Oregon State Parks Guide

/Oregon State Parks GuideS

Oregon State Parks Guide

Oregon has some of the most amazing State Parks (and National Parks!) in the United States, and is undoubtedly one of the most popular park systems in the Nation.. In a state that is filled with so much natural beauty, it’s easy to see why. With a whopping 255 State Parks, and five National Parks, the Oregon State Park System serves an estimated 46 million day visitors, across the whopping 109,000 acres our parks encompass, every single year! While there are so many beautiful parks to choose from, we have compiled our top 10 Oregon State Parks below.

Ecola State Park

Located on the coast of northern Oregon, this magnificent state park is full of breathtaking viewpoints, scenic trails, pristine beaches, and more. It’s an amazing place to spend the day relaxing on the beach, picnicking, hiking, exploring tide pools, surfing, and more. Ecola State Park boasts some of the best views on the Oregon coast, and is known for its proximity to the incredible Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, perched on a rock a mile out to sea. A long hiking trail leads along high cliffs overlooking the ocean and the park’s two gorgeous beaches. There’s no proper campground, but three primitive wooden shelters are open to people who hike in.

Silver Falls State Park

Located near Salem, Silver Falls State Park is the largest state park in Oregon, and one of the most incredible. Full of lush forests (which are incredibly colorful in Fall), dramatic canyons, majestic waterfalls, and amazing hiking trails, this wondrous state park is a perfect place to escape into the beauty of nature.

Oswald West State Park

Oswald West is easily the most beautiful state park on the Oregon coast. It has towering Neahkahnie Mountain, the churning waters of Devils Cauldron, a great surf spot at Short Sand Beach, and the panoramic views atop Cape Falcon. Hiking trails wind through the quiet coastal rainforest in between, connecting it all. The only thing Oswald West doesn’t have is camping of any kind, meaning access to this paradise often requires an early-morning drive to the crowded parking lots off U.S. 101. Still, there’s so much to do in a day-trip to the park, and so much beauty to soak in, that by the time the sun has set, it almost doesn’t matter that you can’t stay the night.

Samuel H Boardman State Scenic Corridor

Located on the coast of southern Oregon, this 12-mile stretch of coastline is absolutely breathtaking. Here you’ll find crashing waves, incredible rock formations, old growth forest, stunning viewpoints, sandy beaches, and more.

Crater Lake National Park

Located atop the incredible Mt Mazama in Southern Oregon, Crater Lake is truly one of a kind. Technically, it’s a National Park (as opposed to a state park) but that certainly shouldn’t inhibit you from seeing this stunning natural wonder for yourself. Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the country, and its deep blue waters are sure to leave you speechless.

Cape Blanco State Park

Cape Blanco State Park revolves around its lighthouse, a stunning beacon with a hardscrabble past. Take a tour to hear the story of how lighthouse keepers worked through the stormy nights (sometimes in vain) to keep ships from wrecking offshore. Then stay for a day or night at the beautiful, windy southern Oregon beach.

Cove Palisades State Park

The Cove Palisades State Park is a desert oasis, located at the confluence of the Deschutes, Metolius and Crooked rivers just east of the Cascade Mountains. It’s best known as a destination for boaters, who zip around the Lake Billy Chinook reservoir, but a short hiking trail leads to stunning panoramic views of the park. It’s also home to The Island, an off-limits preserve that contains a pristine example of Oregon’s original high desert ecosystem.

Valley of The Rogue State Park

Valley of the Rogue deserves some attention here, simply for the fact that it’s the single most popular state park in Oregon. In 2017, the southern Oregon park attracted nearly 1.8 million day-use visitors, which is more than South Beach and Smith Rock combined. It also has a 164-site campground that drew an additional 112,000 overnight visitors, good enough for seventh statewide. Alas, it’s labeled a “state recreation site” on some state park documentation, and therefore was overlooked in our initial poll.

White River Falls State Park

This little-known hidden gem in north central Oregon is home to the gorgeous White River Falls. It’s a great place to escape from society and check out a beautiful waterfall, amazing basalt canyons, the ruins of an abandoned hydroelectric power plant, and more.

Fort Stevens State Park

This unique state park in northwest Oregon used to be a U.S. military fort that stood guard over the mouth of the Columbia River. Nowadays, the oceanside state park is a great place to hang out on the beach, hike, camp, and check out the historical remnants of the old fort as well as the Peter Iredale shipwreck.
This is just a short list of some of our favorite parks. Be sure to also read our other articles on Oregon state parks.

WEATHER REPORT

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LOW  30 °F –1 °C
  • Summer

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LOW  48 °F 09 °C
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LOW  32 °F 00 °C
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HIGH 40 °F 17 °C
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