Oregon February 25, 2016
20 Amazing Oregon Secrets You Never Knew Existed
When people think of Oregon, images of Crater Lake, Multnomah Falls and Mount Hood tend to come to mind. While these attractions are nothing short of incredible, Oregon is also full of countless natural wonders that are off the beaten path. From secluded alpine lakes to hidden waterfalls and desert hot springs, here are 20 of Oregon’s most beautiful hidden gems—and they will take your breath away.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
20. Lost Lake
Located in the Mount Hood National Forest, this secluded lake boasts amazing views and reflects Mount Hood in its mirror-like water.
19. Opal Creek
Opal Creek is a stunning, turquoise creek that weaves through the Willamette National Forest. The creek has many small waterfalls and swimming holes that are heavenly on hot summer days.
18. Pillars of Rome
The Pillars of Rome are amazing rock formations located near Rome, Oregon.
17. Hart's Cove
Hart's Cove is an enchanting rugged cove on the Oregon coast. The lookout can be found at the end of a beautiful 5.4 mile (round trip) forest hike.
16. Waldo Lake
Waldo Lake is a gorgeous natural lake nestled into the Cascade mountains.
15. Terwilliger Hot Springs
Also known as Cougar Hot Springs, this amazing natural geothermal hot spring is located in the Willamette National Forest near the Cougar Reservoir. The soaking pools are absolutely lovely and serene.
14. Natural Bridges Cove
Located in the Samuel Boardman State Park, The Natural Bridges are an amazing coastal feature that can be accessed by a short hike.
13. Owyhee River Gorge
The Owyhee River is a tributary of Snake River. It weaves majestically through the dramatic landscape of eastern Oregon.
12. Leslie Gulch
This stunning canyon in Malheur County has otherworldly rock formations and stunning scenery.
11. Toketee Falls
Toketee Falls is a gorgeous waterfall located on the Umpqua River near Roseburg. The waterfall cascades beautifully down an ancient basalt wall into a deep blue basin.
10. Dee Wright Observatory
The Dee Wright Observatory is a peculiar (and wonderful) lookout at the summit of McKenzie Pass. The fairytale-like structure is made of lava stone and it's windows frame amazing views of the surrounding Cascade mountains.
9. Summer Lake Hot Springs
This unique mineral hot spring is located in a secluded, rustic building near Paisley.
8. The Wallowas
The Wallowa Mountains are one of Oregon's 7 Natural Wonders, but due to their remote location they have remained off the beaten path. It's an absolutely wonderful place for sightseeing and hiking.
7. Valley of the Giants
The Valley of the Giants is a 51-acre forest located in northwest Oregon. The forest is full of enormous, ancient Douglas Firs and Hemlocks.
6. Klamath National Wildlife Refuge
The Klamath National Wildlife Refuge is a wonderful place to observe wildlife, especially if you're a bird lover.
5. Newberry National Volcanic Monument Big Obsidian Flow
The Newberry National Volcanic Monument is a fascinating place in the Deschutes National Forest. The Big Obsidian Flow was created more than a thousand years ago, covering the landscape with shiny, surreal-looking obsidian rocks.
4. Koosah Falls
This lovely waterfall is located in the Willamette National Forest. Be sure to check out the nearby (and also lovely) Sahalie Falls as well.
3. The Oregon Garden
Located in Silverton, the Oregon Garden is a beautiful botanical garden that spans 80 acres.
2. Steens Mountain Wilderness
The Steens Mountain Wilderness is located in southeastern Oregon. The rugged landscape is absolutely jaw-dropping.
1. Tamanawas Falls
The gorgeous Tamanawas Falls is located near the base of Mount Hood at the end of a short, peaceful hike.
How many of these places have you been to? What are some other amazing places in Oregon that are off the beaten path? Let us know in the comments below.