Step Outside - Oregon WELCOME TO STEP OUTSIDE! Find the best outdoor fun near you! en-us 30 Step Outside - Oregon 144 144 Sun, 18 Nov 2018 19:43:21 -0600 5 Cool Spots for ATV Off-Roading in Oregon Winding paths through twisted forests, open dunes on a sandy beach, treacherous trails around foreboding mountains… Oregon off-roaders have access to it all! Whether you prefer your off-road adventure to take place in a controlled environment such as a park, on the open road, or in a state forest, the Beaver State offers it up in droves. Read on for five of the coolest ATV spots anywhere in Oregon. 

The Morrow-Grant County Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) Park is one of the best. Various trails are available and open to Class I, II, III, and IV vehicles with differing difficulties depending on the trail. While one trail might experience rain and therefore have mud and moisture, another might stay dry and powdery. Besides the trails, a mud pit opens regularly, but make sure to call or check the website before coming by to make sure it’s open. Other amenities include restrooms/showers, a barbecue, fishing pond, playground, day use area, hiking trails, campsites, water, and more. 

The Prospect OHV Trail System in Prospect, Oregon, is known for its incredible woods riding. With over 200 miles of trails throughout the system with lots of unique terrain, including loose dirt, mud, dust, rocks, trees, and more, the trails are beautiful and an absolute must-visit. Perfect for amateurs, the trails aren’t particularly difficult, but shouldn’t be attempted by brand-new riders. Make sure to stop by the trail known as “The Maze,” which is “a fast smooth and narrow twisty that winds through the trees near the staging areas…it’s so fun we blasted it twice.” 

Crooked Finger offers 12 miles of moderately challenging ATV riding on 600 acres. Ride through the forest throughout the year and visit the nearby Camp Dakota. Situated on 45 acres, Camp Dakota is located in the Western Cascade foothills and offers yurt rentals, RV sites, tent sites, teepee rentals, cabin sites, zip lining, high ropes, paint ball, treasure hunting, and disc golf. 

The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is part of the larger Siuslaw National Forest and has over 40 miles of sand dune trails. Cruise through tree islands, dunes, plains, and beaches on your favorite off-road vehicle. Six unique areas, including the South Jetty Area, Siltcoos Area, Oregon Dunes Day Use, Tahkenitch Area, Umpqua Dunes Area, and Spinreel to Horsfall Area comprise the entire recreation park, each with their own unique activities, trails, and hazards. Make sure to check a map and the weather before heading out. Consider camping along the trails to make a full weekend of it.

look at all those dunes

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Part of the greater Siuslaw National Forest, the Sand Lake Recreation Area is known for its 1,076 acres of open sand dunes, forests, and view of the Pacific Ocean. The entire area is open to OHV riders, providing untold possibilities for a motor-fueled weekend. Campground access and day areas are both available year-round. Make sure to keep up with the most recent Oregon regulations before stopping by, as they are all strictly enforced. Class I, II, and III vehicles are welcome. Take note: Sand Lake is one of the most popular OHV sites in the state, and will likely be busy. Arrive early to get the most out of your trip.

*Note: Age restrictions, special licenses, and other requirements for off highway vehicles vary from state to state. Before heading out on your OHV, please consult your local regulations.

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5 Stunning Foliage Hikes in Oregon Oregon is home to an incredibly diverse amount of flora and fauna. Throughout the fall, keep an eye on the deciduous trees, aspen, bigleaf maple, and western larch for a cornucopia of bursting color. In need of a little more direction to get the most out of your foliage hiking this season? Check out these five breathtaking hikes.  

The Cape Horn Loop Hike is a 7.1-mile loop with a 1,350 feet elevation gain and moderate difficulty. Combined with its proximity to the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area and as one of the most beautiful in the state, it is usually quite crowded. 

According to, “Silver Falls State Park is the crown jewel of the Oregon state park system, being both Oregon’s largest State Park (9,000 acres) and boasting one of America’s most impressive waterfall day-hikes.” As such, it’s no surprise that this gorgeous hike is one of the most popular. While the trail is open year-round, it’s best traveled in spring for the blooming foliage, or the fall for the changing colors.

The River Trail is one of Central Oregon’s most popular hikes, especially during the fall. It is considered a “tree-shaded, overnight oasis” for campers. The Deschutes and Columbia Rivers converge along the trail, providing for fantastic opportunities to hike, mountain bike, raft, and fish.

The Dry Creek Falls Hike begins under the Bridge of the Gods and continues along the Pacific Crest Trail before eventually turning into the Dry Creek Falls. Best explored in mid-to-late October, the 75-foot waterfall is surrounded by foliage. The hike is easy and family friendly.

Enjoy the changing fall colors without leaving town. Originally founded in 1928, Hoyt Arboretum now includes 190 ridge-top acres and 12 miles of hiking. Enjoy the 2,300 unique species as you hike through the forest and watch the leaves change as the season turns. 

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ATV Off-Roading Adventure at Sand Lake Recreation Area Oregon has no shortage of incredible sites with untold ATV off-roading potential. The state’s great sites include forests, mountains, and even beaches. For this Oregon off-roading adventure, start your engine and get ready to explore the dunes at Sand Lake Recreation Area. 

Before heading out to the Sand Lake Recreation Area, stop in nearby Tillamook, Oregon, for breakfast at Alice’s Country House. This humble eatery serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For a long day on the dunes, we recommend steak and eggs. 

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After breakfast, take the 15-minute detour before heading to the recreation area to enjoy Cape Lookout State Park. The spot is one of Oregon’s most gorgeous, with fantastic views of the water and plenty of nature trails to warrant a trip. 

The Sand Lake Recreation Area Dunes offer trails with varying difficulties from beginner levels all the way to experts. The area is open year-round to all vehicle classes, although not every trail is open to every vehicle class, so be sure to check their website before heading out! 

After you get your off-roading fill, head back into Tillamook and experience the awesome Air Museum. The exhibit hall features World War II artifacts, plane engines, and various aircrafts. Any war buff or plane nut will have a grand time at the Tillamook Air Museum. 

The beautiful Oceanside, Oregon, is only 20 minutes away from the museum, making for a scenic place to spend the night. We recommend booking a room at the relaxing Thyme & Tide Bed and Breakfast, “nestled between Cape Lookout and Cape Meares,” according to their website. The beachside house has great views and free breakfast in the morning.  

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5 Awesome RV Campsites in Oregon For your next vacation, consider the following options: You could visit the awesome Oregon desert, swim in the majestic Pacific Ocean, or gaze at the fields of free roaming animals on a pristine nature preserve. All of these options and more await at the following five fantastic RV campsites scattered throughout Oregon. Read on for more information, but be warned—with so many great options, you might want to quit your day job and visit them all!

Crater Lake RV Park in Prospect, Oregon, is open year-round and welcomes big rigs and groups, as well as individual RVs. Campers can look forward to two fire circles, camp fires, pot lucks, catered barbecues, live entertainment, hot dog feasts, and pancake breakfasts, among other events. Children are welcome, but you won’t find any children-specific activities, like playgrounds, on site. All sites have full hook-ups, Wi-Fi access, showers, and restrooms. The main attraction is the park’s proximity to Crater Lake National Park—you’re only 30 minutes away.

No RV campground list is complete without mentioning at least one KOA site. The Culver, Oregon site, servicing Redmond and Central Oregon, has scored 4.5 out of 5 stars from over 1,000 reviews. Enjoy “spectacular views of the Cascade Range” in the Oregon desert. This is the perfect home base for hikers. Each site has Wi-Fi, 50 max amp services, and pool access.  

Premier RV Resorts, with Oregon locations in Eugene, Salem, and Lincoln City, is owned and operated by Paul and Vickie Williams. As avid RV’ers themselves, the Williamses have made it their mission to create one of the most incredible RV experiences you could imagine. Not willing to rest on their laurels, the Williamses are constantly updating their parks with new features, including RAD bike access. Amenities include long pull-through sites, satellite TV, concierge service, ping pong table, catch and release fishing, Wi-Fi, newspaper delivery, and much more. Check their website to watch a video tour and make reservations.  

Whalers Rest RV and Camping Resort, located in South Beach, Oregon, is part of the Thousand Trails family of RV camps. This year-round camping site was awarded the 2017 Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor, and offers 164 sites yards away from the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy salt-water swimming, scuba diving, surfing, whale watching, beachcombing, and more, steps away from your RV. Additional amenities include bocce ball, volleyball, RV storage, shuffleboard, a clubhouse, hiking trails, business center, playground, and much more.

Juniper’s Reservoir RV Resort in Lakeview, Oregon, is named after the breathtaking juniper forest overlooking the reserve. You’re likely to see pronghorn antelope, mule deer, hawks, owls, eagles, osprey, songbirds, waterfowl, coyotes, and more in the reserve. With over 6,000 acres of land, you’ll never run out of bike riding, hunting, or fishing opportunities. The resort boasts 40 pull-through sites, each with their own shade tree, picnic table, and electricity. For rates and reservations, visit their website. 

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5 Perfect Fall Camping Spots in Oregon Fall camping in Oregon is as good as it gets. Enjoy the natural splendor of the changing seasons, the reds and greens and golds of the fall foliage while communing with nature. Check out the following five perfect fall camping spots for an unforgettable experience among the foliage. 

Silver Falls State Park in Marion County is known for its staggeringly gorgeous 10 waterfalls, and it very well may be that fall is the best time to get a good look. The cooler weather means attempting the Trail of Ten Falls, a nine-mile loop with the best views of the falls as its reward, is much more manageable. 

Cape Blanco State Park offers sheltered campsites within walking distance of the Cape Blanco lighthouse and historic Hughes House. In addition, campers can take advantage of eight miles of trails with ocean vista views and spectacular woodlands. 

Come early to the first-come-first-served campsites in the Carl G. Washburne Memorial State Park. The Memorial Park is popular in part because of its diverse landscape—it offers easy access to hiking trails, walking trails, and a five-mile sandy beach, as well as a lighthouse and creek. 

Search for arrowheads, petroglyphs, and other artifacts at the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge (take note: Artifacts are not to be removed!). Claim one of 30 primitive camping spots at the hot springs camping area. The Refuge is in the desert, so make sure to properly prepare ahead of time and bring the correct equipment. 

This historic state park once served as an important military defense installation. At the campground, you’ll find 174 full hookup sites (36 pull-through), 302 electrical sites with water (11 pull-through), six tent sites with nearby water, 15 yurts (seven of which are pet-friendly), 11 deluxe cabins (five pet-friendly), a hiker/biker camp, flush toilets and hot showers, an RV dump station, and adult bike rentals. 

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10 Best Archery Outfitters in Oregon Hunting is one of Oregon’s most popular past times, with deer and elk hunting claiming the top popularity spots. Whether you’re looking for a bow to catch big game or you’re simply into the art of shooting as a sport alone, be sure to outfit yourself with the best. Here are the 10 best archery shops in Oregon.

Since 1971, the Bow Rack has provided excellent archery gear and equipment to the Springfield and Eugene area in Oregon. They offer an archery range as well as a full-service bow shop. Find gear from brands like Hoyt, PSE, and Mission

The Pacific Crest Archery Pro Shop in Salem, Oregon, sells most of the best name brands in the industry, including Mathews, Mission, and Hoyt equipment. They also have an indoor range and a full brand listing on their website.

Watching Daddy and Mr.Kap shoot their bows!

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No matter your level of experience, the fine folks of Southern Oregon Archery are happy to help. They provide lessons, leagues, custom arrows, bows, youth products, arrows, and much more. 

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Archery World services the Troutdale, Oregon, area with many of the best names in the industry, including Bowtech, PSE, Hoyt, Bear, and more. They have League Nights and a full event calendar on their website.

Haven't shot a bow in some years! So fun, thanks Andre! Serious archers wear uggs.

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Archers Afield in Tigard, Oregon, offer bow hunter leagues, beginner compound leagues, and family archery. In addition, they provide private lessons, instructor courses, and cosmic archery. And, of course, a variety of archery equipment. 

G4 Archery in Hillsboro, Oregon, is “the complete archery pro-shop that you can trust,” according to their website. They offer products from many of the best archery vendors in the world, including Anarchy, Bear, Beman, Wac’Em, Scott, and more.

The Archery Hut has been in business for over 40 years. They carry compound and traditional bows, a wide array of arrows, and more. Call to schedule lessons from award-winning archers.

Now for something a little different… Custom Bows by Wes Wallace provides handcrafted archery equipment. Although you won’t find these bows in a traditional brick and mortar shop, they have been providing custom-built equipment since 1988, including longbows, recurves, and accessories.

Rose City Archery in Myrtle Point, Oregon, has produced wood arrows for 80 years. They create products for traditional archery, including bows and arrows. Check out their website for coupons, sale items, and the entire product catalogue. 

Can anyone identify some of these bows? #RoseCityArchery

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La Grande’s Alpine Archery is well-loved by locals and visitors alike. Not only will you find archery equipment like arrows, broadheads, decoys, rests, releases, and sights, but you’ll also find plenty of other essential outdoor gear. If you’re out on a hunt, consider purchasing one of their knives, maps, and packs. 

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10 Best Bait and Tackle Shops in Oregon With an almost endless selection of great fishing outposts like the Tillamook Bay, Deschutes River, and much, much more, Oregon is an angler’s dream. But before you head out onto the water, make sure you’ve got all the equipment you need for success. Below, you’ll find 10 of the best bait and tackle shops in the state to help you do just that.

The Siuslaw Marina and RV Park in Florence, Oregon, is located right on the Siuslaw River. Stop in at their marina for boat launches, boat rentals, ice, snacks, boat parts, bait, and tackle. 

Since 1972, Mazama Sporting Goods has been providing some of the best hunting and fishing equipment to the Eugene, Oregon area. Their pro fishing shop recently got a space upgrade and now offers live sand shrimp, lure building materials, and fly fishing, in addition to tackle and cure baits.

Sunrise Bait in Forest Grove, Oregon, is a mom and pop bait shop, providing fresh and cured salmon eggs to end consumers and retailers alike. You can find their bait in local shops or purchase online. 

Brad’s Bait and Tackle in Madras, Oregon, is a full-service tackle shop, with featured products from Lemiglas, Fenwick, Pflueger, Okuma, and more. Check their website or call ahead to make sure they’re open as hours vary.

Not the bead store 😳#somethingfishy #fishermansmarine #gonefishing

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Fisherman’s Marine and Outdoor has three Oregon locations, one in Oregon City, one in Portland, and another in Tigard. For over 40 years, this family-owned business has provided some of the best products and customer service to fishermen and women, boaters, hunters, and campers. They sell a variety of reels, rods, lures, terminal tackle, bait, and more.

River Guide Supply, headquartered in Oregon City, Oregon, specializes in tackle, tackle craft, fishing accessories, reels, rods, and more. The store, located in “the heart of steelhead and salmon fishing country,” continues a 30-year-long business. 

For over three decades, Oregon Tackle in Portland, Oregon, has provided all kinds of fishing tackle. According to their website, “we pride ourselves on being one of the largest remaining U.S. tackle manufacturers providing quality products that are still made in the USA.”

Tackle Time Charters and Bait Shop in Warrenton, Oregon, sells fresh, in-season bait. They prefer to receive orders the day before a big fishing trip for fresh bait, although they also offer frozen bait. Order online or give them a call during business hours.

Oregon Rod, Reel, and Tackle is another fantastic option in Eugene, Oregon, for all your bait and tackle needs. They sell steelhead stalkers, North Country Lures and Flies, fishing rods, and much more. Check out their website for a full listing of products and their online store.

Getting ready for the coasties. R&B 3.5's & #6 Jetty Bombs @randblureco

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The Great American Tackle Shop in Clackamas, Oregon, has been in business since 1993 selling fishing gear. They have a wide range of bait and tackle, as well as experienced staff happy to help you learn. If you’re planning on fishing on the Clackamas River, make sure to stop in for tips. 

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5 Best Trail Running Spots in Oregon Oregon boasts one of the most diverse landscapes in the country, with beaches and forests and hidden treasures throughout. From invigorating runs through lush forests and past sparkling waterfalls to shoreline jogs among sea lions, you’re in for an exciting workout at these five best trail running spots in Oregon. 

Alsea Falls Recreation Site is 13 miles west of Monroe, Oregon, and is characterized by beautiful forests, the Alsea waterfalls, and wildlife. Trails zigzag throughout the area, making for perfect, scenic running opportunities.

The Elijah Bristow State Park is just southeast of Eugene, Oregon, in a town called Dexter. The park has almost 850 acres of woodlands, wetlands, and meadows, with over 10 miles of running and hiking trails. 

Multnomah Falls is one of Oregon’s most popular trail climbs, featuring 700 feet of elevation. For this trail, you might want to pace yourself. But if you reach the top of the first section and are ready for more, continue on to the 5.4-mile loop to get a closer look at the falls.

Bridge over (un)troubled water...

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If you’re in the mood for an out of the ordinary run, the sea lions of Shore Acres State Park are calling for you. You can jog through the gorgeous gardens remaining from an abandoned millionaire’s estate before headed out onto the Cape Arago Pack Trail for a few miles.  

The Pittock Mansion Hike is a moderately difficult, five-mile trail run through a lush forest and by a stunning Victorian-era mansion. The views of downtown Portland and Mount Hood are unmatched. The trail is out and back with a small loop, and it’s open for all seasons. 

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Best Places to Fish on the West Coast This Fall For offshore saltwater fishermen, tuna grab most of the attention along the Pacific Coast in autumn as the pelagic fish work their way up the coast following vast schools of Pacific anchovies and sardines. Tuna or salmon – either way, there’s a real tug-of-war involved. Check with state and local tourism offices for information about charter boat and guide services.

Tuna Time

In July, a trio of tunas –yellowfin, albacore and bluefin – start showing up in numbers offshore in northern Mexico, and by October it’s an all-out fishfest for anglers aboard charter boats from California to Washington. 

Considering that most boats are likely to fish well offshore, tuna-fishing expeditions might stay out up to a week in the peak of season, though some trips can be shorter if the skipper thinks anglers can fill their limits in a day. With San Diego, CA the southern epicenter of tuna charters, and Westport, WA, on the northern end, visiting fishermen won’t have any trouble finding rides.

Expect to pay $215-$275 for day trips to the inshore tuna grounds. Some charters go farther offshore and stay a few days. The cost then is about $275 multiplied by the number of days.

Hot Spots To Fish: H&M Landing (619-222-1144, at San Diego is a recommended portal to adventure. Go north as the season progresses, and try a boat out of Westport Charters (360-268-0900, in Washington.

Tackle You’ll Need: Any of the three types of tuna might weigh from 20 pounds to more than 300 pounds (for bluefins). Thus, unless they plan to rent rigs for about $20 and up per day, anglers take along their own tackle and that might include two or three fishing outfits to cover any contingency. Everything from medium baitcasters or spinning outfits to heavier revolving-spool rigs, such as the Shimano TLD 20 and TLD 25 reels matched with Shimano TDR70MB 7-foot trolling rods (10- to 17-pound test) or TDR70MHB 7 foot medium-heavy (12- to 30-pound test line), match up well with most tunas likely to be encountered.

Quick Tip: Make friends with the mates on the charter boat you’ve chosen. They’ll be more likely to help you when the big tuna on the end of your line is ready to come into the boat. Be sure to tip generously – say 15 to 20 percent of the charter fee.


Best Lures/Baits: Depending on the flexibility of the skipper, anglers might be limited to using live bait such as anchovies or sardines, or jigging spoons such as the Shimano Flat Fall. However, sometimes anglers can troll big crankbaits such as the Rapala Magnum X-Rap 30, the Yo-Zuri 3D Magnum or the Mann’s Giganticus.

Find the best fishing spots near you:

Find the best bait and tackle shops near you:

North Coast Chinooks

Like the fall tuna run off the Pacific coast, the chinook (king) salmon run advances in stages, with October being the peak month and extending into November. For the widest window of opportunity, plan to fish the rivers and tributaries of Washington and Oregon that feed into the Columbia River.

Hot Spots To Fish: Though much less known and much smaller than its more famous neighbors to the north, Oregon’s Chetco River produces hundreds of jumbo kings weighing more than 20 pounds throughout the fall. The Winchuck, closer to California, is another small fishery with big salmon. Call Ironhead Guide Service (530-598-0530,, to set up a trip to either.

Tillamook Bay and its feeders are prime hangouts for chinooks, and Marvin’s Guide Service (503-314-5087) can put you on them. For numbers, it’s hard to beat the Winchester Bay, Rogue River, Umpqua and Coos systems. Salmon Harbor Tackle & Marine (541-271-2010) is well-stocked with tackle and salmon fishing advice. Up the Columbia River Gorge, the folks at Jones Sport Fishing (208-861-0654, have the latest scoop on salmon.

Photograph Courtesy of Jones Sport Fishing
Most of the West Coast’s rivers and bays are swarming with autumn-run salmon. Whether an angler is fishing on a charter boat or with a guide, the action can be fast and furious.

Tackle You’ll Need: Fall chinook might weigh more than 50 pounds, so meat fishermen who go after salmon typically use heavy spinning or baitcasting gear. Consider the Ambassadeur S Combo with a Model 6500 baitcaster and matching 7-foot medium-heavy rod. For spinning fans that do a lot of casting, the Shakespeare Ugly Stick 9-foot rod with matching reel is a good choice. For the sportier types who like challenges, 10- or 12-weight fly fishing tackle is popular. Just make sure the reel is spooled with lots of backing.

Quick Tip: The big waters such as Tillamook Bay and the Columbia River basin yield tons of salmon to hundreds of fishermen in prime time, but don’t overlook the other rivers along the northern Pacific Coast. Get a map and locate some streams that range far inland, then find out what you can about the fishery via the internet or calls to local tourism and Game and Fish offices. You might be happily surprised with what turns up.


Best Lures/Baits: Chinooks will eat a variety of cut bait gleaned from the local larder, or go after any lure that is large, wobbling and shiny. Various trolling spoons from Luhr-Jensen such as the Coyote Spoon or the Moonshine Trolling spoon, as well as the Luhr-Jensen Crippled Herring jigging spoon, work well. The original Buzz Bomb or Zelda jig are good choices when salmon are ganged up on herring schools.

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9 Best Outdoor Fall Activities in Oregon During the fall, Oregon has fun happenings around every corner. Whether you’re looking for a bicycling brewery tour through Portland or spooky ghost tour in Oregon City, there’s something for all preferences. From the city to the country, make this fall season a memorable one. Here are our favorite outdoor fall activities in the state.  

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is a series of indoor and outdoor plays celebrating the life and work of William Shakespeare, among many other creators both old and contemporary. This year’s plays include classics such as Henry V and Othello as well as Sense and Sensibility and Oklahoma. Get your tickets now for the fall run!

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If Portland is known for two things, you can bet bicycles and brews would be on the list. How best to experience Portland’s staggering 75 breweries than traveling from one to another atop your trusted metal stead. Travel Oregon recommends starting at Burnside Brewing Co. before heading to Hair of the Dog Brewing Company, and so-on. Consider using Portland’s bike sharing program, Biketown, if you are without your own bike.

Hunters of all skill levels are welcome at the Four Aces Ranch & Outfitters in Ashwood. This highly rated company takes you out hunting for hogs, goats, bulls, rams, and more—every single day of the year! You won’t find people as qualified, informative, and friendly as the workers at Four Acres to show you the ropes of hunting on their ranch.

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Winner of Wine Press Northwest’s “Oregon Winery of the Year” award in 2016, Mt. Hood Winery is located conveniently among the most beautiful views of the valley. Their tasting room is modeled after a Northwest lodge and features “warm cork floors, a custom stone fireplace, and an elegant 30-foot bar with plenty of room for you and your friends,” according to their website. Take in the gorgeous fall sites of the valley while sipping on some of the best wine in the state.

There’s nothing boring about Boring, Oregon’s Bushue’s Family Farm. Opening at the beginning of October, come visit to pick the perfect pumpkin for this year’s Jack-o-lantern. Pumpkins are only $.40 a pound. While you’re here, enjoy apple cider, doughnuts, hayrides, pig train rides, and more.

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Northwest Ghost Tours invites you to explore the dark side of Oregon City with their ghost tour. Join guide Rocky Smith, life-long paranormal researcher, through a walking tour of the most haunted spots in Oregon City. But beware. Ghosts may appear.

Christie’s Kitchen is only 15 minutes away from Smith Rock State Park, making it the perfect spot to stop for a delicious breakfast before heading to your cabin. The park offers several vacation rental options, including A-frame rentals that can sleep up to seven guests. Enjoy the park, which sits on 650 acres and boasts tons of trails and other activities. You’ll be bewildered by the views right out your window.

Pedal Bike Tours offers daily bike tours, all throughout Portland and surrounding areas. Take their Introduction to Portland tour and get the inside scoop on Portland’s hidden treasures or take their Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls tour and experience six miles of pedaling through orange colored landscapes with plenty of waterfalls. Their fares are priced well and they offer an excellent experience.

When it comes to taking in the autumn scenery, there is no better place than aboard the Sumpter Valley Railroad. There are several events taking place throughout the fall season, such as the Halloween Express, the Fall Colors Train, and Photographer’s Weekend. There is nothing better than sitting on this historic train and experiencing the prime view of the valley.

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Camping Done Right: 10 Best Outdoor Stores in Oregon Outdoor enthusiasts are very much at home in the Pacific Northwest. So if you’re looking for a breathtaking place to set up a campsite, Oregon is tops. But it’s important to make sure that your campsite is safe and comfortable, which means finding the proper equipment. For all of the tents, backpacks, hydration gear, and apparel you’ll need, check out the 10 best outdoor stores in Oregon. 

Next Adventure has multiple locations throughout Oregon. Stop by any of their locations in Portland, Warren, or Sandy, for all of the best gear. They stock all the latest, greatest, and best camping and hiking equipment, including tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, and more.

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Northwest Outdoor Store is Medford’s go-to place for Columbia, Mountain Hardwear, the North Face, and Hydro Flask. Check out their website for fun DIY projects and blogs, too! 

U.S. Outdoor has been in business in one form or another since 1957, and today is a proud supplier of brands like Arc’Teryx, Burton, Marmot, and more. Camping equipment options includes bottles, knives, hydration, chairs, storage, and much more. 

Some readers may know Poler as one of the best camping equipment brands out there, but those same readers may not know that they have a flagship store right in Portland. Visitors can expect to find much of their excellent camping equipment, including their two-person tents, hammocks, sleeping bags, and more. 

Playing tourist today ✌🏼️#ethanvisitspnw

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Backcountry Gear is based in Eugene, Oregon, and has just about everything you might want for an outdoor adventure. That includes Hydro Flasks, Butora shoes, Mammut equipment, and much more. They’ve got too many awesome camping tools to list, so do yourself a favor and check them out yourself. 

The Ashland Outdoor Store is the place to go when in Ashland, Oregon, for your outdoor product needs. Not only do they stock plenty of camping equipment in their brick and mortar store, but they host tons of events throughout the month. Check their website for a full listing of events and drop by to see what products they have in stock.

Fisherman’s Marine and Outdoor specializes in fishing equipment, but that doesn’t mean their camping stock is anything to scoff at. With locations in Oregon City, Portland, and Tigard, you’re never too far to stop by. They’ve got a wide variety of tents, canopies, cots, sleeping bags, and more.

Mountain Supply of Oregon has been in business since 1980 supplying the fine folks of Bend with all of their mountain supplies and camping needs. They offer rental rates for various equipment and stock many of the best brands, including Arc’Teryx, Boreas, Hydro Flask, Garmont, and more. 

The owners of Salem Summit Company in Salem, Oregon, are motivated by “a passion for playing outdoors and enjoying all nature has to offer.” It’s that passion that gives them an edge over the competition. They stock a wide variety of equipment for campers, hikers, and climbers, including stuff from Sea to Summit, Deuter, Therm-a-Rest, and more.

Tillamook Sporting Goods is a locally-owned business stocking equipment for fishing, shooting, archery, crabbing, boating, and, yes, camping. They stock camp stoves, inflatable mats, sleeping bags, lanterns, boats, rope… the works. 

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5 Gorgeous Beach Campsites in Oregon Oregon is known as one of the most beautiful states in the Pacific-Northwest. With mountains, beaches, islands, and forests, it is also one of the most naturally diverse states, with absolutely gorgeous beach campsites. Enjoy the last weeks of warm weather beachside at the following five campsites. 

South Beach State Park near Newport, Oregon, offers 227 electrical sites with water, 60 tent sites, and 27 yurts along Beaver Creek. The park covers almost 500 acres with public beach access. Other amenities include hiking, showers, jogging, biking, picnicking, and more. 

Tillicum Beach Campground near Yachats, Oregon, boasts 61 unique campsites, almost all of which offer beachfront views. Enjoy single-family campsites and RV camping. Fishing, nature viewing, and water activities are all extremely popular at Tillicum.

Harris Beach State Park has 34 full-hookup sites, 23 electrical sites with water, 33 electrical sites with water and cable TV, 59 tent sites with water and cable nearby, in addition to six yurts and universal access. Bird Island, inside the park, is the largest off the Oregon Coast and provides “sandy beaches interspersed with rocky outcroppings harboring interesting tide pools with their wide variety of life.”

Bullards Beach State Park, situated in Coos County, Oregon, covers about 1,300 acres of land. The main campground is about three quarters of a mile from the beach, and has two trails with direct beach access. Choose from three different loops to make camp, called A Loop, B Loop, and C Loop. A and B Loop are open from spring to November and May through October respectively, with C Loop open year-round.  

Prefer a private spot as opposed to a public park? Look no further than Twin Rocks Friends and Camp Conference Center, located on 120 acres of the Oregon Coast. They offer family camp rentals, adult conference facilities, youth camp rentals, and outdoor classes. Note that Twin Rocks is primarily a Christian group, but anyone can enjoy their incredible space! 

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5 Beautiful Backpack Camping Spots in Oregon Oregon is one of the most beautiful states in the nation, hands down. It’s no surprise then that hiking and camping is one of the most popular past-times in the area. Before heading out on your next camping trip, make sure that the site you’re visiting is open for backpackers. Consider one of the following five so you can spend more time enjoying the scenery and less time worrying about the details. 

Located in Mt. Hood National Forest, the meadows lining the trails at Bonney Meadow will make you feel as if you’ve stepped into a fairytale. The area is utilized by hikers, bikers, and horseback riders. Stay overnight for no fee at one of the six single sites at Bonney Meadow Campground. Hit the Bonney Meadows Trail for some exploration—a lightly-trafficked route that backpackers love. 

The forests surrounding Timothy Lake combined with the gorgeous views of Mt. Hood in the distance make for one of the more beautiful backpack camping spots in Oregon. The lake covers 1,500 acres and boasts over 200 campsites across seven campgrounds. Campers should have no trouble finding space.

No matter the time of year, Crater Lake National Park offers a memorable backpack camping opportunity. The summer backpacking season is short due to snowy winters, but if you visit during a sweet spot, Crater Lake can be one of the best. For the most adventurous among us, the park is open for winter backpacking. Snowshoers and skiers are welcome, but make sure to check out their winter safety page before considering an overnight stay! 

The Three Sisters Wilderness is part of the greater Willamette National Forest near Blue River, Oregon. The three sisters are comprised of the North, Middle, and South peaks, providing gorgeous views of glaciation, meadows, waterfalls, lava fields, and more. Backpackers can choose between several campgrounds, including the Scott Lake, Alder Springs, Limberlost, Red Diamond, Hard Rock, and Frissell Crossing sites. 

Spanning over 20,000 acres, the Opal Creek Wilderness is beautifully forested with Douglas fir, Western red cedar, and other incredible lush vegetation. Backpackers will find eight trails, for a total of 36 miles, throughout the wilderness area. At Opal Creek, you will find dispersed camping areas. Camping is allowed anywhere except within 100 feet of a lake, trail or stream, or where posted as closed.  

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5 Awesome Campgrounds for Families in Oregon Indigenous tribes slept under the Oregon stars long before Westerners arrived. Those tribes knew the power of serene solitude, of gazing at the stars, of feeling the ground underneath. Campers can capture those same feelings today by visiting any number of incredible campgrounds throughout Oregon. Below, you’ll find five great campgrounds perfect for families in the state. 

Part of the Kampgrounds of America (KOA) network, the Redmond/Central Oregon KOA has a stellar record of customer happiness. KOA has camping down to a science. You always know that you and your family will have the best of the best at any KOA site. Consider camping in an RV, in a cabin, or in a more traditional tent: KOA can do it all. Amenities include amp, Wi-Fi, pool, bike rentals, firewood, and propane. This campground hosts regular activities throughout the summer, including a Glow Light Parade, Ice Cream Social, and Pebble Puppies. Check the website for a full list of amenities and upcoming events. 

Lockaby Campground in Estacada, Oregon. offers perfect access to the Clackamas River. Set against the northern Oregon mountains, campers can experience the state’s best whitewater rafting and fishing. The cost is $21 per night and $5 a day per vehicle, with 30 single sites available. Anglers come from all over to fish for steelhead, coho salmon, and chinook in the river.

weekend escape #clackamasriver #campvibes #poler

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Cape Lookout State Park offers year-round camping along a sand spit near the ocean. Families will enjoy the eight miles of hiking trails against a forest backdrop and fishing, as well as the beach-side access. Two campsites are available with over 170 tent sites, along with one cabin and nine yurts. Make sure to climb the sand dune at Cape Kiwanda, and stop by the lighthouse near Cape Meares. 

Catfish Junction RV Park is a privately-owned campground along Snake River. Enjoy 900 feet next to the river and “some of the best catfishing in Oregon.” The park has two boat ramps and a fish cleaning station, as well as a convenience store with bait and tackle and fishing licenses. Enjoy volleyball, basketball, and horseshoes, as well as weekend campouts, ice cream socials, scavenger hunts, and more regularly-scheduled events. Whether you’re traveling in an RV or pitching a tent, Catfish Junction RV Park is worth considering, especially for families.

The Crystal Crane Hot Springs in Burns, Oregon, brings the European and Japanese tradition of bathing in mineral springs to the United States. From their website: “Dissolved minerals in hot springs are absorbed by the skin. This kind of absorption through the skin is less harmful to the digestive tract and more beneficial than ingesting the equivalent in the form of mineral supplements,” and include calcium, sodium, magnesium, silica, potassium, and iron. When you’re finished soaking for the day, retreat to the campground and choose between dry and tent camping. The tent locations are close to the desert, and all sites are near the restroom, common areas, and camp kitchen. For a relaxing weekend of pampering and camping, Crystal Crane is the place to go. 

pinch me

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5 Beautiful Scenic Hikes in Oregon Oregon is one of the most gorgeous states in the country, with an endless number of trailheads, rivers, creeks, lakes, mountains, and forests begging for exploration. As such, it’s nearly impossible to choose our favorites! Even so, we’ve picked out five of the most beautiful hikes for families, backpackers, scramblers, and those that prefer to stay off the beaten path. No matter what kind of hiker you are, you’re sure to find something memorable below. 

Situated in the remarkable Mount Hood Wilderness, the Paradise Park Loop Trail is just that—paradise. Traverse through meadows of wildflowers and soak in the views of the towering Mount Hood. Eventually, this trail leads to Paradise Park and it also connects to a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). The PCT runs 2,650 miles from the Mexican border to the Canadian border. Paradise Park Loop Trail is a sight you don’t want to miss!  

Another day in paradise. #thewoods #outside #optoutside #backpacking #hiking #oregon #mthood #pct #pct2017 #paradise

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The Salmon Mountain Trail is considered off the beaten path and is perfect for those that prefer less crowded hikes. The trail starts at the Plaza Trail and finishes up at a lookout by the summit of Salmon Mountain. Soak in the views of the Cascades and the Salmon River Drainage. If you’re not an experienced hiker, you may want to pass this hike up as it can be very narrow and rocky. 

Spooky Salmon River.

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This trail starts at the West Fork Wallowa River Trailhead and ends at the Chief Joseph Basin. One way, the Chief Joseph Mountain Trail spans seven miles and is categorized as “more difficult” so it can be a bit of a challenge for children or inexperienced trekkers. It’s recommended to visit during the summer and fall. Along the way, you might find goats and bighorn sheep. Keep an eye out for the limestone, granodiorite, greenstone, and Columbia Basalt, the combination of which make for a colorful experience.  

According to its website, people consider Silver Falls to be the “crown jewel” of state parks in Oregon. Hikers can walk behind the 177-foot South Falls—yes that’s right, you can walk behind an incredible sheet of water cascading downward. To get there, travel on the Trail of Ten Falls which is a renowned trail that takes you through a lush forested area. This loop trail is just a little over seven miles. 

This tremendous park is not only for hikers, but rock climbers as well. Smith Rock State Park is characterized by incredible deep river canyons. For an easy, but beautiful hike, try out the 1.5-mile Canyon Trail. This hike begins just past the welcome center. For those with extensive hiking experience, try out the Burma Road Trail which has rugged terrain and can be very steep at times.  

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