Do It Before You Die: Explore Oregon's Natural Wonders

Setting our sights to Oregon, my wife and I packed as much as we could into a week long road trip. Although we didn't see all of Oregon, we definitely got a taste of what this beautiful state has to offer.

Our first stop was the Portland area and the beautiful Columbia River Gorge. This area boasts some of the country's most beautiful waterfalls and is about as green as it gets. From the iconic two-tiered Multnomah Falls to the adventure of Oneonta Gorge, this place will not disappoint. Go to these places early or late in the day - you can enjoy them without dealing with fellow tourists. 

I had seen many shots of Oneonta Falls, but none could ever do it justice. This short but action packed hike goes through a river, surrounded by high moss-covered canyon walls, which ends at another spectacular waterfall. We had a lot of fun maneuvering through a 15ft logjam. We made our way through the canyon, sometimes up to our chests in water. At the end we met with Lower Oneonta Falls and a great little swimming hole!

Some other waterfalls we visited were Punch Bowl Falls, Whaclella Falls and Fairy Falls. These three hikes are short and were the most impressive out of all of the falls visited. Punch Bowl Falls gets its name from the large pool that the waterfall drops into. This is also a great spot for a swim after the 2 mile hike in. 

Whaclella is a power waterfall with many spots around it to hang out. This hike was an easy one mile and the views from the trail are worth the trip.

Finally, Fairy Falls is a multi-tiered waterfall and one I had seen photographed many times. This is for good reason, these falls were well worth the steep hike at only 1.2 miles each way.

We stayed in the Cannon Beach area excited to explore Haystack Rock and the miles of beautiful coast-line. Ecola State Park offered a stunning view of the coast as well as a few great places to hang the hammock and kickback for while. 

As we made our way down the coast, just about every mile offered a great view. Besides the views, great little seaside cities such as Newport and Pacific city were awesome stops for cheap sea food. 

Crater Lake National Park is by far the most unique body of water I've ever seen. Steep cliffs surround this almost perfectly round lake and leave no doubt that it was once a volcano. The water is a deep blue colour and crystal clear. Unfortunately nearby forest fires produced a thick haze as we drove through, but we were still able to enjoy a sunrise at this amazing lake. 

Oregon is truly an awesome state that we hope to return to in the future. We packed all this in a week long trip and by the end, we were exhausted - in a good way! Make sure you check these sights out and do your own tour of the great state of Oregon!

Written by Josh Nelson.


Josh is a Landscape Photographer and an Adventure Ambassador for thisworldexists. You can check out more of his work and adventures on Instagram: @nelsonjrad