Having a hard time deciding whether you want to spend your camping trip among the fresh air and peaceful forests of the mountains, or soaking up the sunshine and the sea breezes on a beach trip? Then set your sights on Oregon, a state where you can experience the thrill of skiing down a snow-capped mountain and surfing killer waves on the same trip. The state is home to Mount Hood, where you can find the best year-round skiing in the country... and it's only a few hours away from the Pacific Coast, which is the perfect spot to catch some of the prettiest beaches and most epic waves.
The South slopes of Mount Hood are home to the summer skiing for which the mountain is known. Olympic athletes and prestigious skiers frequent the mount, but there's always public accessibility on Palmer Snowfield. The mountain has a total of six different areas to ski, with their Timberline area being the only year-round skiing area served by a lift in the entire continent. Hood's surroundings showcase endless mountains, epic ice caves, a national forest, and beautiful lakes and streams.
If skiing and ice caves weren't enough to sell you, the mountain is also a popular climbing destination with over 30 different ways to summit the peak. Located only an hour and a half drive from Portland, Mount Hood is your ultimate destination for the outdoor adventure of a lifetime.
As you head from Mount Hood to the ocean, there is a ton to see along the way. Reigning supreme as the tallest waterfall in the state of Oregon, Multnomah Falls is the next stop on your journey. With over 2 million visitors a year, the falls are stunning and easy to reach. The best way to access the falls is a 1.2-mile hiking trail that starts off at their visitor center. The trail leads right to a viewing area to catch a breathtaking glimpse of the double falls, which are crossed by a scenic footbridge. More daring hikers can continue down the trail for a 6-mile hike to the top of Larch Mountain, the peak from which the falls originate.
Stub Stewart State Park is an outdoor adventurer's playground! The park has activities for hikers, bikers, campers, and even equestrian enthusiasts, with over 25 miles of trails. As you explore the paths, you can catch a glimpse of rolling hills, blossoming wildflowers, clear streams, and beautiful, deep canyons.
For those interested in a night under the stars, the park offers both electric and nonelectric campsites-- either way you go, Thor Industries can fit you with an RV that can match your camping needs. Stub Stewart State Park also has a year-round Cabin Village for those who prefer something a little less exposed to the elements. Campsites and cabins can be reserved ahead of time on their website, and all but their equestrian sites are open year-round.
Deep in the heart of the Tillamook State Forest lies the Tillamook Forest Center, a hands-on glimpse at Oregon's wild history. Once a stop on a stagecoach route, the forest center now offers a variety of family-friendly activities to help discover the rich history of the area as well as to feel a deeper connection with the outdoors.
Available activities include watching spawning trout in the Wilson River, climbing to the top of a forest fire observation deck, and having a beautiful scenic picnic in the woods. Did we mention that everything is free?!
Top off your trip with some sand and sun at Cape Lookout State Park. The park is known as one of Oregon's "legendary surf spots" and, when the weather is right (winter is the best for surfing), you can catch some killer waves. The park also is home to over eight miles of hiking trails, with the most popular being the shorter Nature Trail.
The park has over three miles of beaches to explore and is a popular place for beachcombing. Another activity you'll want to check out is paragliding, and you can easily find local outfitters to help you get started!
With year-round skiing, beautiful surfing waves, and breathtaking forests, you'll have to pack for any and every occasion on your Oregon adventure. Oregon is home to some the country's most beautiful parks, and they're perfect to visit year-round. Whether you're looking to jam as much adventure as possible into one trip, or you just want some variety in your trip, Oregon is the place.