Oregon is full of stunning natural beauty, and our state (and national) parks contain some of the most spectacular scenery in the country. Here are 12 amazing, unique places in Oregon that will drop your jaw:
12. Silver Falls State Park
Located near Salem, Silver Falls State Park is the largest state park in Oregon, and one of the most incredible. Full of lush forests (which are incredibly colorful in Fall), dramatic canyons, majestic waterfalls, and amazing hiking trails, this wondrous state park is a perfect place to escape into the beauty of nature.
11. Ecola State Park
Located on the coast of northern Oregon, this magnificent state park is full of breathtaking viewpoints, scenic trails, pristine beaches, and more. It's an amazing place to spend the day relaxing on the beach, picnicking, hiking, exploring tide pools, surfing, and more.
10. Smith Rock State Park
Walking through the high desert landscape of Smith Rock State Park may make you feel as though you've been transported to a different planet entirely. This stunning state park is located near Redmond in Deschutes County and is a fantastic place for rock climbing, hiking, camping, and more.
9. Shore Acres State Park
This unique state park on the coast is home to two amazingly beautiful - and amazingly different - main attractions: a large, intricately manicured garden, and a rugged, dramatic shoreline full of crashing waves and jagged rocks.
8. Crater Lake National Park
Located atop the incredible Mt Mazama in Southern Oregon, Crater Lake is truly one of a kind. Technically, it's a National Park (as opposed to a state park) but that certainly shouldn't inhibit you from seeing this stunning natural wonder for yourself. Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the country, and its deep blue waters are sure to leave you speechless.
7. White River Falls State Park
This little-known hidden gem in north central Oregon is home to the gorgeous White River Falls. It's a great place to escape from society and check out a beautiful waterfall, amazing basalt canyons, the ruins of an abandoned hydroelectric power plant, and more.
6. John Day Fossil Beds National Monument
Although this place is also not technically a state park, the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is breathtakingly beautiful. This National Monument is made up of three separate units: the otherworldly Painted Hills (pictured above), the magnificent Sheep Rock Unit, and the beautiful Clarno Unit.
5. Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor
Located on the coast of southern Oregon, this 12-mile stretch of coastline is absolutely breathtaking. Here you'll find crashing waves, incredible rock formations, old growth forest, stunning viewpoints, sandy beaches, and more.
4. Wallowa Lake State Park
Located in Wallowa County, Wallowa Lake State Park is absolutely mesmerizing. The huge, crystal clear lake is tucked away in the foothills of gorgeous Wallowa peaks, and offers plenty of amazing activities like swimming, boating, fishing, camping, hiking, and more.
3. Fort Stevens State Park
This unique state park in northwest Oregon used to be a U.S. military fort that stood guard over the mouth of the Columbia River. Nowadays, the oceanside state park is a great place to hang out on the beach, hike, camp, and check out the historical remnants of the old fort as well as the Peter Iredale shipwreck (pictured above).
2. Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
Located on the northern tip of Oregon, this stunning river gorge is absolutely jaw-dropping. On the Oregon side of the river (the water separates Oregon and Washington), the massive Columbia River is rimmed by stunning forests, dramatic rock walls, streams, and of course, waterfalls. The Gorge is legendary for its abundance of incredible waterfalls, in particular the amazing Multnomah Falls, which happens to be one of the tallest waterfalls in the country.
1. Sunset Bay State Park
This beautiful seaside state park is located near Coos Bay. Here you'll find the picturesque, half-moon-shaped beach pictured above, as well as old growth forests, tide pools, hiking trails, and more. Plus, only half a mile away is the lovely Cape Arago Lighthouse.