9 Beautiful Oregon Locations You Probably Didn’t Know Existed
With so much natural beauty in our state, it’s no wonder that the tourists flock here every season. We certainly don’t mind sharing our scenery occasionally, but it’s nice to have a few under-appreciated spots that are less crowded to visit. Here are nine beautiful locations that even many locals don’t know exist.
1. Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area
Home to as many as 200 Roosevelt elk during the winter season, Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area is an undiscovered jewel along the coast. It encompasses 1,114 acres and has four viewing areas so you can see these magnificent creatures. You'll find this gem near Seaside.
2. Alvord Desert
The Alvord Desert is near Fields, in the southeastern part of the state. This vast area is a dry lakebed that measures 12 miles by 7 miles and is perfect for a day of ATVing or a night of stargazing. With almost zero light pollution, you'll see thousands of stars in the night sky here.
3. Cape Sebastian State Scenic Corridor
Most people stick to the 101 when they visit Oregon's coast, but they're missing some of the most amazing overlooks the area has to offer. Take this scenic route near Gold Beach, and give yourself plenty of time to gawk at the view from the Cape Sebastian Viewpoint.
4. Hells Canyon
You'll find Hells Canyon in Baker County, northwest of Monroe. With its picturesque cliffs and stunning views of the Snake River, this canyon certainly doesn't live up to its name.
5. Toketee Falls
Oregon has a nearly endless array of stunning waterfalls, but Toketee Falls is one that you definitely shouldn't miss. You'll find it along the Umpqua River at its confluence with the Clearwater River. This gorgeous waterfall is 113 feet tall.
6. Steens Mountain Wilderness
If you're looking for a remote destination free of crowds, you can't go wrong with the Steens Mountain Wilderness. It's located in the southeastern corner of the state and covers a vast 428,156 acres. The deep gorges and beautiful, wild rivers here make this the perfect place to lose cell service and disconnect for awhile.
7. Little Crater Lake
Everyone in the world knows about Crater Lake, and for good reason - it's absolutely jaw-dropping! Little Crater Lake is just as advertised - much smaller than its namesake, but still quite stunning. It's only 45 feet deep, but its frigid waters are crystal clear.
8. Wallowa Mountains
The Wallowa Mountains are likely Oregon’s most under-appreciated gems. Head to the northeastern part of the Beaver State for these stunners, and allow yourself plenty of time to hike and explore this mountain range, which is also known as the "Alps of Oregon."
9. Painted Hills, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument
Grab your camera and head out to the Painted Hills Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in the late afternoon, and you’ll be absolutely delighted with the scenery just begging to be captured. These colors look absolutely unreal.
What other spots would you add to this list?
Hoping to find more overlooked spots in Oregon? Check out
this pretty lake if you want to get away from it all.
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