With California to the South, Oregon is often a State which is overlooked.  I’m going to share a few reasons why to take your road trip there and more importantly, how to plan an Oregon road trip.  For me, the main pull of Oregon is Crater Lake, one of the most beautiful places on earth.  Other Oregon highlights include Mount Hood, Multnomah Falls, Portland and Astoria which is a famous American movie location.

Oregon Road Trip Inspiration – Mount Hood

Mount Hood, Oregon

The Kayak team have many suggestions for an Oregon road trip.  Many of these routes pass several stunning Mount Hood viewpoints.  One route which caught my eye is the Columbia River Gorge Infinity Loop.  This beautiful road trip follows the Columbia River east from Portland before circling Mount Hood and heading back to Portland.  As a result, you’ll witness Mount Hood from many different viewpoints as well as pass by Multnomah Falls.

More Oregon Road Trip Ideas – Crater Lake

How to Plan a Oregon Road Trip with KAYAK - Crater Lake

I mentioned earlier that Crater Lake is one of the most beautiful places on earth.  For this reason alone, you must visit Oregon.  Before we admire the beauty of Crater Lake, let me share some facts.  Firstly, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States.  Crater Lake formed from a volcanic eruption around 6000 years ago.  It’s famous for the dark blue colour and calm waters which reflect the sky above as well as the surrounding landscape.  Finally, with your own car, you can drive right up to the side of the lake.

More Crater Lake facts and photography.

Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls, Oregon

If Crater Lake alone doesn’t encourage you to visit Oregon, then take a look at Multnomah Falls.  This 186 meter tall waterfall really takes your breath away.  What’s more, how about standing on Benson Bridge for an Instagram photo?  Multnomah Falls is a 30 minute drive from Portland and there’s a car park a 5 minute walk away.  Why not visit early morning before the majority of tourists arrive?

Hells Canyon

Hells Canyon, Oregon

Hells Canyon features the deepest river gorge in the United States.  Yes, that’s makes Hells Canyon deeper than the famous Grand Canyon in Arizona.  Drive along the Oregon / Idaho border whilst in awe at the panoramas revealing themselves in front of you.


How to plan an Oregon Road Trip - Portland

Portland is often overlooked in favour of Seattle and Vancouver (Canada) to the north or San Francisco and Los Angeles to the south.  However, those who do make the effort to explore Portland will be rewarded with a hidden gem of the US.  Firstly, with the Willamette River, Washington Garden, Japanese Garden and the huge Forest Park on the outskirts, Portland is a green city.  What’s more, Portland features stunning architecture which will reward you while you walk the streets.  That’s not to mention the endless food and drink options in the city.  Finally, Portland is a good place to start and end your Oregon road trip with a well served airport as well as good car hire prices.

Astoria, Goonies Filming Location

How to plan an Oregon road trip - Astoria, Goonies Filming Location

If you’re in the mood for a coastal drive to the far north west of Oregon, you’ll reach a peaceful town called Astoria.  Astoria may be instantly recognisable to you even though you’ve never been but why?  Famous movies filmed in Astoria include, The Goonies, Kindergarten Cop, Free Willy, Short Circuit as well as The Guardian with Kevin Costner.  If you’re staying overnight in Astoria, maybe you could binge watch these movies before exploring the next day.

Ecola State Park

Ecola State Park, Oregon

You may recognise the ocean view from Ecola State Park.  The beach from Ecola State Park also featured in the Goonies movie.  Additionally, more recently it featured in Twilight.  Take walking trails in Ecola State Park which offer many different viewpoints over the coves and rainforest-covered cape.  Lastly, your own hire car gives you the freedom to stay as long as you want.  I recommend you stay late and watch the sunset over the Pacific.

Smith Rock State Park

Smith Rock State Park, Oregon

Just from seeing the a picture of Smith Rock it becomes clear this area is popular with rock climbers.  Additionally, you can park up and take one of the several hiking trails.  The most popular route being the river trail although there are several interlinking trails you can combine.  Wildlife in Smith Rock State Park includes golden eagles, falcons, deer, otters and beavers.  Lastly, visit during spring time to see nesting raptors in the cliffs.

Silver Falls State Park

Silver Falls State Park, Oregon

Silver Falls State Park features a 50 meter waterfall with a trail behind it.  As a result you can see what it’s like behind a waterfall and get a true perspective of its power.  Maybe a picture behind the South Falls could be the top Instagram spot in Oregon?

Enjoy Your Oregon Road Trip

Crater Lake, Oregon

Enjoy your Oregon road trip with the freedom to visit where you want when you want.  Visit Crater Lake at sunrise when there’s only you and the wildlife about.  Witness the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean from Ecola State Park.  Pose for photos all by yourself early morning on Benson Bridge at Multnomah Falls.

Visiting the United States?  Read about a Nevada Road Trip, Colorado Road TripArizona Road TripCalifornia Road Trip and a USA Road Trip.  How about a drive to Olympic National Park in Washington?  Alternatively, visit Lassen Volcanic National Park over the border in California.