There’s a reason many people in Oregon drive the state car: Subaru. Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter, Oregonians are ready for an adventurous road trip to one more beautiful place in the Pacific Northwest. When the occasional Snowpocalypse turns Portlandia into Snowlandia, there may be little getting out of the city. For any other rainy or flurrying day, the majestical state of Oregon is full of beautiful winter road trips worthy of every single mile. Any of these road trips can be taken individually. If time allows, you can turn them into one long, epic loop and get the best of Oregon in the winter with one road trip.
Bend is one of the most notable places in Oregon whose notoriety is not misleading. Bend is full of beautiful nature, snow adventures, and a lovely town to explore. 170 miles outside of Portland, getting to Bend is just a 3 hour drive. Make sure to visit the Sunriver area and catch a few runs on Mount Bachelor before heading home.
As a solo trip, Crater Lake is quite the trek. 270 miles, about 4.5 hours, outside of the city is Oregon’s very own National Park. The large, active volcano crater is expansive and beautiful, offering numerous hiking trails that are still open in the winter. Book ahead to get a room at the stunning Crater Lake Lodge or be prepared to camp in extremely cold weather.
Finding watery-winter wonders doesn’t require driving hours out of the city. Some of the waterfalls in the Columbia Gorge are still flowing in the winter months. Ponytail falls can be found spouting water as white as the snow. All the lush greenery of the Columbia Gorge transforms into a picturesque winterscape. Columbia Gorge is just a short distance out of the city.
Painted Hills/Baker City/Hells Canyon
Had enough of white? Not every where in oregon is covered in snow during the winter. The Painted Hills could be considered a wonder of Oregon. This area holds beautiful desert landscapes full of color and sunshine. You may not escape the cold, but you can change up your color palette with this full road trip itinerary.
Oregon’s coastline is not to be missed. Even in the winter, the devastating cliffs, roaring oceans, and varying landscapes are breathtaking. Additionally, the winter is the peak season to catch the Gray Whale migration off the coast.
For a different kind of water enjoyment, head to one of Oregon’s many hot spring destinations. Natural hot springs are incredibly healing for the body, deeply heating the body and saturating it with minerals.
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