Scenic Driving Oregon  by Tom Barr

Scenic Driving Oregon Guide Book

by Tom Barr (Falcon Guides)
Scenic Driving Oregon  by Tom Barr
Pack up the car and enjoy 45 drives through some of the most spectacular scenery in the Beaver State. This indispensable highway companion maps out short trips for exploring scenic byways and back roads along the Pacific Coast and magnificent Columbia River Gorge, and through unspoiled wilderness, fertile farmlands, vineyards, orchards, and deserts filled with sagebrush. Oregon is a state of geographic contrasts created by eons of geological force--from the rocky shore to the high desert. Discover the wonders of this varied landscape, and enjoy skiing, fishing, boating, and historical attractions and museums along the way.

© 2004 Tom Barr/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Scenic Driving Oregon" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 45.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 45.

A 48.8-mile loop past three man-made lakes into the southern Oregon Cascade mountains and through the Bear Creek Valley. As the drive leaves the Bear Creek Valley at about 1,900 feet elevation, it climbs through forested ridges to over 5,000 feet in thirteen miles. Turning south, it continues through a forested highland prairie by two mountain lake resorts. The return is through a magnificent, but steep canyon, and along the shores of Emigrant Lake. Expect heavy traffic on weekends. Special attractions: Howard Prairie and Hyatt Lake resorts, Emigrant Lake, rugged mountain and valley scenery, fishing, camping, cross-country skiing, wildlife observation, and an historic highway. This eTrail is a complete description of a scenic drive with a route map and information on the best travel seasons, interesting sites, recreation opportunities, camping locations, and much more.
Ashland, OR - Scenic Drives - Trail Length: 48.8
A 150-mile loop over the southern Oregon Cascade Mountains, along the western shore of Upper Klamath Lake and through the Rogue River and Bear Creek valleys. In the first seventeen miles, the drive climbs from about 1,900 feet elevation near Ashland to over 4,000 feet. Continuing east, the route remains on a plateau as it extends through a forested corridor of Douglas fir, enters a transition zone, and climbs through ponderosa pine to 4,696 feet, before descending through grasslands to Klamath Falls. Highway 140 follows the shoreline of Upper Klamath Lake north, travels west through dense forest, and peaks at 5,105 feet, before concluding in grass and farmlands. Both highways are essentially tree-lined corridors with the best scenery sometimes hidden by forest. Special attractions: Two national forests, Emigrant Lake, Upper Klamath Lake, Lake of the Woods, Fish Lake, Sky Lakes Wilderness, Mountain Lakes Wilderness, hiking, camping, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, wildlife, historic highway, and pioneer trails. This eTrail is a complete description of a scenic drive with a route map and information on the best travel seasons, interesting sites, recreation opportunities, camping locations, and much more.
Klamath Falls, OR - Scenic Drives - Trail Length: 150
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A five-mile drive along the Bandon waterfront and a coastline of spectacular seascapes and monoliths. Starting from Bandon’s Old Town waterfront, the drive travels southwest to the multi-use South Jetty, offering good views of the Coquille River, Bandon Bar, and a lighthouse across the river. Climbing a small hill, it passes several cliff-top viewing areas that provide beach access and spectacular offshore rock formations. A fresh-water lake enclosed by a sand dune can be reached on a short walk near the southern end of the drive. The shoreline and favorable winds have made Coquille River Bay and the beaches favorite sailboarding areas. Summer temperatures climb to the seventies and low eighties, and summer-like days in early spring are not uncommon. .
Bandon, OR - Scenic Drives - Trail Length: 5
A 114-mile drive, including eleven miles of gravel through southern Oregon’s Coquille River Valley, over the spine of the Coast Range mountains and along the Rogue River. Special attractions: Bandon, Victorian homes, Coos County Logging Museum, Siskiyou National Forest, Powers Pioneer House museum, Wild and Scenic Illinois and Rogue rivers, wildlife observation, waterfalls, camping, hunting, outstanding mountain and river views.
Powers, OR - Scenic Drives - Trail Length: 114
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A 42.3-mile drive through pine forests and lava beds to the summit of Newberry Crater National Volcanic Monument. Starting in Bend, the drive heads south, then turns east and climbs to over 6,000 feet elevation to the National Monument. The first twenty-five miles are a flat, tree-lined corridor and the last eighteen miles are a steep, mostly straight climb with views of forested mountains and valleys. As Central Oregon’s main north-south corridor, the route is generally busy with traffic particularly heavy during the 8-9 a.m. and 5-6 p.m. rush hours. Volcanism forged the landscape between Bend and Newberry Crater. Special attractions: High Desert Museum, Lava Butte, Lava Cast Forest, Benham Falls, Sunriver Nature Center, Lava River Cave, LaPine Recreation Area, Deschutes National Forest, and Newberry Crater National Volcanic Monument. This eTrail is a complete description of a scenic drive with a route map and information on the best travel seasons, interesting sites, recreation opportunities, camping locations, and much more.
Bend, OR - Scenic Drives - Trail Length: 42.3
A 109-mile signed scenic loop through Willamette Valley farms, vineyards, and foothills of the Coast Range mountains. In the past, there have been several versions of this drive. While some routings start at different points, all follow essentially the same quiet backroads through forest, farmland, and several small communities that are little more than a crossroads with a store or a church. The current version begins at the southern end of Benton County and travels west through the heavy forests of the Coast Range. Special attractions: Waterfalls, South Fork of the Alsea River, Willamette River, William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge, McDonald Experimental Forest, Peavy Arboretum, mountain and valley scenery historic sites, and wineries. This eTrail is a complete description of a scenic drive with a route map and information on the best travel seasons, interesting sites, recreation opportunities, camping locations, and much more.
Philomath, OR - Scenic Drives - Trail Length: 109
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A 130-mile paved route from the Columbia River grasslands into the forested Blue Mountains. For the first sixty miles, you’re likely to wonder why this route has been designated a Forest Service Scenic Byway. The only trees are stands of poplars planted as windbreaks, oaks by creek banks, and a few isolated junipers on distant hillsides. Meanwhile, you’ll travel through wheat fields, grasslands, sagebrush, lava outcroppings, small cattle and sheep farms, and scattered settlements of a few hundred people. This segment is relatively flat and winding. A creek and railroad tracks meander a few feet from the road, which stays in a valley between rolling hills and distant mountains. This eTrail is a complete description of a scenic drive with a route map and information on the best travel seasons, interesting sites, recreation opportunities, camping locations, and much more.
Ukiah, OR - Scenic Drives - Trail Length: 130
An eighty-seven-mile signed highway through the Central Cascade Mountains, skirting nine alpine lakes. From central Oregon’s high desert, the drive climbs to about 6,000 feet at Mount Bachelor. As it moves south and east, the drive follows portions of Indian trails and wagon roads, and crosses forested slopes explored by Nathaniel Wyeth, John C. Fremont, and Kit Carson. Although the route extends through a corridor of trees, lakes are easily accessible and usually within a mile of the main road. They are stocked frequently with rainbow trout, and contain other species. Most of the route is straight and with gradual slopes, and traffic is light to moderate during the week. Special attractions: Mount Bachelor Ski Area, nine alpine lakes, two reservoirs, resorts, Three Sisters Wilderness, Deschutes River, camping, hiking, fishing, and boating. This eTrail is a complete description of a scenic drive with a route map and information on the best travel seasons, interesting sites, recreation opportunities, camping locations, and much more.
Sunriver, OR - Scenic Drives - Trail Length: 87
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A 123-mile drive along the Central Oregon Coast shoreline and sand dunes, affording spectacular views from water level and ridgetops. The route stays close to the ocean on the 123 miles between Lincoln City and Coos Bay. It begins with water level rocky coves and bays, then ascends Cape Foulweather and descends from Otter Crest to scenic beaches, and thick brushy hills. South of Waldport, it follows the base of hills, makes a steep ascent over Cape Perpetua, sweeps down to rugged shorelines and runs through the heart of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. Weather is usually mild with spring days in the fifties and summer days averaging sixty to seventy degrees. Although winter days can also reach the sixties, temperatures average in the low fifties. Fall is the most dependable season for calm, warm weather. Special attractions: Depoe Bay, Cape Foulweather, lighthouses, Newport, Darlingtonia Wayside, Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, and Sea Lion Caves. This eTrail is a complete description of a scenic drive with a route map and information on the best travel seasons, interesting sites, recreation opportunities, camping locations, and much more.
Florence, OR - Scenic Drives - Trail Length: 123
A forty-mile drive through Charleston Harbor, into three magnificent coastal parks and an estuary. Travelers can expect warm summer days in the seventies and eighties and winters in the sixties to seventies. November through February brings heavy rains and gale force winter storms with spectacular waves. Special attractions: Charleston Harbor, Sunset Bay, Shore Acres, and Cape Arago state parks, South Slough National Estuarine Reserve, formal gardens, storm, whale, and wildlife watching. This eTrail is a complete description of a scenic drive with a route map and information on the best travel seasons, interesting sites, recreation opportunities, camping locations, and much more.
Charleston, OR - Scenic Drives - Trail Length: 40
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A sixty-five-mile drive on paved roads through the most scenic section of the Columbia River Gorge from river level to 893 feet. The most scenic section of the Columbia River Gorge lies on the forty-three miles between The Dalles and Troutdale. The first section of the route is on a water-level roadbed with the serene Columbia River ever present on the north, and towering cliffs on the south. The final twenty- two miles climb a southern ridge lined with seven major waterfalls and viewpoints overlooking the gorge, Columbia River, and Washington State. Special attractions: Spectacular gorge scenery, seven roadside waterfalls, Oregon Trail terminus and water route, Bonneville Dam, Hood River sailpark, sailboarding, hiking, and west coast rain forest. This eTrail is a complete description of a scenic drive with a route map and information on the best travel seasons, interesting sites, recreation opportunities, camping locations, and much more.
Hood River, OR - Scenic Drives - Trail Length: 65
A thirty-one-mile scenic drive through an agricultural plain to spectacular high desert canyons surrounding an artificial lake fed by three rivers. Several Cascade Peaks dominate the horizon as the drive extends west through flat farmland. Lake Billy Chinook and its canyons are hidden until you reach the gorge edge, where the route follows the eastern rim to spectacular viewpoints and into the park and canyons. The drive concludes by traveling southwest though commercial field crops. Special attractions: Round Butte Observatory, Lake Billy Chinook, Cove Palisades State Park, views of ten Cascade mountain peaks, fishing, camping, and water recreation. This eTrail is a complete description of a scenic drive with a route map and information on the best travel seasons, interesting sites, recreation opportunities, camping locations, and much more.
Culver, OR - Scenic Drives - Trail Length: 31
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A 106-mile paved loop through the desert valleys of the Baker and Powder rivers, agricultural lands, and into the Blue Mountains and Elkhorn Range. From Baker City, the drive follows the Powder River west to Sumpter where it climbs into the Blue Mountains. Passing the semi-ghost town of Granite, it continues through magnificent mountain scenery to Elkhorn Pass and the Anthony Lakes Recreation Area. The descent is through a steep canyon back to the Baker Valley, then briefly crosses the original route of the Oregon Trail on the return to Baker City. Although the drive can be joined at Haines, Sumpter, or from the Blue Mountain Scenic Byway at North Fork John Day Campground, forest service route brochures start in Baker City. Special attractions: Oregon Trail Route and Interpretive Center, lakes and reservoirs, historic gold mining area, ski resort, mountain lakes, forest views, Wild and Scenic North Fork John Day River, wildlife watching, recreational gold panning, and hiking. This eTrail is a complete description of a scenic drive with a route map and information on the best travel seasons, interesting sites, recreation opportunities, camping locations, and much more.
Granite, OR - Scenic Drives - Trail Length: 106
A 122-mile signed scenic drive through Willamette Valley cities, farms, vineyards, and historic areas. This route was the main north-south avenue through the fertile Willamette Valley for over thirty years. Today, it offers travelers an opportunity to bypass the hustle and bustle of the Interstate, a few miles east, and take a leisurely trip through the valley’s rich farmlands, small historic communities, and quiet college towns. Along the way, visitors travel through a variety of croplands producing Christmas trees, grass for grass seed, wheat, nursery stock, cherries, prunes, grapes, and nuts. Numerous wineries along the route offer tours and tastings. The valley is a series of basalt ridges and basins filled with rich silt and gravel transported to western Oregon from as far away as Montana. They were deposited some 12,000 years ago by huge floods following the last ice age. The valley was raised above sea level about 35,000 years ago at the same time the Coast Range mountains were lifted by shifting of tectonic plates. Gradually, through faulting and shifting, the valley was lowered and widened. Special attractions: Historic sites, wildlife refuges, wineries, McDonald Experimental Forest, Peavy Arboretum, valley scenery, and Willamette River. This eTrail is a complete description of a scenic drive with a route map and information on the best travel seasons, interesting sites, recreation opportunities, camping locations, and much more.
Corvallis, OR - Scenic Drives - Trail Length: 122
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A 139-mile drive along two-lane paved highways through Willamette Valley farmlands and Coast Range mountains. From Eugene, the route takes travelers through the western Willamette Valley and over the crumpled ridges of the Coast Range to Mapleton, then follows the Siuslaw river into Florence. En route, it passes 100-year-old farms, covered bridges, small roadside communities, tiny ponds, creeks and rivers. The return on Highway 36 stays in the rugged Siuslaw River Canyon, offering a roadside of rocky cliffs, narrow ravines, and a river that changes from slow and meandering to rushing cascades as the road climbs a basalt ridge to serene Triangle Lake. It concludes with the Willamette Valley farmlands. During the week, traffic is usually light to moderate on both highways and moderate to heavy on weekends. The rural countryside, a narrow road, and some sharp turns dictate a slow pace. Special attractions: Beautiful forests, low mountains, reservoir park, river valley, scenic lake, covered bridges, sand dunes, and an ocean beach scenic drive. This eTrail is a complete description of a scenic drive with a route map and information on the best travel seasons, interesting sites, recreation opportunities, camping locations, and much more.
Eugene, OR - Scenic Drives - Trail Length: 139
A ninety-one-mile drive from the Willamette Valley through the Central Oregon Cascades and over Willamette Pass. This busy corridor connects Eugene, the state’s second largest city, with central Oregon. It is also one of Oregon’s most magnificent drives, affording the eastbound traveler roadside views of the Willamette River, the valley floor, and Lookout Point Reservoir, framed by a continuous panorama of thick forested mountain slopes and peaks. The westbound traveler begin on the Cascade’s eastern slopes, surrounded by steep cinder cones and several glacier-carved lakes which are accessible from short side roads. Crossing Willamette Pass at 5,128 feet, the road descends amidst towering fir-covered mountains. The final forty-four miles west of Oakridge offer roadside views of the reservoir and river. In addition to a diversity of manmade and natural scenery, the route includes fascinating geology, and virtually unlimited opportunities for outdoor recreation. Special attractions: Outstanding mountain scenery, Willamette Valley, mountain and reservoir lakes, waterfalls, covered bridges, Willamette and Deschutes national forests, camping, hiking, water-skiing, canoeing, boating, snowmobiling, cross-country and downhill skiing.
Oakridge, OR - Scenic Drives - Trail Length: 91
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A sixty-mile drive through northwestern Oregon’s Willamette Valley and French Prairie’s agricultural lands and historic areas. History and architecture take precedence over natural scenery that includes the Willamette River, hop and berry fields, and open farmland. It was this rich soil and abundant wildlife along the Willamette that attracted the first fur trappers and later Oregon Trail emigrants to the area. Special attractions: Oregon Trail terminus, Willamette Falls, Aurora Historic District, French Prairie historic churches, Champoeg State Park, Willamette River, camping, wildlife observation, museums. This eTrail is a complete description of a scenic drive with a route map and information on the best travel seasons, interesting sites, recreation opportunities, camping locations, and much more.
Woodburn, OR - Scenic Drives - Trail Length: 60
A seventy-eight-mile loop drive through the Rogue River and Applegate valleys. The loop begins at an elevation of 974 feet and remains relatively level as it heads southwest from Grants Pass to Murphy. Turning east, it moves through rolling hills and dips into small ravines as it passes through dairy farms and woodlands. From Jacksonville, the route heads northwest through orchards at the base of flat-topped mesas and returns to Grants Pass along the Rogue River. Distant forests, mesas and mountains command attention and provide a magnificent background for roadside farms, settlements, and tree-lined avenues. Special attractions: Riverside Park, Applegate River, Jacksonville National Historic Landmark, Table Rocks, Oregon Vortex, Rogue River, and state parks. This eTrail is a complete description of a scenic drive with a route map and information on the best travel seasons, interesting sites, recreation opportunities, camping locations, and much more.
Jacksonville, OR - Scenic Drives - Trail Length: 78
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A 270-mile scenic loop on paved roads through arid desert, lush farmlands, rugged canyons and forested mountains. From La Grande to Joseph, the route makes several crossings of the Wallowa and Grande Ronde rivers as it winds through commercial croplands, dairy farms, and a scenic canyon. Turning south, the drive extends through fifty-four miles of Wallowa-Whitman National Forest and the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. With the road climbing mountains, dipping into canyons, and swirling around ridges, you’ll see the forest from a variety of vantage points. The route also climbs mountains as it weaves west to Baker City through desert and arid grasslands along curves that are generally long, graceful, and open onto spacious vistas. The final portion is divided between desert and forest. Because of the length, multiple attractions, and slow sections, plan a two-day trip with an overnight in either the Enterprise or Baker City areas. Traffic varies from light to heavy. Special attractions: Historic sites, Joseph, Wallowa Lake State Park, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, Wild and Scenic Rivers, Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, Oxbow Dam, Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, Eagle Cap Wilderness, wildlife observation, camping, fishing, and hiking.
Richland, OR - Scenic Drives - Trail Length: 270
A fifty-eight-mile drive on paved and dirt roads through scenic canyons and into the mountains of the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. Beginning in Enterprise at 3,757 feet elevation, the drive travels the first fourteen miles through level farm country framed by the magnificent Wallowa Mountains. After descending into a rugged canyon for twenty-one miles, the pavement ends at the tiny community of Imnaha. The final twenty-four miles to Hat Point climbs to 6,982 feet on a narrow, rough, and rocky dirt road. The scenery is spectacular as the road clings to cliffs, weaves through forest, and winds by deep gorges, sheer cliffs, hills, and mountains. For many this final segment has an irresistible, almost mystical allure. Be forewarned, however. The forest service recommends 2.5 hours travel time one way, and that doesn’t include sightseeing stops. If you value your vehicle’s undercarriage, do not attempt this with a sports car or other low-clearance vehicles. Also, sharp turns and the one-lane road bed make it unsuitable for trailers and motorhomes. Leave your boat trailer at home or in Imnaha, for there is no place to launch it along the way.
Joseph, OR - Scenic Drives - Trail Length: 58
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