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Fat-tire biking along the Pacific Ocean coastline in Southern Oregon
Travel Oregon
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    Oregon

The natural beauty of Oregon changes with the seasons, and each season brings its own wonders to make Oregon an outdoor-lover’s paradise.

Snowy adventures in the mountains, springtime bike outings, water sports in warm weather and winery stops in the fall are just a few ways to explore. We’ve picked an activity for each month of the year, but don’t worry if you can’t make it that month. Many are available during a range of months or even year-round. Get a new perspective about Oregon’s diverse regions and all the things to do and see in this adventurous state.

January

Winter doesn’t have to keep you indoors. When the snow falls, it’s time to get a breath of fresh alpine air and some exercise with a snowshoe hike. For breathtaking views of Lake of the Woods and Mount McLoughlin, snowshoe Great Meadow Sno-Park in the Cascade Range. You’ll see winter beauty at its grandest.

The magnificent Cathedral Rock at the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

The magnificent Cathedral Rock at the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument
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Central Oregon Film Office

February

Take a road trip on the Journey Through Time Scenic Byway any time of the year, but we love driving this route in February because it feels like you have it all to yourself. The byway is truly a journey through time, passing by prehistoric fossil beds and mining boomtowns. One of the best surprises of this otherworldly trail is the Painted Hills portion though the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Marvel at the distinct layers of bright colors created over millions of years.

Hiking urban nature trails in Forest Park in Portland

Hiking urban nature trails in Forest Park in Portland
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Clayton Cotterell

March

You don’t have to leave the city limits of Portland to find natural beauty. Forest Park is an incredible urban forest with more than 128 kilometers of trails. Stretch your legs on the 48-kilometer Wildwood Trail, surrounded by the lush forest’s flora and fauna.

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April

Where normal mountain bikes would sink, fat-tire bikes seemingly float. Rent a fat-tire bike any time of year to explore in the snow or sand along the Wild Rivers Coast Scenic Bikeway. April is the perfect time to bike the Southern Oregon coast, where you’ll encounter dunes, tidepools and dramatic rock formations in a 98-kilometer stretch.

Hot-air balloon views of the scenic Willamette Valley

Hot-air balloon views of the scenic Willamette Valley
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Sionnie Lafollette
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May

Nestled in Oregon’s wine-making region is an experience you’re not likely to forget. Vista Balloon Adventures takes passengers high in the air over the Willamette Valley with views of hills, farms, the Willamette River and, on clear days, 10 volcanic peaks. Don’t worry if you can’t make it in May; the balloon company usually operates from April to October.

Soaring through the Fremont-Winema National Forest on a zip line

Soaring through the Fremont-Winema National Forest on a zip line
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June

Break free and soar through the trees on a zip line adventure in the Fremont-Winema National Forest. Crater Lake Zipline showcases splendid views of the Cascade Range, and the experience is led by knowledgeable guides. Zip lining is an active way to experience Oregon’s outdoors. Crater Lake Zipline is open from April to November.

A thrilling white-water rafting adventure on the Rouge River

A thrilling white-water rafting adventure on the Rouge River
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July

When the temperatures rise, it’s time for water sports. Go white-water rafting on the Rogue River, which is one of 209 designated National Wild and Scenic Rivers in the USA. First-timers and skilled white-water rafters alike enjoy the river for its wildlife and scenery. With it running 65 kilometers, you’re bound to find the right river trip for you.

Traveling to Mount Howard’s peak via the Wallowa Lake Tramway

Traveling to Mount Howard’s peak via the Wallowa Lake Tramway
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August

Go for sky-high views with a ride on the Wallowa Lake Tramway. Scaling Mount Howard, the gondola climbs more than 1,120 meters to the summit, opening up to views of Wallowa Lake Village and Wallowa Lake. Hiking trails and the Summit Grill await at the top after the stunning 15-minute ascent.

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September

As the seasons begin to shift, anyone in Oregon knows it’s time to explore by bike. Biking is a popular way to see outdoor beauty in the fall and winter. Journey through the Hood River Valley, touring farm roads past orchards and vineyards, and stopping for wine tastings and agricultural experiences.
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October

Dig for the ultimate Oregon souvenir: the thunder egg. Thunder eggs are tangerine-size rocks with sparkling quartz interiors. They’re a testament to the geographical wonders of Oregon. Find your very own thunder egg at Richardson’s Rock Ranch in Madras, Oregon. Search for rocks during digging season from roughly March to October, and visit the ranch’s rock shop year-round.

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November

Explore the Oregon Coast region on horseback. C&M Stables offers tours for all skill levels. Ride on the beach, along sand dune trails and through a forest. Try the sunset beach ride for a special experience.

Exploring Mt. Hood’s backcountry snowshoeing on a crisp winter day

Exploring Mt. Hood’s backcountry snowshoeing on a crisp winter day
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December

In the winter, it’s time to play in the snow. Take the family sledding on Oregon’s tallest mountain, Mt. Hood, and explore 22 Sno-Park recreation areas. There’s so much to do in the winter months that between snowshoeing, tubing, sledding and mushing, you might need multiple cold-weather visits.

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Getting There

Portland International Airport (PDX) is the state’s largest airport, offering many nonstop domestic flights to Portland from various destinations. From there, travelers can rent a car or fly to smaller airports, including Eugene (EUG), Medford (MFR) and Redmond (RDM).