to edit them once you’ve taken them. Adjust the exposure, contrast, and saturation to make your photos look their best. But be careful not to overdo it – you want your photos to look natural and not overly processed.

By following these photography tips, you’ll be able to capture the beauty of Oregon and create stunning photos that you’ll treasure for years to come.

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Sustainable Travel Tips

When planning your Oregon road trip, it’s essential to consider eco-friendly practices and minimize your environmental impact. Here are some sustainable travel tips to help you positively impact your trip.


  • Opt for public transportation or carpooling when possible to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Consider renting an electric or hybrid vehicle for your road trip.
  • If you drive, ensure your car is well-maintained and adequately inflated to maximize fuel efficiency.


  • Choose eco-friendly accommodations that prioritize sustainability and conservation efforts.
  • Look for hotels and lodges that have implemented energy-efficient practices, such as using solar power or energy-efficient lighting.
  • Consider camping or glamping to minimize your environmental impact.

Waste Reduction

  • Refill a reusable water bottle at water stations instead of buying single-use plastic bottles.
  • Pack reusable bags and containers for snacks and meals to reduce waste.
  • Properly dispose of your waste and recycle it whenever possible.

Outdoor Activities

  • Stick to designated trails and avoid disturbing wildlife and natural habitats.
  • Avoid using single-use plastics, such as straws and utensils, when having picnics or eating outdoors.
  • Respect the environment by leaving no trace of your visit.

Following these sustainable travel tips can help preserve Oregon’s natural beauty for future generations.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Oregon Road Trip

What are the must-visit destinations on an Oregon coast road trip?

The Oregon coast offers a plethora of stunning destinations to visit on a road trip. Some must-visit goals include Cannon Beach, Depoe Bay, Newport, Florence, and Bandon. Each of these destinations offers unique attractions and activities that are worth exploring.

How many days are recommended for a comprehensive Oregon road trip?

A comprehensive Oregon road trip can take 7 to 14 days, depending on your pace and the number of destinations you want to visit. It is recommended to spend at least 10 days fully exploring the state and enjoying its natural beauty.

Which scenic routes should be noticed when driving through Oregon?

Oregon is famous for its scenic routes that offer breathtaking views of the state’s natural beauty. Some scenic routes that should be noticed include the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway, the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Byway, and the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway.

What is the best time of year to embark on a road trip through Oregon?

Oregon is a year-round destination, but the best time to embark on a road trip is during the summer months (June to August). The weather is pleasant, and the days are longer, allowing you to explore more destinations.

What are the top activities to include in a 7-day Oregon road trip itinerary?

A 7-day Oregon road trip itinerary should include hiking in Crater Lake National Park, exploring the Columbia River Gorge, visiting the Oregon coast, and tasting local wines in the Willamette Valley.

How should one prepare for a road trip from California to Oregon?

If you’re planning a road trip from California to Oregon, plan your route and check the road conditions before you start your journey. Also, pack for different weather conditions, as Oregon’s weather can change quickly. 


Congratulations! You’ve just completed an unforgettable road trip through Oregon. You’ve seen some of the state’s most spectacular sights, from the towering Multnomah Falls to the stunning Crater Lake. You’ve hiked through forests, soaked in hot springs, and sampled delicious local cuisine.

But your adventure doesn’t have to end here. There’s still so much more to explore in this beautiful state. Why not plan another trip and visit some places you missed this time? Or share your experiences with others and encourage them to embark on their Oregon road trip.

Remember, traveling is not just about ticking off destinations on a list. It’s about discovering new cultures, meeting new people, and creating unforgettable memories. So keep exploring, keep learning, and keep growing. And remember always to travel responsibly and sustainably.

Thank you for joining us on this journey, and we hope to see you on the road again soon. Safe travels!