Tucked up in the Pacific Northwest, Oregon is one of the most scenic and varied geographical states in the nation. It mixes dense forest, desert, mountains and coast, most of these within a two-hour drive of each other. Here are a few basic facts to know about the state.
Oregon has a reputation for being extremely rainy--that's only partly true. While it rains often in Oregon, it rarely is a heavy rain.
Fall, winter and spring in Oregon are marked by overcast and cloudy days, rarely with snowfall outside of the mountains. It rarely rains during the summer, and the temperatures usually stay around 80 degrees.
Portland is a great base of operations for traveling in Oregon, as it's close to quite a few destinations. Still, hiking through Forest Park (one of the largest city parks in the country), makes for a great outdoor trip in the city.
Oregon's two most popular peaks are Mount Hood, near Portland, and Mount Bachelor, near Bend. Both offer world-class skiing and snowboarding.
Hood River, Oregon has a unique claim in the outdoor world. It's one of the top windsurfing destinations in the country. Even the U.S. Windsurfing Association held its national championship there.
There are more than 50 parks in Oregon that have year-round camping. Half of them take reservations, while the rest are first come, first served.