Explore Oregon

Wallowa Lake Tramway

Travel Spotlight — Wallowa Lake Tramway

written by Sheila G. Miller Head for the hills this summer in Eastern Oregon. There is no shortage of mountains to climb around Oregon, but you can head for the hills this summer with ease, thanks to the Wallowa Lake Tramway. The Swiss-made tram, built in 1970, climbs 3,700 feet to the summit of Mount Howard. From the summit, you’ll be able to see Washington, Idaho and (maybe) Montana on a clear day. There are miles of trails nearby that lead to scenic overlooks, or bring your mountain bike to the top and head back down on two wheels. A more leisurely option includes the Summit Grill, which has an alpine patio just right for taking in the views and maybe a local beer or snack. The tram runs every day from June 1 to September 30, with hours in July and August running 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Breakfast…

Northwest Destination — Retreat to Camano Island, a pint-sized nirvana for all manner of play

written by Heather Larson In 1949, a group of 500 locals brought their tools and sweat equity to a beach site at Point Lowell on Camano Island and built a park in one day. Camano Island State Park became the first on the island, a place where residents and visitors could recreate. In 2007, Freedom Park, a 12,000-square-foot wooden playground, was constructed in five days by 1,000 volunteers. Camano Islanders love the outdoors and have developed some remarkable spots for all to enjoy. The island feel remains rural, peaceful and mostly undiscovered, yet there’s enough to do to keep you on-island for however long you stay.   A ninety-minute drive from Seattle—no ferry ride required—the “easy island” stretches to almost 16 miles in length and extends 6 miles at its widest point. Edged by Port Susan on the east and Saratoga Passage on the west, water sports flourish. The ideal…

Trip Planner — Wine Country of Newberg and Chehalem

written by Sheila Miller Seems like these days, the world has discovered Oregon’s Willamette Valley and its wine, but the epicenter always seems to be McMinnville. There are so many other little outposts around the region. We decided to focus our tour in Newberg and Chehalem and see what the rest of the world might be missing. DAY 1 COFFEE • DOWNTOWN • WINE TASTING Most tasting rooms open at 11 a.m., so that’s when it’s apparently OK to start drinking wine. Get acquainted with the town of Newberg by enjoying wine right in the downtown core—you can get to the views tomorrow. Start in an industrial district a few minutes from downtown Newberg, and since it’s early, you can grab a coffee from Caravan Coffee’s roastery. The shop is a longtime favorite in Newberg, ethically sourcing its beans and making a great cup of coffee. You can tour the…

Aerial Courses — adventurers zip, sway and swoop on carefully designed courses

written by Jennifer Burns Bright Monkeys aren’t the only ones who can swing from trees. Increasingly popular at resorts and outdoor destinations, “American Ninja”-style aerial courses challenge visitors to sway on zigzaggy wooden bridges set between high platforms, climb rope webs and zip through the sky. Some even dare the fearless to leap to the ground or into water. We’ve selected three of Oregon’s coolest courses—all surrounded by nature in breathtaking areas—to explore on your summer vacation. Klamath Falls Crater Lake Zipline If hiking through the forests or fishing near Crater Lake seems too leisurely, how about zipping through the canopy of pine and fir trees? Just thirty-five minutes from Crater Lake National Park, Crater Lake Zipline affords magnificent 360-degree views of Upper Klamath Lake and Mount McLoughlin as riders sail over the treetops. Kids can now climb over their own spider webs and bridge challenges on the new Sasquatch…

romantic getaways

Wild and Romantic Outdoor Getaways

Getting outside can be an aphrodisiac— turn up the heat this summer with an outdoor adventure written by Kevin Max We know you like to make travel plans around new and exciting experiences in the outdoors, so we happily brought together some of our top picks for outdoor getaways in every region of Oregon. These range from remote hike-in cabins in Eastern Oregon to hot springs resorts in Central Oregon, a fabulous Mid-century makeover in Southern Oregon, a fire lookout in the Willamette Valley and more. Here is the fruit of this exploration. Eastern Oregon » Halfway In a southwest breach of the Wallowa Whitman National Forest and 10 miles west of the Snake River lies tiny Halfway. It’s the remoteness of Halfway and the cuteness of Pine Valley Lodge that makes this a romantic outdoorsy getaway. The bed & breakfast has twelve rooms with two stand-alone cottages, one that…

The 79th Annual Sisters Rodeo

Sisters Rodeo Photojournal 2019 written and photographed by Jessica Smith Every summer during the first week of June, professional cowboys and cowgirls travel to Oregon to compete in the Sisters Rodeo. The show has been around since 1940 and has remained a favorite among contestants because of the sizable purse offerings (up to $10,000) awarded to winners in each category. For decades, the world-class talent has attracted crowds from miles away, and this year was no exception. With rodeo organizers making this year’s tickets available online, the already-popular event sold out a week before opening night. However, those lucky enough to secure tickets were in for a treat, with sunny blue skies, plentiful food and drink from various vendors, and stunning displays of athleticism by both the animals and the competitors.  

A guide’s list of Oregon’s best climbing destinations

written by Peter Madsen Ancient seismic upheaval and and the erosive work of bygone lakes and rivers have carved many of Oregon’s striking landscapes. As a result, pockets of great climbing opportunities abound, according to Cliff Agocs, a rock guide certified by the American Mountain Guides Association. Also the co-owner of Timberline Mountain Guides, Agocs, a Bend resident, has traveled Oregon extensively in search of new climbing opportunities. And he’s yet to climb everything. Here, Agocs provides readers with some of Oregon’s best climbing destinations, including route varieties, rock type and other considerations. Most of Oregon’s climbing destinations are home to local climbing communities that set and maintain interesting routes. Respecting the local climbing ethics is one of the keys to enjoying an area without “blowing it up,” Agocs said. A great place to begin research is www.mountainproject.com, an REI-funded online climbing guide. As a general rule, Oregon’s wealth of…

Tiny House Sheltered Nook

Sheltered Nook’s Tiny Houses

written by Jen Stevenson If Tiny House, Big Living is your HGTV catnip, or your favorite recurring daydream is to KonMari all of your worldly possessions and downsize to a 385-square-foot dwelling, this Bay City tiny home hamlet is just the place to hole up for a beautiful late spring weekend. Husband-and-wife team Hank and Dee Harguth’s first foray into the hospitality industry was in 2005, when they began hosting bicyclists making their two-wheeled way along picturesque Highway 101. A simple bed-and-breakfast followed in 2013, and today, the Harguths’ vision has evolved into an eco-friendly village that attracts road trippers both near and far, charmed by the novelty of tiny home life, the resident ducks and chickens that casually waddle the 3-acre property, the misty morning walks through 200-acre Kilchis Point nature reserve a mere block away, and the proximity to popular coastal destinations like Cape Meares and Nehalem Bay…

Northwest Destination: Touring the Tri-Cities

Learn your atomic history and so much more in Eastern Washington’s biggest surprise written by Kevin Max This trip marked the first time I had spent meaningful time in Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Pasco and Richland). I came for the history and the story of the Hanford Site B Reactor and found an engaging culture all around Hanford. If you’re as fascinated with the history of WWII as I am, the Manhattan Project National Historic Park at Hanford nuclear site is on your agenda. Schedule your tour in advance, as the free four-hour experience begins with a short film at the visitor center on the edge of the park before boarding a bus to the site 40 stark miles northwest. The experience still feels a little cloak and dagger more than seventy years after its mission began. One of three pieces of the once-secret Manhattan Project—the other sites are Oak Ridge, Tennessee…

Trip Planner: The Northern Oregon Coast

The northern coast of Oregon is more than just Haystack Rock written by Sheila Miller Picking your favorite part of the Oregon coastline is like picking your favorite flavor of ice cream. It’s all pretty great, and some of it depends on what you grew up with. This spring, I decided it was time to mix it up a bit. As a native Portlander, I spent my youth near the northern border of the state. But there are wonders as you leave your comfort zone. I set out to find them on the Northern Oregon Coast. From Gearhart to Garibaldi, we spent some time exploring the northern Oregon coastline. It’s a lovely drive filled with hidden gems. Along the northern coast, Highway 101 winds through lush, green state parks and then cuts inland to Nehalem Bay, passing boat marinas and small antiques shops and running parallel to a railroad track…