New trail coming to Lemolo Lake, Oregon

Soon, outdoor enthusiasts will be hiking and mountain biking down a new trail through the shade-covered Umpqua National Forest, catching glimpses of Lemolo Lake between the evergreens. A trails enterprise team through the U.S. Forest Service started constructing 4.5 miles of new trail in the Diamond Lake Ranger District on July 19, 2017, connecting the freshly cleared...

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Best hikes of the Columbia River Gorge

Hiking season is underway in the Columbia River Gorge. While occasionally spectacular during the depths of winter, it’s the spring months of April, May and June when the Gorge reaches its scenic peak. Blooms of wildflowers, roaring waterfalls, panoramic viewpoints and mossy forest combine to offer singular hiking experiences up and down the national scenic area. To get...

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Trail photographers provide an eye into Oregon’s wilderness

Ever wonder what nature looks like when you aren’t watching it? If a critter scurries through the forest and there’s no one there to see it, is it still adorable? The answer is yes. We know this through the efforts of trail photographers who operate remote trail cameras that capture nature as it looks when no humans are there to disturb it. There is a part of...

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The most scenic stretch of the Oregon coast: Boardman State Park

It’s hard to pin down a specific stretch of coastline as the most scenic – isn’t the whole thing beautiful? – but then again, it’s hard to argue against Boardman State Park for the honor. Officially the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, the 12-mile stretch of coastline runs along the southernmost part of the Oregon coast,...

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Hiking to the birthplace of the Rogue

Boundary Springs, the headwaters of the Rogue, is where the river begins its 215-mile rumble to the Pacific Ocean. On its way west, it passes through a series of Oregon’s Jackson County communities — Union Creek, Prospect, Trail, Shady Cove, Gold Hill and Rogue River — before slicing past Grants Pass, Galice, Agness and Gold Beach. The river’s flow increases from...

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Fall is phenomenal in Fremont-Winema National Forest, thanks to rare Oregon aspen

Tamara Schmidt is a Colorado native, and knows a thing or two about aspens in the fall. “It’s just spectacular,” she said. “It adds that bright pop of gold to the forest. They’re special.” Schmidt, now the public affairs officer with Oregon’s Fremont-Winema National Forest, is fortunate enough to work within some of the...

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3 national parks in Oregon that never happened

Oregon is no stranger to National Parks. Since 1902, the state has been home to Crater Lake National Park, and over the last century four other spots have won lesser designations from the National Park Service. But in the mid-20th century, Oregon’s scenic beauty was prized by the park service, which proposed several sprawling national parks around the state. Three...

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Hiking on the roof

The Wallowa Mountains get all the attention as Eastern Oregon’s great hiking and backpacking destination, but if you actually go there you’ll drive right by the similarly scenic, much more accessible Elkhorn Range. So skip the crowds at Joseph and Wallowa Lake. Forget the long, dusty trudges hiking up to the high country of the Wallowas. At Anthony Lake in the Elkhorn...

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Amanda Trail is a beautiful hike with a dark history on the Oregon coast

As you leave the city of Yachats behind, cross Highway 101 and climb into the sprawling forest of Sitka spruce alongside the rugged and beautiful Oregon coast, a question lingers at the back of your mind: Who is Amanda? This scenic 3.7-mile stretch of the Oregon Coast Trail, running from Yachats up to the top of Cape Perpetua, is officially known as the Amanda Trail...

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Pittock Mansion hike is Portland hiking at its best

A stroll through an enchanted forest, a steep climb up muddy switchbacks, a hilltop view of the largest city in Oregon and a tour of a 100-year-old mansion – all of that, incredibly, can be found on one hike in Portland, what might very well be the best trek in the city. The centerpiece of the famed Pittock Mansion Hike is Forest Park – the city’s own 5,157-acre...

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Search & rescue team gives Multnomah Falls some much needed TLC

At 620 feet, Multnomah Falls is the tallest waterfall in Oregon. It’s awe-inspiring, making it one of the most popular destinations in the Pacific Northwest. Each year, 2 million people visit the dramatic, two-tiered falls, taking pictures from all angles, but very few get to see it suspended on a rappel rope, from below the footbridge. Tony Hobkirk and his search...

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Hiking Mount Tabor: The best way to explore Portland’s urban volcano

For Portlanders, “getaway” might be a bit of a stretch when it comes to Mount Tabor, but whether you live around the city or are touring it for the first time, the scenic city park is a perfect place to get away from the urban environment – without really leaving it at all. Built atop an old volcanic cinder cone, Mount Tabor is beloved by runners, walkers,...

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Hike to Silver Falls’ lesser-known waterfalls

It wouldn’t be fair to call them the “forgotten waterfalls of Silver Falls State Park.” After all, the five cascades smack in the middle of Oregon’s largest state park are still part of the Trail of Ten Falls, one of the most famous hikes in the Pacific Northwest. But the truth is, this quintet of waterfalls get far fewer visitors than the most crowded sections of the...

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The Oregon Terrorist’s Biggest Foe May Be Birders

Ammon Bundy and his band of terrorists have pissed off a lot of people since they took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon, last week. Liberals, conservationists, and Black Lives Matter activists are all avowed foes. Now add another powerful group to the list: birders. “Just a friendly warning from the birding and wildlife photography community...

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Can we save America’s largest parcel of wild, unprotected public land in the lower 48?

The Owyhee Canyonlands of southeast Oregon spans about 9 million acres along the Owyhee River, which carved the landscape’s dramatic contours over the course of millions of years. It is considered one of America’s most intact stretches of high desert, a type of dry landscape far above sea level that is characterized by stunning geology and diverse wildlife, and contains...

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Take a hike during whale-spotting week on Oregon Coast

Whale-watch week, Dec. 27-31, is prime time to spot migrating leviathans while stretching your legs on a beautiful shore. One of the greatest privileges of being in the Pacific Northwest is the knowledge that whales, those largest and most magnificent of mammals, are often seen off the coast. And while winter and spring can bring their share of headaches, those seasons...

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Oregon Is The Latest Target Of Right-Wing Effort To Get Rid Of National Forests

A draft bill recently released by U.S. Representative Greg Walden (R-OR) proposes to dispose of hundreds of thousands of acres of national forest land in Oregon’s Klamath River Basin so that it can be clear-cut or auctioned off to the highest bidder. The proposal, which is the latest in a series of attempts by right-wing politicians to seize or sell-off national public...

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Hidden grove showcases largest trees in Columbia Gorge

To find the largest waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge, all that’s required is a drive out Interstate 84 to the many viewpoints and trailheads east of Portland, OR. To find the largest trees in the Gorge, however, you’re in for a lot more work. In an area with a long history of logging, precious few groves of old-growth trees remain intact. The ones that...

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It’s easy to love llama trekking in Oregon’s Wallowa Mountains

Since 1985 Wallowa LLamas has led hikers into the rugged Wallowa Mountains, nicknamed the Oregon Alps, where one of the highest peaks (9,826 feet) is, in fact, called Matterhorn. A llama trek isn’t like a pack trip with horses, where some horses carry riders while others carry tents and stoves. You don’t ride llamas, you hike along with them. The advantage to a llama...

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Rogue River National Recreation Trail, Oregon

The Rogue River National Recreation Trail runs 40 miles along the Rogue National Wild and Scenic River in southwestern Oregon. The route offers a variety of amazing landscapes and rewarding hiking experiences. In addition, the western 16 miles cross the Wild Rogue Wilderness. These national designations recognize and help protect the Rogue’s outstanding scenery,...

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Pacific Crest Trail stretches 460 miles across Oregon; do these 15 best day hikes

It’s the dream hike, all 2,650 miles of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. Or, maybe, the nightmare hike, when things don’t go quite right. Either way, that long-distance trail gem, from Mexico to Canada, is etched in the minds of many American hikers, especially those who live in the states the Pacific Crest Trail crosses _ California, Oregon and...

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Sasquatch wants you to go hiking in southern Oregon

Maybe not everyone believes in Sasquatch (or Bigfoot), but it’s still a good thing to look over your shoulder when you hike in southern Oregon. At least that’s the opinion of the authors of a revolutionary new hiking book, “Hiking Sasquatch Country,” by Wendy and Gary Swanson of Grants Pass. The book covers 39 hikes and 37 historical points of...

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Hiking, not climbing, Smith Rock in Central Oregon

Yes, the less vertically inclined, too, can find a suitable adventure at Smith Rock. Although Smith Rock State Park is mostly known as a mecca for rock climbers, the hiking opportunities within the park should not be ignored. And often, the park’s trails can put a hiker in a spot to watch climbers scale some of the most difficult routes in the West. It is a...

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Find hiking, camping nirvana in new Oregon parks guide

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department launched its 2015 Oregon State Parks Guide, a free, full-color, magazine-style brochure featuring detailed information about more than 200 of the state’s most popular campgrounds, day-use areas, trails, bike ways and heritage sites. The guide has been updated for 2015, with revised or expanded listings for each property,...

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Two waterfalls in Oregon Coast Range offer a splendid show

Tell someone from the Willamette Valley that you’re headed to Golden and Silver Falls State Park, and there’s a good chance you’ll get a blank stare in response. “Um… you mean Silver Falls State Park, right?” Actually, no. Although it shares a strikingly similar name with the largest and one of most popular parks in Oregon, Golden and Silver Falls is its own unique...

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What One Wolf’s Extraordinary Journey Means for the Future of Wildlife in America

On Feb. 5, 2014, the world’s most famous wolf woke up somewhere along the Oregon-California border, very likely in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, a landscape of Alpine forests and grassland valleys. For the better part of a year he had been making his home in this place where the Cascade, Klamath, and Siskiyou mountains converge. It was cold that day, in the...

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Hot springs offer warm respite from winter

There may not be a better way to escape the rainy day blues than a dip into the magic waters of Oregon’s hot springs. Geothermal activity creates pools of relaxing glory that are particularly welcome when the temperatures dip and the rain falls across the mountains. The hot springs in the Beaver State vary considerably. Some are wild outposts with naked hippies...

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Astoria Column, Cathedral Tree are towering testaments

The Astoria Column is one of the Oregon’s most popular tourist attractions, bringing hundreds of thousands of people each year to Astoria in the northwest corner of the state. Built in 1926 as a testament to the pioneer spirit, it stands 600 feet above sea level as a stunning sentinel with a commanding view of the Columbia River, the Coast Range, Astoria and the Pacific...

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New Oregon Topo Maps Feature National Scenic Trails

Newly released US Topo maps for Oregon now feature segments of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. Several of the 1,835 new US Topo quadrangles for the state now display parts of the Trail along with other improved data layers. “Having the Pacific Crest NST finally show up on Oregon US Topo maps is significant for all of the recreational users of the wild spaces the...

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Crooked River Ranch trails of central Oregon become more fun to hike as summer’s heat wanes

The heat is slowly on its way out, so the time is on hand to experience the many trails that leave from the edge of the Crooked River Ranch in Central Oregon. Actually, summer was a good time to go, too, because the trails lead to the cool waters of the Deschutes and Crooked rivers. Hiking early or late in the day helps beat the heat. The Crooked River Ranch is a...

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