The Devil’s Elbow on the Oregon Coast, at the mouth of Cape Creek.

Oregon’s Devilish Places

The devil wears drama … and beauty and intrigue in Oregon’s places that take its name written by Jen Sotolongo When Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan named the Pacific Ocean due to his observations of the calmness of the water, he clearly didn’t visit the Oregon Coast. All along the entire coastline, visitors can find a number of “devilish” spots where Lucifer himself seems to have put in the work to make a joke of peaceful waters encountered by Magellan. Thanks to its rugged coastline, the Coastal Range, and tumultuous winter windstorms, several destinations named for the Devil located along the Oregon Coast (and a bonus spot near Mount Hood) prove that the Pacific is anything but peaceful. The best way to visit the churns, elbows, caldrons, and punchbowls is to plan a road trip along Highway 101. If you really want to see the Devil at work, plan the trip…

Marys Peak, the highest in the Coastal Range, sits above Corvallis, the heart of the valley.

Corvallis Trip Planner

The heart and the brains of the valley written by James Sinks It’s entirely possible that somebody stuffed the ballot box. Corvallis—the home of Oregon State University, with miles of tree-lined bike and walking paths, a scenic Willamette riverfront, a downtown that’s straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting, and smiles on pretty much everybody—was voted the second-friendliest college town in the United States, according to the folks at CollegeDeals.net. The winner, allegedly? Ithaca, New York. And, well, as anybody who’s tried to drive a car in New York state will tell you, that survey result sort of stretches credulity. The CollegeDeals folks also include Corvallis in their national ranking of the smartest college towns, thanks to a high rate of locals with degrees. The upshot of it all: The city is livable, nerdy and nice. How nice? The staff is even uncommonly friendly at the Angry Beaver Grill, according…

Steens Mountain in winter is an exhilarating outing in showshoes or backcountry skis.

Taking the High Road

Oregon’s Outback offers solitude and intrigue in winter or spring written by Joni Kabana People often say “just take the high road,” but did you know you can do this, literally, in Oregon? The highest road in our beautiful state is a stunning drive around the Steens Mountain in southeast Oregon near the quaint town of Frenchglen. The mountain, the largest fault-block type in the northern Great Basin, soars to almost 10,000 feet but it is the surrounding landscape that makes this mountain stand out from the rest. Surrounded by high desert sage, the Steens Mountain commands with dipping valleys and caverns and gorgeous sweeping vistas along every turn. The drivable internal loop is only open during weather permitting times of the year, usually mid-June through October, but visiting this location in off-season has its own very special rewards. With less cars and crowds in the area, standing before this…