To comprehend the expanse and beauty of Oregon, one would have to spend an entire season –
or perhaps a lifetime – exploring its beaches, mountains, deserts, waterways and towns. The
Beaver State, which celebrated its sesquicentennial this year, recognizes its appeal and attractions and has done its utmost to provide accommodations to all visitors, and particularly RVers. With more than 50 public campgrounds and almost 200 private parks, Oregon rolls out the red carpet many times over, inviting travelers to sample its cornucopia of outdoor treasures. (Please check your latest edition of the Trailer Life RV Parks, Campgrounds & Services Directory for a comprehensive listing of all parks.)
From the Columbia River Gorge and Crater Lake to The Three Sisters and The City of Roses, the state’s bounty is renown, but it is its Pacific Coast Scenic Byway that appears to mesmerize and draw the greatest compliments. This approximately 350-mile stretch of shoreline meanders the length of the state from Astoria (north) to Brookings (south), all the while paralleling much of the historic Lewis and Clark Trail. Adventurers will discover serene swaths of white sandy beaches, craggy cliffs reaching down to the waves below, remnants of shipwrecks, awesome lighthouses and other intriguing landmarks. This is a trip to be savored; try to allow at least a week to do justice to the area, and even more time for detours such as a tasty treat at the cheese factory in Tillamook.
History buffs will want to plan stops at Fort Clatsop National Memorial, Battle Rock Park, Fort Stevens State Park and one or two lighthouses. Anglers will be quite confused: Should they drop a line in the ocean, the Rogue River or one of the many other rivers and lakes? Deep-sea fishermen will thrill to the excitement of one of the charter-boat trips, including several searching for tuna; consider Dockside Charters in Depoe Bay. Campers lucky enough to spend some time along the Rogue River, especially where it rushes by Gold Beach, will be wise to try their luck in the fishing paradise.
For those seeking a little more of an adrenaline rush, don a helmet and climb aboard a sand-dune buggy on the beach around the town of Florence; hold on to a parasail, clutch a Sea-Doo, bounce around in a jet boat and hike some of the extraordinary cliffs. Kids and adults alike will enjoy flying kites, watching the antics of the sea lions on the rocks and of course, scanning the ocean for migrating whales. Golfers will delight to the numerous, well-groomed courses up and down the coast, and birders will thrill to the variety and abundance of species that call the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway home; Tufted and Horned Puffins, Cormorants, Sandpipers, Raptors and many more gather at the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge and at Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge.
The Oregon coast offers a remarkable getaway for travelers of all ages; although it is a year-round destination with average summer temperatures in the 70s, vacationers should always be prepared for rain and wind. Because of the popularity of the beach campgrounds, if they permit reservations it is advised to make them. Many of the public parks are first-come, first-served.