Three seasons aren’t enough for some bikers like this one in Central Oregon.

Fat Tire Snow Biking Getaways

Central Oregon is the playground for this pursuit written by Jen Sotolongo Fat biking is a relatively new sport. The first fat bikes were released on the market in 2009. Prior to then, early snow cyclists would pin or weld together two rims to create a wider base to accommodate travel over snow and sand. While the trails aren’t quite as zippy, mountain biking enthusiasts who miss their sport during the winter months can add a little girth to their wheels and hit the snow for some fat biking fun. “Fat biking opens up a lot more of the time that you can ride because you have more float with the wider tire,” said Gary Meyer, longtime fat biker and the Winter Trail Steward for the Central Oregon Trail Alliance (COTA). While one can take a fat bike and ride along a snowy forest service road, the place to ride…

Henry Hagg Lake is a great option for year-round paddling.

Secluded SUPing

To SUP is human. To SUP in seclusion is divine. written by Jen Sotolongo Home to calm rivers and crystal clear alpine lakes surrounded by mountain tops, paddleboarding enthusiasts can SUP just about anywhere in Oregon. The mild winter throughout much of the state means that with the right gear, paddling year-round is a possibility. Whether you prefer to while away the day in a lake, get a solid workout along one of the many designated water trails, or make a multi-day excursion stand-up paddlers won’t have to search far to find a serene spot to enjoy the sport. Permits are required for non-motorized watercraft, including paddleboards 10 feet or longer, as well as life jackets and whistles. One and two-year permits are available from ODFW and Oregon.gov. Henry Hagg Lake GASTON Just 30 miles southwest of Portland, Hagg Lake is a great option for year-round paddling. The lake is…

One bucket list item on the Oregon Coast is kayaking among the arches and seastacks on the southern coast.

Oregon Coast Adventures

From Brookings to Astoria, the Oregon Coast has more than 350 miles of bucket list items for you written by Jen Sotolongo The Oregon Coast may not be the kind of place where you soak up the sun while sipping an umbrella drink and that’s quite all right with Oregon residents. Instead, the Oregon Coast offers an array of adventurous activities that encourage visitors to truly explore the landscape. From surfing and paddling to clamming and tidepool hunting, the Oregon Coast won’t leave you yearning for a beach chair and colorful drink. Surfing Oregon, and the Pacific Northwest in general, may not come to mind when it comes to surfing, but the Oregon Coast is actually a terrific spot for both beginners and advanced surfers. Otter Rock, located right in between Portland and Eugene, offers a protected break with consistent 2-to 4-foot waves. The large stretch of sand allows surfers…

Senoj Lake is a fairly quiet, easy hike that features several lakes, depending on your starting point.

5 Great Off-Leash Hikes in Oregon

Destination trails around the state offer freedom and zen for people and their dogs Oregon dogs (and their humans) are spoiled with the abundant forested trails that lead to mountain tops, beautiful ocean beaches, and crystalline alpine lakes throughout the state. Outside of the cities, dogs can enjoy responsible off-leash freedom to satisfy all of their sniffing, exploring and swimming desires. Here are five off-leash trails to consider for your next hike with your best friend. OFF-LEASH PRIVILEGES: Understanding that hiking with a dog off-leash is a privilege, not a right, will keep the trails safe and enjoyable for all users. Do not allow your dog to approach other dogs and people, even if your dog is friendly. Allowing a dog to approach without permission is impolite and can be dangerous if the other dog does not appreciate other dogs in its space. Keep your dog in sight and under…

Wallowa Lake beginning to freeze over in December.

Go East!

The Wallowas offer wide-open spaces to play, explore and discover inner and outer peace written by Cathy Carroll We all know the old-timey call for adventure: “Go west, young man!” This winter, go with the obverse: “Go east, young_____!” Fill in your own gender. And by east, aim for Eastern Oregon, specifically, the Wallowas. Take to the roads, whether they’re cleared or paved with packed, cold, dry snow (when tires get grippy). At Wallowa Lake, first notice what’s missing: traffic, noise, hurry, tension, human-made marring of the beauty of the natural world. A few things you’ll immediately gain: deeper breaths, a clearer mind and a visage with fewer worry lines. Take in the deer and elk who’ve made the winter trek down into the valleys as hawks and raptors swirl above. Reconnect with belly laughter zipping down on a sled at Alder Slope or any other of the surrounding hills….

The pre-dawn Milky Way slides past “Dino Rock” along the entry road to Prineville Reservoir State Park.

Twinkle, Twinkle

Stargazing goes big in Oregon with global recognition written by Cathy Carroll Everyone may think there’s nothing to stepping outside and stargazing, but like many things in the world, some places are simply better for some things than others. When it comes to being knocked out just by looking up, a few places in Oregon have been designated as the best in the world. Prineville Reservoir State Park in Central Oregon is one. It’s the first Oregon park to be a certified International Dark Sky Park, the newest addition to the International Dark Sky Places Program. The only other such place in the state is in Sunriver, just south of Bend. It turns out that being a dark place requires effort. In Prineville, state park workers replaced harsh outdoor lights with softer yellow and red lighting that reduces “skyglow,” and they educated the public about light pollution. The reservoir joins…

rafting the Owyhee

Rafting the Owyhee River

Travel through time in a land of legends written and photographed by Adam Thorn Smith Outdoorsy Portlanders love to say “every environment is an hour away!” But, what if we went farther? What if we went … all the way? There is a place in our state—an inexplicable convolution of time and rock—where a river spills like mercury through the heart of an ancient supervolcano. Hot springs still steam with hidden heat. Relics lie lost in caves. Legends are born and die here, some never told.  Oregon’s loneliest corner and most remote region, the extreme southeast, is seven hours and 400 miles from Portland. To most imaginations, southern Malheur County must be a bland expanse of tumbleweed and juniper, the rare hare or coyote, somewhere past Steens Mountain. In truth, earth-bending natural wonders and geologic monoliths abound. People who venture here, by luck or lack thereof, are as unusual as…

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…

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…