Visit a state full of lush forests, gushing waterfalls, beautiful coastline, and volcanic formations. Go on the ultimate Oregon Road Trip 🚙 and find out why this state is so captivating! Visit for a week and see some of the incredible highlights that will make you fall in love.
I have now been on the road for 9 months, traveling all around the US. Oregon is one of the most beautiful states that I have been! The natural landscapes will leave you in complete awe. Find my guide to seeing the best of Oregon in a week!
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Table of Contents
Oregon Road Trip Itinerary
Quick Map & Oregon Road Trip Outline
Days 1-2: Bend, Oregon
3-4: Umpqua National Forest & Crater Lake
5-6: Oregon Coast
7-8: Portland & Columbia River Gorge
Days 1-2: Bend, Oregon
Start your road trip in the beautiful area of Bend, Oregon. If you are flying into Portland, then you will need to drive about four hours 🚗 from the airport to get to the city of Bend. Visitors flock to this destination to see the amazing natural landscapes or go on rugged outdoor adventures. There are so many things to see in the surrounding Bend area, so you could easily spend many days exploring some of the highlights.
However, you can easily see many of the best areas in just a couple days. Enjoy the great outdoors during the day and then explore the social scene at night. Eat at some of the best restaurants in town like Wild Rose Northern Thai 🍜 or El Sancho Tacos 🌮, or spend an evening exploring the numerous breweries in town. You will definitely fall in love with this beautiful area!
You can stay in Bend or in the nearby areas of Redmond and Sisters, Oregon. There are many options for hotels and airbnbs. If you are traveling in a camper van 🚐, then there are many great campsites around Bend to stay for free. You can use the iOverlander app to help you find some of the best campsites in this region.
Best Things to do in Bend:
- Visit the Last Blockbuster on Earth!
- See the Raptor Show at the High Desert Museum
- Walk through Lava Tubes at Newberry Volcanic National Monument
- Hike to the beautiful Tumalo Waterfall
- Drive to Pilot Butte State Scenic Viewpoint
- Climb in Smith Rock State Park
Days 3-4: Umpqua National Forest & Crater Lake National Park
After you’ve explored Bend, then you can drive further South into the Umpqua National Forest. Start by visiting Crater Lake National Park (an hour and a half from Bend) to see the crystal clear blue waters. Crater Lake is cold most of the year 🥶, so make sure to layer up and check the weather before you go! The lake is only visible 50% of the time, so you do not want to go when you can’t see it!
Once you have explored Crater Lake, then you can continue through the lush Umpqua National Forest 🌳. Stop along the way to see some of the best sights including the Umpqua Hot Springs and various waterfalls in the area. All of the waterfalls are free to visit and most of them are very accessible, so you won’t need to go on any large hikes. Waterfall hopping is one of the very best ways to spend a day in Oregon, even a rainy one!
Best Waterfalls in Umpqua National Forest:
- Toketee Falls
- Watson Falls
- Clearwater Falls
- Steamboat Falls
- Lemolo Falls
Days 5-6: Oregon Coast
It’s time to head further West and explore the beauty of the Oregon Coast 🌊! Drive west on Oregon 126 for a couple hours until you reach the coastline. Along the way you can stop at scenic meadows, elk viewing areas, and beautiful mountain scapes. Once you get to the coastline, there are many places that you will want to stop to see stunning views and adorable towns.
Stop at one of the coolest natural formations along the coastline. Thor’s Well is a seemingly bottomless pit that sits on the edge of a rocky shoreline. Water from the Pacific Ocean drains down the depths of this hole and then spurts back up in a magnificent display!
As the water rolls around the hole, it almost sounds like thunder. Make sure to walk down the walkway and over the rocks to get a better view of this amazing landmark. You can get close, but watch out so that you don’t get wet 💦!
Visit this adorable coastal town for a wonderful day on the coast. You can stroll through the historic downtown, stop in the cute shops, and watch the sea lions play in the harbor 🦭. If you want family friendly spots then you can visit the Oregon Coast Aquarium or Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Newport is a wonderful town to spend a day or night along your trip!
If you haven’t heard of Tillamook, then you must not be a dairy lover! The dairy factory here is one of the largest in the US 🧀 and it is a must stop for any Oregon road trip. Admission is free and you can go on a self-guided tour or just indulge in the many wonderful dairy delicacies.
They have a restaurant that sells cheese curds, cheeseburgers 🍔, grilled cheese, and other cheesy delights. You have to stop for an ice cream cone 🍦 and get one of the many amazing flavors. There’s no better way to spend an afternoon, then a visit to this yummy destination!
Cannon Beach is one of the most famous spots along the Oregon Coast because of the stunning Haystack Rock that sits on the shores. This rock 🪨 is 235 feet high and is home to many sea birds including seagulls and puffins. Tide pools also sit under the rock and are home to a plethora of sea life and crustaceans. A visit to the Oregon Coast is not complete without going here!
You can also shop in the great boutiques in the main area downtown. Cannon Beach is a bucket list destination and a great spot on any Oregon Road Trip!
Days 7-8: Portland & Columbia River Gorge
Drive an hour and a half East to get to the wonderful capital of the state: Portland. There are many places to go in this large city, but you should definitely visit some of the best spots in the city 🏙. While you are in the city you should explore some of the highlights. You can also enjoy the great food scene and eat your way through the city!
Highlights of Portland:
After spending a day exploring the city, continue to see some more natural wonders in the area. Visit the Columbia River Gorge to see magnificent waterfalls 💦 and lush forests. Then you can see some of the best waterfalls including Multnomah Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Horsetail Falls.
If you plan on going to the waterfall corridor during the summer, make sure to get a timed reservation slot on recreation.gov for $2. Once you have confirmed your spot, you can drive through the entire corridor stopping along the way 🚗.
Let me know in the comments if you found this road trip itinerary helpful!
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