Uncover the state of Oregon’s best kept secrets from float rivers, waterfalls, and traveling down Oregon’s south coast of its 363-mile-long coastline. Over 1.3 million visitors per year explore its 5 national parks and multiple state parks, forests, rivers, and trails. Over 2,000 places are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, along with 17 national historic landmarks and 11 national natural landmarks. The list of parks in Oregon is extensive and includes over 190 parks, natural areas, and state trails for you to explore; most are free or at minimal cost. Millions of acres are covered by the 11 national forests that blanket Oregon.
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National Parks & Historic Sites
California National Historic Trail
Various States CA, CO, ID, KS, MO, NE, NV, OR, UT, WY
Follow in the footsteps of over 250,000 emigrants who traveled to the gold fields and rich farmlands of California during the 1840s and 1850s: the greatest mass migration in American history. The California National Historic Trail is over 5,000 miles long and covers portions of 10 states. Step into history along more than 1,000 miles of ruts and traces from travelers and their overland wagons.
Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park, Rim Dr, Oregon 97604
Crater Lake inspires awe. Native Americans witnessed its formation 7,700 years ago when a violent eruption triggered the collapse of a tall peak. Scientists marvel at its purity: fed by rain and snow, it’s the deepest lake in the USA and perhaps the most pristine on earth. Artists, photographers, and sightseers gaze in wonder at its blue water and stunning setting atop the Cascade Mountain Range.
Fort Vancouver National Historic Site
Vancouver, OR, WA; 612 E Reserve St, Vancouver, WA 98661
Located on the north bank of the Columbia River, in sight of snowy mountain peaks and a vibrant urban landscape, this park has a rich cultural past. From a frontier fur trading post to a powerful military legacy, the magic of flight, and the origin of the American Pacific Northwest, history is shared at four unique sites. Discover stories of transition, settlement, conflict, and community.
Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail
WA, OR, ID, MT; Bellevue Erractic, Willamette Valley, OR
“At the end of the last Ice Age, some 12,000 to 17,000 years ago, a series of cataclysmic floods occurred in what is now the northwest region of the United States, leaving a lasting mark of dramatic and distinguishing features on the landscape of parts of the States of Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon.” Public Law 111-11, March 30, 2009
John Day Fossil Beds National Monument
32651 OR-19, Kimberly, OR 97848
Colorful rock formations at John Day Fossil Beds preserve a world-class record of plant and animal evolution, changing climate, and past ecosystems that span over 40 million years. Exhibits and a working lab at the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center as well as scenic drives and hikes at all three units allow visitors to explore the prehistoric past of Oregon and see science in action.
Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
Eleven States: ID, IL, IA, KS, MO, MT, NE, ND, OR, SD, WA; one place is Fort Clatsop & Visitor Center, 92345 Fort Clatsop Rd, Astoria, OR 97103
Between May 1804 and September 1806, 31 men, one woman, and a baby traveled from the plains of the Midwest to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. They called themselves the Corps of Discovery. In their search for a water route to the Pacific Ocean, they opened a window into the west for the young United States. Read the Lewis and Clark Pups blog, the Newfie News!
Lewis and Clark National Historical Park
92343 Fort Clatsop Rd, Astoria, OR 97103; Long Beach to Cannon Beach, OR, WA
Explore the timeless rainforests and majestic coastal vistas. Discover the rich heritage of the native people. Unfold the dramatic stories of America’s most famous explorers. The park encompasses sites along the Columbia River and the Pacific Coast. Follow in the footsteps of the explorers and have an adventure in history.
Nez Perce National Historic Park
83365 Joseph Hwy, Joseph, OR 97846; ID, MT, OR, WA
For thousands of years the valleys, prairies, mountains, and plateaus of the inland northwest have been home to the nimí·pu· (Nez Perce) people. Extremely resilient, they have adapted and survived the settling of the United States. Explore these places. Learn their stories.
Oregon National Historic Trail
Various States ID, KS, MO, NE, OR, WA, WY; one place is the End of the Oregon Trail Museum, 1726 Washington St, Oregon City, OR 97045
Imagine yourself an emigrant headed for Oregon: would promises of lush farmlands and a new beginning lure you to leave home and walk for weeks? More than 2,000 miles of trail ruts and traces can still be seen along the Oregon National Historic Trail in six states and serve as reminders of the sacrifices, struggles, and triumphs of early American settlers.
Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve
19000 Caves Hwy, Cave Junction, OR 97523
Deep within the Siskiyou Mountains are dark, twisting passages that await your discovery. Eons of acidic water seeping into marble rock created and decorated the wondrous “Marble Halls of Oregon.” Join a tour, get a taste of what caving is all about, and explore a mountain from the inside and out.
For more Oregon attractions, visit Travel Oregon.
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