Presumably, there are not many places on Earth more suitable for road tripping and driving than the United States. Oregon isn’t an exception to this fact, quite the opposite. The quickest drive through the state takes around eight hours, but for those who like to detour every once in a while, there are plenty of options. Although the following article will provide a short guide to this state’s most popular, worth-visiting, and stunning drives, remember there is no perfect itinerary for an Oregon road trip, and everyone should build their own.
However, the options are numerous. From mainline highways belonging to the interstate highway system, to numerous byways, backroads, and other auxiliary roads, they all comprise one truly amazing driving route system that Oregon is proud of. Those considering moving and looking for homes for sale in Newport, OR, should pay special attention.
Pacific Coast Scenic Byway
This route passes along Highway 101, the major US highway in the state running through Oregon along the coastline. If you want to do the Oregon coast trip and explore the coast by car, this route is a must. It is considered to be one of the most remarkable national routes and most photographed regions in the entire United States.
Almost every piece of the coast is covered by the road and passengers can enjoy the stunning views along the way, including everything an ocean can offer: vast seaside, cliffs, marshes, sand dunes, rock formations, and the open sea. Lush rainforests and rocky coastline on the north give way to sandy beaches on the south, and it is a good example of the natural diversity one can enjoy when driving around.
The route traces Newport as one of the most popular vacation spots in the northern part of it, making the land for sale in Newport so valuable.
Hell’s Canyon Scenic Byway
Another roadway close by is located in the north-eastern part of the state, along the iconic Hell’s Canyon, the deepest river gorge in the continent. It stretches around the Wallowa Mountains for 218 miles, encircling them.
Though it’s possible to drive it for four to five hours, it is recommended to spend several days fully enjoying its natural wonders and cultural heritage. On your way, you’ll pass by Baker City, enjoying its historical downtown. Further, driving along Baker-Copperfield Highway you’ll see old farms and picturesque mining towns. Those who are into backpacking, cross-country skiing, hunting, fishing, or even llama excursions, will enjoy this region. Wallowa Mountains and Eagle Cap Wilderness will provide you with impressive views of the peaks and the nearby lake.
However, once you arrive at the Snake River and its magnificent Hell’s Canyon, the words will become unnecessary. Some of the country’s most unique geology, plants, wildlife, and scenery will astound you. They tell the story about human habitation more than 11,000 years old, preserved in petroglyphs and pictographs scattered along the river. If you are among those who look for houses for sale in Newport, OR, you should know that this route is only a one-hour drive from your future home, making it an ideal and regular weekend road trip.
Elkhorn Scenic Byway
In the northeastern part of Oregon lies another driving tour perfect for a weekend getaway if you live in the area of Newport. It is a 106-mile loop around the Elkhorn Mountains.
Maybe it’s not as impressive as the Wallowa range, but it sure has to offer some of its own unique natural beauty. It includes, in addition to the above-mentioned Baker City, the clear Powder River, and its surroundings, Phillips Lake as well as the Mowich Look Wildlife Viewing Area. There you can enjoy the abundance of wildlife, from fish to deer and elk.
Further, the road will lead you towards the Sumpter Valley Railroad Park, where you can board the restored narrow-gauge train and enjoy the ride to Sumpter, a small town once claimed to be an important mining spot.
Right after Sumpter, the road takes the passenger right up to the dramatic view of the Elkhorn Mountains, and later to the town Granite, a witness to the gold rush in the region. From there, the road leads to the John Day River and the Anthony Lakes Recreation Area from where you can start climbing up to the Elkhorn Mountain Summit.
The drive eventually reaches Haines, the so-called biggest little town of Oregon, where you can explore the Eastern Oregon Museum, before finally going back to Baker City.
Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway
This one maybe isn’t located close to Newport, moreover, it takes almost five hours to get there. However, this route will take you to two of Oregon’s most beautiful rivers – North Umpqua and South Umpqua – all the way to the southern Cascades. The byway is known as the “highway of waterfalls,” offering a breathtaking view of several waterfalls down the road, as well as the sparkling Diamond Lake.
After beginning at Roseburg, a popular recreational center that used to be the local lumber industry center, the trip brings to the North Umpqua River, considered to be one of the most beautiful rivers in the United States. The road leads through dense forests. You can hop off anytime for fishing steelhead and salmon, rafting, kayaking, or hiking some of the available trails. Some of them will take you deep into the Cascades, from where you can even continue further, to the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail.
This drive also includes Diamond Lake, another sparkling gem of the region, as well as Crater Lake National Park. Further, you can run down the Rogue River, passing by the Rogue Gorge and Natural Bridge, enjoying abundant nature, wildflowers, plenty of fish, and the sounds of the forest.
Other locations not to be missed on the way include Lost Creek Lake, Stewart State Park, Table Rocks, Big Bend Pool, as well as the local towns of Medford, Jacksonville, Ashland, and Grants Pass.
Other Back Roads in Oregon For Scenic Drive
If you decide to go more remote and explore Oregon roads way further than Newport, there are plenty of options that should not be missed, contained on every list of best scenic drives in Oregon.
In the northeastern part of the state, the most famous is the Historic Columbia River Highway. The region of central Oregon also has Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, offering amazing views over more than 150 lakes. The area around Mount Hood offers several drives, Mount Hood Scenic Byway and Hood River Fruit Loop as the most recommended among them.
In the Cascades, the McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass Scenic Byway cannot be overlooked. Along the border with California, Outback Scenic Byway offers magnificent views over the most beautiful landmarks of the southern part of the state.
The list doesn’t finish here. Each part of the state hides its map of unexplored backroads, waiting to be discovered. Ask brokers in Newport, OR when searching for a house, to share with you their recommendations, and start making your own list.