Exploring the Pacific Northwest

I have fallen in love with the Pacific Northwest. The Cascade Mountains, the evergreen forests, the rugged coastline, the whitewater rivers, waterfalls and dramatic rock formations provide this traveler with an endless itinerary.  "There is no place else I'd rather be" is a phrase I use frequently in this blog.  As much as I love to travel to foreign destinations, more often than not, I find such definitive moments of happiness right here in my own backyard.  Please join me as I continue my journey through Oregon, Washington and British Columbia to fine the most beautiful, most fascinating things to see in this far flung corner of the map.  It will be a lifelong journey.

This Page provides links to the Pacific Northwest Highlights.  Please note that the National Parks are not included even though they are Must See destinations.  Please go to my America's National Parks Page for information on Crater Lake, Mt. Rainier and the Olympic Peninsula.


The Painted Hills
This is one of my favorite scenic areas in Oregon.  A road trip along the Journey Through Time Scenic Byway will take you through otherworldly rock formations embedded with fossils of ancient plants and animals.

The Clarno Palisades
Painted Hills Overlook Trail
Painted Cove Trail
Red Scar Knoll
Blue Basin
Flood of Fire Trail

The Oregon Coast
Cold, windy and rugged, this coastline is not for sunbathing or swimming.  It is wild and often hidden underneath a thick layer of fog, which only adds to its beauty and unfathomable mystery.

Cape Perpetua
Sea Lion Cave
The Sylvia Beach Hotel
Devil's Punchbowl
Wreck of the Peter Iredale
Fort Clatsop
Tufted Puffins At Cannon Beach

Hiking in the Gorge:  Oregon Side of River
If you are in the Columbia River Gorge and love to hike, grab a copy of Scott Cook's Curious Gorge and GO!!  I am listing only the most beautiful and the most interesting trails because there are too many to list them all.  Hiking is a daily activity for me when I am not traveling.

Memaloose Hills in the Spring
Tom McCall Point Trail
Mosier Tunnels
Above Multnomah Falls
Eagle Creek Trail  (Reopening Soon)
Rowena Plateau
Hood River Pipeline
Mitchell Point

Hiking in the Gorge:  Washington Side of River  (Ok . . . a little out of order but makes sense.)

Wind Mountain
Catherine Creek Arch Trail
Horsethief Butte
Beacon Rock
Coyote Wall
Panther Creek Falls

Oregon's Spectacular State Parks
Can you believe there are 255 state parks in Oregon?  Crazy!  There is a lot of overlap here.  Some of the above posts are located within a state park so I am not going to repeat myself.  Just adding the biggest and the best.  (This should keep me busy for awhile, so stay tuned!)

Smith Rock
Cottonwood Canyon
White River Falls

Mt. Hood and Environs
This iconic solitary Cascade mountain has supplied us with endless days of happiness.  We ski her slopes during the winter and hike her trails during the summer.  

Timberline Lodge
Lost Lake
Teacup Lake Sno-Park
Sahalie Falls
Tom, Dick and Harry Trail
Trillium Lake
Tamanawas Falls Trail

Newberry National Volcanic Monument

This national monument is a hidden gem in the state of Oregon.  It is a volcano the size of Rhode Island, which no one seems to know about.  Go figure!  It is a fascinating place to explore with several trails through lava and obsidian fields.  There are waterfalls and caves and the vista at the top of the caldera is spectacular.

Paulina Peak
Paulina Falls
Lava Cast Forest
Obsidian Flow Trail
Trail of the Molten Land
Lava River Cave
Lava Butte Shuttle

Exploring Portland
Have to get my city fix every so often and Portland satisfies the itch.  It has great shopping, restaurants, museums,  beautiful gardens and weird weird public art.  Oh,  and dozens of quaint neighborhoods that welcome this country mouse into its trendy and fashionable little clutches.  Sometimes it is very hard for my travel buddy to get me home.

Test Garden of Roses
Pittock Mansion
Portland Art Museum
Japanese Gardens
Lan Su Chinese Garden
Powell's Book Store
Nob Hill District
Alberta Street
The Belmont District
The Grotto at Christmas

Other Oregon Towns Worth the Detour

Ashland and the Shakespeare Festival
Baker City


Mount St. Helens National Monument
Mark my words:  One of these days this incredible area will be a national park.  (It should be!)  It has it all:  Beauty, great hikes, one of the best caves in the country for exploring, a gory history and fascinating geology.  
Buried House
Ape Cave
Lava Canyon Trail
Trail of Two Forests
Windy Ridge
Spirit Lake

Mount Adams and Environs
This is another beautiful Cascade in southern Washington with countless trails up and down and around the mountain.

Klickitat River Loop
Hiking up the Mountain Almost
Sleeping Beauty Trail
Conboy Lake Wildlife Refuge

Exploring Seattle and Tacoma
Taking the train from Bingen, Washington, up to these two cities is another favorite "city fix" when I need one.  Although my heart belongs to Portland, these cities are her sophisticated sisters and I always have a great time when I visit them.

Pike Place
Space Needle
Chihuly Garden and Glass House
Museum of Pop Culture
Seattle Art Museum
Seattle Harbor Cruise
Tacoma Art Museum
Tacoma Glass Museum

Other Washington Towns Worth the Detour

Walla Walla
Leavenworth and its Bavarian Festival
Toppenish and its Murals
Port Angeles

The Palouse Scenic Byway
This is a beautiful agricultural area in southeastern Washington with green rolling hills.  A Scenic Byway takes you from Palouse Falls up to Steptoe Butte.  Along the way are many quaint little towns filled with antique stores, art galleries and wine tasting rooms.

Palouse Falls
Along the Scenic Byway
Steptoe Butte
St. Boniface, Uniontown
Dahmen Art Barn

British Columbia

A Road Trip Around Vancouver Island
This was a memorable trip.  We flew to Vancouver, Washington and then took the ferry over to Victoria where we rented a car for ten days and drove the entire island from south to north.  It was in the fall and the air had turned cool and crisp.  The trees were turning colors and the island was beginning to shut down for the winter.  Many places were closed, but we loved the tourist-free towns and isolated beaches.
Butchart Sunken Gardens
Butchart Japanese Gardens
Qualicum Falls
Duncan, City of Totems
Chemainus and its Murals
Lighthouse Loop Trail
A Walk on Long Beach
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
Ferry to Alert Bay
Alert, another City of Totems
World's Tallest Totem Pole

The British Columbia Coastline
Taking a cruise down the Inland Passage from Alaska to Vancouver was another memorable trip. It only whetted my appetite for more.

Beautiful British Columbia
Stanley Park Totems, Vancouver
Vancouver in Autumn

100 Pacific Northwest Wineries
Just because . . .

  1.  Viento Winery--Hood River, Oregon
  2.  Marchesi Winery--Hood River, Oregon
  3.  Maryhill Winery--Goldendale, Washington
  4.  Dumas Station, Dayton, Washington 
  5.  Domaine Pouillon, Lyle, Washington
  6.  Cor Cellars, Lyle, Washington
  7.  Idiot's Grace-- Mosier, Oregon

To Be Continued With Pleasure

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