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11 Oregon Scenic Drives You Don't Want to Miss This Fall
Fall presents the perfect time to explore Oregon's natural beauty. During this season, Oregon becomes home to stunning fall colors, which begin to peak in October. In addition to the fall colors, there is a plethora of scenic views in this magnificent region.
If you are craving an escape or an adventure, a scenic drive through Oregon promises an experience you do not wish to miss this fall. Here is a comprehensive overview of the top Oregon scenic drives to take this fall.
1. Pacific Coast Scenic Byway
The Pacific Coast Scenic Byway promises a scenic fall you should not miss. This byway has plenty of towering coastal redwood trees that will present you with stunning yellow, gold, and orange fall colors.
In addition, there are several picturesque rocks, arches, sand dunes, and wildlife views to enjoy. There is also the stunning Cannon Beach which is home to the iconic Haystack Rock. You can stop at this beach and relish the fall season in Oregon.
2. Cascades Lake Scenic Byway
Cascade Lake Scenic Byway is incredibly popular for the number of adventures and scenic views that it provides. Driving through this byway will let you pass several spectacular lakes with incredible views.
You can also make stops and enjoy hiking opportunities at the Three Sisters Wilderness. A hike in the Three Sisters Wilderness during fall promises an unforgettable experience. As the leaves change color to beautiful shades of orange, red, and gold, the entire wilderness transforms into a magnificent colorful scenery.
Apart from hiking, other fall activities that you can participate in this spot include:
- Horseback riding
- Bird watching
3. Historic Colombia River Highway
One of the best ways to experience the fall season in Oregon is through the Historic Columbia River Highway. This highway stretches for 70 miles and will take you through several viewpoints and waterfalls, including the Vista House and Multnomah Falls. Multnomah Falls stands 620 feet tall and ranks as the tallest waterfall in the magnificent area of Oregon.
In addition to Multnomah Falls, you can see the incredible views of the Horsetail Falls, Wahkeena Falls, Wahclella Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Latourell Falls. The best thing about a scenic drive on the Historic Colombia River Highway is that there is no need for a permit to explore the Multnomah Falls and the waterfall corridor in Oregon during the fall season.
4. Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway
Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway is a must-tour during fall. It stretches for 172 miles and promises jaw-dropping scenery with spectacular waterfalls, towering forests, and snow-capped mountain peaks.
As the temperature drops in October, the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway splashes with incredible fall colors. You can start your road trip from Roseburg or Gold Hill, and it will only take five to seven hours to relish this scenic byway.
5. Mackenzie-Pass Santiam Scenic Byway
Mackenzie-Pass Santiam Scenic Byway will take you through swoon-worthy views of the spectacular fall for almost every mile you take. It stretches for 82 miles and includes an incredible view of Mount Washington and the Mackenzie River. You can stop at the Dee Wright Observatory for awe-inspiring views of the Three Sisters Mountains or go to Scott Lake for wildlife viewing.
6. Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway
The Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway provides an epic 500 miles and is best for those seeking snow-capped mountain views during fall. You can start at Crater Lake in South Oregon and go all the way to Lassen Volcanic National Park.
This byway will let you pass through a diverse landscape of picturesque forests, pristine lakes, lava fields, and volcanic peaks. The magical fall colors and diverse scenic landscape promises an unforgettable road trip in this region.
7. Mt. Hood Scenic Byway
Mt. Hood Scenic Byway stretches for 70 miles. It gives you a great chance to have an up-and-close view of Mt. Hood and ensures you see plenty of fall colors along the way. This scenic byway will take you through the Mt. Hood National Forest, where you will see plenty of fall foliage.
In addition to sightseeing, there are other outdoor activities that you can make stops for and participate in. For instance, you can hike to Tamanawas Falls or Mirror Lake. You can also drive to Trillium Lake or the Fruit Loop to enjoy the fall harvest.
8. Hells Canyon Scenic Byway
The Hells Canyon Scenic Byway stretches for 208 miles and is located on the eastern side of Oregon. The drive will let you pass along the Snake River and wind through deep and picturesque canyons.
A significant part of this majestic drive will take you through the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, where you can see the best that the fall season provides. You can opt to stop at this national forest and participate in activities like hunting, backpacking, rafting, camping, fishing, and hiking as you relish the magnificent fall sights.
The best thing about road touring the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway is that you will encounter fewer crowds, meaning you can access less crowded hiking trails and parking spaces.
9. West Cascades Scenic Byway
The West Cascades Scenic Byway stretches for 215 miles and lets you transverse through the scenic Cascade Mountains, Clackamas River, Detroit River, and the Mackenzie River. It also allows you to pass through the Willamette National Forest, which sparkles during fall.
This route offers you incredible opportunities to make stops and enjoy what nature provides. You can stop at the Breitenbush Hot Springs or this region's three gorgeous waterfalls: Proxy, Koosah, and Sahalie.
10. Three Capes Scenic Loop
Three Capes Scenic Loop provides a spectacular northern Oregon coastal drive that will take you through a scenic journey in the fall season. As you transverse through the Three Capes Scenic Loop, the three prominent sights you will see include the Cape Meares, Cape Lookout, and Cape Kawanda. This region will also give you panoramic views of the iconic Haystack Rock, towering sand dunes and crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean, stunning rock formations, and colorful, lush forests.
11. Steens Mountains Backcountry Byway
Fall is the best time of the year to road trip through the Steens Mountain Backcountry Byway. This route features stunning orange and golden aspen canopies in fall and yellow hues of cottonwoods.
Steens Mountains Backcountry Byway has plenty of areas to take fall photos among vibrant trees. Apart from the stunning tree views, you can also sightsee Jackson Park and Honeymoon Lake. Note that the southern section of the Steens Mountains Backcountry Byway is best for high-clearance vehicles only.
Wrapping it up
Oregon has no shortage of scenic drives during the fall season. Most of these drives will present you with magnificent sights of the fall colors, together with other attractions, including snow-capped mountains, lush forests, stunning lakes, and spectacular rock formations.
Oregon also has a wealth of places for families to enjoy together, and having your own car can allow your family to explore the state’s numerous natural treasures. Exploring Oregon with an RV or family vehicle is the best way to make the most of your vacation time.
Are you looking to buy a car for your adventure but don't have the cash or the required down payment? Get an auto loan with affordable interest rates, and you can drive your dream car to Oregon.