Are you looking for the best scenic road drives in Oregon for your next travel?
Planning a road trip in Oregon doesn’t have to be complicated or stressful as Oregon has a mystery box of many amazing scenic byways that will make you feel in heaven.
The state has a diversity in landscape, which makes it different from the other states of the USA. From the stunning Oregon Coast to splashing waterfalls, from the gorgeous mountains to the dry desert, the road trips through Oregon is never monotonous.
You know what the craziest thing about this state is?
For travel lovers, Oregon is a paradise. There are a lot of hidden gems here in this place which none has even explored yet.
I have been to this beautiful state twice while staying in Seattle two years ago.
I, along with my husband, drove from Seattle to Portland both the times. And the time we spent there was amazing, and the memories are still fresh.
I couldn’t explore Oregon entirely in just a few days of vacation. Although, I tried but, there are so much to explore that it’s nearly impossible to cover everything.
The state is wide enough, you need quality time to explore deeply.
But if you are like me, who loves road trip more than hiking or trekking, then it won’t be wrong to say that you can cover more than half of Oregon by road.
So, among many scenic byways of Oregon, I would be sharing/listing down the ones which I enjoyed the most.
Seattle to Portland
As we started our journey from Seattle, it takes around three hours to reach Portland via I-5. The road to Portland is scenic of course. You can enjoy the straight and smooth drive till you enter Portland as it remains quite a traffic.
If you want to look around, then I have a few recommendations. You can stopover at Tacoma for food and Longview.
After you reach Portland, don’t miss the Japanese Garden. It is the best that I can think of ever. The garden brings us the authenticity of the Japanese garden. Their unique style, garden architecture is so different from the rest of the world. It is like a magical world of landscape.
Oregon Coast Highway 101 – Best Scenic Road Drives in Oregon
The Oregon coastline is perhaps the most beautiful and best stretch of road in the USA. Oregon Highway 101 is a long stretch of route closer to the ocean. Serene scenic views, quiet beach towns, trees around the byways are found throughout the coast.
The long drive along the road is peaceful and eye-soothing. Forget about the flight, I can guarantee even if you aren’t fond of road drives, driving through the Oregon Coast Highway 101 will make you the happiest. It will open your eyes and make you realize how beautiful our earth can be.
The highlights of Oregon Coast Highway 101 are Cannon Beach if you follow the Highway 101 down at some 25 miles you will see the fantastic Cannon Beach and Ecola State Park.
You will get a charming, serene view of the entire Cannon Beach from the edge of Ecola State Park. It is a paradise for many professional photographers too.
Also, you mustn’t miss Boardman State Scenic Corridor, situated fifty miles south of Highway 101. This is one of the many best places to visit in Oregon.
You can drive a bike, car or RVs anything to enjoy the Oregon Coast Scenic Highway 101. You will find plenty of Bed and Breakfast in these beach towns. So, food and stay won’t be problematic.
Or, if you want to hire and drive an RV that will make your trip even more adventurous. That way, you can stay close to the Pacific Ocean in your RV.
[In case you are looking for the best RV rental services, my recommendation would be to check out the RVshare. They have a wide array of RVs to make your trip memorable and comfortable.]
Columbia River Gorge Scenic Byway
Taking a drive along the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Byway would be the best choice in an Oregon trip. Among the many scenic road drives in Oregon, Columbia River Gorge is a place of numerous stunning waterfalls.
This isn’t very far from Portland city. Driving through this byway will make your trip unforgettable, even if you do nothing. The waterfalls are itself so lovely that just looking at them will make your day.
The main attraction of this highway is the Multnomah falls, which is a 620 ft waterfall which looks spectacular from any angle. There is a small park where people usually walk around, take photos of the waterfall, and sip coffee.
If you want something more, you can also hike up to the bridge.
There is another attraction, and that is Latourell Falls, which is around 250 ft waterfall, surrounded by cliff faces and looks exceptionally beautiful too.
Vista House is yet another viewpoint in Columbia River Gorge Scenic Byway, which is 600ft high to river level and you will get an absolutely spectacular view from the top. You can spend hours by simply staring at the sight.
Horsetail Falls is the end of the scenic highway, but you can hike along the way through trail route if that interests you.
Mount Hood Scenic Byway
Mount Hood is Oregon’s highest peak, an altitude of around 11,245 ft, also the fourth highest peak in the Cascade Mountain Range.
Like I have mentioned earlier, Oregon is a paradise for an outdoor adventurer. The Mt. Hood Scenic Byway is the point where you enter into the wilderness, away from the chaos of the city life.
There are plenty of things that you can do and visit in this area if you love exploring and adventure.
Oregon is home to tons of waterfalls. Unlike Multnomah falls, there are many other falls too hidden amid the forest, where you can only reach by hiking. For example, Tamanawas Falls, Ramona Falls, Metlako Falls, and the count goes on.
There are plenty of other lookouts too that have access to the public for recreational activities for outdoor enthusiasts.
The Mt. Hood Scenic Byway starts from Troutdale, along US Highway 26 and then joining the State Highway 35. Throughout the route, you will find natural attractions which will mesmerize you with its beauty.
If you only want to stick to the drive, then you can take the loop, which will take you from the north of Mt. Hood to the south.
My recommendation would definitely be Lost lake, which requires a bit of hiking which is worth giving an attempt for the incredible view.
The picturesque road will lead you through some of the best spots.
Umpqua Scenic Byway
Now, the next best scenic road drives in Oregon would be definitely, ‘Umpqua Scenic Byway.’ The best time to go would be around the August-September, it looks wonderful during that time of the year.
So, if you have come to Oregon to explore the road drives, you can’t miss this highway.
Now, I will recommend a few highlights of the Umpqua Scenic Byway, where you can make a stopover and enjoy.
Among the many, Toketee and Watson Falls are two main attractions in Umpqua National Forest. To reach here, you will have to get pass through the well-marked hiking trails.
You should also layover at the beautiful Diamond Lake, which allows you to camp and fishing.
Next, comes the astounding Crater lake National Park, if you continue Highway 138, it will lead you to the most scenic route i.e, the entrance of the Crater Lake National Park. The lake is famous for being America’s deepest lake, and the view is breathtaking.
My recommendations would be to go during August-September, as it remains close in winter.
Plan for an extended vacation in Oregon and explore these amazing road drives. Oregon is a land of a beautiful and sacred landscape. The unspoiled wilderness that gives us immense pleasure when we come in close contact with nature.
So, the above scenic road drives in Oregon are the best that I can suggest you go for it and make a memorable trip with your loved one.