Oregon January 07, 2017
The 8 Most Magical Winter Drives In Oregon
One great way to experience the beauty of Oregon in the wintertime is to take a scenic drive. From charming covered bridges to stunning frozen waterfalls, these 8 wonderful drives are packed with beautiful sights.
**In the winter months, many of Oregon’s byways are closed due to snow or ice, but these ones are typically open year round. However, the conditions vary day by day, so you’ll need to check the weather conditions, and, in some cases, be prepared with snow tires, chains, four wheel drive, etc. This year in particular has been notorious for icy roads, so make sure to be extra careful and do your research before heading out.**
8. Pacific Coast Scenic Byway
This winter, take an unforgettable drive along the legendary Highway 101, which leads all the way down the beautiful Oregon Coast and splits off into numerous other coastal roads. It can be rainy or foggy in the winter, but the scenery is simply spectacular.
7. Journey Through Time Scenic Byway
The Journey Through Time Scenic Byway is a unique route that winds through parts of central and eastern Oregon, past gorgeous plains, rugged canyons, ghost towns, and even natural wonders like the iconic Painted Hills.
6. Historic Columbia River Highway
For an unforgettable experience, take a winter drive through the stunning Columbia River Gorge. The Historic Columbia River Highway will take you past numerous waterfalls, trailheads, and viewpoints that will take your breath away. **Be sure to check conditions and drive carefully, as there have been icy roads in the area this season.
5. Three Capes Scenic Loop
This lovely, 38-mile byway is positively magical. Branching off from highway 101, this scenic drive will lead you long the coast past Cape Kiwanda, Cape Lookout, and Cape Meares. The views are simply spectacular.
4. Mt. Hood Scenic Byway
For a snowy drive through a winter wonderland, head to Oregon's tallest mountain, Mt Hood. The Mt Hood Scenic Byway weaves through bucolic countryside and up through Government Camp, which is a great launching pad for trips to Timberline Lodge or Mt Hood Meadows Ski Resort. After that, you'll descend back down the other side of the mountain towards Portland. You'll definitely be needing snow tires/chains for this one.
3. Cottage Grove Covered Bridge Tour
Experience Oregon like never before on this magical covered bridge drive. This is a great leisurely afternoon drive that you can complete in an hour or two.
2. Linn County Covered Bridge Tour
The Linn County Covered Bridge Tour is another great winter drive that will lead you past multiple picturesque covered bridges and miles of beautifully bucolic scenery.
1. Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway
Much of this 172-mile scenic byway runs alongside the gorgeous Umpqua River. You'll find lots of great hiking opportunities, stunning views, frosty evergreens, countless waterfalls, and the lovely Diamond Lake. It even reaches the north entrance of Crater Lake (which is closed during the winter, but if you'd like, you can take a detour to reach the South Entrance, which is open year-round).
Find out about Oregon’s most amazing winter festivals