Oregon has some of the most beautiful highways and byways in the country. We can safely say that this state is the perfect road trip destination. The changing scenery looks like it is made for long drives and small adventures with your friends and family. What makes Oregon so intriguing is that you can go from an evergreen forest, and verdant valleys, to a desolate desert in just a couple of hours. It is an exciting place you can explore from the comfort of your car. Traveling with your vehicle comes with many perks, one of them being the ability to make a stop anywhere. All of the drives on this list offer jaw-dropping landscapes, so don’t forget your camera at home because you will be taking photos non-stop. Let’s dive in!
Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway
Located in central Oregon, Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway offers otherwordly landscapes shaped by glaciers and volcanoes. The Cascades have always been fascinating to outdoor enthusiasts seeking both adventure and relaxation. With over 150 lakes in this area, outdoor opportunities are endless. So if you are into camping, boating, or hiking, this is the place for you. The byway passes by Lava Lake, Cultus Lake, and many more. Not to forget that visitors can also see various types of volcanoes that formed the otherwordly terrain. This drive starts in Bend, Oregon, and is about 100 miles long.
Historic Columbia River Highway Scenic Byway
Columbia River Highway stretches from Corbett, Oregon, to Dodson, Oregon. The 75-mile long road is undoubtedly one of the most memorable drives in North America. This part of the Pacific Northwest is all about history, thanks to the stunning Columbia River and the surrounding communities. The river is gorgeous, with numerous waterfalls that make it even more breathtaking. Make sure you stop at Multnomah Falls and enjoy the view.
Pacific Coast Scenic Byway
Pacific Coast Scenic Byway goes down the entire coastal area of Oregon. The byway follows Highway 101, from Astoria, Oregon, to Brookings, Oregon. It is 263 miles long and will take you through the unforgettable parts of the state. If you decide to go on this adventure, you will experience different climates, changing landscapes, and gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean. There are plenty of natural landmarks around – from rock formations to long stretches of sandy beaches. Oregon’s coastline features several old lighthouses that make the scenery even more sensational.
Outback Scenic Byway
Outback Scenic Byway might not be a well-known drive in Oregon, but that is what makes it extra special. You won’t see many cars around, allowing you to fully enjoy nature and the diverse terrain as you travel from La Pine, Oregon, all the way south to the border with California. Starting in the Deschutes National Forest, the road will take you to the desert, with the impressive Fort Rock on the horizon. This area does look like the Australian outback. The textures and wildlife are fantastic, so don’t forget to explore this part of Oregon a bit.
Hells Canyon Scenic Byway
Hells Canyon Scenic Byway is essentially a loop going around the Wallowa Mountains. It includes the canyon too. The scenery is magical, with green valleys on one side and tall mountains covered with snow on the other. However, Hells Canyon is probably the most astonishing natural wonder in this part of Oregon. After all, it is the deepest river canyon on the whole continent. This scenic byway is 218 miles long, and you could complete it in about five or six hours. But make sure you take lots of breaks and enjoy the nature that surrounds you. It is worth it.
The Journey Through Time Scenic Byway
The Journey Through Time Scenic Byway starts in Biggs, Oregon, and ends in Baker City, Oregon. Just like the name suggests, this road will take you back through time and allow you to experience the untouched nature of the central and eastern parts of this state. The byway is 286 miles long, and there are many spectacular locations you will want to visit along the way. For instance, the John Day Fossil Beds is a must-see for all history and archeology buffs.
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