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.
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 is newly built. Go here for hiking along the Snake or into the Wallowas. Stay here for the eiderdown duvets, the stagecoach-era charm and the continental breakfast served every morning.
This outing involves effort and reward. Most guests get to the lodge by hiking in 8.5 miles along a trail. Minam River Lodge was born in 2017 as a passion project restoration. The owners put an emphasis on the rewards to those who make the journey. In the Eagle Cap Wilderness, the lodge is surrounded by more than 500 miles of trails, four wild and scenic-designated rivers and wildlife that includes bighorn sheep, bald eagles, bears, deer and elk. The stunning scenery is an inspiration for photographers and picnickers, too. The Minam and Wallowa rivers are two of the most pristine places to catch (and release) brook trout, rainbow and winter and spring steelhead. The accommodations include cabins, lodge rooms and walled tents. Massage and yoga are also available.
On the edge of the Deschutes National Forest, yet very much in touch with the civilization of outdoor-crazed Bend, Tetherow pairs luxury and the outdoors. The resort includes world-class golf, a new resort pool, restaurants and nearby are some of the best mountain biking trails in the country. Starting at the Phil’s Trail network and extending as far up into the forest as you can go, these trails can keep you busy and happy for months without riding the same one twice. In town and along the Deschutes River, paddleboards and floatation devices are de rigueur. On terra firma is a burgeoning restaurant scene and breweries galore. Don’t forget to ask for the complimentary Breedlove guitar to set (or ruin) the mood.
Set along the comely Breitenbush River, Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat is a different mindspace. On the banks and above the river are clothing-optional natural hot spring pools at perhaps the state’s most placid getaway. The resort has small cozy cabins, lodge rooms and tents on platforms, as well as regular camping sites. It regularly hosts yoga and meditation retreats and has a cafeteria that serves fresh vegetarian cuisine. The one anomaly is that you have to bring your own coffee. In addition to hot springs, yoga and massage, Breitenbush is on the scenic Santiam Pass in the Cascade Range and has trails for hiking, running and good road biking
This trip is right at the top of the bucket list. Rafting the wild and scenic Rogue River should be on everyone’s radar. We suggest getting on with a reputable and experienced Rogue outfitter, such as Rogue Wilderness Adventures, Rogue River Outfitters or Helfrich River Outfitters. Thrills abound in Class II-IV rapids, but you’ll want to nail the evenings, too. A combination of riverside camping and classic American river lodges puts everyone at ease in one of the most stunning riverine settings around. Paradise Lodge is mandatory for romantic getaways along the storied Rogue. This wilderness lodge is accessible only by water. Fresh local coffee and wines, beers, meat and produce are brought in weekly by boat.
Summer is the time for the Oregon Coast. No one frames the coast in a classier light than Headlands Coastal Lodge. On the water at Pacific City, Headlands is a new luxury-meets-adventure property with fantastic ocean views, and restaurant and bar. Check in with an in-house adventure coach to help set your agenda. Surf out the door or hike the UNESCO biosphere Cascade Head and poke out above the fog level in morning, or go crabbing just south in Nehalem Bay. Don’t miss the tidepools and trails at Cape Kiwanda just to the north or just settle in on the beach with a good book and a pint of the finest from the adjacent Pelican Brewery.
you are just getting started or are unfamiliar with the area, hop on a scheduled $20
Beaver Creek kayak tour up a freshwater marsh with a guide. Your gear is included in that price.
Try the Gorge on horseback. Double Mountain Horse Ranch is your pass to reaching waterfalls and riding through them on horseback for a thrilling natural experience in Hood River. Have your own “wild” adventure by streaming through the scene of the Pacific Crest Trail movie sensation, Wild, at Dry Creek Falls. Other horseback tours include sunset, mountain views and wine outings. Unsaddle and drop into the nicely situated Best Western in Hood River. The hot tub overlooking the Columbia River is a must. Head over to the Hood River Waterfront for Solstice Wood Fire Pizza and beer, or amble into town for dozens more culinary options.
Swimming, hiking, fishing and stargazing abound at Trillium Lake. Close to Government Camp in the Mt. Hood National Forest, Trillium Lake is known for its stunning beauty. Shoot for weekdays when the campground is less crowded. Bring a vessel to paddle off into solitude. Venture out on a clear night and lose yourself beneath a maze of constellations. The Trillium Lake Loop is an easy 3.6-mile trail that any member of the family can handle.
*A winner has been selected for this category* Congratulations to Ashley J. in Bend!