Oregon’s Scenic Routes
Oregon is widely regarded as one of the most scenic states in the western half of the United States. It is full of some of America’s most spectacular wonders, whether they be natural or manmade. From eastern Oregon’s desert, to the Cascades and the Pacific Ocean, Oregon features a wide range of places just waiting to be explored by avid adventurers. The Bretz RV and Marine team has put together a list of must-see roads to take an RV road trip with your family on.
Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway
You can thank glaciers and volcanic activity for the Cascade’s unusual rock formations and hundreds of lakes. While this 146 mile drive doesn’t take you to all 150 of the Cascade Lakes, it takes you by quite a few, including Elk, Cultus, and the Twin Lakes. You’ll also want to stop by the Newberry National Volcano Monument along the way to read up on the history of all the dormant volcanoes in the region
Flickr user: Bruce Fingerhood
Mount Hood National Scenic Byway
Experts disagree on whether the 11,420 ft tall Mount Hood is dormant or not, but everyone can agree that the area is full of some top tier vistas. This scenic drive takes you from Portland to Hood River and is chock-full of panoramic views. Along the drive, you will experience the breathtaking nature of the Cascade Mountain Range and the volcanoes of the Pacific Ring of Fire. If you are traveling in the summer, then we suggest bringing your RV to Timberline Lodge where you can take a chairlift near the top of Mount Hood. As you travel, stop and explore the multiple hiking trails and rivers along the way!
Flickr user: Lisa Norwood
Cottage Grove Covered Bridge Tour
This drive is the epitome of short and sweet. Along the 23 mile tour from Cottage Grove to Hamblen Creek, you will see six absolutely charming picturesque covered bridges. The region is very aptly named the “Covered Bridge Capital of Oregon.” Visit the following to complete the tour of the region: Stewart Bridge, Mosby Creek Bridge, Currin Bridge, Chambers Railroad Bridge, Centennial Bridge, and Swinging Bridge.
Flickr user: Sandy Horvath-Dori
Outback Scenic Byway
The Outback Scenic Byway begins in the Deschutes National Forest and ends close to the California Border. This byway will transport you through two vastly different terrains due to its length. The first can be characterized by dense pine growth, but quickly turns into a wide expanse of desert. Stop for photos at Picture Rock Pass, where you can spot old Native American petroglyphs.
Flickr user: Gord McKenna
Historic Columbia River Highway
This long 205 mile drive takes you through the Columbia River Gorge along the scenic Columbia River. The spectacular vistas of the Columbia River Gorge have been in the making since long before the Ice Age. Along the drive, you see several beautiful waterfalls, such as Multnomah Falls and Latourell Falls. Make sure to stop at the Bridge of Gods or Panorama Point to get prime photos of the Gorge and Mount Hood.
Pacific Coast Scenic Byway
Any drive along the Oregon coast is a scenic one. The Oregon coast offers sweeping views of both the Pacific Ocean and all the verdant forests along the way. We recommend stopping at Boiler Bay State Park, as you might get lucky and be able to spot some gray whales migrating to the nearby tide pools. You can also stop at the Visitor’s Center of Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area to see their costumed staff reenact the story of the area’s lighthouse.
Flickr user: Doug Kerr
Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway
Another beautiful western Oregon drive is this 208-mile drive from Roseburg to Grant Pass. On this drive, you will pass along the western portion of the Cascade Mountain Range, with incredible views of the mountains along the way. We suggest stopping in Glide, where the Umpqua River meets the Litter River, to see the churning phenomena of the Colliding Waters. Along the way, there will be plenty of overlooks to take fantastic pictures, but the climax of the drive is at the Rogue Gorge or Swayne Viewpoints.
Flickr user: Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington
Oregon holds some of the best gems in the Pacific Northwest. From the calm and relaxing sounds of the Pacific Ocean to the shadow of Mount Hood looming over you, Oregon has much to offer. If you want to make the most of it, we suggest bringing an RV! 2020 is the Year of the RV, after all. During these difficult times, we’ve seen many adventurers taking comfort in the knowledge that their lodgings are private and mobile. Visit the Bretz RV & Marine location nearest you to check out the incredible deals on RVs & Boats.