Oregon is a big state with hugely diverse landscapes. There is so much to explore, where do you visit first?
Well, it depends on what you’re looking for—Hot & Dry or Cool & Wet.
The Pacific Wonderland “side” is Western Oregon. You can almost smell the moist, damp, cloudy, rugged mountains of this lush green side of the state. Contrast that to Central and Eastern Oregon, with its clear-as-a-bell sky and hot, dry, rolling foothills.
So what divides this Pacific Wonderland? Where the I-5 runs the length of the state.
The beauty of Western Oregon in the fall and winter (October to May) can be summed up in one word – Rain! Yes, today's chance of rain is 100%. But all this rain creates the tall lush green forest, rich rivers, and bountiful wildlife that we come to think of when we think of Oregon.
Speaking of ice cream, the summers along the coast are glorious with a 0% chance of rain July through September. Although, in my opinion, ice cream is wonderful at any time of the year in any weather.
East of the Cascade Mountains, it rains little. This is a high desert ecosystem. The sun is hot, the skies are blue, and often there are paintbrush strokes of high clouds. Here is where you can experience the high desert with meandering rivers and streams, dry days, and chilly nights.
This is where you can find the Western Rattle Snake, Big Horn Sheep, Painted Deserts, and Smith Rock. The weather is so beautiful you’ll build up a big thirst! So head to Bend, one of the best beer cities in America. 10 Barrel and Crux are two of the many breweries in this town. Continue south of Bend and explore the crystal clear deep blue waters of Crater Lake.
Such amazing places to visit! How do you choose where to go first? That depends on how you answer these two simple questions:
- Do you want to experience our biggest city and have easy access to the ocean and the mountains’ massive old-growth forest? And easily extend your trip into Washington or California? Are you OK with cool, damp nights, and the real possibility of wet weather? If so, fly into Portland and start your trip.
- Or are you looking for hot, dry weather, with chilly nights? And the big wide-open landscape of rolling foothills with meandering rivers and creeks? Where the outdoors is a lifestyle rather than an option? Then fly straight into the heart of Oregon and go to Bend (Redmond Airport) and have your adventure start from the center of the state.
Either is a perfect option, just wildly different. Follow your heart to Oregon. It may lead you home.
Western Oregon Images:
Eastern Oregon Images"