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A Travel Guide To The Incredible 7 Wonders Of Oregon


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Brittani John



Oregon, the beautiful northwestern state tucked between California and Washington, is known for its stunning natural landscapes and diverse attractions. From pristine beaches to majestic mountains, Oregon offers a wealth of breathtaking wonders to explore. In this travel guide, we will take you on a journey to discover the incredible 7 wonders of Oregon, each with its own unique charm and allure.


As you embark on your adventure through Oregon, you will witness the raw beauty of Crater Lake National Park, a true gem of the state. Marvel at the deep blue waters that fill the caldera of an ancient volcano, surrounded by tranquil forests and rugged cliffs. It is a sight that will leave you in awe.


Next up is the majestic Mount Hood, a snow-capped peak that towers over the landscape. Whether you are a seasoned hiker or simply enjoy taking in panoramic views, a visit to Mount Hood is an unforgettable experience. Explore its trails, immerse yourself in the alpine beauty, and perhaps even try your hand at skiing or snowboarding.


The Columbia River Gorge offers a complete change of scenery, with its dramatic cliffs, lush forests, and stunning waterfalls. Take a hike along the picturesque trails and discover iconic waterfalls such as Multnomah Falls, which cascades down over 600 feet.


Prepare to step into a world of ancient history at the Painted Hills. These remarkable geological formations display vibrant colors, revealing millions of years of geological activity. Witness the layers of red, gold, and black that tell a story of the Earth’s history.


Situated in Central Oregon, Smith Rock State Park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. This dramatic landscape features towering cliffs and rugged trails, attracting rock climbers from all over the world. Strap on your hiking boots, bring your camera, and explore the wonders that await.


Multnomah Falls, located in the Columbia River Gorge, is one of Oregon’s most iconic attractions. Standing at an impressive 620 feet, this two-tiered waterfall is a breathtaking sight to behold. Take a peaceful stroll along the footbridge and feel the mist on your face as the cascading waters mesmerize you.


Lastly, no visit to Oregon would be complete without a trip to Cannon Beach. This picturesque coastal town is home to one of the most stunning beaches in the Pacific Northwest. Walk along the sandy shore, explore tide pools, and catch a glimpse of the iconic Haystack Rock rising from the ocean.


Get ready to embark on an extraordinary journey through Oregon’s 7 wonders. Each destination on this list will leave you spellbound, offering unforgettable experiences and memories to last a lifetime. Let’s dive into the wonders that await you in this enchanting state.


Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park is a true natural wonder located in southern Oregon. The park is centered around the stunning Crater Lake, a deep caldera formed by the collapse of an ancient volcano thousands of years ago. With its incredible blue waters and surrounding cliffs, Crater Lake is a sight unlike any other.


The main attraction of Crater Lake National Park is, of course, the lake itself. With a depth of 1,943 feet, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States and one of the deepest in the world. The mesmerizing blue color of the lake is due to its clarity and the unique composition of the water.


Visitors can explore Crater Lake by taking a scenic drive along Rim Drive, a 33-mile loop that offers breathtaking views from various lookout points. As you traverse the rim, you’ll be treated to panoramic vistas of the lake, the surrounding forests, and the volcanic landscape.


For those seeking outdoor adventure, Crater Lake National Park offers a wide range of activities. During the summer months, hiking trails provide opportunities to explore the park’s diverse ecosystems and encounter unique flora and fauna. Wizard Island, a volcanic cinder cone within the lake, can be reached by boat and offers additional hiking and exploration opportunities.


Winter transforms Crater Lake into a winter wonderland, with snow-capped peaks and sparkling landscapes. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling are popular activities during this time, allowing visitors to experience the park’s beauty in a whole new way.


While exploring Crater Lake National Park, be sure to visit the Crater Lake Lodge. This historic lodge offers stunning views of the lake and provides a cozy retreat for visitors to relax and immerse themselves in the tranquility of the surroundings. It’s the perfect place to unwind and take in the beauty that Crater Lake has to offer.


Crater Lake National Park is a testament to the awe-inspiring forces of nature. Whether you’re taking in the panoramic views, hiking through the forests, or simply marveling at the deep blue waters, a visit to Crater Lake is a truly unforgettable experience.


Mount Hood

Rising majestically from the horizon, Mount Hood is a iconic symbol of Oregon’s natural beauty and one of the state’s most prominent landmarks. Located in the northern part of the Cascade Range, Mount Hood is a dormant volcano and stands as the highest peak in Oregon, reaching an impressive height of 11,250 feet.


Mount Hood offers a wide range of activities for outdoor enthusiasts throughout the year. In the summer, hikers can explore the numerous trails that weave through alpine meadows, dense forests, and rocky slopes. The Timberline Trail, a 41-mile loop around the mountain, provides breathtaking views of the surrounding scenery and a chance to immerse oneself in the pristine wilderness.


For those who prefer winter adventures, Mount Hood boasts some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the Pacific Northwest. With six ski resorts, including the renowned Timberline Lodge and Ski Area, Mount Hood offers a variety of slopes suitable for all levels of experience.


The Timberline Lodge, a historic landmark built in the 1930s, is not only a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts but also a piece of Oregon’s rich heritage. The lodge offers cozy accommodations, delicious dining options, and stunning views of the mountain. It’s a must-visit for those seeking a unique and memorable experience.


A visit to Mount Hood is not complete without exploring its scenic byways and picturesque drives. The Mount Hood Scenic Byway, known as the “Fruit Loop,” takes you on a journey through quaint towns, orchards, and vineyards, offering a taste of Oregon’s agricultural abundance. The Mount Hood Highway offers breathtaking views and access to various outdoor recreational areas, including hiking trails, waterfalls, and camping sites.


If you’re in search of an adrenaline rush, Mount Hood is also a popular destination for mountain climbing and mountaineering activities. Experienced climbers can attempt to summit the mountain, while those looking for a less strenuous adventure can enjoy guided tours and educational programs.


With its awe-inspiring beauty, diverse recreational opportunities, and year-round allure, Mount Hood is a true natural gem in the heart of Oregon. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, breathtaking views, or a tranquil escape into nature, Mount Hood will leave you captivated and inspired by its grandeur.


Columbia River Gorge

The Columbia River Gorge is a breathtaking natural wonder that stretches along the border between Oregon and Washington. Formed by the mighty Columbia River, this majestic canyon offers a tapestry of scenic beauty, dramatic cliffs, lush forests, and enchanting waterfalls, making it a paradise for nature lovers.


One of the most iconic aspects of the Columbia River Gorge is its stunning collection of waterfalls. Multnomah Falls, with its two-tiered cascade plunging a total of 620 feet, is the most famous and frequently visited waterfall in the area. The sight of this powerful cascade is simply awe-inspiring, and a visit to the footbridge that spans the lower falls is an absolute must.


But Multnomah Falls is just the beginning. The Columbia River Gorge is home to numerous other breathtaking waterfalls, such as Latourell Falls, Wahclella Falls, and Horsetail Falls, each with its own unique charm and beauty. Exploring the lush trails that lead to these cascades is an unforgettable experience, immersing you in the tranquility of the surrounding nature.


The Columbia River Gorge also offers a myriad of outdoor activities. Hiking enthusiasts can explore the extensive network of trails that wind through the gorge, providing panoramic vistas of the river, valleys, and towering cliffs. The historic Columbia River Highway, with its scenic viewpoints and tunnels carved into the rock, offers a stunning drive through the heart of the gorge.


For those seeking a more adventurous experience, windsurfing and kiteboarding on the Columbia River are popular activities. The strong winds that sweep through the gorge create ideal conditions for these thrilling water sports, attracting enthusiasts from all over the world.


In addition to its natural beauty, the Columbia River Gorge is also steeped in history and culture. It is home to several Native American tribes, and the area showcases their rich heritage. Explore the various interpretive sites and museums to learn about the region’s indigenous cultures and gain a deeper understanding of the land’s significance.


Whether you’re marveling at the cascading waterfalls, hiking through the lush forests, or enjoying thrilling water sports, the Columbia River Gorge will captivate your senses and leave you with cherished memories. Its striking beauty and diverse recreational opportunities make it a must-visit destination for any nature enthusiast or adventure seeker.


Painted Hills

Nestled in the heart of Central Oregon lies the extraordinary Painted Hills, a geological wonder that showcases the artistry of nature. The vibrant hues of red, gold, and black that adorn the undulating hills create a visual spectacle unlike anywhere else in the world.


The Painted Hills are a part of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, which preserves a rich history dating back millions of years. The layers of colored clay and volcanic ash that have been exposed over time tell the story of ancient ecosystems and the changing landscapes of the region.


Exploring the Painted Hills feels like stepping into a painting. The hills shift in color and intensity depending on the sunlight, creating a mesmerizing display of natural beauty. As you wander through the trails and viewpoints, the unique formations will transport you to another world.


The highlight of the Painted Hills is the short and scenic Painted Cove Trail. This half-mile loop allows visitors to get up close to the vibrant hills and experience their breathtaking colors firsthand. The contrasting shades of red, gold, and black are truly awe-inspiring and make for incredible photo opportunities.


In addition to the Painted Cove Trail, the Painted Hills unit of the national monument offers other hiking options, including the Carroll Rim Trail and the Leaf Hill Trail. These trails provide different vantage points and perspectives, allowing you to fully appreciate the magnificence of the landscape.


While the Painted Hills are a sight to behold year-round, visiting during the golden hours of sunrise or sunset enhances the beauty even further. The soft light casts a warm glow over the hills, intensifying the colors and creating a surreal ambiance. It’s a photographers dream and a visual feast for anyone lucky enough to witness it.


The Painted Hills are not just a treat for the eyes; they are also a treasure trove of scientific discoveries. Scientists have unearthed numerous fossils in the area, providing insights into the ancient flora and fauna that once roamed these lands. A visit to the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center allows you to learn more about the region’s prehistoric past and see some of the fossils that have been found.


Whether you’re a nature lover, a photography enthusiast, or simply someone seeking a unique and awe-inspiring experience, the Painted Hills will captivate your imagination. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking colors and textures of this natural masterpiece and allow yourself to be transported to a world of wonder.


Smith Rock State Park

Nestled in Central Oregon’s high desert, Smith Rock State Park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and a rock climber’s dream come true. With its towering cliffs, rugged trails, and breathtaking views, this park offers a unique and exhilarating experience for visitors of all ages and skill levels.


Smith Rock is often referred to as the birthplace of modern American sport climbing, thanks to its diverse and challenging rock formations. More than a thousand climbing routes can be found throughout the park, attracting climbers from around the world. Whether you’re a seasoned climber or a beginner looking to try your hand at this thrilling sport, Smith Rock offers a memorable climbing experience.


For those who prefer to keep their feet on the ground, the park offers a variety of hiking trails that showcase the area’s natural beauty. The popular Misery Ridge Trail leads to the summit of the park, offering sweeping panoramic views of the rugged canyons and distant peaks. Other trails meander along the Crooked River, providing opportunities to spot wildlife, such as deer, eagles, and otters.


Photographers and nature enthusiasts will also find inspiration in Smith Rock. The dramatic rock formations, contrasted against the blue skies and golden desert landscapes, create a striking visual tapestry. Capture the beauty of the park from the various viewpoints, or simply find a quiet spot to soak in the serenity of the surroundings.


For a unique way to experience Smith Rock, consider horseback riding along the trails. Guided tours are available, allowing riders to explore the park’s captivating scenery on horseback and feel a deep connection with the land.


In addition to its natural beauty, Smith Rock State Park is also a place of cultural significance. It holds great importance for the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and is considered part of their ancestral homeland. Visitors can learn more about the history and culture of the tribes by visiting the nearby Warm Springs Reservation and its cultural centers.


Whether you’re seeking a thrilling adventure, a peaceful hike, or a moment of awe-inspiring beauty, Smith Rock State Park has something for everyone. Its unique rock formations, rugged trails, and stunning vistas make it a must-visit destination in Central Oregon. Immerse yourself in the splendor of Smith Rock and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Multnomah Falls

No visit to Oregon is complete without a trip to Multnomah Falls, one of the most iconic and enchanting waterfalls in the Pacific Northwest. Located in the Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls stands at an impressive height of 620 feet and is a testament to the raw power and beauty of nature.


The falls are composed of two stunning cascades – the upper falls, which drop 542 feet, and the lower falls, which plunge an additional 69 feet. The sight of the water tumbling down the layered cliffs is truly mesmerizing, creating a symphony of sound and a misty atmosphere that fills the air.


Visiting Multnomah Falls is an immersive experience that allows you to get up close to its captivating beauty. A short walk along a paved trail leads you to an iconic footbridge that spans the lower falls. From this vantage point, you can admire the full magnificence of the cascading waters and feel the mist on your face.


For those who wish to explore further, a hike to the upper falls is a must. The trail takes you through a lush forest, providing glimpses of other cascades along the way. The summit rewards you with breathtaking views of the falls from above, as well as panoramic vistas of the surrounding Columbia River Gorge.


Aside from its natural splendor, Multnomah Falls is also steeped in cultural significance. It holds a special place in the hearts of the Native American tribes of the region, and the falls are considered sacred by many. Take a moment to appreciate the spiritual connection between the land and the people who have revered it for centuries.


Visiting Multnomah Falls allows you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the Columbia River Gorge. Surrounding the falls, the lush forests and towering cliffs create a picturesque backdrop that only enhances the enchantment of the area. It’s no wonder that Multnomah Falls has inspired countless artists, writers, and photographers throughout the years.


Whether you’re a nature lover, an adventure seeker, or simply someone yearning for a tranquil escape, Multnomah Falls will leave an indelible mark on your soul. Allow yourself to be lost in the majesty of this iconic waterfall and revel in the magic that can only be found in the heart of Oregon.


Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach is a coastal gem located on the northern coast of Oregon, known for its stunning natural beauty and charming small-town atmosphere. With its picturesque sandy shores, iconic Haystack Rock, and vibrant art scene, Cannon Beach is a must-visit destination for beach lovers and art enthusiasts alike.


The star attraction of Cannon Beach is undoubtedly Haystack Rock, a monolithic sea stack that rises majestically from the shoreline. This iconic rock formation stands over 230 feet tall and is home to an array of seabirds, tide pools teeming with marine life, and even nesting puffins during certain times of the year. Take a leisurely stroll along the beach and marvel at the grandeur of Haystack Rock, especially during low tide when you can explore the tide pools and discover the diverse ecosystem thriving within.


Cannon Beach’s natural beauty extends beyond Haystack Rock. The long stretch of sandy beach offers ample opportunities for sunbathing, beachcombing, and building sandcastles. Whether you’re looking to relax and soak up the sun or take a refreshing dip in the Pacific Ocean, Cannon Beach provides the perfect backdrop for a day of seaside fun.


In addition to its stunning natural landscape, Cannon Beach is also known for its vibrant art scene. The town is home to numerous art galleries featuring works by local artists, showcasing a range of mediums and styles. Stroll through the art-filled streets and find unique pieces to bring home as a lasting memory of your visit.


Cannon Beach is also host to several annual festivals and events that celebrate the arts. The Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest is a highlight of the summer season, where participants showcase their sculpting skills by creating intricate sand sculptures on the beach. The Stormy Weather Arts Festival in November showcases the talents of regional artists, with live music performances, gallery exhibits, and artist demonstrations.


When it comes to culinary delights, Cannon Beach doesn’t disappoint. The town offers a diverse range of dining options, ranging from quaint seafood shacks to upscale restaurants. Savor the flavors of fresh, locally sourced seafood, indulge in artisanal chocolates, or enjoy a leisurely meal with a breathtaking view of the ocean.


Cannon Beach is not just a destination for relaxation and art appreciation; it also serves as a gateway to explore the natural wonders of the surrounding area. Just a short drive away is Ecola State Park, where you can embark on scenic hikes through lush forests and be rewarded with stunning coastal vistas.


Whether you’re seeking coastal charm, artistic inspiration, or outdoor adventure, Cannon Beach offers it all. Take a step into this idyllic coastal town and let the beauty of the beach, the art, and the community envelop you in an experience you won’t soon forget.



Oregon truly is a treasure trove of natural wonders, and the 7 wonders highlighted in this travel guide showcase the diversity and beauty of the state. From the awe-inspiring Crater Lake to the majestic Mount Hood, the enchanting Columbia River Gorge to the vibrant Painted Hills, the captivating Smith Rock State Park to the iconic Multnomah Falls, and the charming coastal town of Cannon Beach, there is something for every nature lover and adventurer to explore and discover.


Each of these wonders offers a unique experience and a chance to connect with nature in a meaningful way. Whether you’re hiking through breathtaking landscapes, marveling at cascading waterfalls, climbing towering cliffs, or simply enjoying the tranquility of the surroundings, Oregon’s wonders will leave an indelible mark on your soul.


Beyond their natural beauty, these wonders also provide opportunities to delve into Oregon’s rich history, culture, and artistic spirit. From learning about the indigenous heritage to exploring art galleries and attending festivals, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the connection between the land and its people.


As you venture through Oregon’s wonders, take the time to truly immerse yourself in the experience. Embrace the serenity of Crater Lake, feel the rush of adrenaline at Smith Rock, let the vibrant colors of the Painted Hills ignite your imagination, and relish the stunning coastal landscapes of Cannon Beach.


Whether you’re a resident of Oregon or a visitor from afar, these wonders are a testament to the state’s commitment to preserving its natural beauty and providing opportunities for outdoor recreation and exploration.


So, pack your bags, lace up your hiking boots, and embark on an adventure to discover the incredible 7 wonders of Oregon. Let the beauty of the landscapes, the warmth of the communities, and the spirit of adventure guide you on a journey that will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime.