Image: www.oregon.com

Oregon is a coastal U.S. state in the Pacific Northwest known for its diverse landscape of forests, mountains, farms and beaches.

The city of Portland is famed for its quirky, avant-garde culture and is home to iconic coffee shops, boutiques, farm-to-table restaurants and microbreweries.

Highlights include the Native American art in the Portland Art Museum, the Japanese Garden and the Lan Su Chinese Garden…

So, today, I’ll be showing you some of these beautiful places for your visiting consideration.

As a matter of fact, there are interestingly up to 150 lakes in Oregon such as the Lake Abert and the Abert Rim, Applegate Lake in Jackson County, Lake Billy Chinook, Bull Run Lake and Mount Hood, Cleawox Lake on the coast, Cougar Reservoir on the South Fork McKenzie River, Crater Lake, Cullaby Lake in Clatsop County, Cultus Lake in Deschutes County, Diamond Lake and Mount Bailey, Elk Lake and South Sister, Fern Ridge Reservoir on the Long Tom River in Lane County, Fish Lake with Mount McLoughlin, Goose Lake on the Oregon–California border, Guild’s Lake, Malheur Lake in Harney County, Mann Lake in Harney County, Odell Lake, Owyhee Reservoir, a long and narrow reservoir on the Owyhee River, Siltcoos Lake on the central coast, Suttle Lake in the Deschutes National Forest, Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon’s largest lake by surface area, Waldo Lake in the Lane County Cascades Lake Abert, Lake CountyAgate Lake, Agency Lake, Upper Klamath Lake, Lake Allison,  Willamette Valley, Alvord Lake, Aneroid Lake, Antelope Flat Reservoir and numerous others…

That said, below are a couple more destinations that will sure catch your fancy:

Multnomah Falls

Image: instabuildsites.com

Multnomah Falls is a waterfall on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge, located east of Troutdale, between Corbett and Dodson, along the Historic Columbia River Highway. The waterfall formed at the end of a hanging valley created by the Missoula Floods.

The falls drops in two major steps, split into an upper falls of 542 feet (165 m) and a lower falls of 69 feet (21 m), with a gradual 9 foot (3 m) drop in elevation between the two, so the total height of the waterfall is conventionally given as 620 feet (189 m). The two drops are due to a zone of more easily eroded basalt at the base of the upper falls.

Multnomah Falls is the tallest waterfall in the state of Oregon. It is credited by a sign at the site of the falls, and by the United States Forest Service, as the second tallest year-round waterfall in the United States.

However, there is some skepticism surrounding this distinction, as Multnomah Falls is listed as the 156th tallest waterfall in the United States by the World Waterfall Database (this site does not distinguish between seasonal and year-round waterfalls).

Underground springs from Larch Mountain are the year-round source of water for the waterfall, augmented by spring runoff from the mountain’s snowpack and rainwater during the other seasons.

Larch Mountain

Larch Mountain is an extinct volcano near Portland, Oregon. The name is misleading, as no western larch (a large coniferous tree) can be found there. It received that name when early lumbermen sold the noble fir wood as larch.

The peak can be reached between May and November on paved Larch Mountain Road, 16 miles (26 km) east of Corbett, Oregon, although the road is closed during the winter and spring months.

Larch Mountain is located in Multnomah County, Oregon approximately 40 miles east of Portland, above the Columbia River Gorge. Although it has an elevation of 4,061 feet (1,238 m), its prominence above the surrounding terrain is only 975 feet (297 m).

The summit of the mountain is accessible by Larch Mountain Road between May and November, which branches off from the Historic Columbia River Highway two miles east of Corbett. Due to the risk of driving on the mountain’s upper slopes in winter weather, the road closes during the winter months at milepost 10.

Larch Mountain contains some of the largest old-growth forest strands left in the Columbia River Gorge area, characterized by the presence of many nurse logs. Dominant tree species include pacific silver fir, grand fir, Douglas fir, and western hemlock.

Sweet Creek Trail/Falls

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Sweet Creek Trail is a 1.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Mapleton, Oregon that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels.

Sweet Creek is a great adventure packed with waterfalls, wildflowers, and old-growth forest. This short hike makes for a delightful side-trip if you’re heading to the coast, and it’s located just 24 miles inland from Florence in the Siuslaw National Forest.

There are several trailheads along Sweet Creek, making this trail easy to hike in segments.

To hike the entire trail, start at the Homestead Sweet Creek Trailhead and hike the 2.2 miles to Sweet Creek Falls and back.

You will find a variety of wildflowers in spring ranging from trillium, fairly bells, bleeding hearts, skunk cabbage, and sour grass.

During the summer you can snack on salmonberries as you trek alongside Sweet Creek, and as you proceed to Punchbowl Falls Canyon through towering stands of Douglas fir, big-leaf maple, and alder, various birds and butterflies can be found near the creek.

In 1879, this cascading creek was settled by Zarah Sweet, and portions of an early wagon road have been incorporated on trails near the creek.

For a quick trip nearby, head south on Sweet Creek Road for 1.3 miles, take a left on gravel road 939, and continue for 0.7 miles to the road’s end. There is a short trail that leads to Beaver Creek Falls. Sweet Creek and Beaver Creek meet here to make a beautiful double waterfall. There is another option to hike the 0.6 miles to the bottom of this waterfall from the Wagon Road Trailhead.

The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Easy hike along Sweet Creek passes by a ton of waterfalls, with majestic Sweet Creek Falls as a grand finale. In this Coast Range valley, the Sweet Creek Trail follows the scenic cascading waters of Sweet Creek. Each waterfall is framed by mossy rocks and ferns and under a canopy of Douglas-fir, Alder, and Big leaf maple.

Wallowa Lake

Image: thatoregonlife.com

Wallowa Lake is a ribbon lake 1 mile (1.6 km) south of Joseph, Oregon, United States, at an elevation of 4,372 ft. (1,333 m). Impounded by high moraines, it was formed by a series of Pleistocene glaciers.

On the south end of the lake is a small community made up of vacation homes, lodging, restaurants, as well as other small businesses. Wallowa Lake has been used for recreation since at least 1880. The Wallowa Lake State Park is at the southern tip of the lake.

Wallowa Lake has been used in geology textbooks as an example of a lake dammed by moraines.

These moraines begin well below the water’s surface and climb to over 900 ft. (270 m) above the lake.

Before the glacial till compounded enough to form the moraines that currently surround the lake, a large alluvial fan was present in the valley.

This fan was created by the Wallowa River transporting debris into the valley. The sediment left by the river was pushed by a series of glaciers that advanced north into the valley. As they pushed the debris, they also dug deep into the earth.

Though the number of glaciers that formed the moraines is debated, the most accepted hypothesis is that eight or nine glaciers formed the walls that now dam the lake.

The last glacier advanced into the valley about 17,000 years ago and is known as the Wallowa Glacier. Its moraines form much of the lake shore.

Near Glacier Lake, high in the surrounding mountains, is evidence of several subsequent glacier advances. Occurring subsequent to the formation of Wallowa Lake, these did not reach the location of the lake. The earliest of these was 11,000–10,000 years before present.

Located near the lake is an aerial cable gondola lift. It runs from the bottom of the valley to the top of Mount Howard, which is measured at 8,000 ft (2,400 m). It was built in 1968 and opened to the public in 1970. From the tram car, the passenger can see spectacular views of Wallowa Lake as well as the surrounding mountains. In June 1992, a malfunction occurred in the operating system of the Tram and all passengers had to be evacuated by helicopter. There were no injuries and the incident serves as the only such problem that has occurred on the Tramway.

Ramona Falls

Image: alltrails.com

Ramona Falls is a waterfall on the upper Sandy River on the west side of Mount Hood, Oregon, United States.

It is located in forest along the Pacific Crest Trail at an elevation of 3,560 feet. The falls are about 120 feet (37 m) tall overall, consisting of a wall of cascades.

Author: Taofeek Ayeyemi