Nature December 12, 2017
Shhh… These 9 Hidden Places Are Oregon’s Best Kept Secrets
Oregon is filled with secret surprises. One of the best parts about living in Oregon is that just when you think you’ve seen everything, you stumble upon a new and exciting place to explore. From majestic waterfalls and underground caves to ancient rock formations, here are nine of our favorite hidden places that rank among the Beaver State’s best kept secrets.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
Fort Rock (Lake County)
This one-of-a-kind ancient rock formation is located in a remote section of Oregon's high desert. A pair of sandals discovered here are the oldest ever found, dating back 9,000-13,000 years. You can take a 1.2-mile loop hike through the crater to experience some of the most otherworldly views in the Beaver State.
Skylight Cave (Sisters)
If you've ever wanted to escape to a hidden underground world, it's time to visit the Skylight Cave. You'll enter this beautiful gem by climbing down a ladder into a cavern. Once you're down, prepare to be enchanted by the three natural skylights. The best time to see the lights are on a sunny day in the morning hours, between 8:00 and 10:00 a.m.
Canyon Creek Meadows (Mt. Jefferson Wilderness)
Step into a magical alpine wonderland when you visit Canyon Creek Meadows. Nestled high up in the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness, the meadows can be reached by taking a gentle, 2-mile hiking trail. The prime time to visit is in the summer months, when the fields come alive with colorful wildflowers.
Pendleton Underground (Pendleton)
Discover a secret underground city with a trek down to the Pendleton Underground. Hiding beneath the streets of downtown Pendleton, this network of tunnels was once home to many businesses, many of which were illegal. A tour takes about 1.5 hours and costs $15.
Indian Beach (Ecola State Park)
There's nothing better than stumbling upon a secluded beach on the Oregon Coast. Indian Beach in Ecola State Park is a pristine strip of coastline filled with smooth sand, majestic forests and rugged cliffs. It's truly like something straight out of a fairytale.
Mt. Hood Tiny House Village (Welches)
For your next rustic getaway, look no further than the Mt. Hood Tiny House Village. This hidden retreat is tucked away in the stunning Mt. Hood National Forest, and is surrounded by alpine lakes, enchanting rivers, and hiking trails.
Connie Hansen Garden (Lincoln City)
Take a stroll through this gorgeous secret garden on your next visit to Lincoln City. This delightful 1.25-acre hidden gem is filled with tranquil scenery, including woodsy canopies, a rock garden and colorful flowers. Guided tours are available.
White River Falls (The Dalles)
Oregon's waterfalls never seem to disappoint, and White River Falls is no exception. This little-known falls is located south of The Dalles in White River Falls State Park. To reach the waterfall, you'll take an easy half-mile trail.
WWII Bunker (Tillamook Bay)
Few people are aware that Oregon is home to an abandoned bunker that once played an important role in WWII military operations. Hidden away in Tillamook Bay, this historic bunker was built in 1943 to house aluminum. Today, the moss-covered bunker is a fascinating place to explore.
Have you visited any of these hidden gems before? Where can we find your favorite little-known destination in Oregon?
Want to explore more secret spots in the Beaver State? Check out our previous article:
9 Top Secret Oregon Waterfalls To Visit Before Word Gets Out.