In the northern municipality of Portland the Willamette River flows into the Columbia River. The first explorers who discovered the on land way to the West came on the Columbia River in 1806. You will have a beautiful view over the river valley from "Vista House".
If you follow the Columbia River from Portland to the east, you will reached the "Multnomah Falls" after approximately 50 km. The waterfall on the south bank is the most spectacular of the region. In the southern shores of the Columbia River, there are countless waterfalls that are worth a visit. Particularly beautiful are the "Fairy Falls", the "Oneonta Falls" and the "Horsetail Falls". You can spend a whole day and look after all the waterfalls. The "Multnomath Falls Lodge" is one of the few restaurant in the area.
One of the most beautiful natural wonders of America is the Crater Lake in southern Oregon. Crater Lake National Park is located approximately 380 kilometers south of Portland.
Crater Lake was created when the 3,600 m high volcano Mount Mazama exploded about 6,500 years ago, leaving a large crater. It filled with rainwater and is one of the deepest lakes in the world at 592 m. The crater lake has a diameter of around 8 kilometers. The highest point of the crater rim is at 2,720 m above sea level. The water surface of the lake is at an altitude of 1,880 m. The small island in the Caldera is called Wizard Island and rises about 240 m from the lake.
The area around the volcano was populated by the Uxkani people long before the eruption. The first whites discovered the lake in 1853. Because of its extraordinary beauty, Crater Lake was declared a national park in 1902.
Crater Lake National Park has a visitor center and the 53 km long Rim Drive that runs around the caldera. From here you can hike to the viewpoints. The road is closed in winter because a high layer of snow covers the road. The way to the Rim Village is also kept clear in winter, but can be closed due to bad weather.
Check the link for prices and opening times.
The Tillamook State Forest is located between Portland and the coast, around 80 kilometers west of the city center. The rainforest near the coast is known for its humid climate. All types of moss and lichen in the region grow on the branches of the trees.
Sunset Hwy 26 takes you from Portland to Cannon Beach, it's a 120 km drive. Cannon Beach is known for the famous Hystack Rock. The rock is an Oregon landmark. The small town of Cannon Beach with its wide sandy beaches offers several restaurants and hotels. North of Cannon Beach is the somewhat larger resort Seaside.
The small town of Port Orford is a good stopover along the coastal road from Oregon to California. In Port Orford there are nice restaurants and the typical coastal landscape with wide sandy beaches and rocks in the sea. The Port Orford Heads State Park is a cliff right on the outskirts of the town. Port Orford is located about 350 kilometers south of Cannon Beach directly on the Pacific.
Mountains and waterfalls
Just behind the city limits of Portland, there are beautiful natural wonders to explore. Just follow the Columbia River upstream and you will see huge waterfalls, on the steep slopes of the river valley. The volcanic cone of the 3429 m (11,249 feet) high Mount Hood can already be seen from the city of Portland.
Virgin forests and coastal landscape
On the way from Portland to the Pacific Ocean you will pass through dense coastal forests. The trees in the rainforests are covered with mosses and lichens. The coast of Oregon is rough and wild, forests reaches end at the beaches of the Pacific Ocean. Driftwood covers the beaches and the sea strikes agains huge rocks.