As the name suggests, Crater Lake developed in a crater caused by an extinct volcanic caldera. The almost exactly circular lake is fed by rainwater and this has resulted in a stunningly clear lake bed. The intensely blue water is a photographer's dream and it is a beautiful place to camp, hike or relax during a hot summer. The lake is surrounded by towering peaks of Mount Mazama and lava cliffs that create a panoramic backdrop and two tiny islands located right in the middle of the sapphire-blue waters. For a better view, tourists are encouraged to drive around the lake on the circular Rim Drive road that surrounds the lake and provides an overview of the beautiful lake.
The Columbia River meanders through the Cascade Mountain Range and the area surrounding it is truly gorgeous. This area is referred to as the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and it is truly spectacular as it showcases several natural waterfalls and gorges. The 292,500 acre area runs from the mouth of the Sandy River right up to the Deschutes. The area offers hiking, biking, camping and several outdoor sports for locals and tourists. The area is also famous for the beautiful Multnomah Falls. Waterfalls are always gorgeous, but the Multnomah Falls on the Columbia River are truly stunning. The waterfalls split into two different falls spread out over two levels, and this makes it the tallest waterfall in Oregon. The waterfall is traversed by a footbridge that is popular with photographers as a backdrop for special events. Summer is the best time to visit the area.
Mount Hood is one of the highest mountains in Oregon reaching an impressive 11,239 feet in height. The Mount is surrounded by verdant forest extending from Columbia River Gorge to the Olallie Scenic Area. The forest is more than 1,067,043 acres in size and it is one of the most visited spots in the country. More than four million visitors traipse the 170 recreation sites inside the forest. The most popular areas include Timberline Lodge, Trillium Lake, Rock Creek Reservoir, and the Old Oregon Trail. The forest also has eight official designated wilderness areas that are a must-visit for their unique biodiversity, natural scenery, flora and fauna.
Beaches are standard in appearance, with sand and water but Cannon Beach has to be seen to be believed. The beach is truly stunning with powder sand beaches and looming coastal rocks located near to the beach. Water sports are offered on the beach and the resorts located close to the beach also offer a range of activities. One of the coastal rocks is called the Haystack Rock and is protected under the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge as it is a marine sanctuary for several unique sea creatures. The beach is surrounded by resorts and the closest town is Seaside which is a popular tourist town. The town of Astoria is also located close by and is historically significant for being the location of the Lewis & Clark National Historic Park.
Running for over 65 miles through central Oregon, the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway has become known for its outstanding beauty and diverse scenery as well as the host of recreational opportunities that it offers. You will be awe-struck by the surroundings as you head across this route, with volcanic scenery and stunning alpine lakes. When it comes to recreational activities, there is no shortage of things to do. This is an area that has become hugely popular for activities such as fishing, camping, hiking and boating amongst other things. If you want to get really up close and personal with nature this is an experience that is not to be missed.